Condo living in the Philippines has its set of challenges. After a stressful day at the office, the last thing you want to do when you get home is to make tedious preparations in your condo kitchen for a home-cooked meal. Unless you decide to forego dinner altogether, the easiest way to get something to eat would be to have food delivered, usually from a fastfood joint. Now, this is perfectly all right if done occasionally but this is hardly the healthiest way to eat. Obviously, this is something that you shouldn’t be doing on a daily basis.
When it comes to healthy and affordable meals this summer, home-cooking is still the only way to go. The benefits you will reap from eating home-cooked meals sure eating take-out dinner in your condo. Take note of the things you need to know about condo home cooking that will change your mind about the idea of preparing your own meals.
1. You don’t have to worry about food allergies and sensitivities
When you’re dining out, you’re usually helpless when it comes to the type of ingredients that restaurants use for cooking. Sure, there are restaurants that are gracious enough to make adjustments but still, it can be such a hassle to ask chefs to substitute this with that and besides, not all restaurants are willing to do this. Cooking your own meals gives you total control of the ingredients of your food and you are free to exclude stuff that will cause you allergies. This is especially handy when you’re entertaining friends and family members who have allergies and sensitivities to certain food items.
2. Home-cooked meals are more nutritious
Restaurant meals are delicious but you have no idea on the amount of fat, sugar, and salt that cooks mix in to make the menu as palatable as possible for different types of people. Tasty restaurant food is nice as an occasional treat but it shouldn’t take the place of daily meals. You can control the amount of fat and condiments in your meal.
3. Home-cooked meals are usually safer
Dining out increases the chances of eating contaminated food. There are restaurants that don’t practice safety and hygiene in their cooking and they can use meats and vegetables that are way past the freshness date. According to Douglas Powell, food safety expert from the University of Kansas, up to 25% of the population fall victim to food-borne illnesses every year. Home-cooked meals can become contaminated as well if you’re not careful in choosing items you buy at the grocery store or wet market. Make sure to practice the proper way of handling food and use the right cooking techniques to make your meals as safe as possible.
4. Sharing home-cooked meals is a great way to bond with the family
Sharing meals with family and friends is undeniably one of the best bonding activities there is. Children especially will benefit a lot from eating with the family. It’s a chance for people to share their stories and dish about what’s going on in their daily lives. According to researchers at Washington State University, children who grew up in households where family members eat together perform better in school and have less tendency to engage in smoking, drinking, taking drugs, and other risky behaviors.
5. Home-cooking increases life span
According to a study, people who cook up to five times a week were 47% likely to be still alive after 10 years. Professor Mark Wahlqvist, the lead author of the study, says that “The pathways to health that food provides are not limited to its nutrients or components, but extend to each step in the food chain, from its production, to purchase, preparation and eating, especially with others.” Aside from home cooking, other factors that are associated with survival include not smoking, taking public transportation, and grocery shopping. So it’s definitely time to resurrect your condo kitchen recipes this summer.
6. Home-cooked meals help greatly in reducing obesity in children
Research from WebMD shows that kids who frequently eat at home are less likely to become overweight. Considering that home-cooked meals include less fats, soda, and fried foods and lean more towards fruits and vegetables, this shouldn’t be a surprise. This should be enough motivation for mothers to do more home-cooking and consume less fast food meals.
7. You get better balanced meals
It’s not just children who will benefit from the health benefits of home-cooking. Adults who are looking for well-balanced meals are better off cooking their own food. When you eat out, you tend to consume more calories so imagine if you do this on a regular basis. Most restaurants offer unhealthy portions of their meals – think Super-size Me – which encourage people to eat more than they should. According to a paper published by the Journal of Public Health Policy, the portions served in restaurants have increased from two to five times more. Just imagine how regular trips to buffet meals can affect your weight and your health.
8. Saves time and money
You think that take-out meals actually save you more time in the long run? Not really. Factor in the time you spend driving to the restaurant, placing and waiting for your orders, driving home back to your condo, and serving the meal. The time spent on your run to the restaurant is enough to choose a meal from the list of foods you can cook this summer and make something sumptuous from scratch. Now it’s not really a secret that you can save more by buying the raw ingredients and preparing meals yourself. You can make enough servings enough for 2-3 meals and still have enough leftovers that you can take to work, therefore saving you lunch money.
9. Cooking can be a relaxing activity
There are people who actually find food preparation a relaxing activity. They don’t mind shopping for ingredients, the slicing and dicing, and the waiting involved in boiling, roasting, and sautéing. We should be thankful for these people because they produce mouth-watering meals that their family and friends will enjoy. If you’re feeling stressed lately and you’re looking for a little Zen, maybe home-cooking is the answer to your problem. You can start with shopping for condo kitchen must-haves that will help you whip up healthy and sumptuous meals.
Making your own meals can be very challenging if you have to deal with a busy schedule. The trick to make things easier lies in planning. Plan your meals in advance and do your grocery shopping during the weekend. If it’s possible, pre-cook all your meals, place them in containers and store them in the fridge. You only need to reheat the food so you can easily serve them during meals.