December 2, 2009

Start Cooking for Better Health.

As a fitness enthusiast and chef, I have a unique understanding of exercise and food science, giving me the ability to understand how food effects my body so that I can maximize my fitness goals. A change to a healthy lifestyle takes time, patience, discipline, and desire. I say desire, because you must first have a desire to recognize that change is necessary and have the belief that change is possible. Understanding that change doesn't happen overnight is also an important factor. Many of us have never stepped into a gym and have spent most of our lives routinely enjoying the foods that are in no way good for us. For me food and fitness go hand in hand. I call it the body builder's life style, because I one point in time, I was training (and eating), to compete. This lifestyle scrutinizes food in unbelievable ways, like calorie counting. Now I know calorie counting may be considered too extreme for most, but in the end, the discipline leads to great results.

Changing to a healthy lifestyle, starts with cooking at home. I prepare about 98% of all my meals at home and I rarely eat out. Cooking gives me the greatest control over what goes in my food. Many of us eat out way too often and what's out there, is usually not the best for us. I like the idea that many restaurants and eateries are listing their nutrition guides giving us a better idea of whats in their food, but more importantly giving us the ability to make more health conscious decisions. Do you have to be a chef in order to cook at home? Of course not, anyone can learn to cook, it just takes the desire and willingness to learn. I can't tell you how many oppositions I get to cooking more at home. Any thing from, "I don't have time" to "I'm just too tired from work." I just simply retort, that "opportunity costs" When you are making a change, there is an "opportunity," but there is also a "cost." It's an economic principle that simply states, you give up something, in order to gain something else." In this case you "give up" eating out 50% of the time to "gain" cooking at home (and better health) for 50% of the time. Did I always cook, of course not. It was a philosophy that I adopted out of a need. I needed to yield better results from my workouts and so cooking gave me more control. It took time to adopt this philosophy, but once I was doing it, it became second nature. I urge anyone reading this post to give it a try. If you are someone that is eating out more than you are cooking, start with exchanging one day of eating out a week for a day of cooking at home. Understand that change takes time, but if you are willing and dedicated, then you are one your way to better health.

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