Have we lost the joy of home cooking? Here’s how to get back into it 20



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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.

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?

Sandra Witzel

Sandra Witzel is a certified Health Coach who has lived with arthritis for over a decade. She is a member of the International Association of Health Coaches and works to help people with arthritis through Wellvess.com, an 8-week online program packed with meal plans, recipes, latest research on supplements, exercise tips and a forum to connect with others.

  1. Not in this household. I alternate with a meat meal one day, fish the next and vegetarian the day after. We eat heaps of vegies and I rarely buy processed or frozen meals as I prefer to cook and freeze. If my arthritis is playing up and I am having trouble holding a knife, then I turn to the Jamie Oliver 15 minute Meals Recipe Book and use the food processor to do the work.

  2. I enjoy cooking and we very rarely eat out. I like a lot of the recipes on this site. Today for lunch I am making Two Cheese Zucchini and Red Onion Tart. It is a new recipe so here goes.

    2 REPLY
    • Very nice. Very different. You cook onion and zucchini and garlic in a pan. Mix eggs and Greek yoghurt and add zucchini mixture and pour into pastry shell (precooked for 5 mins). Put crumbled feta on top and in oven for 35 mins. Very nice.

  3. Not in this household either – every meal is done from scratch every night I too never buy frozen meals (they’re tasteless) – love my vegies and try to have as many as possible to fill our plates. Home made is better and can be prepared quicker than a take-away.

    1 REPLY
    • Exactly! I am alone now, still eating healthy meals prepared from scratch. My own veggie garden. I feel I owe it to myself to eat well and take pleasure in the preparation. No rubbish meals here!

  4. When I broke my shoulder and elbow last year I couldn’t cook and had to rely on pre-prepared meals. It was with much joy the first time I could cook properly – even boiling an egg! Haven’t had packaged food since!

  5. Funny that this articled appeared today. I find that now I am retired I have time to prepare, and we eat fabulous fresh veg meals, avoiding processed as muchaspossible ( but him indoors stillloveshis baked beans). Today I have my vegan son and his vegetarian wife coming for lunch. They are getting Morrocan bean veg and rice soup ( pretty solid, more of a stew). with a choice of salsa, scallions or corn chips, followed by crunchy asparagus using sesame and savoury yeast (instead of Parmesan), with salad and quinoa, followed by strawberries and home made non dairy yoghurt. Luckily asparagus is only $1 a bunch at the moment, strawberries were cheap too, and I had all the other ingredients. There’ll be lots of the soup-stew left which we can put in wraps for ourselves another day. Oh and him indoors made some sourdough bread.
    Took a couple of hours to prepare, and that’s why so many people who work just don’t have the time.
    We both love cooking. It’s the washing up that we don’t like!

    2 REPLY
  6. All homemade here including pasta, bread and ice cream. So much nicer and cheaper than shop bought.

  7. How often do I cook at home? At least twice a day

    Do I want to do it more? Not necessarily however, I do enjoy food prep cooking.

    When I go and stay at my step daughter’s I always take 3 or 4 of my favourite knives so I usually do all of the preparation and she will cook or both of us will cook as she has both gas and electric bench tops. 😉

  8. My husband cooks at our place. He knows how much I like my Veges. We very seldom eat takeaways sometimes fish and chips. We eat well.

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