There’s something about home-cooked meals that doesn’t quite compare to restaurant fare. But for busy bees like you, carving out time to prepare food at home can be a challenge – not to mention the physical task can be downright daunting. But if your wellness goals involve losing weight (or improving your health in general), then you might want to give it a shot!
The reason why homemade foods are often healthier than store-bought is because you have the ability to control what goes into each dish. Ready to be inspired? Gather your favorite nutritious, whole-food and low-sodium ingredients and let’s get started.
1. Invest in new equipment
Fitness aficionados will often suggest purchasing new workout clothes for motivation – and it works! Interestingly enough, a similar rules apply to spending more time in the kitchen! Whether you’re looking to make smoothies, fresh juices or dehydrated snacks, invest in a new kitchen appliance that will get you excited about making food! Here are some ideas:
- Adopt a dehydrator to make delicious veggie chips, fruit leathers, crackers and more.
- Spring for a high-speed blender to whip up plant-based protein drinks or creamy shakes for post-workout fuel.
If you plan on diving into the world of meal prep (i.e. preparing meals ahead of time and/or in bulk), consider buying a variety of glass containers to store soups, salads, entrees, dressings and sauces for your healthy homemade meals.
Or, you can start small! Cut complex carbohydrates by using a spiralizer, which allows you to create nutritious noodles out of raw veggies, such as cucumbers and zucchinis.
2. Dust off your cookbooks
Even if cooking isn’t your forte (well, at least not yet!), you probably have a cookbook laying around your house somewhere. Find it, crack it open and get cooking! Perhaps you try following one recipe from the book each week. Then, mark your calendar and put together a shopping list for each meal. Once you get the hang of it, add a second weekly recipe to your schedule and so on.
3. Spruce up your space
Create a more inviting ambiance in your kitchen by replacing ratty towels, cracked plates and dull lighting. Take it a step further by arranging a few potted herbs on your windowsill for fresh recipe additions!
When decorating, find ways to save by shopping at thrift stores and garage sales for cute utensil holders, quote boards, vases and more. As for items you’re getting rid of, remember to donate when you can.
4. Make it fun
Instead of cooking solo, consider hosting a get-together with a friend or family member to prepare meals in advance. Not only does this provide an accountability partner by default, but it also affords a social component to eating at home.
Before gathering with others, have each person go food shopping for various ingredients needed for the meal(s) you’ll be making. (Remind them to bring their glass containers for easy transport.)
For example, if you’re making veggie burgers, one friend can prep the patties while another friend tackles the salad, etc.
Transforming your kitchen duties into social activities can make them feel less like a chore – especially when you’re catching up, laughing and taste-testing with the ones you love.
Focus on nourishing food & you’ll be OK!
Making every meal from scratch 24/7 may seem unrealistic for your lifestyle – and that’s OK! The most important thing to remember is to focus on challenging yourself to step into the kitchen to give your body the meal it deserves whenever you can. And when you can’t, simply stick to healthier menu options in order help you stay on track. You got this!