Stress and the 8-Minute Dinner


A story on NPR last week spoke to the problems Americans have with regard to planning, cooking and eating meals, specifically dinner. In trying to understand the obesity epidemic various people were interviewed. To no surprise, the vast majority of people questioned said they didn’t have time to prepare meals the way they wished. Long days at the office followed by picking up kids at their various enrichment programs left moms (and dads) with enough time to nuke some prepackaged meals in the microwave or worse, trips to the fast food drive up window. Several kids stated they usually don’t eat dinner till 8:30 or 9:00 p.m. YIKES! Processed foods, junk foods or comfort foods contain very little in the way of nutrients (hence the expression: empty calories). Moreover, these processed foods are stocked with refined sugar, salt and fat. The conclusion to be drawn from this series is that lifestyles greatly impact eating behaviors and not always for the better. Secondly, Americans cram their lives with too many activities, short changing eating and sleeping, two aspects when in a deficit,  great affect one’s health status. Many people in the story explained they have dinner time down to 8 minutes so they can squeeze in everything else. My thought is this: If you only have time for an 8-minute dinner, there are more problems going on than how to prepare a meal. Time to reevaluate your life.
Stress Tip for the Day:
Back in the 70’s (perhaps earlier) people began to cook with crockpots. Although today it may seem like a dated technology, the use of crock pots (great for stews, soups, chili and many other culinary delights) is a great way to eat nutritious meals. With little effort, you can throw ingredients into a crock pot and let it simmer all day (while you are work). When you come home, the meal is hot and nutritious. The time you save can be spent having a decent 30-minute conversation with your family (no conversation of any great depth can happen in 8 mins). Please consider getting and using a crock pot as a beneficial time management technique.
Links, Books and/or Movies Worth Noting:
Here are some links with more information about crock pots, and some recipes to go with them.
http://busycooks.about.com/od/slowcookerrecipes/a/crockpot101.htm
http://busycooks.about.com/od/slowcookerrecipes/a/crockpot101.htm
Quote for the Day
“There is no app to increase the number of hours in a day, so you have to learn to manage time better yourself.”  —Anonymous
Photo For the Day
On the menu this week are heaping portions of turkey stew, as seen here brewing away in my crock pot. Yum! Enjoy!
Brian Luke Seaward, Ph.D. is an internationally renowned expert in the fields of stress management, mind-body-spirit healing and stress and human spirituality. He is the author of over 12 books including the bestsellers, Stand Like Mountain, Flow Like Water, Stressed Is Desserts Spelled Backward, The Art of Calm, Quiet Mind, Fearless Heart and Managing Stress (7e) and the newly released, A Beautiful World: The Earth Song Journals. He can be reached through his website: www.brianlukeseaward.net
© Brian Luke Seaward, Ph.D.

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