Why you should buy fresh and cook your own food – Tip #6 Nutrition in menopause series
Okay, yes, buying, cleaning, and cooking your own food is a lot of work.
Also, of course, when you go shopping for food, there are those rows and rows of tempting ready-prepared meals gracing the supermarket shelves. It is so tempting to take a short cut and get that frozen pizza!
Is indulgence evil?
We are not here to tell you that an occasional prepared meal will cause the sky to fall, or that ice cream and cake will make you sick. How boring would life be if we always stuck to healthy eating rules! An occasional treat never hurt anyone.
The magic word is “Occasional”. An occasional indulgence is good for the soul, but a steady diet of processed, sugary, and highly refined foods will cause untold damage to your body and, eventually, your health.
Sometimes, you don’t have time to put together a fully balanced meal, whether for yourself or your family, and that’s okay. A hamburger or fried chicken once a week is okay; a daily diet of these things is not.
Market to Table
The best food is food that has spent as little time as possible from its source to your table. Fresh vegetables and local fruit in season are the best choice. Grass-fed meat and free-range poultry are far superior to animal protein that has been raised in cramped and unhygienic conditions and pumped full of antibiotics and hormones.
Again, yes, good quality food is more expensive and not as easily accessible as mass-produced stuff, but try to get local fresh produce when you can. If it is difficult to cut out manufactured foods from your diet, at least minimize them as much as possible. The grocery bill may be higher, but what you pay your doctor is likely to be much lower. At the end of the day, you will be richer in the things that really count!
The other side of the equation is cooking. Making something from scratch is not for everyone. Some people enjoy cooking; others don’t. It can be a very therapeutic activity, but it can also cause frazzled nerves when time is short.
The most important thing is to approach food as a source of pleasure and nurture.
There are many ways to cook. There are simple 3 or 5 ingredient recipes and more complicated and intricate ones. Do what is pleasurable for you. Just make sure that the way you make your meals incorporates elements that bring you better health and boost your energy.
Should you use processed food?
Avoid highly processed foods and try to have at least a few home-prepared meals a week. A meal prepared at home can incorporate some convenient but less processed foods, such as canned beans, tuna (although tuna can be high in mercury, so don’t eat it too often), canned or frozen vegetables. All these are processed, but not high in preservatives and chemicals.
Canned beans, for example, can be an important source of protein. However, it would be best to rinse them to get rid of the liquid that the manufacturers preserve them in, as it contains too much salt. You can quickly make a salad and add some beans or start with a canned broth and throw in any vegetables you have lying around in your fridge or freezer. A few simple, fresh ingredients stir-fried or steamed can be the way to get excellent nutrition.
There are many good cookbooks to draw inspiration from, and even if you don’t end up using the recipes, you can spend a few enjoyable hours looking at the pictures!
As much as possible, buy fresh and cook your own food. This way, you will know what you are putting into your body and preserve the ingredients’ wholesome goodness by cooking it yourself.
buy fresh and cook your own food in menopause
To read more on our nutrition series, click here.