Home Cooking for Your Health, Chinese Medicine Style

Home Cooking for Your Health, Chinese Medicine Style

Worth the Time

Cooking at home can be worth the time if you have it.  It's possible to make healthy choices if you are on the go, but there are benefits to home cooking.  Making meals at home can help deepen your connection and enjoyment of food.  Some cooking routines can even increase your efficiency and the nutritional content available to you.  For example, using a natural sourdough starter instead of store bought yeast can actually increase the vitamins available to your body from grain flour.  

Broths and Stocks

Making your own stock can be a simple and efficient way to use extra scraps from offcuts of meats and or vegetables.  Save your scraps after chopping vegetables but storing them in an airtight container in the freezer until you have enough to fill a pot.  Then just cover with water, bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and let it cook for the better part of a day.  Strain when finished and store in the fridge or freezer. 

Cooking from your own scraps is a great way to decrease your food waste, and make vitamin rich stocks for soups, stews, and cooking rice and grain.  You can also add off-cuts of meat like cartilage and bone, which add glucosamine and collagen.  For custom flavor just add your favorite herbs and spices.

Epsilon Acupuncture broth health benefits

Bulk Prep

Cooking ahead of time for the week is a great way to get home cooked meals in without taking the time out of your busy day to cook.  Once you get the hang of it, meal prepping can condense several meals worth of cooking into a few hours.  If you're someone who gets sick of eating the same thing over and over, just prep items separately and mix and match throughout the week.  Chicken dinner leftovers can easily become chicken tacos or chicken salad, and as long as the bulk of the ingredients are prepared ahead of time, it's an efficient and satisfying way to cook for yourself. 

Epsilon Acupuncture bulk meal prep

Health Reasons

Connecting with the food you eat via the prep process can help increase mindful eating.  Mindful eating includes bringing awareness into your feelings of hunger and satiety.  Cooking can help to increase satisfaction with and enjoyment of the meal process, when does as nurturing gesture for yourself.

Cooking methods available at home like simmering can extract nutrients from meats like glucosamine and collagen, while steaming can cook vegetables without added oils and fats.  

Avoiding fast foods can limit modified sodiums, high fructose corn syrup, and other additives.  While these additives pack a ton of flavor, they are often too much for the body and can contribute to health problems like diabetes and heart disease. 

Chinese Medicine theory states that if the qi is good, there's no problem.  If your body is very healthy, it can handle stressors and maintain balance.  As health declines it becomes more important to eat well.  If the diet is also unhealthy, then it is more likely one will need herbs.  If one is very ill it pays to make changes in the diet as well as getting appropriate treatment.  

Epsilon Acupuncture healthy home cooking

Helpful Links

More info on Chinese Dietetics.

Michael Pollan on the benefits of cooking.

Find a Chinese medicine provider near you- for dietary advice, herbal consultations, or acupuncture treatment.

Photo credit cover.

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