Monday, 28 November 2011

Making the connection

On the way home tonight I read an interview in the evening standard with Kirsty Wark. It wasn't a very good interview (when the interviewer themselves admits it's not going well that's a bad sign!) but she did say something with regards to her stint on masterchef that I thought was worth sharing:

"To know what you are eating and to know why you are eating it and to feel passion for it is a great thing."

I think that this is so true and that a passion for food and an understanding of it are key to having both a healthy body and a healthy relationship with food.

So many kids today are brought up not knowing how their food is grown or produced, how to cook a meal from scratch, or what effect that food then has on their bodies. This mindless approach to food leads to mindless eating and not respecting your body through eating well.

I'm sure most people would stop eating fast food if they saw the whole process of how it was produced, but even with something like a beautiful homemade cake - until you've made one yourself you won't realise how much sugar and fat goes into them!

Whilst having the time to cook meals from scratch is a luxury for most city folk, making time to do so, even just once a week, is worthwhile. Learning to cook helps us express our creative sides and can be very satisfying at the same time it can teach you a lot about what's going into the food you're eating during the rest of the week.

Here's my suggestion for how to approach this:
Choose a recipe for a meal you know you like and give yourself time to get all the ingredients you need (missing out ingredients generally leads to disappointing results).
Buy the best ingredients you can afford - organic meats and dairy products both taste noticeably better. Buy local and in season fruit and vegetables for maximum flavour and try and choose seasonal recipes.
Give yourself extra time to cook - first time recipes always take longer than they state
Think about the nutritional value of the meal - what's good about it and what's not so good.
Once you've tried it a couple of times have a think about how you could healthy it up - could you use healthier fats or less sugar? Could you up the ratio of veggies to carbs?
Once you've mastered a recipe invite some friends round and cook for them, feeding appreciative friends can be very rewarding and they might even be inspired to try your recipe themselves.

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