Steps to Healthy Home Cooked Meals
If COVID-19 and year of 2020 has you down and your waist line expanding, don’t despair. There are a few easy ways to change your lifestyle and your mood. Forget turkeys with gravy, cookie trays, and strong drinks. Reinventing yourself is as easy as home cooking and we have tips how to start.
Home cooking is not only about healthy diet – it’s also about fresh high quality ingredients that you can control while also saving money. Experimenting in the kitchen can push you forward with your diet and help you discover tastes so exciting that you will never go back to fast or microwavable food. You can also bond with your kids while cooking and have romantic evenings with your partner, and all that while not spending a ton of money.
We can’t see any drawbacks for cooking at home and here are some ways how to start:
- Stay away from processed foods
Start shopping the right way – hire Instacart and let their personal shoppers deliver whole foods right to your door. Whole foods mean foods that consist of one ingredient only, for example, chicken, bananas, or flour. Cooking with them is a lot healthier than using processed foods. Eating whole foods can encourage higher vegetable consumption and make way for healthier recipes. It’s also easier to record your calorie intake.
If you have no time or desire for such cooking from scratch, another best option is ordering from Veestro, which is one of the best organic vegan meal delivery programs.
- Pay attention to the fats you are using
Not all oils are the same or good for you. Don’t use vegetable oil for home cooking and instead get olive, coconut, or avocado oil, preferably organic. If you don’t already have them, consider shopping via Instacart, which will get groceries from your favorite local stores and deliver them right to you, so that you won’t have any excuses.
Avocado oil has very high heat index and is perfect for all cooking needs. Olive oil is great for salads.
- Use lots of seasoning
It has been long disproved that normal amounts of sodium cause heart diseases, so don’t be afraid to use salt and seasoning. Salt also helps replenish electrolytes, which is very important for physically active people.
Spice mixes, cumin, turmeric, paprika, onion powder, bay leaves, and all other spices will make your food taste better and will also boost antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits. Take Home Chef, for example - all their meal kits contain seasoning and that’s what makes you come back over and over again. Healthy doesn’t have to be bland.
- Keep your kitchen organized and stocked
Working in a clean and organized space makes the cooking process more enjoyable. Instacart is here to help you get your refrigerator and pantry stocked with healthy products, so all you have left to do is to show up with an idea for cooking.
Start out by throwing away everything unhealthy and expired and then restock with the freshest and healthiest ingredients.
- Plan your meals
Even the best cooks don’t want to cook 3 times a day every day, so plan your meals. Create a menu of 2-3 meals per week and eat leftovers the rest of time. Planning like this will also enable you to come up with healthy recipes instead of throwing something fatty together last minute.
If cooking this often is not your cup of tea, order Veestro ready-to-eat vegan meals or a few meal kits form Home Chef, which require some cooking, but no more than 30 minutes.
- Devote some time for cooking
You can plan ahead all you want, but you won’t get anywhere if you won’t reserve at least some time for cooking. Even heating a meal from Veestro vegan delivery service will take a few minutes, let alone cooking something from Home Chef. Making totally your own recipe will be at least 30 minutes, but that’s time you will be devoting to your health, so make it work.
You can always pre-wash and pre-cut vegetables and meats ahead of time and put everything in containers to save time when you really have to.
Home cooked meals are super friendly for any substitutions you want to make. You can make pizza and pasta using whole wheat flour or prepare healthy sandwiches with lettuce wraps instead of bread. The sky is the limit for healthy substitutions.
If you need help with shopping for substitutions like these, make an online order with Instacart and you will get everything you need without leaving your house.
- Healthy cooking styles
Steaming and boiling are no longer the only healthy cooking methods. You can safely use oils from various seeds and nuts in your cooking. Roasting and slow cooking, air frying, pressure cooking, and even grilling are all considered healthy cooking methods, so utilize any one of them for flavorful and healthy meals.
And as always, if you don’t feel like cooking, but want something healthy, order Veestro and you will fill up the healthy way without any work.
- Tools are important
Chopping veggies with a dull knife can kill the entire mood for cooking. So a good knife, non-stick frying pan, cutting board, sauce pan, baking sheet, and measuring cups are essential. Instacart can get everything you need in a matter of hours, because you really just need basics to get on the path of healthy cooking.
It won’t hurt to get a slow cooker and an Instant Pot, which will help you make healthy meals without much manual work from you. A good food processor is another step towards you becoming a great home chef.
- Inspiration is important
You have to enjoy eating what you’ve made or all your efforts will be wasted. The best start is to think about what you really like to eat and create healthier versions of those exact meals.
If you need further inspiration, try meals from Veestra and meal kits from Home Chef – you will test taste them and will be able to replicate them yourself.
Finally, check out internet and social media for healthy recipes and cooking inspirations.
- Don’t be afraid to experiment
Start with simple recipes and once you become more comfortable and experienced, up your game a little. Try creating your favorite restaurant foods at home, sample various cuisines, play with seasoning, buy a few kitchen toys, puree your foods, and most importantly, have fun!