Every bite of food you take sends messages to your entire body. Messages that affect organs, nerves, genes, hormones, cells, and tissues. Every part of your body reacts to the nutrients you feed, or the lack thereof.
How can we better communicate and help send the proper instructions inside?
It's time to eat at home tonight. No, that doesn't mean picking up Chinese take-out on the way home or ordering pizza delivery later. It means cooking up a nutritious and easy meal in your kitchen!
It doesn't have to be complicated, and you don't even have to spend a long time cooking. Let's discuss how and why this is important and just how simple it can be.
We're all super busy people, aren't we? And on top of that, we have work and family demands to balance, which can often leave us feeling maxed out and tired.
Picking up Food on the way home from work or choosing a drive-thru fast-food option may seem like the answer, but a home-cooked meal offers many benefits. What are some of those?
Why Cook At Home?
You Control Your Ingredients
Whether you're vegetarian, vegan, pescetarian, proletarian, gluten-free, dairy-free, strictly keto, dealing with food allergies, or are working to meet other dietary goals, controlling your ingredients makes achieving those needs and choices easier to ensure.
You get to pick how much butter or oil goes into your meal. You decide on portion size. Whether or not to use a sweetener and, if so, what kind to add. How much salt to use, not to mention choosing a healthy salt with minerals and electrolytes vs. a highly processed, artificially created table salt?
When you choose what goes into your meal, you can enjoy a nutrient-rich dish instead of just a plate full of calories to fill you up until the next time you eat.
There is plenty of information on choosing organic ingredients over non-organic. It's beneficial for our health and, when possible, the route we should go.
Fresh foods are better than canned. Locally grown is better than Food that's traveled far (sometimes between 1,500-2,500 miles) before it even gets to your store. Nutrients will be fresher and more prolific when your product is as close as possible to when it was picked or harvested.
If you have the privilege of living near a farmer's market – visit it! Buy some freshly picked, locally grown items to eat for the week.
Ask the farmers for ideas on using and preparing particular produce, especially if it's a new ingredient you've never seen or tried before. It's an excellent opportunity to expand your taste palate, get creative recipe ideas, and give your body a new source of nutrients.
Improve Your Family's Health
We've discussed incorporating fresh foods, but the health benefits of doing so would take many books to expound on thoroughly.
Simply put, our bodies are made to run on wholesome ingredients! Not on prepackaged, processed, preserved junk foods! You can learn the details of Real Food in our Complete Guide To A Healthy Diet.
Ultra-processed foods are low in vital nutrients. They're often full of fillers and preservatives, artificial colors, genetically modified ingredients, and other garbage that wreaks havoc on our health.
Eating fresh vegetables regularly, though, can not only help with obesity but may also slash the risk of nearly all chronic diseases.
Making sure your family is getting enough fruits and vegetables can support immunity, improve digestive health, up your energy, help you sleep better, and improve happiness levels.
Turn It Into A Date Night
Cooking at home together is an enjoyable activity! Whether cooking as a couple or including the kids, tasks like working together in the kitchen can improve relationships.
It may take a bit longer to work around one another, and there may be more of a mess letting the children help, but it is essential!
Little ones taught to help out in the kitchen learn essential life skills. It boosts their confidence. It helps them see the effort in making meals and prepares them to be thankful.
Letting kids pick some ingredients and help prep the things they'll be tasting encourages them to be more adventurous eaters – willing to try new foods and even eat more veggies!
You must turn on music to make it more fun or create a playlist with your family's new "cooking theme songs." Savoring the quiet and making room for friendly conversation is a better route.
Either way, try out some family time in the kitchen together. They say, "the kitchen is the heart of the home" – enjoy it and all the benefits that come from doing so.
Choosing to eat at least one meal together daily means spending time focusing on your family. Dinnertime conversation boosts children's vocabulary and helps couples bond.
It may contribute to your children feeling more secure in the family, and each person may notice lower anxiety and stress levels as you converse and share your thoughts and feelings over a wholesome meal.
It's your house. That means they're your germs, and you're the chef.
You don't have to wonder who may have sneezed into your soup. There's not a server with a suspicious sniffle bringing your plate to the table.
It's just you in your clean environment. You can even cook in your pajamas if you want to!
Plus, you can dine without the din without all the noisy chaos in a busy restaurant. Enjoy your meal in peace.
It allows you to unwind from the day, focus on the flavors and textures of your meal, and calmly savor each bite. Not to mention, a calm setting and taking longer to chew your food can improve the digestion of your meal.
Better For The Waistline And The Wallet
It's healthier to eat at home, but it's also more affordable. There are indeed dollar menus out there that can deceive us into thinking we're "feeding the family on just a few bucks," but those fast food meals are sorely lacking.
The price of eating out robs our bodies and our wallets. The nutrients you gain from making meals at home are worth it to forgo the bit of convenience often used as an excuse for dining out.
The money you'd spend on driving to the diner, paying for the Food, leaving a tip, driving home…you could have just purchased wholesome, in-season, raw ingredients at the grocery store and had them on hand, ready to make at home.
What Are We Supposed To Cook?
So you've purchased good ingredients, but now what? You're tired, your whole family's hungry, and you need something fast.
Grab a pan, some butter or oil, and your ingredients. Here are some easy suggestions we like using that you can experiment with:
- Hot pan, Wild MCT Oil, cook meat, fish, and veggies. Ta-da!
- Scramble or fry an egg, and serve with sliced avocado.
- Chickpeas in a blender with some oil and garlic equal some tasty hummus.
- Brown grass-fed ground meat in a pan with some spices, and add tomatoes and some sweet potatoes for a paleo-friendly chili.
- Fresh parsley and almonds in a food processor with oil and garlic result in fantastic pesto.
- Toss salad greens with something colorful, like carrots or bell peppers, nuts, pink salt, pepper, oil, and Wild Coconut Vinegar.
Once you start thinking about home cooking and moving in that direction, you can start planning.
Use a crockpot to your advantage. Throw your ingredients in with a bit of liquid in the morning, and come home to a ready-to-eat dinner! This works well for meats and veggies, making soups, and is excellent for sweet potatoes.
Recipes are endless online. Please search for your ingredients and ways to use them. Check out our Wild Recipes, and if you don't love reading or you do better watching, we have tons of Wild Recipe Videos too!
Now and then, you'll even spot some of our posts on Instagram with a simple, Real Food meal picture. A dish that's too easy and too delicious not to share. Like some of these:
"It's amazing what you can do with a few simple ingredients and some… Pink Salt."
Delicious, Keto-friendly Cauliflower Pizza.
Local Steak with Wild Pink Salt.
Keto Bread with Avocado and Seasonings.
You don't have to spend hours slaving away over a hot stove to have a good meal. The benefits are excellent if people stop making excuses and use that energy instead to choose good ingredients and enjoy them at home!
Keep some basic spices on hand for even more flavor options and variety! Start with Wild Pink Salt and pepper, garlic powder, cayenne powder, cinnamon, Wild Turmeric Powder, and maybe some chili powder or cumin.
Whether you call it eating clean or just plain eating better, putting forth the effort to incorporate ways to eat at home more often as a family will be worth it!
The basic concept is:
- Start With Real Food Ingredients
- Prepare Them With Simple Methods
- Enjoy Eating Wholesome Meals Full Of Nutrients
Get more wholesome ideas about eating Real Food in our Wild Paleo Guide. So what are you waiting for? Plan tomorrow's dinner now and enjoy your meal!