<If there is one thing that you can do for your health right away, it would have to be cooking your own food.
This is one thing that we have stopped doing as we don’t have time to cook anymore. This is why fast food drive thrus and frozen dinners are so popular. While these “time savers” may seem appealing when you are rushing home from work or after school activities they are actually harmful to your health and waistline.
Recently I watched a video from Michael Pollan where he is discussing his new book called "Cooked", and one of his statements really stuck with me...and I paraphrase... When it comes to overall health of a person and eating a healthy diet, the thing that made the most difference was if the food they ate was cooked by a human being and not a company.
This matters more than nutrients or calories consumed. He also talks about how food companies will cook with more fat, sugar and salt than you ever would in your own kitchen, but they do so in such a way that you become addicted to their food. The bottom line is that food companies don't care about your health, they care about making you addicted to their food so you keep coming back and spend your money with them.
While making a home-cooked meal may seem like a luxury reserved for a few “special” nights a week, I highly encourage you to cook most of the meals you eat at home. I know this seems like a hard task and is often the first thing to get cut out of your routines.
5 tips to getting a home-cooked meal on the table
- Plan your weekly meals ahead. Take a weekend day or night when you have some free time and set your weekly menu. From here write a grocery list and get everything you need while you are doing your weekly shopping. There are a lot of free meal planners available online and with Pinterest, meal planning and recipe gathering is a breeze!
- Use your crockpot. Imagine walking in from work or after school activities and smelling a delicious meal that is ready to be plated and enjoyed. Make a few crock pot meals a week when you know you are going to be busy; the extra time in the morning is worth being able to drive by those fast food places and home to a healthy meal.
- Cook extras. When you are planning and shopping make sure to plan for leftovers for work or school lunches. This can be done by making a few extra pieces of chicken or a few extra salads. You can also pack snacks like fruit, nuts or trail mixes the night before to make it easier to get out the door the next day.
- Prep ahead of time. When you get home from the grocery store prep your veggies by washing and cutting them all at once. This makes for an easy dinner, just toss them in a pan to cook while you grill your chicken or bake your fish. Make one large salad for the week and have it ready to put on a plate and top with your favorite protein.
- Split up the work. This can include your spouse or kids. It is a great way to spend time as a family cooking and talking. It is also a great way to teach your kids about the importance of cooking healthy meals and how to cook for themselves.
For more fitness advice from Angelena, visit www.angelenamarie.com.