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Home Cooking for Health and Weight Loss After 50

Home Cooking for Health and Weight Loss

Feb 28, 2024

Probably the biggest obstacle I hear from clients is that “time is precious”, especially when it comes to eating home cooked meals. But a strong case can be made for home cooking!  Can you think of any more effective way to eat? Home cooking is more nutritious, cost-effective, and environmentally friendly than commercially prepared food or take-out meals. It’s comforting to know that you have control over where your food comes from, and what you include and exclude from your recipes.

Time and Money Saving Tips for Making Delicious and Healthy Meals at Home

  • Less is more. Less in your pantry lets you see exactly what you have. Do a pantry audit to discard products that are past expiration, have added sugars, are processed or have seed oils. Make a list of foods you will most likely cook and eat and make sure you have staples on hand to prepare these meals. Examples: Quinoa, beans, tomato sauce, chia seeds, nuts and seeds, nut butters, lentils, spices and herbs that you love.
  • Plan what fresh fruits and vegetables you will need for recipes and to grab and go. Pre-washed salad mixes can make a base for a quick lunch or dinner. They spoil quickly so have a plan of what you’ll include to up your protein and fiber. Make your own salad dressing in a jar with vinegar, oil, mustard, herbs, salt and pepper. This travels well too!
  • Take advantage of sales. Every time I walk through the grocery store, I pass the butcher counter to see what's on sale. Steak, chicken, beef stew meat and ground beef can go in the freezer to be made into delicious dinners. For my Chicken Fajita Bowl recipe, I usually buy two bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts. However, this week whole chicken was on sale for $.99 a pound. I popped it in the slow cooker and shredded when done and my fajita bowls were better than ever. Extra cooked meat went into the freezer for dinner next week. Hint: When I buy meat on sale and put it in the freezer, I post on a magnetized notepad on the side of the refrigerator, what I bought, what date and how much. This saves a ton of time and sometimes serves as inspiration of what to make.
  • Get to love creating recipes. Yesterday I made the most delicious lentil soup. Lentil soup is full of fiber, protein, B6, folate, magnesium and iron. Lentils are inexpensive and can be made into stews, soups and salads. A hearty lentil salad travels well for lunch on the go. Google search a lentil soup or salad recipe, look it over and think of adding in vegetables, herbs and spices that you love. Get creative and make it your own. Cooking can be relaxing, intuitive, money saving and more healthful than ordering out. Try this with other staples too. The more you practice the easier it gets.
  • Make a schedule. If life is busy during the week and you dread coming home only to ask, “what are we going to have for dinner?” you may do better on a weekly meal schedule or rotation. Having a crockpot recipe and ingredients ready to go on a Monday morning can be a lifesaver on Monday evening. I’ll get the crockpot out on Sunday, wash and cut up whatever I can and then just take a few minutes on Monday morning to put it all together. Planning ahead can give you leftovers for creative new meals. 

More Quick Tips and Recipe Ideas for Eating Healthy

  • Roasting extra salmon for dinner can give you what you need for salmon cakes or salmon salad nicoise for the next day.
  • Never underestimate the power of eggs. An egg and veggie scramble can be a quick and light dinner. 
  • A favorite tomato sauce with a little meat and lots of veggies can top a quinoa pasta or spaghetti squash for a quick meal.
  • If you want to make individual sized meals for lunches out or dinner on your own, making a batch of your favorite soup or stew then dividing into individual sized glass containers with lids makes for easy reheating and washing.

Home cooking can be a creative outlet and a stress reducer. Read Harvard Health’s Cooking at home is better for your health. Making your own meals saves you money, time and gives you the control of what you’re feeding your body. Grab my free guide for On-the-Go Lunches.


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