Although in many countries the political roots of Women’s Day might have lost its significance (early pioneers in women’s rights) and in many countries the message is around love for women, a merging of Mothering Sunday and Valentines’ Day – International Women’s Day (8th March) is a chance to reflect on the role that women play in our own health and the health of the family and possibly the health of the nation!
As the role of women have changed away from being the guardian of family health (due to being “enslaved” in the kitchen and domestic duties, and therefore planning and cooking the meals (oh and doing the washing up) and into work, (yey!)) the role of keeper of the family health isn’t one that is consciously filled. As work takes our time, and convenience is king, planning and cooking a meal from scratch is something that literally gets put on the back burner. Coupled with the fact that our children are exposed to addictive junk/convenience foods that fill a spot but have no nutritional value. Many lack the authority with our own children to “make them” eat the same food as the family and many of us are frazzled by trying to prepare different meals for different family members, like a short order chef. No wonder we want to take the easy option and head to the nearest convenience meal.
As we know, despite appearances, supermarket convenience food is just an illusion. What looks like a meal prepared by Farmer Giles in his lovely, ideal “Babe – The Movie” type setting – this type of food is of course prepared by Food Scientists. (Think ET when he’s not feeling too clever and just about to snuff it, surrounded by so-called humans in space suits.) Food produced by an industrial process looses its nutritional value, is dyed to make it look palatable, and is often “clean Labelled” – which means the apparent ingredients are things we recognise (Rosemary Extract) but have little connection to nature. We are too busy and too unconscious to think of the long term consequences of this denatured foods.
What can we do?
- Share cooking and domestic duties in the home. Many women are working a full day but in many homes (apparently women spend three times more time on domestic chores than men) – I have to say this doesn’t apply in my household where everyone does muck in!
- Plan your eating and your menus – (See Paperchase Menu Planners).
- Yes – I have said this before – invest in a box scheme where they have pre-selected the menus for you from fresh ingredients. OK cheating a bit – but the result is fabulous – I get the Abel and Cole box because it is in addition organic. No waste because you are using all the ingredients – Brilliant.
- Plan our work better and leave on time – get work to nurture an environment where you get your work done yes, but you leave on time. We are in a Victorian work structure and many workplaces are still in FACETIME (not the Apple version) but the being at work, jacket on the back of the chair, making sure the boss sees you.
- Learn that in Food Quality Matters – I like the budgeting system. “You need a budget” which can track how much you are spending (generally). If you are popping to the shops and buying fresh ingredients it can be expensive – but if you plan it and track your spend, things won’t get out of control in terms of cost.
Bonus: Learn more about food! Great there has been a change of heart regarding taxing fizzy drinks but don’t head for the low sugar version as the chemical sweetener has its own problems (it’s a neurotoxin – not good for the brain!).
Yes, yes, another thing to worry about.