BLOG EATING OUT VERSUS EATING AT HOME
BLOG 232: EATING OUT VS EATING AT HOME
Almost a daily decision we face is what to eat….followed by where?? Eating our or eating at home is a daily choice with both pros and cons among these options. Sometimes this choice is a matter of taste-buds or it can based on budget. We have to eat to live, but what we eat is the topic of our mind’s conversation on a regular basis.
Going out for food can be a nice treat, a normal part of one’s day, or as part of a celebration. There is a social aspect that brings people together. It’s nice to see others outside of the work or home setting. Eating out provides the opportunity to eat foods you wouldn’t normally have or to try something completely new and popular. There’s no preparation, just order and eat. There might be coupons or specials to take advantage of. There are also plenty of different beverages to select from to wash down the meal. There’s no clean up, it’s normally faster, and it’s easier to please a variety of people with different needs and food preferences. It can be a nice break from a routine. However, dining out usually involves eating foods higher in fat and sodium. This portion distortion has paved the way for the obesity epidemic. The idea of convenience overshadows health and nutrition.
Eating at home
When eating at your own place, the cost is lower. You are not paying for the labor, rather, you are doing the work yourself. It is a way to socialize as you prepare the meal and can have many helping hands. It is easier to accommodate to needs (allergies, time, or getting everyone in one place). Eating with children can be less stressful at home versus at a restaurant expecting them to behave. You can even cook extra or more to have as leftovers later. Freezing large portions is meal prep conducive. Cooking at home can also give a person the opportunity to feel accomplished by pleasing and providing for others, as well as making new recipes or food from scratch. You also know what you are putting in your food with all the ingredients and what the food is cooked in. You are better able to serve yourself just until you are full or to have the willpower to not overeat. You are able to be in our space, use your own pots and pans, and then appreciate the work you have done.
Everyday involves eating and no one can say they don’t think about food at some point on a daily basis. The trouble is that food is so much more than just eating, rather, there is an entire emotional and psychological component involved. In the end, what we put on our plate, be it out or at home, will affect our health. The freedom of choice can sometimes be more agonizing than rewarding.
BLOG 231 COMFORT FOODS
Food that makes you feel good. Food that provides well-being. Food that is home-cooked and a reminder of childhood. Food that is usually high in fat, sugar, and carbs. After a hard day or bad experience, we start looking forward to a particular type of food. Most people can name their top 3 go-to foods. The food alters our mood by comforting our emotions. Maybe it was a terrible day at work and you can remember your mom making you hot chocolate and brownies when you came home from school and had a bad day. So now you associate hot chocolate and brownies with comfort, consoling you after a troublesome time.
Some people say tuna melts, some say macaroni and cheese, some even say creamed spinach. We crave these foods because the fats, sugars, and carbs activate the brain’s reward system. This brings pleasure. It is a form of emotional eating and using food as a coping mechanism. It also makes us feel like we belong. Comfort foods are reminders of good times with family and friends. Think of Thanksgiving. Making turkey and stuffing and having the whole house warmed with this smell, is a reminder of this time of year and gathering with loved ones. Comfort foods are a momentary indulgence
Your gut talks to your brain. Eating these foods can help deal with stress and intense situations, for the time being. Eating becomes an urge driven by emotions and moods. We know that deep down eating won’t solve the problem, make the feeling permanently subside, or settle the issue at hand. Yet, living in the moment can be human nature to just feel better. The problem is that the mind makes the connection that food is making you feel better and suddenly this become a habit to reach for, no matter how or big or small the dilemma. What was once a “sometimes” method to just get through a bad day has become a every Wednesday after the staff meeting you hate, treating yourself to dessert and happy hour. The cycle continues. Our relationship with food is complex, but don’t make it even worse by overusing and abusing a comfort method. Emotional eating rarely leads to weight loss or fitness results.