Breastfeeding Diet – Benefits of a Good Breastfeeding Diet

Depending on your height and weight, a breastfeeding mother needs to consume between 2,000 to 2,500 calories each day. The calorie count may seem to a bit extreme however, a good breastfeeding diet means that you are eating enough healthy foods for two people.

One great resource is the Food Guide Pyramid which is provided by the US Department of Agriculture. It breaks down food into groups and how many servings per day of those foods that you should be eating. The Food Guide Pyramid helps you how maintain a balanced diet which is important for your health and the health of your infant.

When a woman becomes pregnant, her obstetrician automatically puts her on prenatal vitamins until the birth. Many pediatricians have the nursing mother continue taking these vitamins as a part of her breastfeeding diet. The vitamins ensure that the mother is getting the right amount of nutrients no matter what she is eating on a daily basis.

Doctors recommend that nursing mothers drink at least 8 glasses of water each day to keep themselves hydrated. Drinking water also allows the body to rid itself of toxins. Drinking less than the recommended amount of liquid can decrease the mother's milk volume.

A well balance breastfeeding diet should consist of the freshest fruits and vegetables you can find and can be eaten cooked or raw. She should consume some forms of proteins that can be found in meat and dairy products. Eating grains such as rice, wheat, and corn in the form of pastas and bread is good for you.

A balanced diet simply means that you are eating a variety of different foods from each of the food groups. Fresh foods such as whole vegetables, fruits and meats are more nutritious that canned or frozen. Canning a freezing can cause a loss of nutrients and vitamins in food. Attempt to find foods that have no preservatives in them. Preservatives make the foods last longer than natural whole food. Everything a nursing mother eats is passed onto her infant and that includes imitation flavors, preservatives, and imitation colors. You want to stick with non processed foods so that you get natural colors, flavors and zero preservatives.

To make it easy on you, have everyone in your family eat the same things you are eating. There is no need to buy or cook special foods for you or your family. If you choose the healthier, natural foods that have not gone through a ton of processing then you will be eating healthy. To make your meals taste better, find some simple recipes that sound delicious and try them once, if you don't like it them move on to the next recipe. Just by making a few new food choices a nursing mother will remain healthy and heal quicker from her pregnancy.

Once you begin breastfeeding, your infant it is important to use the Food Guide Pyramid's chart as a resource. It provides an overall healthy diet for everyone, but more importantly for breastfeeding mothers. After you wean your baby, continue those good eating habits. Eating a variety of foods gives your body what it needs to fight off germs and infections. This keeps the mother healthy and gives the baby a good healthy start.

Wilsons Pet Food is set to launch new Raw Frozen Range

Pet food manufacturer Wilsons Pet Food is set to launch a brand new Raw Frozen Range, with the range going live at PATS Telford 22-23 September.

The Raw Frozen Range will be available in choice of standard varieties, beef hotpot, salmon medley, pork casserole, lamb tagine, chicken and vegetables and turkey dinner.

Each recipe contains a “balanced and nutritious” range of human grade meat or fish and vegetables all sourced locally where possible.

Additional recipes will also be added throughout the year to reflect the “quality and depth” of Scottish seasonal produce and will include ingredients such as venison and pheasant.

The recipes can be fed as a standalone diet but they have also been designed to complement Wilsons Cold Press Range and are suitable for dogs that like a mixture of wet and dry food.

రహస్యం-38|బరువు బాగా తగ్గాలంటే RAW FOOD PLAN -2|Raw Food Plan -2for Reducing the Weight | MHT329

Welcome to Dr. Manthena Satyanarayana Raju’s Health Truths.

ఈరోజు మన ప్రత్యక్ష ప్రసారం లో బరువు బాగా తగ్గాలంటే RAW FOOD PLAN -2 గురించి తెలుసుకుందాం.

మరిన్ని వీడియోలు కొరకు:

ఇడ్లీ తింటే బరువు పెరగరా?:

నూనె మానితే ఎందుకు తగ్గుతారు:

బరువుని కొవ్వుని కరిగించే దినచర్య:

బరువు ఉన్నవారికి ఆకు కూరలు చేసే మేలు:

పుల్కా తింటే ఎందుకు తగ్గుతారు?:

అన్నం తింటే బరువు ఎందుకు తగ్గరు ?:

ఎంత ఎత్తుకు ఎంత బరువు ఆరోగ్యం:

The Benefits of Raw Foods

In recent years there has been a resurgence in demand and interest of raw foods. Many proponents of this type of diet cite the fact that cooking destroys important nutrients and enzymes. The defining trait of this type of eating is the consumption of unprocessed and uncooked foods. Organic foods often make up a large part of this type of diet although they are not a necessity for all who practice.

Most people consuming raw foods are specifically raw food vegans although there are some groups that consume meat dishes such as sushi, unpasteurized milk and eggs. In the US raw food diets seem to be especially popular in west coast states such as California. Worldwide it is also seeing growth in European countries like Germany and the UK

Many people are motivated to start a raw food diet in an effort to lose weight and although this diet can work well in that respect, most agree a better goal is better health overall. One of the concerns doctors and nutritionist will have about those looking to start a vegan raw food diet is that they continue to get all the necessary nutrients. In fact this is not all that difficult if you know what to eat. Getting enough calcium is important and carrots are great in that respect since they contain a high amount. Carrots are also high in manganese, vitamin A and B6. Other sources would be calcium fortified tofu, soy milk and orange juice.

The other problem nutrient that vegans sometimes neglect would be protein, however it's actually very easy to meet your daily protein requirements. Foods such as oatmeal, soymilk, bagels, peanut butter and tofu are full of proteins. Other foods such as green leafy vegetables, raw nuts such as cashews, almonds and peanuts can also help round out dietary needs.

In short successfully switching over to a raw food diet can be a very healthy and fulfilling choice. Many of its benefits include weight loss, less acne, improved stamina and helping to prevent illnesses such as diabetes. Of course it's always good to consult your doctor or nutritionist if your serious about giving it a try.

LESLEY CREWE: Failed attempt at baking healthy (but crispy) crackers | Local-Lifestyles | Lifestyles


Sometimes I’m just too foolish for my own good.  

I love my vegan cookbooks. I really do. I’ve had a lot of success with the recipes, even though I’m the only one eating them in this house. Not that hubby doesn’t want to be healthy too, it’s just that his idea of healthy-eating involves barbequed rib steaks. Try as I might, he’s not that into marinated tofu cubes.  

I was making what some might call “power bars” the other day. The kind of snack you can grab and put in your purse if you’re on your way to an appointment and don’t have time for lunch. There’s lots of goodies in them like pecans, dried cranberries, oats, rice cereal, almond butter and seeds.  

While I was putting the recipe book away, it happened to open to a page showing a very crispy cracker, that nature-loving, Birkenstock-wearing hippies like myself would love to have in a glass container on a kitchen counter to impress guests. 

I looked at the recipe, the gorgeous picture of the crackers themselves, smeared with guacamole, and then at my open pantry shelves, where I squirrel away squirrel-food in see-thru jars. Lo and behold, I had everything I required! Chia seeds, raw hulled sunflower seeds, raw white sesame seeds, and raw pepitas seeds. All I needed to add to the recipe was water, garlic and Herbamare (or seasoned salt for you hubby types). 

Mix together and lay out flat on sheet and bake at 300 degrees for about an hour, turning halfway through the cooking process.  

Oh goodie. I’ll have lovely, crisp crackers to dip into things like hummus, or just a thin, crunchy snack on its own. I am just the smartest girl alive. My internal organs are clapping with joy at my dedication to mindful clean eating. Not for me, a trip to the middle aisle of the grocery store to pick up fat-laden, calorie-busting, trans-fat, salt-infused factory crackers! NO!  

I am a food saint.  

I am worried. 

I peer into the oven during the baking process because it said in the recipe to be aware that the crackers could burn if not watched carefully. It’s not a good idea for anxious people to hear things like that. Now I am personally responsible for the health and safety of these various seeds.  

I am worried because the crackers don’t really look like the crackers in the picture. They are sort of similar but not really. What am I doing wrong? I did exactly what they told me too. Well, maybe if I just wait until they’re done, they’ll look a bit better.  

After taking them out of the oven, unburned, I give a huge sigh of relief. Now it says to let them cool on the sheet. Maybe they’ll look different after they’ve cooled.  

They’ve now cooled for a couple of hours, just to be sure. I take one piece of cracker and turn it over before breaking it into pieces, like I’m supposed to.   

This isn’t the crisp cracker of my dreams. This looks like a sheet of carpet underlay. Sort of feels like it too. 


Now, I suppose I could put them back in the oven for three more hours but who has that kind of time. There’s only one thing to do. I don’t break it into pieces, so much as bend it into little pieces and take my failed crackers and offer them to the squirrels, crows, blue jays, mourning doves and other little critters in the back yard.  

Chalk it up to misfortune.  

It was also unfortunate that while I was writing this column, I burnt the bottom of my favourite big pot, when the water evaporated while boiling ears of corn. Now the rabbits are happy too.  

Bottom line, don’t write about cooking while you’re cooking.  

Btw . . . the birds refused to eat the crackers.  


Lesley Crewe is a writer living in, and loving, Cape Breton. These are the meandering musings of a bored housewife whose ungrateful kids left her alone with a retired husband. Since all her pets have now died, she’s very cranky. Her 11th book, Are You Kidding Me?! Chronicles of an Ordinary Life, (a collection of her various columns over the past 20 years), will be available in book stores in September 2019. 

Health Care – The Real Answer

Despite the most advanced health care systems that involve incredible lifesaving techniques, amazing drugs and surgical procedures that astound us, the all too common diseases such as cancer, cardiovascular troubles, diabetes, arthritis and respiratory diseases have shown a tendency to increase rather than decrease.

It is interesting to note that research has shown that changes in how and what we eat can dramatically affect our health. Even just cutting down on processed foods, sugars, alcohol and fat can improve one's health quite quickly. Increasing the intake of healthy foods is vital to good health care.

As is well understood, healthy foods consist of fresh foods such as vegetables and fruit, nutritious wholegrains, nuts and seeds. What is not commonly known is that the process of cooking healthy foods destroys vital nutrients. Cooking changes the nature of food proteins, fats and fiber which cause these food constituents to be not only less health promoting to the body but can even be harmful. Vitamin C and the vitamins in the B group are water soluble which means that when foods are soaked, blanched or boiled, a high percentage of these vitamins are leached out.

Eating healthy foods in their raw state does several things. It eliminates accumulated wastes and toxins and restores the level of nutrients that are so essential for optimal cell function. Added to that the efficiency with which cells take up oxygen increases, thereby releasing the energy that is needed for optimum health. In short raw vegetables and fruits are simply powerhouses of energy.

Proof that the raw food and fresh vegetable and fruit juice way of life really does work was made abundantly evident to me when I successfully beat Chronic Fatigue Syndrome some years ago after embarking on this revolutionary new way of eating. It is not a restrictive diet nor is it time consuming, but an exhilarating and delicious way of attaining and maintaining optimum energy and fitness levels.

Peanuts Market – Key Players, Raw Materials Suppliers, Cost, Revenue & Industry Trends 2024

The Peanuts Market report firstly introduced the Peanuts industry basics: definitions, classifications, applications and market overview; product specifications; manufacturing processes; cost structures, raw materials and so on. Then it analyzed the world’s main region Peanuts market conditions, including the product price, profit, capacity, production, supply, demand and market growth rate and forecast etc. In the end, the report introduced new project SWOT analysis, investment feasibility analysis, and investment return analysis.

Access Global Peanuts Market Research Report Details at: at   

About Peanuts Industry

In terms of peanuts production, China ranks first in the world. Meanwhile, China is also the largest consumer of peanuts with Nigeria being the world’s third largest producer, after China and India. But most of peanuts in these three countries are supplied for domestic market.

Global production of peanut country probably more than 100, the most common in Asia, followed by Africa. But the state is not too much for commodity production, the major producers in China and India, the largest area under cultivation.

From a global perspective, the overall upward trend of peanut production in the past four years (2012-2016) global peanut production increased from 41311 K tons to 45032 K tons.

Currently, China, India and Nigeria are the world’s three major peanut-producing countries. The planting area and output have maintained a leading position. In addition, the United States and Argentina as traditional peanut-producing countries, peanut output has increased greatly. Argentina is the only top four peanut one not having a relevant domestic market. About 70% of its production is for export. Now it has exceeded the other rivals to be the largest exporter.

Peanuts are high nutritional value of protein in plants. With the US, Europe, Japan and other countries off eating peanuts and other nuts food diet trend, consumption of peanut and its products increased year after year. Thus increasing future demand for peanuts, production and supply is bound to continue to grow.

With the enhancement of economic globalization and international trade activities, China peanut exports face more intense international competition, so the world’s major exporter of peanuts, peanut industry’s international competitiveness were analyzed and compared, peanut export States shall take appropriate measures, expand exports and increase export efficiency.

Peanuts contribute approximately 1.2% to the gross value of field crops. Peanuts can be consumed in an unprocessed state, but they also serve in the economy as raw materials for the manufacturing of various products. The production of peanuts is highly affected by the costs of production inputs as well as the demand for peanuts.

The worldwide market for Peanuts is expected to grow at a CAGR of roughly xx% over the next five years, will reach xx million US$ in 2024, from xx million US$ in 2019, according to a new GIR (Global Info Research) study.
This report focuses on the Peanuts in global market, especially in North America, Europe and Asia-Pacific, South America, Middle East and Africa. This report categorizes the market based on manufacturers, regions, type and application.

The overviews, SWOT analysis and strategies of each vendor in the Peanuts market provide understanding about the market forces and how those can be exploited to create future opportunities.

Key Players in this Peanuts market are:–

  • China
    United States

Request for Sample Copy of this Peanuts Market Report at 

Important application areas of Peanuts are also assessed on the basis of their performance. Market predictions along with the statistical nuances presented in the report render an insightful view of the Peanuts market. The market study on Global Peanuts Market 2018 report studies present as well as future aspects of the Peanuts Market primarily based upon factors on which the companies participate in the market growth, key trends and segmentation analysis.

Application of Peanuts Market are: 

Product Segment Analysis of the Peanuts Market is:

  • Ordinary
    Waspish type
    Multi-grain type
    Pearl bean type

Look into Table of Content of Peanuts Market Report at

The scope of Peanuts Market report:

— Global market size, supply, demand, consumption, price, import, export, macroeconomic analysis, type and application segment information by region, including:
Global (Asia-Pacific [China, Southeast Asia, India, Japan, Korea, Western Asia]

Europe [Germany, UK, France, Italy, Russia, Spain, Netherlands, Turkey, Switzerland]

North America [United States, Canada, Mexico]

Middle East & Africa [GCC, North Africa, South Africa],

South America [Brazil, Argentina, Columbia, Chile, Peru]) 

— Industry chain analysis, raw material and end users information 

— Global key players’ information including SWOT analysis, company’s financial figures, Laser Marking Machine figures of each company are covered.

— Powerful market analysis tools used in the report include: Porter’s five forces analysis, PEST analysis, drivers and restraints, opportunities and threatens.

— Based year in this report is 2019; the historical data is from 2014 to 2018 and forecast year is from 2020 to 2024.

Inquire for further detailed information of Peanuts Market Report at: 

Also it analyses, roadways and provides the global market size of the main players in each region. Moreover, the report provides knowledge of the leading market players within the Peanuts market. The industry changing factors for the market segments are explored in this report. This analysis report covers the growth factors of the worldwide market based on end-users.

In this study, the years considered to estimate the market size of Peanuts Market are as follows:-

  • History Year: 2013-2017
  • Base Year: 2018
  • Estimated Year: 2019
  • Forecast Year 2019 to 2024

No Of Pages in Peanuts Market Report: 136

Single User Licence Price: USD 3480

Purchase of Peanuts Market Report at: 

Feeding Dogs and Cats with Raw Food is Not Considered a Significant Source of Infections : Animals : Nature World News

Sep 09, 2019 06:55 AM EDT

An extensive international survey conducted at the University of Helsinki indicates that pet owners do not consider raw food to considerably increase infection risk in their household. In the survey, targeted at pet owners, raw food was reliably determined to be a contaminant only in three households.

The safety of feeding raw food to pets has become a topic of debate on a range of forums, but so far, no outbreaks of contamination among humans caused by raw pet food have been reported. Raw food denotes any meat, internal organs, bones and cartilage fed to pets uncooked.

Now, a survey conducted at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine investigated perceptions on food-transmitted pathogens among pet owners who feed their pets raw food.

A total of 16,475 households from 81 countries responded to the survey. Out of these, only 39 households (0.24%) reported having been contaminated by pet food and were also able to name the pathogen. The most common pathogens reported were Campylobacteria followed by Salmonella, in addition to which there were occurrences of Escherichia coli, Clostridium, Toxoplasma and a single Yersinia infection.

However, the meat fed to pets had been analyzed in only three households (0.02%), identifying the same pathogen as found in the samples taken from the infected individuals. As well as the 39 households above, 24 households (0.15%) reported contamination from pet food without being able to name the pathogen causing the symptoms.

In total, 99.6% of households feeding their pets raw food did not report any pathogens being transmitted from the raw food to humans. The time the responding households had been feeding raw food to their pets ranged from several weeks to 65 years, with 5.5 years as the mean value. The reported cases of illness covered the whole time frame that raw food was consumed in the household.

The median age among infected individuals was 40.1 years. From among the 39 households with infections, in four the infected individuals were children between two and six years of age, while in two households the infected were immunocompromised individuals (cancer and Crohn’s disease). However, a quarter of these households had children between two and six years of age, while 15% had immunocompromised individuals.

“It was surprising to find that statistical analyses identified fewer infections in households with more than 50% of the pet diet consisting of raw food. Furthermore, feeding pets raw salmon or turkey was associated with a smaller number of infections,” says researcher Johanna Anturaniemi from the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine.

A positive correlation with infection was only found in relation to children between two and six years of age living in the household, even though most of the infected individuals (90%) were adults.

“This raises the question of whether the pathogens could have been transmitted by children from outdoors, daycare centers or other public spaces, even if pet food had been assumed to be the source of infection,” Anturaniemi says.

According to the researchers, the role of other factors in infections cannot be assessed in more detail within the confines of this study; rather, further research is needed. In contrast, reports of outbreaks of pathogens linked to pet treats and dry food can be found from around the world. In fact, the Dog risk research group is planning to conduct a comparative follow-up study where infections transmitted from pet food are to be investigated in households that use both raw food and dry food.

The survey was translated into five languages and made available to all dog and cat owners across the globe feeding their cats and dogs raw food.

© 2018 All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.

Curing Acne By Adopting a Vegan Diet

You've probably heard a lot about the benefits of adopting a vegan diet from countless articles on the internet. Some of these include more energy, weight loss and a lower risk of heart disease and cancer.

Apart from these, going vegan will help you discover a whole host of benefits for your skin. By embracing a healthier vegan lifestyle you can get glowing acne-free skin. If you are someone who has struggled with acne, you've probably tried everything- from harsh chemicals, facials, and various skin treatments- to help solve the problem. You may be washing your face regularly, paying for expensive facials and doing everything right, but still have new spots on your face every morning.

Impact of your Diet on acne

You may not realize that your diet, particularly dairy foods could be the reason behind your constant breakouts. There is a significant link between the foods we ingest and the condition of our skin.

Studies have found that there is a link between giving up dairy and improving your skin's health and overall appearance. Milk has an abundance of hormones and can cause insulin spikes. It can also lead to excess sebum oil production and accumulation of dead skin cells which contribute to acne.

Breaking certain bad habits can help you get clear skin. A high-fat diet can lead to poor circulation and contribute to acne by clogging pores. Start by cutting down on Junk food and adopting a low-fat diet, and you will soon begin to notice your skin clearing up.

Certain carbohydrates can also lead to acne and breakouts.High-glycemic index carbohydrates such as white bread can spike your insulin levels and blood sugar. It is better to opt for low-glycemic carbohydrates like brown rice and whole wheat pasta, which are digested more slowly and keep blood sugar levels steady. High glycemic foods can lead to sharp increases in insulin levels which are known to increase the production of androgen and directly cause acne.

Cutting out fats, dairy, and high-glycemic index carbohydrates can have a miraculous effect on your skin. This diet has almost immediate effects and prevents future breakouts.

Advantages of Vegan diets

A balanced, vegan diet may hold the answer to clear skin. Adopting a plant-based diet has a tremendous impact on health and can help prevent several chronic diseases. Vegans also tend to consume more fruits and vegetables which are high in vitamins, antioxidants, and other nutrients that are essential for skin health. The fiber from produce and whole grains flushes out toxins and gives you a healthy glow.

Healthy vegan meals contain vitamin C, which is powerful antioxidant. Antioxidants protect skin from damaging free radicals. They also help prevent wrinkles and age spots, promoting a youthful appearance. Also, seeds and nuts such as walnuts, sunflower seeds, almonds and flax seeds are packed full of Vitamin E.

Eating more plants and fiber and reducing your consumption of non-vegan foods leads to a reduced risk of diabetes, hypothyroidism, high blood pressure, heart disease and certain cancers. It can also lead to weight loss and drastically improve the health of your skin.

A vegan diet involves cutting out all animal products such as meat, dairy, and eggs. Many of these have been found to carry various strains of pesticides, hormones, and bacteria. Some animal products can also increase inflammation, by increasing insulin levels, which contributes to acne.

Also, meats increase the production of acid which increases your body's pH above the ideal level. This excess acid can increase inflammation and lead to more breakouts. A vegan diet is also very low in saturated fat, which is found in abundance in animal products.

So increasing your intake of vegan foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, and beans and cutting out dairy products and meat can give you healthy skin that glows from within.


It is important to eat balanced, non-toxic food if you want to cure acne permanently. Eating healthy food on a regular basis will clean out your digestive tract so the toxins will expel themselves naturally instead of going through the skin.

If you have been following a vegan lifestyle consistently without seeing results, try giving up wheat and gluten. Many vegan foods contain wheat and gluten which can make your acne worse.

Also, certain foods may be labeled as vegan, but this does not mean they are good for you. Check the ingredients carefully for any acne aggravating ingredients. A vegan diet is touted by many as being the healthiest way to eat. Through some trial and error, and by paying attention to the signs your body gives you, acne and breakouts will soon be a distant memory.

Amelia has a lot of useful tips, DIY recipes and skincare advice on products such as moisturizers, toners and vitamin C serum which can give you great looking skin without any side effects!

The Benefits of Cooking for Yourself

I love to cook. I love the person that I become when I am cooking.

From choosing a recipe to market shopping to chopping ingredients to heating the pan to the lovely aroma of garlic sizzling in olive oil, every step is a journey of discovery. 

I first learned to cook in high school. We had a home economics course and I managed to whip up a decently baked chicken a la king, just by following the instructions to a T. This was an epiphany because it validated for the first time the axiom “If you can read, you can cook.” It was not as hard as I originally thought. 

One summer, I took a week-long culinary course for kids, even though I was already about to enter college. It was one of those strange circumstances that managed to work out when the age limit is 16 and you happen to be 17 and there is really no program for a 17-year-old and it was just me and my friend so they gave us two slots. Each day, we would discover a different country through its cuisine: Monday was for Italian, Tuesday was Spanish, Wednesday was Chinese, and so on. The instructor made us taste everything we cooked and let us keep the recipes. It was fun, and it triggered a lifelong passion for food and cooking.  

Making magic in the kitchen involves many moving parts, and my favorite things each have a role to play: books, music, wine, planning, and organization. I am the boss in the kitchen, at least during the holidays when everyone makes way and gives me the space I need. If you are not washing the dishes or chopping vegetables, you better get out, or help out instead by setting the table or buying some missing ingredients. The outcome of my culinary experiments are not always consistent, but I can assure you, nothing ever reaches the table that I do not find edible. 

A fruit and vegetable salad evidently sliced by an amateur

Over the years, life became busier and opportunities to cook leisurely have waned. I did cook a lot in graduate school because I had no choice – I was on a shoestring budget and wanted to eat Filipino food. But I am back to my privileged life here in the Philippines, where access to household help is affordable. It is easy to delegate the hard work to someone else, and just do all the eating. So I have a yaya that prepares home-cooked meals for me when I am unable to physically participate in their creation. She is a big help, especially since I want to stay healthy.  

But every chance I get, I try to cook for myself, because it provides many benefits that far exceed its ability to give personal satisfaction. 

I know what is in it

Cooking for myself ensures my well-being because I know exactly what goes into my food. I only buy the best ingredients and use spices that are not stale. 

Dining in restaurants adds value to our lives, but we are oblivious to what goes on behind the scenes. I know that as a business, restaurants need to manage their food cost well to make a profit, so recycling ingredients may be inevitable. Frying oil they use today can still be used for frying tomorrow. How many times did they wash the mesclun greens? Nuts, bread, all those appetizers they offer waiting guests – do they throw the excess away? What about the fish in your chowder – is it still fresh? Who can really tell unless it is raw. And does this curry have MSG? 

My food is healthier than what is out there

Since I personally handpick the tomatoes, avocados, onions, and limes for my guac, I know for sure it does not have any of those chemicals you find in the processed guacamole sold in supermarkets. I buy them fresh so the finished product will not have unwanted preservatives. I do tend to overbuy sometimes, especially avocados since they are much cheaper to buy in bulk. Avocados are tricky because they ripen quickly, so there is an impetus to consume or turn them into guac right away. Who would want to waste this expensive, delicious godsend of a fruit? 

I save money and time

My weekly meal prep saves me a lot of money because I get to buy my food at the source. This means that I get what I need at cost, am not burdened by a sales tax and I do not have to pay a tip. Packed lunches that I bring to work also save me the time it takes to choose a restaurant or the commute to and from a neighboring restaurant. 

I learn to become creative

This has a lot to do with my fear of food waste (and I discuss how managing food waste can help address climate change here). Before heading to the supermarket, it helps that I finalize first what meal/s to prepare and then do a quick assessment to see what ingredients are available in the fridge and in the pantry. 

The NYTimes newsletter’s Cooking section never fails to nudge me to experiment while reading the news. I remember trying this Moroccan dish and it was utterly divine, but this Thai spicy coconut mussels by Melissa Clark is a winner at every dinner party I have hosted. I think I have made that ten times, and I myself never get tired of eating it. It just tastes so luxurious and healthy – you can taste the sea at the tip of the croissant. I prepare all these at home, and yet it feels like I am teleporting to exotic lands as the sauce coagulates in the pot. 

It is likewise inevitable to resort to substitutes when making foreign dishes. One of my favorite local ingredients is calamansi, and when I was living in Boston, this was highly obscure in the neighborhood markets (I believe it is making a bolder statement these days, what with the many Filipino restaurants sprouting all over America that have it). So I had to use lemons instead for my version of the local Beef Steak Tagalog – beef cubes stewed in soy sauce, calamansi, black pepper, garlic, and white onions. 

I tend to be kinder

Aside from cooking’s ability to heighten the positive aura within me, I do like to share the food that I make with my neighbors and friends. Dishes that have broccoli or cauliflower, say, could result in copious amounts of servings I am unlikely to consume in a week because I had to buy the entire broccoli or cauliflower head. It helps to have friendly neighbors, and to all be in a WhatsApp group. Once I am done cooking, I usually take a photo of what I made, and then post it on our WhatsApp group so my friends can come try it. Meal containers are encouraged so they can bring home some takeaway. I usually get a knock on my door in less than 5 minutes. 

That is also one of my most treasured memories from graduate school – enjoyable conversations over food with good friends. It always makes me happy to feed them, so cooking never feels like a chore. 

How to start

If you have not tried cooking before, the best way to start is to first love to eat! There is no point in cooking if you do not like food because you cannot cook anything good without ever tasting it. Think about your favorite meals when you dine out – what are some of the dishes you would like to eat repeatedly? I can tell you right off the bat that I can live on fluffy scrambled eggs and grilled cheese. Once you have made a list, search online for their recipes and instructional videos.

I advocate for healthy eating, so I highly recommend preparing meals that have fruits, vegetables, meat/fish and some carbs. Fruits like sliced and seeded cantaloupe, watermelon and pineapple will have to be placed in small plastic containers. I like vitamin C rich pomelo because they do not require slicing, just peeling, and the taste alone can insulate you from disease. Salads need to be in one container, the dressing in another. If the vegetables are cooked, they can be stored in a stackable container together with the carbs and the protein. You will want stackable containers so your food lines up neatly inside the fridge. 

I do meal preps on a Sunday, because no one tends to bother me on that day. I prepare meals for one whole week. Many people find this disconcerting, especially those who enjoy variety. But in its defense, I think eating the same food every day for one week makes life much easier with one less decision to make. 

Once you get the hang of it, only then should you invest in good cutlery and knives so you can chop vegetables faster. Victorinox makes a good Santoku knife that is not as pricey as its Japanese competitors, is versatile and is perfect for beginners. 

I am not a chef nor am I claiming to be a food expert, in case you question my views. I am just an ordinary professional who finds happiness in the mundane. May cooking bring you the joy and peace it has rewarded me for many years.