Article Chronicles America’s Trouble Putting Healthy Words into Everyday Actions
Virtue has always been hard to embody, and healthful eating is no exception. As a recent article summed it up: Even though restaurant menus now broadcast the nutritional damage inflicted by our favorite foods and offer more weight-conscious options, it matters very little. “When Americans eat out, we still order burgers and fries.” **
I can relate. As a kid, we got to feast on pancakes at IHOP on Sunday morning if we successfully suffered through church services. What quickly formed was a deep association between eating out and total treat-dom. When I could finally afford to go out as a young adult, that association was always front and center. Eating out had to involve a dish with lots of cheese and/or cream.
But what if you’re ready to change the “eating out means major comfort food” dynamic–either voluntarily or because the health wounds inflicted by restaurant meals have begun taking their toll in a serious way? Here’s an unlikely, but probably the best, solution: Cook! Don’t keep exposing yourself to unbearable temptation. You’ll just succumb to it and then feel disappointed and depressed. Conversely, cooking in:
- doesn’t put you in the highly uncomfortable position of munching on salad while the rest of the table gorges on a double cheese pizza
- is a lot less expensive
- is way more healthful
- let’s you control the agenda, exposing yourself to only the temptation you can handle
- doesn’t take any more time or cause any more stress than deciding on a restaurant, battling traffic to get there, finding a parking spot, getting a table, waiting for a table, waiting for a waitperson, waiting for a meal, wondering if you’ll like what you ordered, maybe not liking what you ordered, paying more than you’d like, then reversing the whole process to get home again
- and surprise, cooking is a lot of fun, especially when everyone joins in the kitchen and no one tries to be a perfect hostess hero.
When I was a kid, it was fine to feast on pancakes when we were good enough at church to earn that treat, because that didn’t happen very often! But face it, in today’s world, we eat out a lot more than this, in fact, way too often to justify treating ourselves to comfort foods every time. Maybe there will come a day when you can eat out and stick with one of the healthful options at a restaurant. That will be great. But for now, go easy on yourself and cook your own good, wholesome food that tastes just the way you like it.
I know what you’re thinking: “But I don’t know how to cook, can’t cook, hate to cook, never know what to make, never have the right ingredients, never feel like cooking, and I’m so bored with what I make. . . . ” So come to one of our two upcoming classes and get over that kind of thinking. We make cooking fun, engaging, creative, healthful, natural and easeful. Give it a try:
Longmont Live Well Classes
- When: 5 Wednesdays, Oct. 12 to Nov. 9 6:00 to 8:00 pm.
- Where: CSU Extension Conference Room/Kitchen, Boulder County Fairgrounds, Natural Resource Bldg., 9595 Nelson Rd. Longmont, CO
- $15 per class (scholarships available)
- Cost Saver: Register for all 5 classes, only $10 per class
- Bonus: Host a pay it forward get-together, get a $25 grocery gift card
- Register: EverydayGoodEating.com
- Questions: 303.443.0353
Erie Community Center Classes
- When: 5 Thursdays, October 13 – November 10 5:30 to 7:30 pm
- Where: Erie Community Center, 450 Powers Street, Erie CO
- Cost: All 5 sessions: R $115 / NR $145 (Includes free copy of Take Control of Your Kitchen, the guide to organizing your kitchen for fast, healthy meal making)
- Register: eriecommunitycenter.com Class # 7523.310
- More Information: EverydayGoodEating.com
- Questions: 303.443.0353
** From “Americans Talk Healthy but Then Eat Their Words,” Christina Rexrode for the Associated Press, The Denver Post, October 3, 2011, p. 1A.
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