Do you think people who are "too lazy to cook" are this way because they don't have the energy because they are feeding themselves crap, or do you think if someone else started cooking healthy meals for them every day that they would gradually take an interest/be less lazy and cook for themselves due to feeling better overall?
To simplify my question, is SAD eating caused by SAD eating?
Sorry if this is confusing.
That is certainly part of the equation, but here in the United States, there are other things that also play a HUGE role in the "too lazy to cook" syndrome.
I think that, for some people, what may be interpreted as "too lazy to cook" is really a whole lot of other stuff that makes life complicated.
People in the current generation often have never seen foods that don't come out of a box, bag, or can. Many of them have never purchased food anywhere but a big-box grocery store.
The media spends an awful lot of time telling us we SHOULD be too tired to put a decent meal together -- and convincing us that "fast" food is really fast. (I got past this idea after calculating that I could put a simple curry on the table in 15 minutes -- and it took longer than that to get through the drive-thru at McDonalds!!!)
Most of us work long hours, and then have to commute on top of it, so we may get on the roads by 6am, work for 9+ hrs, and then spend another hour or more getting home... by the time we've dealt with all of that, our brains are fried and we don't want to have to think about what to make for dinner. Decision Fatigue
A lot of us are single, and find that recipe books are geared to making a lot more food than we're interested in -- and we, as a culture, have learned to despise "leftovers"... so it never occurs to us to cook 4 portions and put 3 in the freezer for another meal.
We've bought in to the delusion that microwaves are "faster" than cooking on the stovetop, and more convenient -- but we acknowledge that they're not very good for cooking things from "real" foods, so then we're at an impasse. We don't want to use the -stove- because we perceive that it is slow... but we know the food won't taste good if we use the microwave (and really, for fresh food, takes just as long or longer than stovetop cooking!).
The vast amount of conflicting nutritional advice out there just makes people throw up their hands and say "Hell, I'll never get it right anyway, so why even bother!!!"
For me, these were HUGE things to discover about our own eating patterns. I started learning to cook on the weekends, in bulk, for the coming week. I got used to small, rotating menus. I did my own math, and figured out that the time that I was spending in "drive thru" lines was PLENTY of time to put together a really good meal at home.
IMO, most people just don't think things through. They're not lazy -- they just spend too much time listening to the TV tell them that they're too tired to cook, and too much time stressing over work and money -- and they forget that, without good nutrition, that amazing body they have won't do what they need it to do to get them through all the stress.
My "too lazy to cook" grandson actually likes cooking--what he's too lazy to do is dishes. :-))
We both strongly prefer home-cooked foods.
In my SAD days, I was frequently too sick to cook. As the illness was caused by SAD, that's where the reinforcing loop kicked in.
Now the loop turns the other way and the only limiting factor is my desire to lose the other half of my excess fat.
What does "too lazy too cook" look like, in terms of practice?
I have zero interest in cooking as an art. I do not go to cooking stores except to get the occasional kitchen implement. I don't own a cookbook and can't remember the time I used a recipe. Being "lazy" doesn't come into the picture. My interest in cooking extends to preparation of food so I can eat it. I don't resent the process, nor do I look forward to it, other than as a way to expedite eating when hunger is getting loud.
I "cook" most of my own meals, which mostly means I bring raw fish, poultry and beef into the proper state of readiness to consume. Sometimes oven, sometimes microwave. I would dare anyone who tastes my microwaved salmon steaks to tell me they did not think I used some elegant "poaching" method. I know how to use a microwave to great effect, mostly at very low temperatures with commensurately longer cooking times.
I also go to restaurants whose menus are friendly to my tastes.
So if you're looking to correlate lack of interest in cooking per se as synonymous with laziness, nope. I am sure many people who eat out a lot and eat SAD food a lot when they do, are people who would, and do, eat SAD food at home, too. But simply eating out often does not have to correlate with SAD. It often does, but not necessarily. In fact, when I find myself eating out often, I find myself eating out often well: that is, eating real, whole, nutritious foods, at restaurants I know and trust.
As for new restaurants, well, there's usually some entree salad with a great protein option. I can't remember the last time I have felt stymied by a restaurant's menu; there's usually something to choose, even as when you have no idea why you ended up at that restaurant, alone or with friends. If I were ever to find myself at Denny's looking at one of their colorful photo menus, I would probably be tempted to consider the battle already lost. But another part of me, more wisely, would point to the pictures of the eggs and meat, and some of the things we call vegetables and fruit.)
Otherwise (or perhaps moreover): yes, of course: SAD eating is caused by SAD eating. "X = X."
I understand perfectly! I do think that SAD leads to more SAD. Especially in the winter months, it is all too easy to let lethargy set in, and fall back on canned soups and take-out pizza. But, I also think that many aren't really lazy, it is just that they either can't cook or they aren't confident. If you don't know how to cook easily, every recipe can be an ordeal. I have found it to be much harder to cook paleo. When I cooked vegetarian, I had plenty of staples on hand all the time. Now, I find myself home often, and with no meat, having to run out to get something. I had already gotten past of the drudgery of making absolutely everything from scratch. For people who are still used to CW tastes and seasonings, this part can be tough.
I know for myself, it was more a matter of habit than anything else. Hubby and I are both finicky, not in the usual sense, but we both can be in the mood for beef, fish, chicken, whatever at 4 o'clock, and not in the mood anymore one hour later. So it became an easy thing to eat a lot of take-out and pre-prepared stuff we kept in the freezer.
What I know is that what we make is infinitely tastier and more healthy for us, so I've slowly been making extras when we cook and freezing stuff so it can be thawed and enjoyed. We're not perfect about this, but much much better these days.
I'm not ashamed at all to say that I'm too lazy to cook.
In fact, it makes me eat ultra-low food reward without really trying to.
For example, here's some of the foods I eat:
Come to think of it, that's pretty much all I eat. It's not for everyone, but it works for me!
I am always under time restraints (life of a university student trying to make ends meet, get volunteer hours in, and ace the tests), but I cook all of our meals from scratch. I love cooking, always have, grew up surrounded by food culture. My grandparents always had a farm, we have a huge garden, our house is surrounded by berry bushes, my boyfriend comes from a family of commercial fisherman, I have worked for two years on an organic farm, and my dad grew up selling fish and beer to tourists on the docks. My mom taught me all of our family recipes, and it has always been important for me to carry on our food traditions.
It requires some tight planning though- I always sit down at the beginning of the week and make three lists. List 1, a meal plan. I pick everything that we need for breakfast, dinner, and snacks (lunch is leftovers, so I need to make enough to dinner for that). List 2, a grocery list split into sections (meat, produce, other). I usually further split it into market/dep (I live in Quebec). List 3, a prep list. SO important!!! After working in restaurants, you learn how nothing runs smoothly without a prep list, and that includes household cooking!! At the beginning of the week, I dedicate a few hours to chopping, peeling, cutting, steaming, baking, and mixing. I can jam three full dinners (in their proper dishes etc) at a time into my small fridge, and every other nook and cranny is filled with food processed as much as I can without disrupting the flavour or quality (some things just can't be cut ahead of time...). This makes it easy for me to throw already browned meat combined with everything else into the slow cooker in the morning, or to call ahead and give my boyfriend instructions for putting a casserole in the oven. It also prevents food waste, because you know exactly what's in your fridge, what needs to be used up by when, and what leftovers are available.
These kind of practical skills were something I got from my mother, who got them from Home Economics when she went to high school (she came from a below-poverty level family with little food tradition- they mostly ate rabbits my grandma shot with brown bread and molasses, occasionally eggs the children would steal). I think these skills should be put back into Home Economics class, which in my area is mandatory for kids in grade 7/8. Sure, it's good to know how to sew a pillow case, but it is probably more useful to have the skills to feed yourself and your future family properly! Though another useful skill from home economics: we all had to sew diapers, both genders. It was neat, our first exposure to child care, and sustainable diapers!
Did anyone else have to take home economics as kids?? I was pretty sure it's an anomaly that it was mandatory at our school, but I could be wrong.
Has Paleo ruined you? 38 Answers