I just read yet another post of someone saying eating healthy takes more time and money.
I can’t believe how wrong that view is, at least by my experience.
Living in New York City means I have access to some of the best restaurants in the world. I can afford to eat at them. Yet my past year’s cooking has disillusioned me in them. I find them disappointing.
Their food still tastes that same. They’re just as convenient. Their food just doesn’t taste as good as what I can make at home and cooking, eating, and cleaning at home takes less time than eating out our having it delivered.
I like cooking at home first and foremost because it tastes better. Next because it takes less time, costs less, and is more convenient. Nice other reasons are that I get local food, pollute less, follow seasons, and other things like that. But I want to reinforce that the main reason by far is that it tastes better. That’s why I mentioned New York restaurants for comparison. That’s what home cooked tastes better than, at least for me. Also, I don’t make my meals more than half rice and bread to increase my profit margin, nor do I have to tip myself. Or wait for a seat.
For that matter, cooking from scratch at home takes less time than cooking semi-prepared. By “from scratch” I mean from raw vegetables, dried beans and lentils, and raw fruit. The only prepared things are olive oil and spices.
Last night I threw together the ingredients I had around—black beans, potatoes, an acorn squash, onion, garlic, olive oil, salt—into a vegetable stew in the pressure cooker. Note that all of those ingredients can last weeks to years in a cupboard so I have them around, which makes shopping easy. I’ll stack the resulting stew’s nutrition against any other meal. And it tasted amazing. I had three bowls when I thought I’d have one or two because it tasted so good—rich and creamy.
Oh yeah, I added half a head of cauliflower at the end to stew in it, not because I thought it would taste better but because I saw it in the fridge. That’s the one ingredient that can’t just sit out for weeks, but it could have lasted at least a week in the fridge.
The pressure cooker fits something like six quarts, so I have meals for several days.
Total preparation time: about twenty minutes
Total cost: maybe ten dollars for at least five meals
Nutrition: better than anything I’ve seen in a restaurant or not from scratch
Cleanup time: a few minutes washing dishes (which I did this morning since I was busy last night)
Change unhelpful beliefs
If you believe cooking from scratch takes more time, money, or attention, recognize that’s just a belief. You believing it will lead you to accept observations reinforcing the belief. I won’t lie. I believed cooking at home took more time for a long time too, even when I knew otherwise. I just sort of dismissed evidence to the contrary.
I only wish I’d challenged that belief earlier. Because eating this way is giving me six-pack abs, leading me to invite more people over to enjoy the food together, saving me time and money, and reducing my waste to maybe five or ten percent from before.
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