Health

Healthy dinner tip: Avoid the all or nothing mentality

The environment we live in now is referred to as obesogenic and it’s practically designed to make us fat. We’re surrounded with overly tasty and incredibly convenient food. Sure, the super tasty stuff is addicting, but it’s more than just an addiction to the taste, it’s an addiction to the convenience.

Pizza delivery

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The environment we live in now is referred to as obesogenic and it’s practically designed to make us fat. We’re surrounded with overly tasty and incredibly convenient food. Sure, the super tasty stuff is addicting, but it’s more than just an addiction to the taste, it’s an addiction to the convenience. Because honestly, cooking can be a pain in the butt.

This past Father’s Day was also my birthday, and in addition to a long ride on a new bicycle I gave myself the gift of not having to cook. We ordered pizza for the first time in a long time. I commenced inhaling it like the apocalypse was nigh. If I had to guess, I’d say I ate close to 2,000 calories worth of cheese-stuffed crust pizza. My teenage son came pretty close to that as well. That stuff just goes down, it’s so easy. Just a phone call. No shopping. No thawing. No ingredients. No planning. No effort.

When you’re driving home from work after a long day and you don’t know what to do for dinner, it’s easy to hit that drive-through and pick up something greasy for everyone. You’ll be a hero to the kids, because they love that stuff. Clean up is a breeze too. Just stuff it all into a garbage bag and you’re all finished.

What to do?

I’m not sure about the relationship stuff. My wife doesn’t cook, but we’ve got a great division of household labour so I’ve got the time and energy to look after the food side. When it comes to limiting the amount of processed, fast and restaurant food you eat, I can offer one tip: Avoid the all or nothing mentality.

Just because you’re committed to making dinner at home with fresh ingredients doesn’t mean it has to be fancy, take a long time or a lot of ingredients. The other night I made grilled cheese sandwiches (using whole grain bread and real cheese, of course) and put a bowl of grapes and raw carrots on the table. Maybe not the greatest dinner, but better than pizza, burgers or a bucket of fried chicken. Scrambled eggs are easy too. Sometimes it’s just some spaghetti boiled up with butter and parmesan cheese on top.

Making sure the vast majority of your meals are cooked at home doesn’t mean it has to be a tremendous effort every time. Feel free to embrace the “good enough.”

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