As a child, I can remember following my mom around our small kitchen as she prepared meals for our family after working all day. The pride she took in feeding her family healthy home cooked meals was very clear and continues to sustain her as she ages. As an adult, I love spending time in my kitchen even if it is just to pack a lunch or prepare some Peanut Blossom cookies for someone special in my life.
In the Blue Zones eating out is reserved for celebrations. Cooking at home gives you control over the ingredients you are using and prompts you to get up and move while you chop, mix, and stir. Standing and moving around your kitchen is one important way to work toward increasing physical activity into your daily routines.
There is some research that has shown that people who eat out consume on average 275 more calories per day than those who ate at home because restaurant meals contain more calories. These extra calories could add up to a significant amount of weight gain over the course of a year.
Cook at home
- Try to eat breakfast at home
- Pack a lunch for work the night before
- Prepare dinner ingredients in the morning if possible. A great way to plan for a Blue Zones dinner is slow cooking.
- Designate Sunday afternoon (or some time on the weekend) as a time to prepare meals for the week that you can freeze and use later.
Taken from National Geographic’s “The Blue Zones-The Science of Living Longer”
My mom has lived alone for over 30 years and still cooks for herself and has family over for dinner (or cookies and milk:) when possible. Cook at home not just because it is such a healthy practice, but because it can be a rewarding enjoyable physical activity that nourishes you and your family in more ways than one.