Mealtime is a time during which we are most intimate with ourselves. We are sustained by the essence and the nourishment that is contained within food. Prepared foods (restaurants, cafes) and processed foods are less nutritional than foods prepared at home. The energetic quality of the food is enhanced when it is personally prepared. Whereas foods obtained outside of the home are not, as a rule, prepared with as much careful attention and intention. The energetic essence of what we (choose to) consume is (positively) influenced by our personal input.
When a time to eat is designated or agreed upon, people look forward to it. They mentally prepare themselves for the sit-down time. They give total focus to eating and forget the flow of things around them. Eating Is not only a time to receive nourishment; It is also a time to enjoy the sensory stimulation that is elicited by the meal being consumed. This is more important when the food is prepared by hand. Setting aside time to enjoy food also has positive effects upon one’s mental well-being. Knowing that it has been personally prepared sets the mind at ease and reinforces positive feelings.
Foods prepared in the home have a more wholesome, energetic quality to them. More care and attention are given to foods prepared at home. Studies confirm that home cooked meals provide more nutrition that do restaurant foods, fast-food or processed food. Preparing fresh food ensures a higher nutritional value. Even if food is prepared ahead of time and set into the refrigerator, it retains much of the original nutritional constitution. Food can remain nutritionally viable for up to four days of refrigerating according to Ashwini Chandel, Research Scholar at Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana.
Restaurant foods are not prepared as attentively as are home cooked meals. Amount of production takes precedence over attention to preparation. Getting the product out is important for the bottom line, for customer satisfaction. Preparing food for consumption must be accomplished in an expedient manner. The attention given to preparing the food must fall within given time parameters. Not that the food isn’t cooked. There is a time frame that must be observed when restaurant food is cooked. Meals that require more time may be offered but may be shorted on the time needed to prepare and on quality of ingredients.
Our bodies are influenced by the quality of the foods that are prepared by our own hands. We come into a deeper appreciation of what is to be consumed when we know how it has been prepared, what has (or has not) gone into it. It is easy in this age of convenience to go out and buy (prepared) foods. The millennial demographic does not spend as much time on food prep as have previous generations. USDA’s data analysis also found that millennials spend 88 minutes preparing food, plating it and cleaning up compared with the 143 minutes their Gen X older siblings spend on these tasks.
The foods that are personally prepared are best for the body. Our mothers knew it. Our grand- prepping of foods at home. Time constraints, non-interest in preparing foods, lack of satisfaction derived from cooking . . . these tendencies are good for convenience. However, the financial expenditures and non-knowledge of ingredients are particulars that can affect one’s budget and one’s nutritional intake. Preparing food does not have to be complex. Although cooking does take practice, the satisfaction derived therefrom will be worth the effort.