Every person reading this leads a very busy life, and some days you probably long for more hours in your day. What would you do with those hours? Sleep? Spend quality time with loved ones? How about start cooking more?
Hopefully the following 5 reasons can convince you that your health is suffering if you wait for those extra hours to start prioritizing the benefits of a home cooked meal.
1. What are you really getting?
It’s very difficult to ever really be certain of all the ingredients in your meal when you eat out or order in. Most foods will be cooked in cheap vegetable oils that can be harmful to you by causing internal inflammation. Quick meal options tend to be very high in sodium, leading to bloating and grogginess. And then we have sugar, it lurks everywhere from salad dressings to sauces and it’s a standard ingredient in many recipes to make your meals tastier. I bet you didn’t know that the salsa you get in most restaurants has sugar added to it.
2. Limited whole food options
I find that my clients who eat out most of the time are limited in the amount of color they get in their meals. Many meals tend to lean towards white, having bread or rice as a base and struggling to find options with enough vegetables and variety. Putting in the extra effort to get more of a rainbow in the meal can often take as much effort as preparing a dish at home in the first place. Limiting the rainbow limits the amount of antioxidants and phytonutrients that you are getting.
3. No added temptation
If you are buying your own ingredients and preparing them in your environment, you won’t have the temptation of a bread basket, or an appetizer that you really aren’t hungry for, or a dessert or cookie or candy at the checkout line. Add that one item up every week over time and it does a lot more damage than you might think.
These first three things can really limit your progress when you think you are making good choices most of the time.
4. Cook once eat multiple times
This one is huge! Having extra food on hand for those nights when it’s impossible to cook or to take to work for lunch is an added bonus. When cooking at home you should always make extra for those times when you need it throughout that week, because there will be times. I’ve heard people say it’s hard to cook for one person, but cooking for one means even more leftovers! Don’t make that your excuse.
5. It’s really not as hard as it may seem
Cooking is not a science like baking, so it allows you the freedom to get creative. Don’t forget to use herbs and spices that you like to add great flavor. If you are just starting out, try a few simple recipes to ease into it. There are a million recipes available online. If you don’t know where to look, I love starting at the paleo websites. I don’t practice paleo eating, but I like that those recipes don’t have a carbohydrate rich base, so I find one I like and modify to my non-paleo needs.
Added bonus: it tastes better when you make it! You just might need a little practice.
I know you are thinking that you don’t have the time, and I’m here to call bull poop on you. You have the time for that extra workout, you have time to peruse facebook, you have the time for many other things that you find important and not so important. The key is to be a good planner. Pick out some recipes, do your shopping on the weekend and make a commitment to cook a few nights a week, even write it in your training plan. Stay away from the uber complicated recipes. When in doubt ask a friend who is savvy in the kitchen on some tips for making certain things quicker.
I know you can do it!