Thursday, January 24, 2013

Stand Up and Cook

In the past few months, we've become increasingly aware of how sitting for extended periods is toxic for our health and shortens our lifespan.

Combine this with the unavoidable knowledge of the nutritionally empty calories in most processed foods, and the urge to toss a package of noodles in the microwave and collapse on the couch for a few hours of mindless television begins to wither.

If you want to eat more healthily and cut some calories in the process of preparing your food, you can simply stand up and cook. Cooking, especially from scratch, may not excite you, but healthy eating almost always requires buying, chopping, preparing, and cooking real food! If you are one with digestive issues, or with celiac disease, it is all the more imperative, in fact, nearly unavoidable, that you prepare your own meals. Rather than dread this, you can make the process of learning what to eat and how to cook an interesting journey of discovery. In doing so, you are sending the message to all your cells that you “count”, that your health is important, and that you deserve the best possible nourishment.

You can reduce the time involved in food preparation by buying pre-cut veggies, but more nutrients are retained if you buy the whole product, the fresher the better, and cut it yourself. That chopping motion burns a few calories, and simply standing at the counter is always better than sitting down. One site says for someone weighing 145 pounds, she'll burn 80+ calories an hour preparing a meal.

Aside from calories shed, the act of mindfully preparing your meals, intending the food to nourish and satisfy you and your loved ones, imbuing the dishes with your love, can be a holy act. Remember the movies, "Babette's Feast" and "Like Water for Chocolate" (available on DVD)? Both told the story of how food preparation could be alchemical acts, generating feelings of warmth and well-being in the cook and the diners.

So, what are you waiting for? Just....stand up and cook!

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