Have we lost the joy of home cooking? Here's how to get back into it

In today’s so-called modern world, of fast food and frozen meals, we have strayed a long way from the simple joys of home cooking. Gone are the days when the entire family was involved. Rarely are mealtimes precious moments to bring everyone together. We’ve not only lost our health, but also our connectedness. It’s time to change.

When you add a painful condition such as arthritis to the mix, it becomes an even bigger challenge to embrace the art of home cooking. Yet, it is undoubtedly one of the most effective ways to fight this debilitating illness. It’s possible to eat yourself better. Now that’s good news!

You see, food is not neutral. The Cleveland Clinic Academic Medical Center in the USA discovered everything we eat either encourages or discourages inflammation. And this bit of vital information is key to the treatment of arthritis. In other words, you can make a difference, even by making small changes.

Believe it or not, anti-inflammatory foods abound, once you start looking. Here are six diet tips to help you get on the right track:

  1. Overdose on fresh veggies, as they are full of natural goodness – sweet potatoes, broccoli and red onion top the list.
  2. Seek out foods with omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon, which are scientifically proven to lower inflammation.
  3. Spice up your diet with cinnamon, turmeric, chili and ginger.
  4. Substitute refined grains with whole grains, such as oats, quinoa, spelt, brown or wild rice.
  5. Ditch the dreaded trio of sugar, trans-fats and saturated fats. Honey replaces sugar; olive and brown rice oils are a substitute for processed oils.
  6. Avoid processed food as much as possible and substitute the ingredients with fresh fruit and veggies.
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But how do you switch to more home cooking? We’re so used to eating processed foods that we’ve forgotten the basics of home cooking. It’s easier than you think − here are five tips to get you started:

  1. Get the right equipment: a large grip sharp knife, large grip veggie peeler and large wooden chopping board.
  2. Choose meals that you can cook in large batches, so you can freeze several portions. Soups, stews, curries and wholemeal pasta are great options.
  3. Pick recipes with seasonal ingredients, to keep the cost down. Look for what’s plentiful and on promotion in the fruit and veggie section.
  4. Buy pre-chopped or frozen vegetables if cutting causes difficulty.
  5. Start with recipes requiring few ingredients, to ease yourself into home cooking.

Soon you’ll start to experience the benefits from making your own healthy meals. You might even begin to enjoy it. According to John Hopkins of the School of Public Health, “The evidence shows people who cook at home eat a more healthy diet. When people cook most of their meals at home, they consume fewer carbohydrates, less sugar, and less fat than those who cook less or not at all – even if they are not trying to lose weight.”

Switching to home cooking has so many health benefits you won’t want to eat fast food and frozen meals ever again. Take it from someone who’s been there, done that. Best of all, you’ll regain control of your arthritis instead of the arthritis controlling you. You’ll be back in charge.

 

Tell us, how often do you cook at home? Do you want to do it more?