24 Hour Day: Eating 3 hours (4th in a series)

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Check it out!  Both eating and sleeping create fuel for our bodies and we spend ELEVEN hours on it! That’s one hour shy of half a day!

Now hold on … don’t get competitive with me and start thinking you can accomplish all that faster than me.  I can be quick about it too, so bear with me here.   The point is, if we did the mundane-everyday, the way we wanted, without short-changing ourselves, what would our day look like?

To start I focused on one meal; supper.  My first calculations were 30-40 minutes cooking … If that is true, then the same amount of time had better be spent enjoying the meal, then and additional 20-30 minutes cleaning up.  Allowing for fluctuation, I figured roughly 40+30+20=1.5 hours.

I knew I was on to something because I hit a nerve.  My friends let me know I did.  Let me tell ya, my curiosity brought on some huffy conversations.

They exclaimed that it would take up their whole night.  If they’re off work by 5:00; home, settled in, and start supper right before 6:00, it’s nearly 7:30 when it’s all done.

I understood, in their minds, this meant they’re still working …still up and moving around.  At least until they sit down to eat.

Then if the children’s bedtime is 8:30-9:00?   That doesn’t leave much downtime before getting ready for bed.  Where did their evening go?

Their point was, supper blows their whole evening.  Hence my curiosity and quasi-research.

Now mind you, I was talking about the ideal supper, figuring that every night we’d want to hit that ideal as close as possible.  Along with a few cheat nights squeezed in-between.  When we say the word supper, a vision appears.  A table is involved, people are seated, there’s a table setting, and a more elaborate meal, which involves more time, more expense, and creates more dishes.  Realistically, we know this goal will only be reached a few times, but we would be doing pretty good in the process.

Except, I’m not talking about goals. I’m talking about time.  How much time does it take to eat three meals a day.  And remember this is not a race. We can all whip out some ramen noodles, eat, put the dish in the sink and be done in fifteen minutes.  But, that too is part of my point.  How do you get a realistic time, when, cooking, eating and cleaning up, take anywhere from fifteen minutes to an hour and half?

Eventually, I went with an hour for each meal for a total of three hours a day.  You can do all sorts of stuff with that. You could have a forty minute breakfast and lunch and spend an hour and ten minutes on supper.  You could eat breakfast and do the dishes for later.  If work only gives you a half hour for lunch, you can make it up on other meals.  Hey, on the weekends you can spend two hours on just cooking.

Anyway, trying to mishmash ideals with realism is a pain in the butt.  So three hours a day to cook, eat, and clean up at an enjoyable pace.  (Can you tell I’m fighting the urge to change it again?) In the end of the 24 Hour Day you will see why it is useless to quibble over a few minutes.  Please bear with me.

Just like sleep, the focus with eating is about making us brilliant, beautiful and productive.  In other words; healthy.

Currently there is a push towards eating healthy, but think about it, eating is healthy.  If we don’t eat, we die.

Cooking healthy seems so hard …  cooking from scratch sounds like a lot of effort.

I wanted the prestige of, “No one can beat mom’s sweet potato pie … beef stew … pumpkin bread.” But one day it dawned on me that cooking from scratch is one of the easiest, healthiest, and fastest ways to cook.  Get this …

… there is nothing faster nor healthier than broiling some pork chops or chicken with some salt and pepper, steam some broccoli, and then serving a salad for supper.   No kidding.  Nearly faster than the microwave.

Okay, I put the pork chops on the broiling pan and turn the oven to a lower temp than broil, so maybe it isn’t that fast.  But, it is fast enough.

As a feminist this is what gets my goat.  In the 80’s there was this real push for men to do part of the housework.  It was all about 50/50 and a two-way street, and if you scratch my back I’ll scratch yours.  Well, not only did the men step up and take on cooking duties, they proved they were better at cooking.  (At least in this household, my husband gets all the ooh’s and aahs’.) The men went ahead and made it fun.

when men enjoy cooking

What happens when men enjoy cooking  www.flickr.com

They moved the chore outdoors and built these beautiful and elaborate outdoor kitchens.  I mean come on will ya!  How DID they have the time to do that!

Okay, my goat is got, I’m moving on.

The point is, we need to eat.  If we need to eat, we need to learn how to cook.  If not for our families than at least to take care of ourselves.

Some really positive things come out of eating two or three meals a day.

  • If you know when your next meal is coming there is less cheating on your diet and less compulsive eating and smaller portions.
  • Healthier choices are made when thinking through a meal plan.  Planning ahead = good choices.
  • Fewer mood swings. Body functions such as blood sugar levels stabilize.  Plus feeling of contentment from a constant full feeling.
  • Of course eating regular meals makes us brilliant, beautiful, productive with a steady infusion of vitamins, minerals, proteins, and oils.
  • Quality time with the family is a bonus.

In the past, I would often exclaim that I forgot to eat.  One of my biggest challenges was recognizing that I didn’t forget to eat, but “I forgot to allow time to cook.”

We don’t forget to eat.  Eventually we start scrounging for something.  Once I put allowing the time to cook to practice, it was much easier to “positively procrastinate” with some items on the Things To Do list.  It was then, I learned that cooking and eating wasn’t a chore or demand to take care of others.  It was a means to take care of myself.  Taking care of others is a bonus.  Sharing myself through a meal is a joy.  Not a demand, or something that gets in the way of living life.  Nor!  A guilt trip for something that I didn’t get done today.

I should enjoy taking care of myself just as I do any other time with selecting a style and a beauty routine.  Cooking is not only for those who have the talent.  It is a necessity for the fuel of life.  This outlook won’t take away from those who do, in fact it will probably lend more support.

There was an impact from the men who have fun with cooking, what would happen if the women had fun with it?  I’m sure there are a lot of women out there who do and I’m not sure if we truly celebrate it.  We need to let go of the fear that a women’s time in the kitchen is going to hurt the cause.  In reality, anyone’s time in the kitchen is a celebration of life.

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2 thoughts on “24 Hour Day: Eating 3 hours (4th in a series)

  1. […] I’m getting carried away here and need to remember that for this specific time segment a half hour is allocated for bedtime.  Yep bedtime — brush teeth, wash face, put jammies on.  For those of you who allow three hours before work, don’t forget we allocated an hour for breakfast in the last segment. […]

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  2. […] include chores like cooking and mowing while I allocated those to their own categories such as Eating and Home maintenance.  So how does that still add up to two hours a day.  Eventually I quit […]

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