Home cooking, you may be wondering why this is on the list of areas of health.  We all know that what we eat directly impacts or overall health.  Take a deep breath, what is the first thing that comes to your mind when you say home cooking?  For me I think of my kitchen growing up, the food my mom made, comfort food.  These are all powerful emotions and imagery.

How we eat is almost as important as what we eat.  Do we take the time to taste and enjoy our food or do we inhale it?  Are we scrolling through social media, watching T.V or talking with our families?  Do we even know what we are eating?

When we make a meal at home, we know what we are eating.  Is there is butter or salt in it or what the ingredients are.  When we eat out we cannot be sure what is in the food we are eating.  Eating at home is a great place to start improving not only what we eat but how we eat it.  People are always asking me what they should eat to stay healthy and lose weight.  If it were that simple the diet industry would not be a multibillion dollar business.  The one thing I can say for certain is to eat more vegetables and fruit and cut out highly processed foods.    Anyone eating a Standard American Diet (SAD) could benefit from more veggies and fruits.

In the age of having information at the tip of our fingers it is easier than ever to try new recipes.   On the flip side having so many choices can be overwhelming.  I often used to find myself staring into my fridge and then scrolling through endless Pinterest recipes trying to figure out what to make for dinner.  I found this process not only daunting but ever frustrating trying to find something that my picky husband and small children would eat and that would still support my health.  My dear husband left on his own would eat doughnuts and soda every day.  What I discovered slowly and after many a tear was:

 

1) Plan

It is really a simple as this.  Write out your meals for the week, month or even the next day but have a plan.  I now pick a cook book a week and pull one or two recipes from there to add to our weekly favorites.  This has taken so much anxiety out of dinner making.

2) Be true to yourself

I used to spend so much time trying to find something that would make all the members of my household happy.  Left to the younger two’s own devices we would have plain pasta or pizza every night.  Whether you are cooking for your family or just yourself be true to what feels good for you.  Take the time to check in and see if that food serves and nourishes you.

3) Buy fresh, local

I challenge every one of my clients to try new vegetables and fruits that they never have. Check out your local farmer’s market, look in to a CSA.  There are so many ways to try fresh foods.

4) Don’t over think it.

Not all of us are meant to be professional chiefs.  When I make a salad, I tare the leaves.   I no longer feel the need to chop every leaf.  I don’t need to make a 5-star dinner every night.

5) The 90/10 Rule

I remember the 90/10 rule.  I eat healthy, whole, nourishing foods 90% of the time and 10% I allow myself to indulge.  This means not beating myself up for having a piece of birthday cake.  The true key with the 90/10 rule is to really make it 90/10.  We are only human so this means we keep trying and are not perfect.

6) Take the time to eat

We are so busy these days.  We have smart phones buzzing at us, watches calling us and we forget to taste our food.  The other day I caught myself hurrying my daughter to eat her breakfast faster.  Then I caught myself, I should be like her, taking the time to taste each and every bite.  Whether we are eating at home or out make the time to slow down to eat.