Cooking (and Eating) With the Best

Now for a topic that is deliciously relevant to your basic, daily needs: cooking.

Being a good cook is really quite simple. Let me break it down for you, because I know you've been dying to find out. You basically only need four things. Ready? Here they are:
  1. The right tools
  2. A few good cook books (i.e. Betty Crocker, Quick-Cooking, Crock Pot, Ethnic food specific, Family Recipes)
  3. The right, quality ingredients
  4. Patience and attention to directions
That's it! Pretty simple, eh? In the time it takes you to pick out a restaurant to eat at, drive to it, get seated, order, get your meal, eat it, and drive home, you could have fixed and eaten a gourmet meal for yourself--at a fraction of the cost! The average person spends $12-15 eating out for dinner compared to $2-4 for the same meal prepared at home. Calculate how much you spend eating out over the course of a month, a year... the numbers will blow your mind!

Of course, fast food is usually a time-effective option. But most people still spend $5-8 on a fast food meal. For the desperate college student (or heaven help the young family!), two or three items off the $.99 menu keeps costs fairly minimal. But anyone who paid a lick of attention in health class, to the news, to the advice of their doctors and/or athletic coaches, health magazines, or even the latest reality TV show knows that this is quite literally a recipe for bodily disaster. Obesity is a certified epidemic in America, particularly among children. God forbid we caregivers and role models for these kids jeopardize their health so severely by our own lack of wisdom and initiative.

There's one more ingredient I forgot to list, but it's possibly the most important of all: time management. If you don't live by a schedule and maintain a detailed, prioritized, daily-weekly-monthly calendar, you're woefully doomed for failure with regard to eating healthily and cost-effectively, not to mention a whole host of other would-be priorities (which nearly always inevitably result in poor financial stewardship).

Granted, if you're a single guy or gal, cooking for yourself can be less-than-glamorous, to say the least, without having someone with whom to share a meal. And then there's the fact that you don't want to be stuck eating the same meal five days in a row. For you, frozen foods prepared in small portions can still be a healthy, cost-effective, time-effective option. If you have a roommate and your schedules cooperate, make a habit of eating together and take turns cooking meals and cleaning up.

If any of you all fall within the ranks of the unorganized, unprioritized, and unhealthy, muster up enough humility to post a comment here indicating so, or shoot me an email. Due partly to temperament but mostly to upbringing, my wife and I run a pretty tight ship when it comes to scheduling, finances, and household chores (including meal planning and cooking). I would be delighted to share with you some down-to-earth tips on how to get organized and stay organized. If you know of someone else whose organizational habits you admire, get in touch with them and let them know you're ready to start living on purpose and honoring God with your time, money, and body.

Getting organized, both spatially and temporally, is the foundation on which a life of good temporal, financial, and physiological stewardship is built. I wrote a recent post on what it means to love God with all one's heart, mind, soul, and strength, and I think this is an important piece of that puzzle.

Blessings to you all as you strive to live on purpose--developing and maintaining a daily-weekly life game plan, and honoring God with your body by eating healthily. It all starts with the right tools and especially the right attitude.

For other resources on 'living on purpose', check out Mustard Seed Associates, Intentional Living, and Crown Financial Ministries. This brief article is an excellent motivational backdrop for decluttering.

Grace,

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