Monday, 18 November 2013

Real food vs processed food

The arguments I hear all the time when it comes to eating real food are;
  1. It's too expensive to buy lots of meat & vegetables
  2. I don't have time
  3. I'm not sure what to cook
If you were to ask most people why they buy processed, pre-packaged foods, they would cite convenience and price as the two main reasons. The food industry has responded to our demands for cheap and convenient foods....Anything you can think of can be bought frozen, in a can or jar these days.... 

And yeah... I did look closer after posting this picture, and realise it's actually Christmas dinner for dogs! I'm leaving it though since processed, canned foods are barely fit for dogs.... 

When your grandparents were young do you think they bought stew or soup in a can, powdered potato or carrots in a jar? I'm pretty confident the answer is 'Hell no!'. I'm lucky enough to have my grandmother's handwritten cook book.... she started writing it in the 60s.... she made everything herself. She used the best cuts of meat they could afford, fresh vegetables. Most of her recipes included butter or cream... never margarine or low fat alternatives...  My point is, we're part of a generation who see processed foods as the norm... they're part of our daily diet, and we're slowly killing ourselves with cancer, heart disease, autoimmune diseases and depressive illnesses. 

We think cream and butter are the devil, but never stop to consider the effect of the chemicals we're eating when we stop in for McDonalds or have a 'treat' of a frozen pizza.... Sure... E-Numbers, chemicals and ingredients you can't pronounce are a real 'treat'!! 

We're all busy, and we're always looking for ways to reduce our expenses... but more time and more money will be a fat lot of good to you when you're dead at 40. 

As for your arguments... 

It's too expensive to buy lots of meat & vegetables  
Ideally we'd all buy buying organic meat and vegetables directly from a happy, smiling farmer... You can't put a price on your health right?? I accept that we're all working with a limited budget, so....
  •  buy your meat in a supermarket if you have to... they all run special offers on meat making it far more affordable. 
  • buy in bulk... buy the larger packets of minced beef, they're always cheaper than the smaller packs. Make double the quantity of food and you've planned ahead for the next day, or just freeze the surplus meat for another time. 
  • buy cheaper cuts of meat... cheaper cuts of beef and pork taste just as good, and are just as nutritious... cook them slowly in a casserole with lots of fresh vegetables and it will be delicious.
  • vegetables are not expensive! You can buy huge bags of carrots for €1, turnips for 49c and massive bags of spinach for €1. 
  • Eggs are your friend... they're a brilliant source of cheap protein.
Don't use lack of funds as an excuse. If you're smart about how you shop, plan your meals in advance to avoid food waste, then it will cost you a lot less to eat meat and vegetables in favour of that frozen ready meal .

Another bonus.... eating a hearty stew, piece of steak and vegetables or similar will keep you satisfied for far longer than if you had a pizza or bowl of pasta... so you won't need to reach for that Mars bar or bag of Hunky Dory's 30 minutes after dinner. 

I don't have time
I'm honestly not sure I even want to address this one... you have the time to cook, stop making excuses and being lazy. 

Get off Facebook, stop watching EastEnders or sitting on your ass in the evenings. It doesn't take long to cook...

Plan in advance, put dinner in the oven when you get in from the gym and when you've showered, dinner will be waiting for you. There's no excuse... 

I'm not sure what to cook
It would be really easy for me to say that cooking is easy... mainly cos I love it. Lots of people genuinely don't know how to cook, or what they really need to be eating to achieve their goals. 

The media and so-called experts would have us believe that we'll fade away without a low fat diet of refined carbohydrates or the latest and greatest ready meal. Don't let others make up your mind for you.... take the time to educate yourself on nutrition, there are plenty of resources online. If you're too lazy to do that... well then think about it logically, keep your food natural and fresh and you should be ok. All I'm saying is sugar and grains are bad for you.... 

As for knowing how to cook.... it is actually really easy. You don't need to be plating up Michelin star meals every day... simple meals which taste good are the key. Again, there are so many cook books and online resources that can help you out... (I'm going to add lots of suggested resources to the Facebook page over the coming days so keep an eye out!) 

Stop making excuses.... 
So I seem a little intolerant right? In fairness I am! Now that I've realised how amazing real food tastes, and how it costs less than crap that damages your health, it's a no-brainer for me.... 

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