Somewhere along the line, we got off track and I stopped cooking for my family. It was in those years of soccer and little league, when Dan was always the coach and I was team mom. On those short evenings when we had to hurry and do homework, then jump in the car as soon as Dad got home to go to practice, it was always so much easier to just grab something to eat along the way.
That was when my children’s taste buds started to rebel against good, healthful food. I got so very tired of hearing, “Yuck! I’m not eating this!” when anything I made did not resemble mac and cheese from a blue box accompanied by frozen sticks of possibly poultry or feasibly fish. I know I should have been stronger and made them eat better, but I was tired. Ask any mom of youngsters. They are all tired. And if someone said to me, “Don’t cook. Let’s do what’s easier.” I didn’t have the energy to fight them too much.
As the kids got older, we continued our take-out tradition. By then we were deeply entrenched in the habit. Thankfully, as the kids became adults, so did their tastes. We ate a lot of take out, but it was mostly from local restaurants, not fast food. No one minded at all. And family time is much nicer when everyone can have their favorites.
But now we are living in an Empty Nest, just the two of us adults. Thankfully, I have a husband who is a bit of a foodie and will try anything. It’s more of a miracle that I am excited to try all the new foods we’ve been exploring.
What got me started cooking (mostly) every night is a study our small group did at the beginning of this year. It’s called The Daniel Plan. I got really excited about the Food chapter. That is where I learned why some of the things I’ve always eaten are so bad, and why some of the things I thought were so hard to eat enough of are so good.
What I needed most was not a lecture, or just a cookbook, but a plan, a nice easy to follow plan. The Daniel Plan has a couple of nicely arranged eating plans that make it so very easy to just jump in! Once I did the 10-Day Detox (which turned into a three week detox) I was hooked! Who knew that food actually tasted good without all that extra fat, salt, and sugar? The plan even has your grocery list all typed out for you. And the recipes are pretty simple to make. That was essential for me.
Dan and I ate according to the 10-Day Detox for a couple of weeks, and felt great! Then we had a couple of waves of company visit, so we went back to eating the way we used to. We felt blah, and fat, and sluggish, and sick. That was all we needed to realize that we needed to get back to whole, natural, unrefined, unprocessed foods and stay there! We feel so much cleaner and healthier and even leaner than ever before eating this way!
So now we are enjoying food as close to the way God made it as possible. Lots of veggies and fruit, lean meats, nuts, legumes, and a bunch of grains and seeds I’ve never even heard of before. And I’ve learned what to look for in recipes and on boxes at the grocery store, and that has broadened our horizons even more. This is a great adventure!
The other night Dan said to me, “I hope you don’t ever get bored of cooking this way.” I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of eating this way, and if I get bored of cooking this way? I’ll just have to show him where the cookbooks are.