No one in modem America deserves more sympathy than the working parent on a limited budget. Finding the time, energy and means to prepare nutritious meals for oneself and one's children poses a real challenge, especially as the temptation to opt for convenience foods is very great. The first step to meeting that challenge is the realization that fast foods are a terrible trap that, in the long run, leads to diminished vitality and, hence, even greater restrictions on one's time, energy and budget - not to mention the tragedy of serious disease.

While it is not necessary to spend long hours in the kitchen in order to eat properly, it is necessary to spend some time in the kitchen. Simple, wholesome menus require careful planning rather than long hours of preparation. Much can be accomplished in the way of advanced preparation by dedicating just one block of four to five hours per week to food, which might include shopping, starting a large pot of stock to last the week, putting up a jar of fermented vegetables, making a batch of cookies for school lunches and preparing a large casserole of soup or stew that can last for several meals. Simple, nutritious meals can be prepared very quickly when one lays the groundwork ahead of time. If your present schedule allows no time at all for food preparation, you would be wise to re-examine your priorities.

Adapted from Nourishing Traditions, by Sally Fallon & Mary Enig.

Additional "Slow Food for Fast Lives" tips: