There have been many theories about why people are getting fatter. But one thing is clear, as people have eaten more and more industrial food, their waistlines have disappeared in rolls of fat. No doubt there is no one overriding factor, but many factors. This is a big one.
Yes, I am saying that if you want to be healthy you have to cook. There is no way to sugar-coat it, not that you should coat anything with sugar anyway! But while in our modern society this can be a hard truth to accept, there are ways to reduce the cost in time this requires. In the 60's the average amount of preparation time was about 60 minutes. Today it is less than 30 minutes. Each of us needs to find a way to increase the time we spend in food preparation. The health benefits and the reduction of weight will be a rewarding payoff.
I mentioned in a previous week the advantages of soup. It keeps relatively well, so it can be prepared in advance. A couple can prepare soup together and have several meals all planned out. Cooking can be fun. Here is the action plan for week 12:
The basic idea is that you make a hearty soup/stew once a week and freeze it into individual servings for lunch. Then, so you don't get tired of one thing, you label these frozen meals with a day of the week. So after your first batch you have lunch for one day of the week for the next 6 weeks. Then you do the same the next week and repeat. After 6 weeks you have a lunch meal for 6 days a week. So you can't complain about a lack of time,..who doesn't have one hour a week? This will "kill two birds with one stone." It will be a much healthier alternative and it will be a lot cheaper than eating at a restaurant for lunch.
Another option, and the one our household usually follows, is to make soup a few times a week and vary the soup so we don't get tired of it. Since my wife is Russian we have a wide variety of soups including Chi, a cabbage-based soup with potatoes, to borsch, made mostly from beets. We usually use lamb, but any meat will do. Lately we have been having fish soup. We try not to use too much meat, as the flavoring is the main thing you want.
When I make soup it is usually chicken noodle. After having one meal from a rotisserie chicken, I remove all the remaining meat and reserve it for the soup. I cook the bones for a long time, the longer the better. I remove the bones and then let it cool slightly and skim off anything that looks unappetizing. I add whatever vegetables I want. My mother, when she made this, always used fresh vegetables, but I usually use frozen. I pick mixed vegetables without potato. If I use canned, there is no need to add salt. I have been known to add one can of cream of something soup. (Note that canned soup always has gluten added to it.) Toward the end of the cooking process I add the meat and a package of rice noodles that I have cut into pieces. This makes a thick soup.
I think it is time for a return to the lunchbox with a thermos of soup. You can fill the lunchbox with raw fresh vegetables. Your Wonder Woman lunch box will be the envy of all your co-workers. They will also envy your commitment and your new trim figure.
If you are a subscriber to Netflix you homework for this week is the 4-part Michael Pollan documentary on cooking called Cooked. If you are not a subscriber you can watch this YouTube video. Both have a high value educationally and are quite entertaining.
Next week I will discuss how you can free up 15 minutes in your day for cooking.