If you want to start eating healthier, then home is where the heart is. By cooking more at home, not only can you monitor exactly what goes into your food, but you can control calories, reduce salt levels and manage the amount of fat you’re consuming.
CREATE A DIET PLAN
Before you start to consider eating healthily at home, you should formulate a diet plan which outlines the best foods for you and your specific dietary needs, and helps ensure that you’re able to achieve the goals that have led you on this healthy eating journey.
Just because you’re on a mission to cook healthy food at home doesn’t mean you have to completely abandon your favourite meals in favour of quinoa and blueberries. Rather than having to learn a host of new recipes or cook extravagant meals, you can simply substitute ingredients to help you put the health back in your meals.
INVEST IN HEALTHY COOKBOOKS
Get inspired. Healthy food needn’t be bland and drab. Channel the energy of healthy eating cookbooks which can help you to eat healthy and yet delicious meals that have been tried and tested by the experts.
Invest in a cookbook that meets your dietary needs or your health goals, such as those that have been specially developed for weight loss, improved fitness, or for sufferers of diabetes.
COOK IN BATCHES
One of the major barriers to eating healthily at home, each and every day, is the fact that some days, the energy or enthusiasm to cook complex meals or slave over the stove for hours at a time just isn’t there.
To ensure that you can eat well even on these more trying occasions, practice proper meal preparation, and cook in batches when you have the time. Not only will this enable you to eat a quick and delicious meal straight from frozen, but you’ll also be able to store (or use up) fresh ingredients without any wastage, thus saving you money by cutting down on the number of ingredients.
USE HEALTHY COOKING METHODS
The healthiness of your meals depends greatly on the methods that you choose to cook them. As we’re sure you know, pan and deep-fat frying are some of the more unhealthy methods out there due to the use of oils and fats to keep your food from sticking to the pan.
ADD FRUIT AND VEG TO EVERY MEAL
Sometimes, simplicity is best, but to truly get the most from your meals, it’s a good idea to add that extra portion of fruit or vegetables whenever and wherever possible. Whether this is a side of mixed vegetables with dinner, fruit and yoghurt for breakfast, or salad and roasted vegetables in your sandwich, it is eminently possible to get your five a day by making the extra effort to add a little bit more of the good stuff to each and every meal.
USE A FOOD TRACKER
Data is everything these days, and even your diet can be hacked and optimized using it. So, consider downloading a food tracker and documenting your eating habits. Food trackers are perfect for those who are struggling to maintain a healthy diet, want to record what they have eaten each day, or want to track their progress towards a certain health goal.
THE CONSCIOUS SHOPPER
To sustain a healthy diet, it’s important to know something about the nutritional values of food you’re buying. That said, there’s so much confusion over nutrition and time and time again the lines are redrawn about what may or not be healthy.
At the start of the new millennium, for instance, the focus was all on calories, and not exceeding their arbitrary limits. But recent wisdom has adapted, suggesting that not all calories were created equal.
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