If you're a grown-up, you can cook real food


From The Archives - I’m going back through the old blog and reposting some of the best articles.

Every so often, I meet someone who says they just can't cook. And if you look at the stats, there are huge numbers of people who don't cook other than to grab something ready-made at the grocery store to heat up at home. This just shocks me. It blows me away. Taking responsibility for your health means eating real food, and the only way to do this is to learn how to cook (or have your spouse/partner/roommate cook for you). Restaurant food, takeout, and convenience foods are almost never healthy. Even if you order a salad, which is a pretty healthy option, is the meat grass-fed or pastured, and does the dressing use olive oil instead of a cheap (and inflammatory) soybean or canola oil? Are there lots of fillers like cheese and grains? And any restaurant or takeout meal is bound to be loaded with sugar and salt and some less-than-optimal fats.

Do I have you convinced that you need to cook your own food, at least most of the time? You may agree but you say you're just too busy to prepare healthy meals every day. Look, if you're an emergency surgeon in a war zone, maybe that's true, but I'm willing to bet that you're not too busy to cook. For most of us, it's just a matter of priorities. I have a 4-month old and a rather, ahem, challenging 4-year-old at home with me, a new business, and just a ton of random crap that happens. I'm sleep-deprived and emotionally exhausted. But I make 3 meals a day, every day. I scramble some eggs for breakfast and eat them with some berries. I heat up leftovers for lunch. I make a salad and some meat and maybe fry up or bake some sweet potatoes or plantains, or I make a stew or chili or curry. I buy the highest quality simple ingredients I can afford, I keep the fridge stocked, and I suck it up and make something every day, no matter how tired I am. If I know it's going to be a crazy week, I make extra and we eat leftovers for a few days. If you have 10 minutes, you can at least throw some boneless chicken in a pan and put it in the oven, and eat it with an apple and a handful of carrots. There are days where I wish I could just order a pizza, but I have removed that as an option, and so I find another way.

Any grown-up can cook real food. There are a million excuses, but if you want to be healthier and you're still eating takeout and convenience meals, you need to reprioritize. If you're looking for ideas on how to get started, talk to us. We love to help!

Amy Santamaria