Make Whole Foods Your Convenience Foods

It is no secret that our country is wrestling with an obesity epidemic. As a result, we are constantly bombarded with information about diet and exercise. Recently, writer Michael Pollen added more interesting data to this discussion. In his New York Times article, "Out of the Kitchen, Onto the Couch," he writes that obesity levels are inversely correlated to the amount of time that we spend preparing food. In other words, as the time that we spend preparing food has decreased over the years, calorie consumption has increased.

When you think about it, this makes perfect sense. If you had to make your own junk food from scratch, do you think you would you eat as much? I doubt it. Preparing food takes time and effort. If you actually had to make your favorite chocolate chip cookies, cupcakes, or coffee cake you just wouldn't eat these treats as often.

But do we have to spend hours in the kitchen, preparing our own food, in order to quell our voracious appetites? How can we reverse the trend that Pollan writes about?

Let's face it, very few people have either the time or the desire to cook the way previous generations did. We are simply too busy balancing work, home life, and more work. For better or worse, convenience foods are here to stay, because we need to use them from time to time.

I have good news, though.

The closer food is to its natural state, the tastier it is. And when you allow food to be close to its natural state, it requires very little prep on your part.

Go to your local farmer's market and buy the local, fresh produce. Buy fresh corn. It is so sweet that all you need to do is boil it for 6 minutes. No need for butter, salt, or pepper. Buy fresh tomatoes and slice. Eat with a drizzle of olive oil and some sea salt and pepper. Boil chopped swiss chard. Drain and mix with olive oil, sea salt, and pine nuts. Boil red potatoes and top with olive oil, pepper, and a sprinkle of Pecorino Romano cheese. Wash fresh blueberries, nectarines, and grapes. Leave them out to snack on.

Look! All of the sudden you have wholesome, delicious, easy foods to consume for snack or meals. You could even consider your fresh fruit, gasp, convenience foods! Isn't that what we are all after? You can make this easy change. Your body will thank you.

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