Some of my best memories are of my grandmother rolling out dough for cobbler. I grew up spending summers with my grandparents at their lake house on Lake Livingston in Texas. Blackberry cobbler, made with blackberries we picked ourselves from the hills near their home, was the star of the show at our table. The food was made from fresh ingredients and meant love and family. Now, decades later, I have been fortunate to cook at a Wellness Week in Round Top, Texas a couple of times a year and enjoy the opportunity to share healthy meals with the group of people that join us. They have the opportunity to try new recipes that are then given to them to take home enjoy with their own family and friends. I’m proud that my daughter Harper has joined me in the kitchen, serving these meals since she was nine years old. To me, these memories—created in the kitchen and around the family table—are one of the most important legacies I can pass down to my kids.
Some of the best conversations I have ever had have been with my family and friends around the table. Something happens when people sit down together to break bread—even if it’s just for a few minutes. We connect, we nourish our bodies, and we hear about the important things in each other’s lives. But, lately, we’ve moved away from eating together at the family table. I don’t know if it was the advent of the TV dinner, demands on our time, or non-stop social media in our homes. Our kids are busier and we are busier.Our relationship with food has changed as well. A few years ago, Paul Rozin, a University of Pennsylvania psychologist, and Claude Fischler, a French sociologist, began collaborating on a series of cross-cultural surveys of food attitudes. Asked what comes to mind upon hearing the phrase “chocolate cake,” Americans were more apt to say “guilt,” while the French said “celebration” Food has become a source of stress, rather than nourishment—and an obsession, rather than something to be enjoyed with friends and family. colate cake, minus the guilt--with family and friends.
No matter what our reasons, we have become so used to eating quick, packaged meals, usually on the run, that sitting down together for dinner seems strange. The positive effects of gathering at the table for a shared meal, even a few times a week, have been proven. Just eating together as a family makes children happier and gives them higher self-esteem. The nutritional benefits of eating healthier foods around a dinner table are also significant. Childhood obesity rates drop. Children learn moderation in eating--not eating huge portions in take out and fast food. Most importantly, they begin to set the stage for good nutrition that will last a lifetime.
When it comes to preparing our meals, I believe that cooking from scratch is one of the most important things we can do as a family to improve our health. Cooking from scratch doesn’t have to be expensive, time consuming or even difficult. It also doesn’t have to include processed foods just because we think they’re quick and easy. Cooking from scratch doesn’t have to include recipes that have ingredients from specialty gourmet stores. It doesn’t require special pots or tools. It can be quick. It can be easy. It can be fun. It can be healthy. It can be delicious. It can also be a time with friends and family that truly makes us happier.
I want to encourage you to find joy in picking fresh, colorful ingredients to use in your kitchen. Perhaps, try to see dining together as not just another appointment on a busy schedule or as something we have to do, but rather as an opportunity to de-stress, a chance to catch up with those we love.
Cooking from scratch can be easy, quick, healthy and delicious. Let’s get back to the family table and spend time enjoying our food—including chocolate cake, minus the guilt--with family and friends.
Lisa Lewis and her daughter Harper at the FP4H Wellness Week in
Round Top, TX
Lisa's Speaking Events
Round Top Retreat
Round Top, Texas
Fun & Fitness 4 Life
North East, MD
January 30 - February 2, 2020
Beyond Free Summit
August 25-26, 2020
Would you like Lisa to speak at your event?
Simple Switches for Your Favorite Foods
Learn some simple switches you can make in your favorite recipes to tweak the fat and calories, but leave all the flavors you love. Lisa will share ingredient tips, snack ideas and other quick and easy ways to eat healthy without giving up flavor
Simples Ideas for Healthy Cooking
Learn some simple ideas for cooking quick and easy meals that are healthy and delicious. We have become so used to eating quick, packaged meals, usually on the run, that sitting down together for dinner seems strange. Let Lisa help you get back to the dinner table with the people you love.
How to Stock a Healthy Pantry
Between work, school, sporting events and more, families are busier than ever. But that’s no reason to sacrifice home-cooked, healthy meals. The simplest way to make healthful cooking a breeze is to have the right items on hand. So what goes into a healthy pantry? Lisa shows you how to stock a healthy pantry with some basics you should always have on hand. She will also share a few quick and easy recipes for some of your pantry staples.
Web Tools for the Kitchen
Tool tips to make your time in the kitchen easier, faster and more fun!
Tips and tricks from how to choose a knife to peeling garlic and everything in between.
Cook Once Eat All Week