First, a confession: I’ve always considered cooking a luxury. I love to cook if I have time, but when my schedule is jampacked it’s the first thing to go. We’re spoiled here in Portland with amazing restaurants that serve local whole foods, and it’s tempting to get take-out.
As we commit to the Fall Challenge, one of my goals is to not only follow the barre3 nutrition plan, but also to make cooking fun for my family and me. That’s why Cooked, by Michael Pollan, is the perfect October book club pick.
In the book, Pollan explains that he was motivated to cook more to improve his family’s health and general well-being and to better connect with his teenage son. But he also makes some fascinating points about cooking on a larger scale. Learning to cook, he says, is “the most important thing an ordinary person can do to help reform the American food system, to make it healthier and more sustainable.” I love the idea that something we can do in our own kitchens can make a bigger impact.
Pollan also talks about secondary eating (eating while you do something else) vs. primary eating (sitting down to a meal and focusing on the food and the company). I was amazed to learn that Americans spend 78 minutes per day secondary eating. That’s a lot of mindless snacking! By cooking and putting an emphasis on primary eating, we can reduce our reliance on industrial packaged foods—which, let’s face it, are almost never good for you.
This book has been such an inspiration to my core team and me, and I know that if you read it, you’ll be just as inspired. As we embark on the Fall Challenge, we’ll all be making more time to cook, inviting our families into the kitchen to help, and sitting down to meals rather than eating on the go.