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Thursday, January 31 2008

The cookbooks I buy and the type of homemade meals I prepare seem to be so closely connected to changes in my lifestyle that I am hard pressed to know cause from effect. Did the lifestyle change bring about the change in my eating habits, or did the change in my eating and cooking habits bring about the change in my lifestyle?

When I was a graduate student, I loved to bake breads. I only needed a couple of books and a little practice to start turning out breads as varied and as delicious as any I have since tasted in specialty bakeries, and at a fraction of the cost. But I did not start baking bread to save on food expenses or because I was concerned about healthier eating. Rolling and kneading the dough gave my fingers a break from long hours of churning away at a keyboard.

Shifting back and forth from working the dough and letting it rise, to working at my keyboard and hitting the books, kept me alert through the long hours of intense research work that can weigh heavily on body, mind and soul. Each experience took on greater significance because I was doing it along with the other. Soon I was lifting weights and working out in the basement for the first time in a long time, and I was moving in the direction of healthier whole wheat breads without ever having made a conscious decision to do so. As I worked on my body, my brain started working better, too.

A few years later I started running. After two years of jogging just to stay in shape for basketball and tennis, I started staying out longer on my runs without having planned to run longer distances. It just happened. But changes had been taking place in the kitchen—or maybe I should say that changes had been taking over the kitchen. I had started making my own soy-based main dishes as substitutes for red meats. I was also making my own yogurt and muesli, a delicious granola-like natural breakfast of toasted grains and nuts (and anything else you can think of—raisins, coconut shavings, or chocolate chips).

When I found myself running up to two hours at a time, I began to understand that it was time to set a date for my first marathon. As I was training longer, I had much less time to spend in the kitchen, but I was also preparing foods that could be made in supplies that lasted a week. On my day off from running, I would make a week’s supply of high-energy foods.

Again, I’m not sure which came first: The new eating habit or the new lifestyle--the chicken or the egg? Whatever the case, I was healthier, happier, and fitter. I haven’t always taken such good care of my body. But when my body needs to send me a warning signal, it usually sends it to me in the form of a craving for homemade yogurt or muesli, and I vow to take better care of this body once more by making better meals at home again.

Rachael Lemaire website "Amazing Cooking Secrets Of A Weekend Chef Make Easy Cooking Simple And Easy!" Even if you don't think you can cook worth diddly, this book can and will change your mind -- and have you whipping up mouth watering recipes in no time flat.

Posted by: Send a Meal AT 09:53 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email

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