The Top 20 Antioxidant Foods

If you’ve ever made a fruit salad, you probably know that squeezing lemon juice onto the apples, pears, and bananas will keep the fruit from turning brown. This brown color happens because of a process called oxidation—a reaction between the oxygen molecules in the air and the molecules in the substance the air meets.

The Top 20 Antioxidant Foods images 1
The Top 20 Antioxidant Foods images 1

A similar type of reaction happens inside your body all the time. Substances called oxidants, or free radicals, react with your cells, harming healthy tissue, weakening immunological functioning, speeding up the aging process, and contributing to chronic degenerative diseases. These free radicals are formed through normal body processes, as well as through environmental exposure to the sun, pollution, cigarette smoke, too much stress, and the intake of alcoholic beverages and unhealthy food. Antioxidants are substances that work like that lemon juice on the fruit, protecting healthy tissue by destroying free radicals before they do any damage. Antioxidants are believed to play a role in helping to fight and prevent cancer, heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and other chronic conditions.

So how do you get these magical antioxidants to work for you? Not surprisingly, a healthy diet full of a variety of fruits and vegetables will do the trick. But are all fruits and vegetables created equally when it comes to antioxidant benefits? Not necessarily!

In a study published in the July 9, 2004 issue of the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, the USDA analyzed over 100 different foods and their antioxidant levels. Each food item was ranked according to its antioxidant concentration and its antioxidant capacity per serving size.

The results may surprise you. Topping the list were small red beans and wild blueberries. Cranberries, red kidney beans, and artichokes also ranked very high, and unexpected contenders included pecans and ordinary russet potatoes.

However, every study has its drawbacks. Researchers say that although the data can help guide consumers who wish to include more antioxidants in their diet, the health benefits of these foods may not be directly proportional to their antioxidant content. So, even though small red beans have the most antioxidants, they may not offer the greatest overall health benefits when you consider the other nutrients they contain (or lack). Keep in mind that the health benefits of antioxidant-rich foods depend on how the foods are absorbed and utilized in the body, and this varies depending on the food (and where it was grown, how it was grown, when it was harvested and more).

For reference, here are the top 20 antioxidant-rich foods in the USDA study, in order from greatest to lowest levels of antioxidants.

The Top 20 Antioxidant Foods images
 

5 Delicious Foods You Should Be Eating Every Day

There are so many delicious and nutritious foods to eat that it can be hard to know where to start. That’s why I put together my list of favorite foods. No matter what you choose, just remember to eat a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean proteins. If you find foods you love, you’ll be more inclined to eat them. Here, a few of my favorites: 

Cayenne Pepper

5 Delicious Foods You Should Be Eating Every Day - Cayenne Pepper images
5 Delicious Foods You Should Be Eating Every Day – Cayenne Pepper images

Spice up your meals this year by adding some heat! Capsaicin is the active component of hot peppers and has been shown to boost metabolic rate (and promote fat burning and weight loss) by revving up how quickly your body processes food. 

What to do with it? Add cayenne pepper to your chicken marinade for a tastier way to eat this lean protein. Or get a kick in the morning by adding it to your scrambled eggs. It’s also a great way to add more flavor to your homemade salad dressing.

Kale: 

5 Delicious Foods You Should Be Eating Every Day - Kale images
5 Delicious Foods You Should Be Eating Every Day – Kale images

If you are looking for a way to switch up your usual salad, try using leafy green kale. One cup of raw Kale can provide you with 206 percent of your daily vitamin A and 134 percent of your vitamin C needs.

What to do with it? Kale is delicious as a raw, crunchy salad. Just toss it with an olive oil and lemon dressing which softens the leafy greens and add pine nuts and dried fruit for extra flavor. Kale chips are also a great choice for a healthy snack. Try making them yourself with our easy kale chip recipe.

Chia:

5 Delicious Foods You Should Be Eating Every Day - Chia images
5 Delicious Foods You Should Be Eating Every Day – Chia images

That little seed you may have grown at home in your Chia Pet, is really, really good for you. Chia is a great source of omega-3 fatty acids and should be part of your diet. It has been shown to help control blood pressure, improve mood, and help promote heart health by lowering total cholesterol and lousy (LDL) cholesterol.

What to do with it? Add this wonder seed to your oatmeal, smoothies, baked products, and non-fat yogurt. You’ll thank me for it! Start by trying our Chia Seed Muffins.

Buy a bag now in our wellness store and start enjoying the many health benefits.

Walnuts:

5 Delicious Foods You Should Be Eating Every Day - Walnuts images
5 Delicious Foods You Should Be Eating Every Day – Walnuts images

Walnuts are rich in fiber, magnesium, and antioxidants such as vitamin E. A study published by Diabetes Care found that 2 ounces a day of walnuts could help improve blood flow and help lower blood pressure.

What to do with it? Walnuts are easy to incorporate into your diet. They’re perfect added to oatmeal, salad, or trail mix. You can also try one of our tasty recipes: Chicken, Walnut & Brown Rice Stir-Fry or Spinach Salad with Oranges and Walnuts.

Almond Butter:

5 Delicious Foods You Should Be Eating Every Day - Almond Butter images
5 Delicious Foods You Should Be Eating Every Day – Almond Butter images

Almond butter is full of healthy fats and protein. If you are buying a nut butter, however, make sure to look at the ingredients label. You want butters that are unsalted with no added sugar and preservatives.

What to do with it? Almond butter is a fantastic way to change up your standard PB&J sandwich. It’s also delicious with raw apple slices or atop 100 percent whole grain crackers.

4 Mindless Habits That Are Hurting Your Weight Loss

4 Mindless Habits That Are Hurting Your Weight Loss images
4 Mindless Habits That Are Hurting Your Weight Loss images

If you’ve ever tried to break a bad habit, health-related or otherwise, you know how difficult it can be. Every morning, you awake to a daunting, gut-wrenching choice: to commit to change or to fall short of your goals. Those of you who have taken on the challenge of becoming your healthiest self can attest that this choice especially applies to creating changes in your diet and exercise routines. We all realize that the trick to lasting good health lies in mastering positive fitness and nutrition habits. But how can you put bad habits behind you and make wellness your main priority… every single day?

When attempting to dial back unhealthy behaviors, you’re up against several obstacles:

  1. It is likely that you’ve been practicing your unhealthy behavior over and over again for decades. Since your first childhood experience with brussel sprouts, you’ve become a master at avoiding vegetables. Since middle-school gym class, you’ve become adept at excusing yourself from exercise. Because you’ve been forming those unhealthy habits for so long, it isn’t easy to leave them behind.
  2. Efficiency and convenience are another knock against your good-health goals: unhealthy habits are often much easier than the alternative. Should I drive to work or ride my bike? Play football with the kids or rent a movie? Chop and prep fresh veggies or hit the drive-thru? Usually, unhealthy alternatives save us lots of time and require less physical and mental effort than their healthy counterparts. We’ve created such an efficient society that making good choices is almost impossible next to the not-so-healthy, yet quick and easy options.
  3. Finally, bad behaviors also come with sneaky, seductive pay-offs. It is understandable that most of us enjoy chocolate more than apples–it’s sweeter! And why wouldn’t we avoid morning exercise when we could stay cozy and warm just by hitting snooze one more time? Of course, there are pay-offs for healthy habits as well: lower cholesterol, lower BMI, increased energy, longevity… But they’re usually not immediate or powerful enough to control our choices in the moment.

With the odds stacked against us, it’s easy to understand why conquering unhealthy habits with willpower alone can be rough. Luckily, the science of habit change gives us more effective ways to go about banishing unhealthy routines for good. Let’s take a closer look at some common unhealthy habits to see how we can put behavioral science to work for us.

Bad Habit: Eating on the Run
We’ve all fallen into the trap: You’re late for work, so you stop for a latte/muffin combo. The kids have soccer practice after school, so you settle for take-out tacos. And if you’ve ever taken a road trip, you’ll agree that convenience stores definitely live up to their name: there’s a one-stop-shop for all kinds of unhealthy eats within every 5-mile stretch!

Bust It!
Eating out while you’re in a rush is a habit that can definitely wreak havoc on your health and fitness goals. But there are ways that you can combat the convenience of fat-laden fast foods. Get savvy about stowing snacks in your vehicle. If you’ve got apples, carrots, granola bars and water on hand, you’ll be less likely to make unplanned pit-stops. Additionally, if you know you’re in for a busy week, prep quick and easy meals at home ahead of time. This way, you can grab a healthy bite to eat and avoid the all-too-familiar fast-food run in between evening activities. When you’re preparing to leave the house, give yourself more time than you’ll actually need to get ready so you can make healthy decisions with a level head instead of instinctively reaching for the easiest option.

Bad Habit: Skipping Workouts
As important as nutrition is in your health-focused efforts, exercise ranks right up there with it as a tool to achieve lasting wellness and weight loss. There’s lots of work that goes into planning meals and pumping weights, but only one will get you sweaty and crank up your cardiovascular health. If you find yourself missing workouts, you’ve probably fallen victim to one of two bad habit culprits: lack of practice or more powerful pay-offs.

Bust It!
There are two types of people who are most likely to fall off the exercise wagon: people who haven’t yet mastered making fitness an everyday priority, and those who have become bored with their age-old routine.

In the first case, when you’re starting a new workout regimen, it is extremely important to set small, measurable goals and to track your progress daily. Keeping a chart on your wall of the days you fit in your workout will help you stay on track toward creating a lasting healthy habit.

If you’ve been rocking it out at the gym for a while and have recently hit a wall, consider changing up your routine and adding in incentives for reaching new heights. Never tried yoga? Complete a month of classes and then treat yourself to a massage. Think you hate cycling? Commit to biking to work for a week and, only then, indulge in that new handbag or pair of jeans. When you’ve lost internal motivation, adding outside incentives can give you the boost you need to get back on track.

Bad Habit: Mindless or Emotional Munching
On the surface, the analysis of unconscious eating behavior seems pretty simple. Food tastes good, especially the sugary or salty snacks we choose when we’re munching away in front of the television. It is obvious that there’s an immediate, powerful pay-off in the taste and texture of whichever treat you choose from the pantry. What you may not realize is that there’s another nasty habit-maker at fault here as well. If you really think about your instances of mindless munching, you’ll realize that they often occur in coordination with some other environmental trigger. Many of us turn to food when things go bad or when we’re bored; maybe you reach for chips when you hear unexpected bad news, or you’ve always had ice cream as a bedtime snack. The practice of situational eating is deeply ingrained and can be tough to correct.

Bust It!
Here again, keeping track of mindless munching and adding in incentives for staying away from unhealthy snacks can help you to reign in your behavior. Notice your food/mood triggers when they happen and make a point to keep your biggest trigger foods out of the house. Be mindful about what you’re eating and set a goal for avoiding senseless snacking. Is there a favorite show you’ve taped or a new album you’ve been eyeing for your iPod? Deny yourself those little luxuries until you’ve met your goal of mindful eating for one full week. Adding a pay-off more powerful than the flavor of food can help you avoid so many extra calories. And, you can start practicing an alternative healthy behavior to get you through stressful times instead of food. Try journaling, meditating, calling a friend, or going for a walk instead of reaching for your usual comforting snacks.

Bad Habit: Skimping on Sleep
Late to bed, early to rise is a poisonous pattern that rings true for most of us. We know that sleep helps us to function well and be productive. But, between career commitments, family time, social activities and personal fitness, who has time to get a good night’s sleep?

Bust It!
Sleeping patterns are typically programmed in when we’re young. If you think back, you may realize that you were a night owl in` high school or an early riser in college. Your body has found a rhythm and is happy sticking with it. Because being awake is so well-ingrained, when you’re trying to change your sleeping habits, you’ve got to start small. Set up a bedtime routine and stick with it; this will help trigger your brain and body to prepare for rest. Brush your teeth, wash your face, read a book, or meditate to calm your body. Avoid looking at a computer or TV screen right before bed, as this can sometimes make it more difficult to fall asleep. It also helps to reserve your bedroom for sleeping only; relegate the television, video games, and home office to the rest of the house.

After you’ve got your bedtime routine down, aim to go to bed 5 minutes earlier or sleep in 5 minutes later than usual. When you achieve this schedule for a few days, add 5 more minutes of shut-eye. Making little changes like this can lead to big results. Keep it up for a month and you’ll have added over one full hour of restful rejuvenation!

How to Establish New, Healthier Habits
When you’re working on wellness, it always seems like someone is asking you to cut something out: sweets and fast food from your diet, time from your day to exercise, and so on. To stay sane while decreasing unhealthy behaviors, you need to fill the gaps! One of the best ways to break a bad habit is to insert an alternative healthy behavior in its place. You can use tips and tricks based on the information above to help you build new, healthier habits and make them stick, in conjunction with the following three tips:

  1. Practice. Set an achievable weekly goal for how many miles you’re going to bike, laps you’re going to swim, fruits you’re going to eat, and healthy meals you’re going to cook–and get cracking! As you reach your goal each week, you’ll find a rhythm and your healthy behaviors will start resembling a well-oiled machine.
  2. Make healthy choices easier and more convenient. Get environmental obstacles (like lack of jogging gear and a pantry full of junk food) out of your way. Once you’ve set up your environment for success, sticking with healthy habits will become much simpler!
  3. Plan some powerful pay-offs for reaching your wellness goals. Sure, internal motivation is great and hopefully you’ll have a ton of gumption to get fit. But, no matter how committed you are to your cause, unhealthy habits will always entice you with their quick, underlying pay-offs. If you plan ahead and reward yourself with extra incentives for working out and eating right, you’ll be riding high on healthy habits for a lifetime.

Butter

Butter – Foods That Are Healthier Than You Think

Butter images
Butter images

While we’re not recommending you load up on butter, experts say naturally occurring saturated fats (like those found in butter, red meat and cheese) may actually be good to include in your diet in moderation (especially when compared with more processed fats like those found in margarine). “Butter made from grass-fed cows is high in conjugated linoleic acid, a fatty-acid linked to heart health and weight loss,” Batayneh says. “It also contains vitamin K2, (which boosts nervous system and cardiovascular function), as well as a healthy ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acids.” Batayneh recommends going organic with your butter since some non-organic dairy products can contain growth hormones and/or antibiotics.

Cheese

Cheese – Foods That Are Healthier Than You Think

cheese images
cheese images

Like butter, cheese also has a high saturated fat and calorie content, but that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t have a place in a healthy balanced diet. Nutrient-rich, calcium-packed cheese also contains vitamin A, B12, riboflavin, zinc, and phosphorus. Top picks for the healthiest kinds of cheeses? Feta, string cheese, Parmesan, Swiss and cottage. “Cheese also contains conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), a newly discovered good fat found in animal protein and dairy that has been linked to cancer prevention. Experts believe that the combination of protein and fat in cheese is so satisfying that it quashes your appetite — so full-fat cheese just may be the answer to cravings and weight maintenance.” That’s delicious news to us.

Low Sodium Diet Foods List

Low sodium foods are abundant and many are natural, organic, and can be easily found. They can be found in every food group and there are many different possibilities for a low sodium meal.

LOW SODIUM DIET FOODS LIST images
LOW SODIUM DIET FOODS LIST images

BREADS, CEREALS, RICE AND PASTA
Most rice and pastas are very low in sodium. Compare labels to find products with less salt and don’t add salt when cooking. The following are also all viable low-sodium food items:
• Whole grain bread
• Granola
• Puffed rice
• Rolled oats
• Shredded wheats
• Unsalted popcorn
• Bread, bagels, English muffins, crackers, or bread sticks without salted tops.

FRUITS
Any kind of fruit or fruit juice (fresh, frozen, or canned) is low in sodium if it does not contain sauces. Fruits particularly low in sodium include:
• Apples
• Bananas
• Blackberries
• Cherries
• Peaches
• Pears
• Raspberries
• Watermelons

LOW SODIUM DIET FOODS LIST images 2 - Fruit and Vegetables
LOW SODIUM DIET FOODS LIST images 2 – Fruit and Vegetables

VEGETABLES
As with fruits, all fresh vegetables are low in sodium. Vegetables may also be frozen of canned if, like fruits, they do not contain sauces.
• Broccoli
• Cabbage
• Cauliflower
• Chickpeas
• Cucumber
• Green peppers
• Lima beans
• Sweet potatoes

PROTEIN
Choose fresh meats when possible. Some fresh meat has added sodium, so always check the label.
• 6 ounces daily of any fresh or frozen beef, veal, lamb, pork, poultry, and fish without salt or sodium in the preparation and without skin.
• Low sodium, water packed tuna or salmon
• Eggs and egg substitutes
• Unsalted nuts and seeds
• Low sodium nut butter

FATS
• Olive oil and other cooking oils
• Low sodium mayonnaise
• Unsalted butter or margarine
• Low sodium salad dressings
DAIRY
Milk is a healthy dairy product that contains virtually no sodium. Choose fat free or low-fat milk and yogurt more often than cheese, which can be high in sodium. Milk and yogurt are also good sources of potassium, which can help lower blood pressure.
• Low sodium cottage cheese
• Fat free or low fat yogurt
• Skim or 1% milk
• Soy-based drinks with added calcium
• Cream
• Non-dairy creamers
• Sour cream
• Ice cream

CONDIMENTS AND EXTRAS
Choose condiments that are low in sodium or have no sodium at all, and try seasonings instead of salt to flavor food.
• Spices and herbs without sodium or salt
• Vinegar
• Lemon
• Fresh horseradish or prepared without salt
• Baking soda and powder
• Cream of tartar
• Mustard
• Tabasco sauce or low sodium chili sauces
• Mrs. Dash and other sodium-free seasonings
• Yeast
• Jams and jellies
• Low sodium ketchup
• Low sodium tomato sauces and vegetable juices without salt or sodium added

LOW SODIUM DIET FOODS LIST images 1 - HIGH SODIUM FOODS TO AVOID
LOW SODIUM DIET FOODS LIST images 1 – HIGH SODIUM FOODS TO AVOID

HIGH SODIUM FOODS TO AVOID
• Buttermilk, malted milk, chocolate milk
• Bacon (all types), sausages or hot dogs, all lunch meats unless low sodium
• Breaded meats (such as chicken parmesan)
• Meats koshered by salting
• Canned or frozen vegetables if processed with salt
• Anchovies and other smoked fish; caviar
• Anything pickled (such as sauerkraut, pickles); olives

EAT LESS SODIUM:QUICK TIPS

1. Know your sodium limit

  • Healthy adults need to limit their sodium intake to no more than 2,300 mg per day (about 1 teaspoon of salt)
  • Some people, including children and those with high blood pressure, need to keep their sodium intake even lower (no more than 1,500 mg per day). Ask your doctor how much sodium is okay for you.
  • If you need to make changes, slowly reduce the amount of sodium in your foods and your taste for salt will change with time.

2. Check the label

  • Use the Nutrition Facts Label to check the sodium in packaged foods. Try to choose products with 5% Daily Value (DV) or less. A sodium content of 20% DV or more is high.
  • Look for foods labeled “low sodium,” “reduced sodium,” or “no salt added.”

3. Shop for low sodium foods

  • Load up on vegetables, fruits, beans, and peas, which are naturally low in sodium. Fresh, frozen, and dried options are all good choices.
  • When you buy canned fruit, look for options packed in 100% juice or water.
  • When you buy canned vegetables and beans, choose ones with labels that say “low sodium,” “reduced sodium,” or “no salt added.”
  • Compare the sodium in foods like bread, soup, and frozen meals. Choose the ones with less sodium.
  • Limit processed foods, especially foods that are salted, smoked, or cured, like hot dogs, bacon, and deli meats.

4. Prepare your meals with less sodium

  • If you buy canned foods (like vegetables, beans, or fish), choose low sodium varieties.
  • If you use canned foods that aren’t low sodium, rinse them before eating to wash away some of the salt.
  • Use unsalted butter or soft margarine.
  • Don’t add salt to the water when you cook pasta or rice.
  • Try different herbs and spices to flavor yourfood instead of salt.

5. Add more potassium to your diet

  • Adding more potassium can help lower your blood pressure. Good sources of potassium include potatoes, cantaloupe, bananas, beans, and yogurt.

Save Money Without Sacrificing You Food Quality

Save Money Without Sacrificing You Food Quality images
When you’re on a tight budget, the thought of preparing tasty, healthy meals on a regular basis can seem daunting. Not only is it easy to get sucked in by grocery merchandising tricks, but it’s also normal for most of us to fall into a mealtime rut, eating the same foods over and over. But you’re in control of your kitchen—and if you cook smart, you can enjoy the first-class meals you deserve.

You can save money and still have quality. If you’ve been using cost as an excuse to eat junk, you can kiss that excuse goodbye! With a little organization and creativity, you can have the proverbial champagne when cooking on a beer budget. To start, here’s a quick review of basic tips of healthy eating:

  • Limit your intake of junk food and alcohol
  • Drink lots of water (at least 8 cups a day)
  • Limit salty and sugary foods
  • Avoid eating many foods that are high in saturated fats
  • Make “variety” the watchword of your eating

Next, set aside regular blocks of time for planning meals, making your grocery list, and shopping—tasks that are most often shortchanged in food prep. Include healthy snack ideas, as well as main menu items. Think about the time of day, day of week, and even week in the month that you shop. Generally, the grocery is the least busy early in the morning, in the middle of the week, and on any day but the first day or two of the month (when many people receive pension or paychecks).

Don’t be afraid to surf the internet for recipes that use specific ingredients (plug the ingredient in as a keyword of your search), since you can often get good buys on breads, meats, and other items marked for quick sale before they go bad.

Stock your fridge and cupboards with items that are quick and easy to cook (yet kind to your wallet):

  • Beans and lentils, whether canned or dried, make nutritious, hearty soups, and can be a main course with the addition of fresh vegetables or rice.
  • Brown Rice is a great addition to leftover meat and veggies. Although brown rice is slightly more expensive than white, the nutritional payoff is well worth it. Another inexpensive, easy-to-fix grain, millet, is best when bought fresh. Simply rinse and toast before using it in recipes.
  • Pasta, likewise, is quick and easy to prepare, and can be paired with veggies, meat, or a fresh salad. Have fun adding your own embellishments (mushrooms, spices, and herbs.) Choose whole-wheat pasta whenever available.
  • Soups can’t be beat for nutrition and convenience, especially since you can use canned or packet soups as your base, then add your own veggies and leftover meat. Again, try to experiment, adding your own herbs and spices.
  • Fresh vegetables and fruit should be bought at least once or twice each week, preferably in season, to ensure optimal taste and nutrition. You can also rely on canned/frozen varieties as handy additions to last-minute meals. Veggies make great stir-fries and vegetable patties, while fruit is good for a quick nutritious snack.
  • Meat and fish can be kept on hand also for last-minute meals— try the newer tuna and salmon pouches, and shop for inexpensive cuts of meat that work well in stews and casseroles.
  • Condiments add flavor and interest to your dishes. Keep a selection of dried herbs, spices, curry powder, marinades, vinegars, tomato and soy sauces, along with stock cubes, in your cupboard. Experiment with the new, such as Japanese miso, an aged salty condiment made from soybeans and various other ingredients (found in the natural foods section, usually refrigerated).

Finally, a few more hints that can help you save a little green:

  • When cooking a big meal, make extra to freeze, or use later in the week for lunches or quick suppers. Double recipes, then freeze half.
  • Save your vegetable trimmings to make your own vegetable stock. Not only do you save money, but vegetable stock also makes a nutritious base for casseroles, soups, and Crockpot cooking.
  • Buying in bulk is almost always cheaper; you can freeze perishable items (such as meat, milk, and even bread) in smaller portions to use as needed. It’s always a good idea to buy non-perishable items in bulk (canned foods, dried beans and grains, etc.).
  • Use less expensive cuts of meat for casseroles that you slow cook; add extra vegetables and beans to make the meal go further.
  • Capitalize on one-pot dishes, which generally save prep time, money, and dishwashing, and often make great leftovers.
  • Look high and low (literally) to find the less expensive generic or store brands on grocery shelves, often very similar to higher-priced brand names though packaged under different labels. Stores deliberately place the highest-priced brand-name items at eye level, but if you compare the cost per unit, you’ll be able to figure out the most cost-effective purchase. You can even try your own taste tests— blind, of course— to see where you can save money without sacrificing flavor.
  • Take advantage of specials on staples—broth, soups, pasta, rice, canned veggies, even bread and meat. Many of these items have a long shelf life or can be frozen for short periods of time.
  • Limit your dining out, especially when it comes to fast food, since you’ll find yourself spending unnecessarily on items that are high in fat, salt, and calories, which short-change you in the nutrition department.

There’s no magic formula to cooking on a budget. Like anything else worthwhile in life, it takes a little planning, creativity, and work. But if you think of the rewards—better health and more money—you’ll find it’s worth the effort. No doubt you’ll still have days when you fall back on that quick-fix packaged food or the local burger drive-thru. But if you look at cooking as an adventure, you’ll also have days when you find yourself pleased at what you’ve accomplished—as you serve dinner to rave reviews from family and friends!