Eating fresh home-cooked meals allows you to make healthier choices, spend less and keep up a healthy lifestyle. While eating out is convenient and sometimes inevitable, be sure not to make it a habit. Grabbing a bagel on the go, going to a work lunch or ordering take out after a busy day is ok sometimes but I highly recommend cooking most of your meals at home. I assure you that by cooking your own food, you will feed your body with the best ingredients possible, which will make you feel healthier, more energized and lighter.
This doesn’t mean you need to stay home and cook every night, but it does mean that you need to be prepared. You can do that by going to the grocery store on a Sunday and shopping ahead for the week. Get loads of veggies, fruits, whole grains and proteins. Cut up carrots, peppers, celery and separate them in individual zip-lock bags. This can be one of your snacks on the go. Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s sell really yummy cooked lentils, beets and edamame that are ready to eat. You can throw that into any salad and you got yourself a well-balanced meal. Bottom line is that when your fridge is stocked, you won’t opt out for delivery. The better cooks we are, the richer and more varied our diets can be. Don’t give up if your roasted chicken doesn’t turn out as juicy as you had in mind. Appreciate yourself for trying your best and notice how you can improve the recipe next time. Practice makes perfect! Below you can find six reasons why preparing food at home is a priority for me.
Most restaurants serve an overly abundant amount of food that is usually double or triple the standard portion size. This is a major influence of obesity, high cholesterol, and heart disease. Eating at home allows you to be in control of the amount of food you put on your family’s plates. Being mindful is the key to overcoming this issue.
When we prepare our own food, we know exactly how much olive oil or butter we put into it. Many restaurants use a ton of low quality butter, cream, and sauces in order to make food more flavorful. Have you ever had a stir-fry that tastes like it is drenched in oil and fat? I certainly have. When you cook at home, this won’t be an issue. Try sautéing in vegetable or chicken broth. Add a little bit of sea salt, fresh lemon juice, lime zest, fresh herbs & spices and you will see how these little changes will improve quality and taste of your food.
Know your ingredients
There are many undisclosed ingredients and additives in meals prepared outside. Partially hydrogenated oils, artificial coloring, monosodium glutamate, and artificial sweeteners are some of these additives that you can encounter by not cooking your own food. Eating out can leave you feeling bloated and puffy due to all of the unnecessary sodium and sugars added to the food. When you cook at home, you are in full control of the ingredients and will have a smaller chance of suffering from an auto-immune diseases caused by many of these unsafe artificial ingredients.
Shop seasonally, buy in bulk, and take advantage of sales. By cooking at home, you can refrigerate or freeze leftovers so you have healthy, convenient, and ready-to-go meals on hand! Just by bringing your own lunch to work twice a week, you can save around 25$/week. This can easily add up to up to $100 a month and a whopping $1,200 per year!
Bring the family together
Cooking with your little ones can teach them a lot more than just food and can benefit the wellbeing of the entire family. Children are more likely to experiment and try different foods when they are involved. It will be fun for everyone! ☺
Fights off cravings
Taking the time to plan and prepare your meals at home not only saves you time and money, but will give your body the necessary vitamins and minerals that it needs. By eating well balanced meals with protein, healthy carbs and fats, you will feel satisfied and no longer reach for the mid-day pick me up sugary can of coke or bag of cookies.
It’s true that cooking takes time, but family meals don’t always have to be long or complicated. It’s easy to prepare a large salad with a side of protein, roasted veggies with an omelet, lettuce tacos, or a veggie stir-fry with quinoa that will take you only a couple of minutes. I’d love to hear what you like preparing at home and ask that you share any of your health concerns with me, I am happy to help.