There are a ton of reasons to cook at home, one being we’re still in the midst of a pandemic and dining in isn’t necessarily a common practice these days. But other than the abnormalities of our current society, eating out is incredibly expensive, and relying on others to cook your meal for you means you can’t regulate the ingredients that go in, meaning it’s not always the healthiest option. The solution? Prepare your own meals and get ready for a healthier more sustainable lifestyle! If you’ve always struggled to do this, however, try incorporating these habits to your cooking routine to put you in the right direction:
1. Whole Foods Vs Process Foods: If you find yourself eating from home but still in an unhealthy manner, the mistake you’re likely making is that you’re buying and eating processed foods over whole foods. Whole foods are single-item ingredients such as olive oil, chicken, carrots, etc. Processed foods are typically packaged foods that contain dozens of ingredients that wander into those of the chemical nature. Buying whole foods is imperative to eating healthy at home. When you have complete control over what is going into the dish, you’re going to see a huge difference in your health!
2. Fats: Using better fats will help you in the long run. Did you know that when vegetable oil is cooked, it emits a polyunsaturated fatty acids that is linked to heart disease? Try using olive oil, coconut oil, or avocado oil instead. Healthy fats are the key to feeling full and staying full!
3. Meal Prep Is Your Friend: Knowing what you’re going to eat helps you stop making last minute decisions to order out or eat processed foods. If meal prepping is just too much, try out a meal service kit that provides you with everything you need for a week of meals.
4. Healthy Substitutions: There are so many options when you cook from home, and if you’re looking for healthy alternatives to your favorite meals, a quick google search will point you in the right direction. For example, if you love pasta, switch from regular noodles to chickpea or lentil based, if sandwiches are your thing try lettuce wraps instead of bread!
5. Try Different Cooking Methods: Steaming and poaching are the only ways to cook healthy anymore, try roasting and braising vegetables to get the most flavor out of raw ingredients!