On eating at home

Is there anything as healthy and as satisfying as eating at home your home-cooked meal? Well, some might answer with, “Yes, anything I don’t have to prepare myself.” Eating at home is work, but the plain truth of a home-cooked meal is that you eat better, you eat less, and you end up healthier. When we eat in restaurants we are frequently served too much food, and given our inherited parental ethics of cleaning our plates, we feel obliged to clean our plates, over-eating and ending up stuffed and uncomfortable. Don’t get me wrong, I love eating in restaurants–steaks, lobster, pasta, fish, burgers, chops, salads, fries, vegetarian lentil wraps–but unless one exercises a certain amount of restraint, you are going to overeat. Overeating is bad. We get too many carbs, too much fat, too much salt, too much caffeine, and that wouldn’t be a problem, but we like to over-consume–we secrete endorphins and other chemicals which reaffirm our bad eating habits. If you eat at home, not only will your portions be more reasonable, but you can push away from the table when you are full. You don’t have some nosy waiter trying to sell you some hyper-sugary dessert that you don’t need and shouldn’t eat. When you are in a group of people, say four or five others, you will also tend to overeat. If you eat at home, you will also save a lot of money. By going to the grocery store and buying your own food, you can control much more closely what it is you are eating–less sugar, less carbohydrates, less fat, less food in general. Eating at home has lots of benefits, not the least of which is eating real vegetables that aren’t so cooked that they resemble wet cardboard. Or fruit. When was the last time you had actual fruit in a restaurant and it completely resembled the fruit that came off of the tree? I’m sure a deep-fried onion with lots of spicy breading is a luscious thing to eat, but between the calories and the fat, no one needs to eat such a thing–unless you have one onion ring and stop there, but is that even possible given our overarching lack of self-control when it come to salt and fat delivery systems. It’s why no one can eat just one potato chip. By eating at home we spend less, eat less, and end up healthier in the long run. This is obvious, but one third of all adults are obese, and it’s mostly because they eat so poorly–too much of the wrong thing. Restaurants are so handy. All you have to do is walk in, and they plunk down an over-sized glass of sugary soda in front of you before you’ve even ordered your food. They give you too much pasta, too much steak, too many fries, too much of everything. The biggest problem with eating at home is that it is work to prepare food. To cook, one must have time and ingredients and the energy necessary to cook. Cooking is both skill and art, and one must invest a little time in learning how to cook–read a book, get lessons, plan, take time to do the work. And then, of course, you have to clean up. Eating at home is work, and the first rule of human beings is that they will always take the path of least resistance, the easiest way out. Going out to eat is easy. You just go to a place, you order food, they bring it, you eat it, you leave the mess on the table, and you walk out and go home with all the food you couldn’t eat on your first attempt. The “doggie-bag”, though practical, is a little weird–you end up bringing home the rest of the food that you shouldn’t eat in the first place. Between our lazy ways and the convenience of fast food and restaurants, we are slowly, but surely, killing ourselves because it’s just easier than eating at home.