Saturday, August 18, 2007

Bring back the good home life

Do you know what sort of behavioral advice people get when they want to lose weight and develop healthier eating habits? Nothing extraordinary really: have regular meal times; eat calmly, without rush, sitting at a pretty table; enjoy your food and eat slowly, allowing your brain to register you have eaten.

All of these are things that come naturally when we have a good, ordered home life, when there is enough time to prepare healthy and nutritious meals, and the family sits down to eat together. And these are precisely the things that are missing in our over-rushed, ever-hurrying, impossibly stressful culture.

I remember how in our last semester we had to plan a menu for a woman who works 12 hours a day, doesn't cook, has a lunch break that only lasts ten minutes, doesn't eat breakfast, and most of her food is consumed late at night. So while we tried to find possible solutions (yogurt drinks, fiber-rich snacks, etc), the following thought struck me: how come no one asks why we live this type of life anyway, and what on earth is so important that we don't even allow ourselves the time to eat?

Obviously, there are no miracles. No sort of healthy eating pattern can be incorporated in a day when you don't have the time to sit down and eat, let alone prepare food.

We don't need starvation diets and magical pills to be healthy. All we need is a good home life, and good, regular, healthy meals which come with it; we need unhurried family time and a healthy amount of exercise; and we'll be just fine! In my grandmother's time, obesity and metabolic syndrome were much less prevalent, while people ate butter and cream and fried eggs without a second thought. Yet they were healthy. Because they ate in moderation, and because they didn't have to overstuff themselves with unhealthy take-out meals or frozen foods loaded with salt, sugars and MSG.

Now, not all homemade foods are necessarily healthful. But isn't it obvious that our general health and well-being – including our eating behavior – is suffering since family life has been damaged? Exhausted beyond measure in the end of our packed day, we slouch in front of the TV with some quick convenience food and eat, and eat, with our eyes glued to the screen. No wonder our brain doesn't register what we're consuming. Sometimes, frustrated beyond words, feeling we have no control over our life, we compensate ourselves with food.

We deserve better than this. Our families deserve better than this. Bring back good home life and healthy homemade meals, and give us a decent share of hard physical work, and I assure you, we will be so, so much better off.


Kathleen said...

Anna, that's a really good point. If we do hard work, and stop to enjoy the food God has blessed us with, we appreciate it and don't need to compensate by eating more! (We also have to eat enough protein :) Did you see my post on that?)

Anna S said...

Kathleen, sadly, I'm behind on catching up with people's blogs, as N.P. is visiting with us now, and we spend so much time together. But, I'll drop by as soon as time allows!

PS: I guess I should mention that the picture is of my Grandpa's sister with her husband and son. I think it was taken in the 1940's.

Kathleen said...

What a neat photo!

And-oops! I'd forgotten NP was visiting! Have a wonderful time together :) I hope you had a beautiful Sabbath, too.

Mrs.B said...

What a lovely photo! I hope you have a great visit with NP.

And this post was spot on!


Shannon said...

You are so right Anna! A large percentage of americans do not even sit down together to share meals. If families do happen to own tables, they are usually heaped high with junk and are used as an office desk or storage space! It is so sad! I can't believe you were required to develop a menu for such a situation! I am very happy for you regarding your engagement to N.P. and hope you have a lovely visit together!

Mrs. Brigham said...

I could not agree with you more!

Have a lovely weekend :o)

Anna S said...


I can't believe people so willingly go into this sort of lifestyle... I'm yet to see even one person who is happy this way.

Christian Homekeeper said...

Anna, another lovely post!

Wendy WaterBirde said...


My finace tells me this is the number one thing that helps stress for him...number 1! We definitely dont tend to realize today just how valuable is a sense of rhythm and order and nourishment. To him it means mostly eating and sleeping needing to be consistent and nourishing, thats what heals him. For me it means the providence of a safe and stable home itself, which is the root that makes the rest even possible, thats what heals me. Funny how those things work so absolutely together, how we are so designed to complement one another : )



Laura H said...

You got me! My favorite TV food is Blueberry muffins, and B&J's Icecream! I also like popcorn, apples and peanutbutter! Hmmmm! But my all time favorite is Sour Gummy Worms, the pastel kind!

I do like chips, but not so much!

Confessions of a movie watcher!
Laura H

EmotionalPurity said...

You have a great blog! I stayed at home till I got married at 28! I practiced courtship and was so blessed in the choice to remain emotionally pure for my husband. Great blog!

Brenda said...

You are so right! I am trying so hard to not be too busy and to just be at home so that I can properly take care of my family. Convienience and lack of time make for a very poor diet, indeed! People always wonder why someone would say no to most every outside thing--this is one reason why. It's not about just "feeding our family" it's a whole way of life that I want for them. It's not just about "being home" it's about making a home.

The River House said...

Anna, another fantastic post.
Tonight, I visited with a family that lives the kind of life where nothing is rushed, not even their chores.

Maybe by realizing how important it is to be in the moment per say; our lives will definately be better.

Have a great weekend!
maria s.

Anonymous said...

Great post, Anna, as usual. The insanity of such a crazy lifestyle has GOT to stop!! People are killing can we see this as even approaching a normal life? I just think it's pretty sad.


Gothelittle Rose said...

The two top struggles I had when I was working full-time and my husband was schooling full-time was Food and Laundry. Why laundry? Because I prefer to dry it on the clothesline instead of in the dryer. But that's off-topic...

Now that I'm full-time home, I consider it my privilege and my duty to keep the pantry filled with healthy foods and cook enough to have something always ready-to-eat in the fridge. Right now I have two tuppers full of FGG (my own hamburger casserole recipe), and I may put one in the freezer since we got given some potato salad at a party.

Never mind just taking care of The Woman Of The House.. all I have to do is concentrate on having good stuff for my husband and son and my own nutrition falls right into line.

Oh yes, and the #1 thing that seems to brighten my husband the most each workday evening is coming home to a good meal eaten at the table as we discuss our day. As a woman who has worked full-time, I can't express how important that is for a working person's health!

Anna S said...

The River House,

When I have time, laundry is enjoyable: hanging on the line, sorting, ironing, folding, done cheerfully, whistling a song. But when I'm in a hurry, laundry is a chore. Praying is a chore. Everything is a chore. That's very sad.

Wendy WaterBirde said...

Hi Anna,

What you just said about time, its so true. We are designed to have the actual time to do things, to go slow enough that just doing the things we are naturally supposed to doing will bring us contentement. When we rush we think we are saving time but i think what we are actually doing is messing up the natural rhythms we are supposed to have and so losing contentment.

If its okay im going to qoute what you said in your comment here about time, becuase it really spoke to something...



Anna S said...


Yes, you are, of course, most welcome to quote anything you like from my blog/comments. I'm glad to share! :)

Candy said...

Love this post. :)

Anonymous said...

Rushing about is exactly the thing that was causing me to overload when I was still working. (I'm going to be posting about my first week home really soon.)

I've recently (with Amelia starting to get serious about solids) realized that it's not just meal planning, it's nutrition planning. I hope to post on this at some point as well!

God Bless!

Anonymous said...

Wow! So true. I'm 22, happily living with parents who are so wonderful for letting me stay for free still (this helps me save money to move out to a decent place).

I live a busy life working all the time, constantly rushing out the door, and I hate it but unfortunantely in order to pay bills and save a decent amount of money to move out especially in southern california, it takes that kind of lifestyle.

My parents live the rushed lifestyle too. After my sisters and I graduated high school, the pantry and fridge has been stocked with boxed and canned foods and take-out. My parents nightlife consists of like 10 shows on TV. Family time has literally gone out the window. I miss homecooked meals, taking every weekend to go have family time, makes me wonder "what happened?"

Seeing that lifestyle has only pushed my desire to be a homemaker after marriage even more. It's important to live in a clean house, eat nutritous meals, and have social time in the family.