5 Reasons Homemade Is Better

5 Reasons Why Homemade Is Better

 

As a society we are failing.

 

We are failing to make our health a priority.

 

We are failing to even assess our health.

 

We are failing in medicine.  Medical practitioners are so limited by time and money that they fail to practice preventive medicine.

 

We are failing by not slowing down and continually giving into convenience.

 

We are failing because we argue about which nutritional strategy is “right” rather than helping find something that works long-term for each person.

 

Number One Investment

A trip through the drive-thru offers such convenience that we are willing to choose speed over quality.  We are willing to buy pre-packaged hard boiled eggs and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches because even those require too much time in the kitchen.

I’ve learned, through my own experience and also by coaching my clients, that there is one investment we can make in our life that will pay huge dividends to overall health.

 

That investment is to prepare your own food.

 

Yes..I am talking about giving up time to do other things that are far less important like watching Netflix and spend some time in the kitchen to make good old fashioned homemade food just like grandma did.

Don’t get me wrong…I am not talking about fancy.  My meals are never fancy but they are homemade almost 95% of the time.  Homemade means starting from scratch (or just about scratch) to create a meal that provides macro and micronutrient value.  It means passing on convenience because you love your body (and your family’s) that much.

I can hear it now: “But Amanda…you are crazy!  I don’t have time.”

I call B.S.

 

It isn’t that you don’t have time, it is that you don’t make it a priority to have time for it.  If you calculate the hours you spend trolling the internet, catching up on your Netflix shows and waiting in line at drive-thrus and restaurants, I am willing to bet those would stack up to a few hours of solid meal prep time during your week.

There is no greater preventative investment in your health than in your nutrition.  You may feel great now but you are setting yourself up for failure by not making changes for your future. Not just for you but for your kids too.  My heart aches when I see young children already on the brinks of obesity who simply had no choice but to follow on the heels of their parents.  We have an obligation to keep our kids safe, protect them from outside harm and provide them the tools to do this on their own as well.  Food is no different.

 

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Why Homemade?

Homemade is better for many reasons:

 

1. Higher in volume, lower in calories

Simply put, making food at home offers more bang for your buck.  When eating out or buying pre-packed food, there is so many more hidden fats, preservatives, salt and sugar.

When comparing similar items made at home versus store/drive thru bought, you are able to consume more food for the same nutritional value.

Let’s look at some examples.

 

Example #1: Tortilla Chips

For one serving of Mission tortilla chips (1 oz/12 chips) there are 7 grams of fat, 18 grams of carbs and 2 grams of protein.

I can make my own tortilla chips at home using 2 Mission tortillas which yields 16 chips for only 1g of fat, 18 grams of carbs and 2 grams of protein.

 

There is much more hidden fat in the pre-packaged chip not to mention a plethora of ingredients that aren’t included in the plain tortillas.  You can eat far more when they are homemade for a lesser caloric value.

 

Example #2: Overnight Oats

Oatmeal is an easy morning breakfast.  Overnight oatmeal has taken breakfast time by storm because it is an easy prep ahead option.

Quaker has even now created their own version of Overnight Oats. Within one container of oats there are 10 grams of fat, 50 grams of carbohydrates and 11 grams of protein when prepared as suggested.  You can prepare your own oats at home with fresh fruit, almond milk, yogurt for again a lesser caloric value.

 

Example #3: French Fries

McDonald’s french fries have 19 ingredients.  Yes 19.  Mine at home have 4: real potatoes, salt, pepper and olive oil.  Occasionally I get crazy and add a 5th…garlic. By the way…they still taste awesome.

 

In a medium McDonald’s french fry there are 16 grams of fat, 44 grams of carbohydrates and 4 grams of protein.  This compared to making 4 ounces of fresh fries at home that are baked in the oven with fresh spices and a small bit of spray olive oil which will have roughly 1 gram of fat, 25 grams of carbohydrates and 3 grams of fat.  You can eat almost double the quantity of homemade french fries for the value of one medium french fry at McDonalds.

 

2. More micronutrient density

Micronutrients are those substances our body needs in trace amounts for growth and development.  When we buy processed foods or Fast food, the method used to prepare these food items often strips the food of these nutrients.

Buying fresh vegetables, fruits and meats allows you to prepare the food in such a way to preserve these nutrients.

 

3. Saves cash

I highlighted the comparison of eating at McDonald’s versus at home in a previous blog post on how to save money on real food.  It costs roughly $15-20 for one meal for a family four at McDonalds, that would be an average of $45-60 per day and then an average of $1350-$1800 per month to eat out.  We are a family of four and our monthly budget for groceries is $900 and it is 95% real food.  Making your food from scratch DOES require more time.  In the long run though, will cost you far less money.

 

4. You are in control

When you eat out portions are ridiculously more than we need. It is easy to be tempted by the food in front of you and eat way more than needed. Not only that, you can’t control exactly what you want and often end up having to be the “picky” customer to get you want.

Homemade meals allow you to get it the way you want in the quantity you want it.  You are more aware of what you serve yourself which may have  a positive impact to weight loss if that is your goal.  Making a homemade meal gives you 100% control of the outcome.

 

5. It’s a family affair

You don’t have to go it alone.  It isn’t up to one person in the household to make changes.  It is a group effort that involves the little people in your life too.  The buy-in from the whole family to begin to cook and eat at home is far greater when it becomes a teamwork atmosphere.

 

Allow the family to create meal ideas together.  Shut off the TV, turn on your favorite Pandora station and meal prep together.  Most of all, sit down together at the table and enjoy the fruits of your labor.

 

Put It In Action

The reasons for shifting to home cooked meals are glaring.  It takes behavior change and investment to actually put this shift into action.  The great news is that the value of home cooked meals is becoming more clear for younger generations, the twenty somethings, as they are spending more time in the kitchen according to the Bureau of Labor statistics.

 

Be an advocate for your health and take control of what goes into your body.  Enjoy a quality meal out now and then for an alternative dining experience.  BUT…don’t get pulled into the temptation of convenience.

 

Work Hard Be Kind,

Amanda

 

I’d love to hear from you:

 

How often do you cook at home?

 

What is the hardest part of making homemade food?

 

Post your replies below!

 

 

2 replies
  1. Karly
    Karly says:

    I follow all the above that you mentioned and its defiantly true and your so spot on. Great post! I only wish more people realized this.

    Reply

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