Cook with Care
Week 3 of 'The Great Wake Up!'
This weeks 'The Great Wake Up!' experiment was to only eat food I have prepared from scratch. An interesting task for someone who rarely cooks! But before I start writing about how it went, I have a small confession to make. I think...no, scrap that...I know I interpreted the requirements of this experiment a bit more loosely than was intended. How how did I do that? Well, I ate food that was prepared from scratch but if I'm completely honest, it wasn't always cooked by myself. My mum is a great cook and makes some delicious Indian meals from fresh ingredients. Much better than I could do. So of course, I would have been silly to pass that up!
Nevertheless, every main meal I ate (breakfast, lunch and supper) was indeed freshly prepared from scratch. As well as this, I also made a decision to stop eating the crisps, chocolate and biscuits that I normally gravitate towards when I'm hungry.
So how did it go? Despite the help I had, I still found this experiment difficult. I struggled with the time it took to think about what to make and to then put it together. Whilst I was able to manage this during a week off from work, I'm not sure it would have been as successful had I been in my normal work routine. However, I think with a bit of organisation and pre-planning (and some recipes for inspiration) it would probably have been achievable.
However, I discovered a number of really great things whilst carrying out this exercise. Firstly, I became much more aware of what I was eating and what was going into my body. By eating home-cooked food that was made from scratch I knew exactly which ingredients went into each meal - there were no surprises and nothing was hidden - and that felt quite empowering.
Secondly I found myself thinking a lot more about what I was going to eat. I had to plan ahead rather than rely on my usual routine of making last minute decisions and going for whatever was in the fridge and easiest to get ready. For me, this inevitably led to healthier choices as convenience wasn't a priority for me over those few days.
Thirdly, whilst preparing meals from scratch, I was hit by the mix of smells, colours and even the sounds of the ingredients as they came together. It made my senses come more alive and I am now beginning to understand why people enjoy cooking so much. I can also see that there is something very satisfying about consuming a meal where I have (or my mum has!) put so much effort into creating.
In reality I don't know whether this is something I could continue doing on a regular basis due to my long days in the office, but I would definitely like to do more when I can. At the very least, it has got me thinking more about what I consume and making much healthier choices. Therefore doing this experiment has definitely been a success for me.