Eat Anything You Want*
Jan 16th, 2019
*Just Cook It At Home
How many times have you cooked at home this week?
The easiest place to improve your nutrition is at home. The single biggest determining factor in how healthy you eat is how many times you cook your food, from scratch, at home.
As a modern population, we’ve become time poor and cooking at home has been one of the first things to disappear from our daily menu. It’s been in decline since the 1960s with processed food manufacturers waging a social war on time spent in the kitchen. We’re now more likely to grab a sandwich on our daily commute or whip out our phones and order take out once we get home than spend any time preparing a meal, and for us working in hospitality, an industry based around eating out, we’re particularly vulnerable.
But I don’t have time to cook at home I hear you say, how can I improve my diet when I don’t have time to cook complicated meals?
Eating healthy doesn’t have to take much of your time. Divide your meal into 3 components: vegetables, whole grains and clean protein and flavour your dish using fresh or dried herbs and spices. The more you cook, the more confident you’ll become and the more you’ll enjoy it.
When you cook, super-size your recipe and cook for more than just yourself. You can then freeze or refrigerate your meals for the next few days and just reheat them when you come home. In an ideal world, your freezer will be filled with delicious, home-cooked meals just waiting to be defrosted and reheated.
Half meal prep
Make a part of the meal in advance, for example cooking enough rice or pasta for 2-3 days and then making your veggies and protein source on the day itself or the day before.
There are plenty of great 5-minute cooking videos on YouTube so there’s really no excuse not to be cooking at home. The Happy Pear is one of our favourite channels.
How to deal with temptations
Research shows that we make around 200 eating-related choices per day, and we do not make all those choices consciously.
Smells, advertising, special offers or even an open cookie jar; it can all tempt you to choose something unhealthy. It helps when you are aware of the temptations that you encounter at home and outdoors.
Start by “temptation-proofing” your home and asking: How much unhealthy and healthy foods do you have at home? And how visible are the unhealthy foods?
If you want to grab whole grain cereal, whole wheat bread, fruit, or your plant-based milk; make sure that there’re no chips, candy or other unhealthy snacks in sight. Place them in the back
Always have at least 2 types of your favourite fruits in a fruit bowl and make sure that the bowl is clearly in sight. Fruits, such as apples, also respond to sunlight and will continue to add nutrients whilst basking in natural light.
Don’t buy to fill your stash
Don’t buy to refill your “bad foods” kitchen cabinet. We’re lazy by nature so if it’s not in the house, you’re not going to eat it.
Always have a bottle of water on the table
Make it nice by adding sliced cucumber, fresh mint leaves or lemon. Don’t put sodas or fruit juices on the table
Serve your plate in the kitchen
But always have some (extra) veggies and/or salad on the table so it’s easier to grab
Use Smaller Plates
Research has shown that consuming a meal from a smaller plate results in relatively more perceived saturation compared to consuming the same size meal of a regular or larger plate.
If you’re consciously choosing an unhealthy snack, make sure to serve crisps and other snacks in small containers. This way, you avoid ending up eating the entire bag of crisps