Get More Time, Save Money, Eat at Home

I travel a lot, and frequently I’m traveling somewhere that there are friends to see. Inevitably the question of where to meet and what to do with said friends comes up. There are many layers of complexity to that decision, how close are we? When did we meet last? How much time do we all have to spend together? But generally, since I love all my friends, and never have enough time with them I opt for the most time possible.

In the past, meeting at a restaurant was always the go to – in our late 20’s and now early 30’s it’s been fun to choose some fancy restaurant and show off what adults we’d all become (assuming these are friends I’ve known for a while). Picking a great new place to eat was a way of showing how much style and taste we’d developed, or that we don’t have to eat pizza anymore ūüėõ

Lately though, something’s have changed. I realized, there is so little time to see these friends, that while a swanky restaurant is a nice choice, it actually limits our ability to catch up; restaurants are often loud, and at least in the USA, once people have finished eating the check comes, and unless everyone planned to go somewhere else afterwards, that means the catch up time is coming to an end. In a typical US restaurant, that could be anywhere from 45 to 90 minutes of time together. I point out US restaurants because in Europe and other places outside the US there isn’t a rush from the waiter to leave your table so other people can sit down. Once you’re done eating you can sit and talk as long as you want regardless of what you plan to eat or drink.

The other change lately has been my budget. Since I haven’t worked in 6 months, I frequently encourage friends to find lower cost options, and typically the best available in that category is a home cooked meal. Home cooked meals are great because you can to show off your skills and adultness in a whole new way with your cooking abilities and choice of cuisine. Also unless you go all out on chic ingredients, the price can be much more modest compared to a full restaurant bill, especially if you plan to drink some wine.

Additionally, at home we have all the time in the world to catch up. No one is rushing us to leave the table, conversations can run late into the night. You can even offer a place to sleep in your home if guests don’t feel like driving home is a good idea.

You’ve probably dabbled in the art of cooking dinners with friends, so you already know what I mean. But perhaps you didn’t see it quite that way, or didn’t realize the benefit of not having to leave when the meal is over. For me the extra time is the best part of all. Life is short, I can count the past 5 encounters I’ve had will all my friends in the last 10 years, that’s scary. I fear there may only be 10 – 20 more since as life goes on we get more and more tied up, we make more and more friends, and our flexibility to meet up goes from once or twice a year to once or twice every two or three years. Make the time count, give yourselves an extra hour or two and you’ve literally doubled the amount of time you get to have in each others lives!

An Homage to Garlic

Simply put garlic is great. I don’t think it gets enough love so I’m putting it out there. The “allium sativum” as an ingredient for food preparation is inexpensive, easy to grow, easy to find, and adds a great flavor to nearly anything it’s added to. Allium_sativum_Woodwill_1793Sure it takes a beating¬†for giving bad breath, but that’s actually a very rare complaint to hear.

When preparing some food and no ideas of the end result, without even thinking, I usually turn on a burner, get some onions saut√©ing in olive oil, and before long I am adding garlic. Anywhere from 2-4 cloves sliced, chopped, or even halved will add a great flavor, make your kitchen smell amazing, and the remaining pieces in the final food your serve have a huge punch packed to liven up that dish. It’s so simple, fresh garlic doesn’t rot if it’s sat around too long, and the word on the streets is it fends off vampires too, just saying.

Even if you’re¬†kind of “meh” about the flavor of garlic or having it in your food,¬†its¬†health benefits are like a never ending sunset, the more time passes the more we see.

  • As an ingested food, fresh garlic offers a whole gambit of cancer prevention qualities, it decreases cholesterol and blood pressure, and should be considered as a method for preventing heart attacks.
  • I’ve never tried it, but apparently as a topical gel containing¬†ajoene (a chemical found in garlic) can fight off ring worm, jock itch and athlete’s foot.

The former uses & effects are a result of the organic chemicals sulfur, cysteine, and selenium which are found in garlic. All worth reading up on, too.

Another very interesting quality of garlic is it’s relationship to Glutathione. You don’t need to know what that is right now, but make a note to look it up later, as it’s a very important antioxidant in your body of which you should be keeping replete quantities. Glutathione literally escorts¬†toxins from the body (and out through urine & bile); it improves the immune system, fights off free radicals, and detoxifies the liver. It’s the mother of all antioxidants. If you’ve been experiencing some fatigue, muscle pain, brain fog, or just¬†feeling vulnerable¬†to next common cold that sweeps through town, chances are your¬†body has a glutathione deficiency. Normally the body produces glutathione naturally, but somewhere in our 40’s we stop producing as much. Regardless of how old you are if your body has been cleaning out toxins, from junk food, air pollution, pesticides in your vegetables or fruit, alcohol, tobacco, etc. you have to help produce more or you’re going to start feeling the pain.

Back to Garlic, our bodies use the cysteine¬†in¬†garlic in combination with¬†glutamic acid and glycine to produce Glutathione. I’m aware this got very scientific very fast, but just take a moment, think about how much you eat garlic, think about how interested you are in avoiding cancels, and common illnesses, think about how much better it is to start your day¬†with a fresh head. Now, if you aren’t eating enough garlic, let this be your calling to start. We’ll talk about the other things that will help with Glutathione production another time.

Taking it back a notch, before I wrap up this personal homage. I’d just like to say that garlic doesn’t taste good raw, and there is strong evidence that taking garlic pills offer the same benefits (disclosure I have tried that the body odor alone isn’t worth it). To have some garlic, you have to cook some garlic, and cooking is great. It’s a way to destress, to prepare something healthy to eat, and save a few bucks (or not if you’re eating out). Garlic is at the heart of all that. So next time you’re grocery shopping, think to yourself – “Where’s the garlic?”.