A recipe for healthy living

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Nowadays, fast food can be easily found on practically every street. In fact, there are several choices readily available to anyone with an appetite.

When these joints first emerged in the UAE, I remember going to them for a family treat every once in a while. As popular as they were back then, people still managed to cook their own food at home and enjoy it while surrounded by their family members.

That tradition has now changed immensely as many families do not meet for a meal as regularly as they used to due to their busy schedules. Therefore, many people resort to such fast food restaurants for lunch or dinner.

The health benefits of these foods, other that satisfying one's hunger for a period of time, is non-existent. The processed and refined foods are tasteless, with little or no fresh ingredients that actually nourish the human body.

Last week, a reporter from The National spoke to several people that actually prepare proper clean food that is wholesome and healthy, using organic produce rather than genetically modified ones or those with added chemicals.

The idea of "slow food" is to help promote a healthy lifestyle, which is not as hard as many people but seem to believe. By making simple food choices, people are able to create change in their lifestyle.

A multimedia producer also filmed Suzanne Hosseini, who shares her own idea on the slow food philosophy, cooking in her own kitchen. While sharing her recipe for lemon and garlic chicken, Suzanne described the idea behind slow cooking. It is not to work all day to make a dish, but it is putting in the effort and making the time to prepare a healthy home made meal that nourishes your body. In the end, you are rewarded with enjoying a wholesome meal that you have worked hard to prepare. She describes how putting in the "love factor" produces a better outcome, and that is something "only you can put in, no one can put it in for you."

Adding the love factor to the food truly does make a big difference.

I have a passion for cooking and I enjoy preparing a feast for my family and friends from time to time. Every step in any meal I am making counts, as that is what produces a delicious dish. While cooking, I love chopping, washing, stirring, all on my own because I believe that is how I add my own touch to the food, adding in the "love" as Suzanne puts it.

After spending days editing Suzanne's video and watching her create a wholesome dish, I decided to give it a try and savor it with my two friends and colleagues Asmaa and Ayesha. Let's just say it was as good as Suzanne said it would be. Adding the love factor to the food truly does make a big difference, and as the chef had pointed out, no company adds it to their products. It is probably about time we started making a lifestyle change by starting to eat healthy and feel better.