Cooking at home is one of your most valuable and accessible tools to long-lasting health and disease prevention.
It’s been found that the more people prepare their own meals at home, the healthier their diet is and the less likely they are to have obesity and type 2 diabetes. That’s because people eating at home generally consume more vegetables and are eating less fast food than those who normally eat out; they also end up consuming less sugar.
And though cooking doesn’t come naturally to everyone, there are many skills and kitchen hacks that can help you find your footing in the kitchen and begin preparing nourishing meals at home more often.
Here are two of my favorite tips to help you get started making your own healthy meals at home:
#1 – Start with a salad. No cooking required!
- Just get a couple of different types of greens (think kale, red lettuce, arugula, spinach, etc.) and a variety of colorful vegetables (peppers, radishes, mushrooms, onions…). Chop everything up however you like and wash with a salad spinner or colander and allow to drip dry.
- If you’re not yet comfortable cooking protein at home, throw ½ cup of canned beans or lentils (from BPA-free cans) on top or use a can of wild-caught salmon.
- Then just drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and fresh-squeezed lemon juice and sprinkle with coarse sea salt—marvel at the amazing meal you just made
#2 – Chop, season, and sauté. This is the easiest way to get comfortable cooking meat and vegetables.
- Grab ½ lb. of grass-fed ground beef and chop up a variety of non-starchy vegetables into 2-inch pieces, like zucchini, onions, mushrooms, and peppers. Shoot for 3 or 4 cups.
- Preheat a large pan over medium-high heat and add 2 teaspoons of avocado or coconut oil (these oils are better for medium to high heat, something like olive oil is better for low to no heat). Once the pan is hot, add the veggies and continue to stir so vegetables cook evenly.
- After about 3 minutes, when vegetables are evenly warmed and fragrant, add the beef. Season with several good shakes of garlic powder, oregano, sea salt, and black pepper, and stir together.
- Sauté everything together, continuing to stir, for about 5 to 7 minutes, browning beef. You’ll know it’s ready when no pink remains—just chop a bigger piece in half to check. Add more sea salt or some balsamic vinegar to taste and you’ve got a complete meal ready for two.
Food is medicine, and it’s ready and waiting to transform your life.
If you’re curious to find out more about the power of home cooking to create better health, listen to my latest podcast with the one and only Chef David Bouley. His expertise in the kitchen and love for healthy food will inspire you to prepare more meals at home. He also shares plenty of great tips and some of his favorite ingredients to help you take the first step.
Wishing you health and happiness,
Mark Hyman, MD