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14 May 2013
Healthy Living

Home-cooking for a healthier you

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Out of the many resolutions and promises made to yourself during the dawn of the New Year, lofty weight loss goals and high aspirations for a healthier lifestyle are perhaps at the top most rungs of your ‘resolutions’ ladder. Many of you may have already purchased or renewed your gym memberships, bought spanking new exercise machines and coughed up a pretty penny on the newest diet-fad to hit the streets of Colombo. But, hold on to your horses, because a thinner healthier you maybe discovered by simply re-discovering your kitchen. Yes folks, lets flare up the burners and wash up those dusty pots and pans because the sacred secrets to a healthier you have been hiding right under your earthenware!

Many of you may ask, “Now, why should I spend time toiling in the kitchen when there are so many economical, healthy, varied and time saving alternates to satiate my taste-buds?” Let’s dissect this statement, shall we?Home Cooking

In the matter of economics, it is an obvious fact that businesses are profit making establishments. Thus, buying a lunch packet from even the humblest “saiwar-kade” would still be a loss for you, not even counting the time and fuel/ public transportation costs to get to said establishment. So, the next time you feel like buying that deliciously cheap vegetable koththu from Hotel-de-Saiyma, think for a second, “How much is this really costing me?”

 

Next, comes the myth of, ‘eating out for one’s health’. Expert research begs to differ. According to a study conducted by the American Dietetic Association, individuals consume 50% more calories and sodium when eating out, while missing out on essential vegetables, fruits and other nutrients. The study further elaborates that the more you eat-in, the more control you have over what goes on your plate and thus, your stomach. A balanced home-cooked meal also helps reduce your food cravings, as your body is getting the necessary nutrients. I am sure we are all quite aware that our midnight and midday binges can pack quite the ‘paunch’, with biscuits, brownies and biriyani!

You may read on with a gleam in your eye thinking, “What will she say about variety?” Yes, variety is the spice of life, and to the uninitiated, preparing spaghetti and meatballs or a simple chicken burrito may sound too exotic and complicated. But fear not. We now have this magical invention called the internet which brings the world to our doorstep. “Nando’s is all out of corn tortillas” you say? Or, “spaghetti is way over my budget”. Let’s use our Sri Lankan ingenuity. No corn tortillas? Use atta, kurakkan or even chickpea flour instead, a much healthier alternate to the usual corn tortilla. Spaghetti too expensive? Use a local brand like Harischandra or Raigam. There is a creative, local, and healthier solution to every culinary problem, if only you use your noggin.

Finally, everything boils down to the quintessential time factor. “I simply don’t have the time!” moans Sitha, a young professional, while Manoja, a mother of three, complains that she hardly has time for a nap, let alone cook. All very valid complains, however, once again, this too is a matter of perspective. Make cooking into a family affair. Let your young ones help with the simpler chores, like mixing and washing dishes while you and your significant other alternate the chef and sous-chef roles. Not only will it be fun, but you are spending quality time with your loved ones. For the young single professionals there are many quick and simple one-dish recipes available both in books and on the net. Remember the mantra, “When in doubt, surf” (the web, of course!).

So, let 2013 be the year of, throwing out the fast food menu and opening the door to your kitchen for a healthier you. Good Luck!

 

Written by dhanushi.F for colomboguide.net ©

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