We’ve also always advocated for home-cooking because eating outside or ordering from restaurants too often is not the best choice we can make for our health, both physical and mental. During our online cooking classes, we spend a good time talking about the importance of eating non-processed food and using seasonal ingredients.
This doesn’t mean that we have to give up our favorite comfort food and eat only 100% clean, we just have to be aware of the ingredients that we use, and spend a little time cooking instead of choosing to have everything pre-made.
But how can we do it if we work many hours per day, 5 or 6 days per week? And those who have kids or other people to take care of? Good point.
Recently I read a very interesting article on Help Guide about healthy eating and the benefits of cooking at home, below I share my best takeaways and tips about how to conciliate a healthy eating lifestyle cooking at home with day-by-day routine and compromises.
Benefits of cooking at home
Convenience food is typically high in chemical additives, hormones, sugar, salt, unhealthy fat, and calories, all of which can adversely affect your brain and outlook. It can leave you feeling tired, bloated, and irritable, and exacerbate symptoms of depression, stress, and anxiety.
When you prepare your own meals, you have more control over the ingredients. By cooking for yourself, you can ensure that you and your family eat fresh, wholesome meals. This can help you to look and feel healthier, boost your energy, stabilize your weight and mood, and improve your sleep and resilience to stress.
Cooking at home is also a great way to spend time with others—and you don’t have to be an accomplished chef. Whatever your abilities or experience as a cook, you can learn to prepare quick and healthy meals that can have real benefits for your mental and physical health.
Keep it simple. Steam or sauté some veggies, grill some fish or chicken, add some herbs, spices, or a healthy sauce. Simple cooking can be tasty and quick.
Cooking at home doesn’t have to be complicated. The cornerstone of a healthy diet is to eat food that is as close as possible to the way nature made it. That means replacing processed food with real food whenever possible and eating plenty of vegetables and healthy sources of protein. It doesn’t mean you have to spend hours in the kitchen combining hundreds of different ingredients or slavishly following elaborate recipes. In fact, simple meals are often the tastiest.
Cook enough for leftovers. It’s great to have leftovers that can be used for a quick and easy lunch or dinner the next day. When making things like rice or pasta, cook at least double the amount you need and store it in the fridge to use with other meals.
Make substitutions for healthier meals. Grill or bake instead of fry. Replace salt with garlic or onion powder. Cut the sugar called for in most recipes by 1/3 to 1/2. Decrease the meat and increase the vegetables in stews and casseroles. Choose whole-grain versions of pasta and bread, and substitute whole-wheat flour for bleached white flour when you bake.
ARE YOU ONBOARD?
I think we can say that it is indisputable that cooking at home only brings countless benefits to human beings, such as:
Support your immune system and reduce the risk of illnesses such as heart disease, cancer, high blood pressure, and diabetes.
Give you more energy, improve how you sleep at night and help you better manage health problems.
The simple process of cooking at home can be empowering and improve the mood and self-esteem both in kids and adults.
Preparing even simple meals at home can be creatively fulfilling.