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My name is Karen and I live with my husband in Sydney, Australia.  Food is one thing that we all have in common and the experience of cooking and eating is what has led me to create this blog.

If we have to eat is a blog all about food. Since eating is something that we have to do every day, we should make sure that the food we eat is tasty, enjoyable and as healthy and homemade as possible.

I do hesitate to use the word healthy here because I have no experience or qualifications to determine what is healthy or not. Nor can I calculate calories, fat, sodium, fibre, vitamins or minerals – all of which are commonly used to measure how healthy food is.  Instead, I look to government issued food guidelines and try to cook balanced meals based on the recommended portion sizes and servings of vegetables, meat, dairy, cereals and grains.

Processed and prepared foods are readily available and with our busy lives, it is hard to avoid them altogether.  However, the more we can eat food that we have cooked ourselves, the more we can control what goes into our bodies – and that can only be a good thing.  Cooking makes it easier to control portion sizes and allows me to pack as many vegetables that I can into every meal.

My weekends are usually pretty busy – and often involve catching up with my friends over a meal and several glasses of wine, so eating well during the week, means that I can splurge a bit over the weekend.

So, in real life, what does that mean for the food I eat?

Each week, I plan a menu for the week and then take a list to the grocery store for a weekly shop (see here for more on menu planning).  We are lucky to have a supermarket with good fruit and veg and an independently owned butcher at the back.  I also pass a butcher and a fishmonger on my way home from work so that we always eat fresh protein.  Buying meat in bulk and freezing it is not something that I’ve ever been good at – I’ll always forget to take it out in time to use (and we don’t have a microwave for quick defrosting).  Sunday usually becomes a shopping and cooking day where I make breakfast and lunches for the first 3 to 4 days of the week.

I rely on the usual cooks tools of an oven and a stovetop, but I do also have a Thermomix which I have found to be a helpful addition to my weekly cooking adventures.  The Thermomix is definitely a luxury but if you can afford it, then there are definitely some advantages (see here to read my review).

In this blog, I want to share my menu plans and recipes in the hopes of inspiring others to cook more healthy meals at home – and to enjoy it – and to pass along some of my other food experiences.