We wax lyrical about home cooking here at Cook For Your Life, but we understand that there can be many barriers that can prevent someone from cooking, from lack of lack of cooking skills, to lack of resources, to simple lack of motivation. When battling cancer, fatigue and other stresses can put cooking low on your list of priorities. Similarly, if you are caring for a loved one, taking the time to cook a full meal can seem indulgent.
We aim to teach simple cooking skills to allow you to cook cheap, healthy meals. We believe that cooking skills and eating a healthy diet are integral to healthcare, and we are not alone. More and more, medical professionals are realizing the importance of being able to cook. There has even been programs such as the Physicians Kitchen, where doctors have started to teach their patients to cook to solve health issues such as high cholesterol and high blood pressure.
Here are our top reasons to cook, for those days where a take out seems like a better option!
Eating at home has been shown to be much cheaper than buying food in a restaurant. Many foods that have become popular such as avocado on toast have hugely inflated prices, and are actually easy to make at home. Even when it seems like foods are a ‘deal’ as they are on offer, don’t be fooled! These foods are often low in protein and fiber, meaning you will be left unsatisfied, and unnourished.
This may be obvious, but many people underestimate the amount of sugar, salt and fat that goes into foods prepared in restaurants. Chefs are concerned with making food as tasty as possible, and this usually involves using a lot of ingredients, which aren’t healthy if eaten on a regular basis. Chefs are aware of the ‘bliss point’ which is the term given to the sweet spot of achieving the optimum ratio of sugar, salt and fat. Together in the right amounts, these stimulate the taste buds to the maximum, meaning you will want to keep eating more. Not only that, meals in restaurants tend to be huge, meaning you could be eating more calories than necessary, which may cause unwanted weight gain.
Many people find the act of cooking to be therapeutic. At a time when life can seem out of control, the act of selecting and preparing foods can be empowering. Not only that, but learning basic cooking skills can help you get through side effects such as lack of taste or nausea. For example, our fish en papillote is cooked in parchment to reduce odors, which is helpful for cancer patients who have increased sensitivity to smells due to their treatment.
The dangers of eating unsafe food to cancer patients with weakened immune systems cannot be underestimated. The American Cancer Society recommends that patients avoid high-risk foods such as deli foods as they could contain bacteria which could cause infection. Eating at home avoids this risk, so you have one less thing to worry about.
Many people underestimate the role food plays in socializing with others, especially with our family. Cancer can put a stress on this, whether its due to the patient having certain dietary restrictions, or treatment side effects such as lack of appetite or nausea. Cooking at home gives you a chance to enjoy some quality time with your loved ones in a low-pressure environment.
Home-cooked foods are so easy to alter to your taste – what’s not to like about a meal personalized to you?!
If you are just starting in the world of cooking, we know it can be overwhelming. This is why we have created a brand new group of cooking tutorials on our YouTube channel. You can learn everything from basic cutting techniques, to how to prepare full meals. Get cooking!