Cook It Up!

While our children were home, we concerned ourselves with cooking nutritious meals for them on a regular basis.  We knew their growth, stamina, and concentration depended on it.  Fresh fruits, raw vegetables, and meats were all a part of teaching them to eat healthy when they became adults.

So what happened to all of that good training and advice once they moved on?  I’m not talking about them not following through on the good eating habits they learned.  I’m talking about us!

We stop cooking!

When there’s only us, and maybe our spouse around to eat, we get lazy and stop cooking all those good foods that we already know we need to stay healthy.  If there was ever a time in our lives that we needed good nutrition, it’s now when our bodies are aging.We need the calcium at a time when osteoporosis is increasing and joints are less mobile.  Our skin is drying out, our hair is losing its sheen or falling out altogether, and our teeth … well that goes without saying.  Add all the residuals left from injuries, diseases, and bad habits we’ve acquired along the path of life and its no wonder we’re achy and stiff in the morning.  Healthy food isn’t an option.  It’s a necessity.

Learn to cook for one or two

Instead of grabbing that left over donut that’s been left drying out on your countertop, how about munching on some baby carrots, celery sticks, or nutmeats?  Then when mealtime comes, you won’t be left with that bloated and heavy feeling.  You’ll actually be able to enjoy eating a tastefully cooked meal.

Speaking of that cooked meal

you don’t need to cook a four course meal every day.  There are lots of ways to get around having to use every pot and pan in your kitchen as you once did.  Then too, who wants to eat a delicious meal only to have to spend the next half hour or more cleaning up?

Here are a few things you can do to get the nutrition you need

Without the cost of eating high caloric and expensive meals ‘out’, yet still not have to deal with the hassle of cooking and cleaning every day.

Cook once a week.

Then when you do, cook multiple meals and bake multiple things at the same time.

Think big!

Cook for six, eight, or even ten people.  Then freeze individual portions in smaller containers to be reheated throughout the week.

Make more of the same thing.

In other words, if you’re already peeling potatoes for soup, peel more to make potato salad, too.  If you’re adding boiled eggs to that potato salad, boil a few extra and make deviled eggs at the same time.  Why make the same mess again the next day?

Buy in bulk.

Not only will you save money, you’ll also have the things you need, when you need them.  That way you can avoid making unexpected trips to the store for items you run out of when cooking.

Most all meats are cheaper when purchased in larger amounts.

So, repackage meat, like ground beef for example.  Buy 10 or 15 pounds at one time and repackage it into smaller portions for freezing.  Make individual patties and separate them with freezer paper.  By freezing them, you’ll love the fingertip convenience and only cooking what you’ll eat.

Make it easy on yourself

Use pots, pans, and cooking utensils that are dishwasher safe or don’t need to be scrubbed, and use the microwave more often.  Less mess and easier cleanup means a better attitude toward cooking in the first place.

Now, what did you say you were having for dinner?

Debe Lange

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