As part of the About Men Radio Fitness Challenge, About Men Radio contributor Janifer Cheng explains how getting back to nature — and away from processed foods — has benefited her boyfriend. Look for more AMR Fitness Challenge updates coming soon!
I grew up with parents who worked all the time.
Generally, dinner consisted of takeout, leftovers or whatever was brought home from the restaurants where my parents worked.
During their rare day off, my parents would cook, which, depending on the ingredients, either took all day or a little over an hour.
This kind of home cooking has become old world, left to those who live in throwback societies, whether it’s the Amish, outside first world countries, or your grandparents’ place, it’s rarely done anymore, because our time is too short to spend slaving over a hot stove.
I’m reminded of this daily.
After several enormous life changes, I now find myself with a lot of time on my hands and cooking more than I have in the last 10 years.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not cooking five-course meals. It’s generally preparing dinner for five, instead of getting takeout for one, which was what I was doing as of two months ago.
Chicken pot pie with cream biscuits.
Braised chicken in red sauce.
Double chocolate espresso cake.
Irish beef stew.
Mango coconut custard.
Blueberry or banana pancakes.
These are just some of the things I’ve made from scratch in my new home for my new family. I’m temporarily unemployed, so as I wait for the next gig, I cook to feel like I’m contributing something to my situation, and I missed cooking anyway, so killing two birds with one stone = WIN!
I’ve been preparing my boyfriend’s breakfast, packing his lunch and making dinner for him for the last two months.
The vast majority I’ve been making from scratch, with the exception of the occasional packaged mixes that still require you to add water, meat, etc. to complete the meal.
My boyfriend thought he was gaining weight because he was eating more than he had before, until last Sunday, when we went shopping at a supermarket and he stepped on the complimentary scale and prepared for the worst.
His brow furrowed.
In the last two months, he has lost seven pounds.
He was perplexed.
How is it he could be eating more food, more often, and yet be down seven pounds? He’s in his 50s and his metabolism had begun to slow.
This didn’t make sense.
Two months ago, we watched a four-part documentary called “Cooked,” where one of the guests said: “If you want to eat something, make it yourself. If you want an apple pie, make it from scratch. Cut the apples, roll the dough. It’ll take more time, but it’ll be healthier for you.”
Maybe that was it. We weren’t relying on junk anymore. Someone was at home, making good food, with less calories over all, and even though he was eating more often, it was doing less damage to his body.
He wasn’t living the single sedentary lifestyle, but taking the occasional walk around town with his girlfriend in hand.
Although I gained back the “New York 10” (the 10 pounds you lose because of the amount of walking you generally do in New York daily), I’m starting to feel my clothes loosen as time passes.
Maybe one of the contributing factors of why more people were thinner back in my grandparents’ time was because they had to make everything from scratch or close to it.
Maybe in our need to have everything now, we’ve lost something essential that bypassed the cooking phase and went straight to stuffing our face.
Whatever it was, it’s good to know it doesn’t take too much to get it back.
Wait, I wonder if this works with barbecue?