Small steps #1 - Home cooking

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This is the first instalment on a series on very small steps towards eating a diet of nourishing foods.
This one is about home cooking.
One of the best things you can do for your family to eat more nourishing is to cook more at home.
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home cooking
Diana
22 January 2019
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Home Cooking #1

This step will be about home cooking. Cooking foods at home is one of the most important steps you can take to eating more nourishing foods. You have full control over the ingredients that will be used. You can choose between using a package or making a sauce yourself.
You can choose between taking fresh, frozen or tinned ingredients.
You have all the choice you need.

Start with one day

When you start with this step and you are used to microwave meals or so then this will be a huge step. Take your time. You're going to need time. 
What you could do is commit to cooking food at home one day a week. When you have done that for a couple of weeks, you can add another day of the week to do home cooking. Make sure that you take days that will be easy for you to do the home cooking. 
Something that works well in my family is that we have days where I cook and days where my husband Michel cooks. On Thursdays for instance I'm home late and I'm away all day. That day he cooks our dinner, that is a fixed arrangement we have. 

Children

Then there is also the option of having your children join you in the kitchen. Mine love helping with cutting and stirring. Of course this did not happen overnight, but it did slowly happen. This way they are more involved and they like eating the foods they have cut or cooked. It depends on the age of course what they can and cannot do. In this post I cannot go into it in detail, but I think I will have to write a series on that at some point in the future as well. 
For now see what your children can and will do and motivate them to help out. Eventually they can cook full meals. My oldest ones can.

Children in the kitchen

Planning

One way to actually make it work is planning. I have learned over the years to make a menu plan and a shopping list while i'm making the menu plan. As I'm not a big fan of going shopping, I do my shopping online at Ocado and have it delivered. Perk of living in the UK where that is totally normal to do. All supermarkets offer home delivery
So I have my shopping delivered on Thursday. This means that on Wednesday I make my menu plan and my shopping list. I then make sure I have all ingredients in my shopping basket and go to the checkout. Sometimes I do bits of it earlier in the week already when I know I need certain stuff. But on Wednesday morning I always do my planning for the coming week. My menu plan starts on Saturday as that works best for me. 

Sometimes I order foods from Abel & Cole, They deliver on Friday's in my area and that means that there is no point in having my plan start before Saturday. It also means that when I need to soak beans for Saturday I can do this in time. If my plan and shopping would start at the same day i wouldn't be able to do anything of the preparations that some foods requires. But that is for another blog post in this series. Pulses, beans and grains are a big step. Not for now. For now just buy organic tinned beans. It'll do.

Pre-cutting

We all have days where we don't work much or at all. For me that is Thursday and Sunday. Most Saturdays are relatively quiet as well. Now Thursdays I'm gone all day, so that doesn't help. But on the weekend I do have time. I have found it very helpful to pre cut and do other preparations on the weekend, so that things are partly done before I need to get food on the table in the evening. It has been quite a gods send to have thought about that one. 
It also means that I can use my kitchen machine as it's much more worth it to use it when I cut ten onions than when I cut two. I put it all in bags that go into the fridge. I also make my salad dressings for the week, my mayo for the week, ketchup and all that. Now those are all things that will be discussed later in this series. For now just get organic dressings, mayo and ketchup.

I'll go into reading labels in another post in this series as there are quite a few things that you'll want to be aware of and make sure you avoid. Many products, even organic ones can have bad ingredients in there. That it has been grown organically does not mean that it is actually healthy for you. Organic just means less toxins and no problem for the environment. It doesn't say anything about health.

Toxins

When you cook more at home, you end up with ingredients mostly, over pre-packaged foods. So when you buy a microwave meal you end up with preservatives and such. When you cook at home, you can avoid those. This is better for your health as the preservatives are usually chemicals that are new to our food supply.
Most microwave meals also have synthetic MSG in there to make the flavour better, again a toxin that we struggle metabolising. Then there are colours and flavours and all that. All not good for your health. 

Take your time

This can be quite a hard step for many. Therefore take it easy and don't overdo it. Make sure that you are comfortable with the level that you're at before moving further. 
I'll elaborate more on things like soaking, pre-cutting and all that in later posts. Don't beat yourself up when it's not working right away. Just be aware of where you are. Keep trying. Every time you try, you learn. Every time you get better at it. Every try you'll get more proficient. Likely every time you try you'll last longer.

Have fun

The most important thing to do is to have fun while cooking foods. There are lots and lots of recipes out there on the internet. Many easy. Most are labelled as being easy or hard. Start with the easy ones. You'll get there! You can do it!

 

Coaching

As I'm running a business I will talk about this bit as well.
If you would like to have an accountability buddy, I'm here for you. I do this for a living, so just let me know whether you would like some coaching, we can talk once a month. It doesn't have to cost you an arm and a leg. You'll have email support as well. Just have a look at what I have to offer. 
Health Coaching might be right up your alley, or Children's nutrition or Teenager nutrition. In case you are starting to introduce food to your baby then Introducing solids could be exactly what you want. 

 

Go to Introduction to Small Steps

Go forward to Step 2

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