I just received a copy of Cathy Erway's new book The Art of Eating In: How I Learned To Stop Spending & Love The Stove. Then shortly after, I received an email from Huffington Post announcing their Week of Eating In. Is the universe trying to tell me something?
We actually do not eat out much. Since starting to make most of our meals from scratch, I have become disenchanted with restaurant food. But I know that plenty of Americans do eat out, in fact, some rarely eat in. And then there are those that do eat in, but do not cook their food. Sure they "cook" it, as in apply heat, but they do not really "cook" it, as in prepare it from whole ingredients. HuffPost is challenging participants to do just that.
We encourage you to use basic, whole food ingredients to prepare food, avoiding pre-packaged, pre-made food, like frozen dinners and ready-to-eat canned goods, but there are no strict rules. Make the rules for yourself. If this experiment for you means making your own bread and eating locally, so be it. If it means turning on your stove for the first time in your life, that's great too.The Week of Eating In starts today, February 22, running through the next seven days. Along the way HuffPost is offering encouragement, articles, recipes, and even apps to help participants out. If I had a cell phone the Locavore and Good Guide Apps would be on it. Think your kitchen is too small to prepare a good meal in? Think again. Check out these tiny kitchens that still manage to crank out the homemade goodness. HuffPost is even offering a spreadsheet to track your savings from eating in compared to eating out.
Eating in not only brings monetary savings, but also savings for the environment too. Just think of all take-out packaging, disposable plastic, styrofoam and paper that will be avoided by preparing your meals at home. Eating in comes with the added bonus of knowing exactly what is in your food because you put it there. At restaurants you have no idea and no control over how much salt is used, the type of oil food is fried in, where ingredients come from, whether food is prepared fresh or reheated from frozen, or the price. Cooking at home makes you much more mindful of all of these. It also makes you more aware of just how much you eat. It is way too easy to rip open a bag of candy and eat all of it without giving it a second thought! But, spend an hour baking a batch of cookies and you will most likely savor every bite. Eating in will have you eating healthier overall, even when it comes to sweets. One of Michael Pollan's Food Rules is eat as much junk food as you want, as long as you make it yourself.
Take back the control over what you put in your body and join me along with the Huffington Post community in The Week of Eating In.