With our in home personal training services the constant battle we face is getting clients to eat healthier. We hear all the excuses, “I’m too tired, it takes too long, I don’t have the time, I don’t know how, my kids won’t eat it…….and so on.
There’s a common misconception that fast food costs less than food prepared at home. That’s partly because of massive corporate marketing budgets and campaigns from food companies that influence our thinking. Actually, cooking food at home costs less per person than the typical $5.00–$7.00 fast-food “value” meal.
So Why Aren’t People Cooking More?
If healthy home-cooked food costs less than fast food, why isn’t everyone cooking at home? Here are some reasons:
We’re out of practice. One of the big reasons people think fast food is cheaper than food cooked at home is that we’re not cooking as often. Living in the world today we have been taught convenience and easy, as a whole we as a society are getting lazy! Often the path toward fresh, healthy food being affordable and easy for everyone is cooking it yourself. All it takes is getting into the kitchen if you’re able to.
We fear it. Cooking is easier than most people think—especially inexperienced cooks. However, in our sedentary culture we watch so many cooking shows that cooking may seem like something only expert chefs can handle. But cooking is something that’s really simple that people have been doing since the beginning of time and building into their lives. Part of it is just getting over that fear.
We overcommit and under-plan. We are all working more hours, and it’s tough to find the time to cook, it doesn’t take long. Fifteen minutes a day can get you healthy, affordable food. But it takes a little bit of planning—and that’s key. You have to think in terms of; Let me see if I can prepare a big pot of something on Sunday that I can eat throughout the week. What are the things I can freeze and eat for a quicker healthier meal, if you recondition your mind on how you look at things and with a little planning it makes the task much simpler.
So, if you’d like to cook more frequently, try these ideas:
Get in the kitchen. You have to practice cooking to become proficient. If someone you know is a good home cook and understands how to create a healthy, simple meal, make a cooking date. Select the recipes, shop together, make the food together, then sit down together and eat what you’ve made. A good point to remember is a recipe is a guide; if it calls for a seasoning you do not like substitute it for one you do like!
Hire talent to help you. Hire a personal chef or a local culinary school to lead a cooking class for you and some friends. Make it a social event where you not only get to participate in the food preparation (for practice), but also eat the results. Ask the chef to keep things basic, healthy and inexpensive. I know with our in home personal training services we recommend healthy suggestions and substitutes for our clients to try and cook.
If you have a personal trainer they also should be able to do that. Any personal trainer worth his/her salt knows a healthy lifestyle is more than just exercise. If you are going to gym and your personal trainer is just simply putting you through endless exercises to work up a sweat you are not getting your money’s worth.
Learn to prep and plan meals for the week. Try cooking in bulk at home once per week (Sunday is usually a good choice) and freeze or refrigerate the food for quick reheating during the week. For example, roast a chicken and a large pan of root veggies, bake a handful of sweet potatoes, and make a large pot of chili or soup. Wash, chop and dry all of your produce for the week. With these tasks done, you can have dinner on the table in 15 minutes or less. The leftover roasted chicken can then be used for other dishes in the week if you do not want leftover chicken.
Learn basic knife skills and invest in at least one good knife. Nothing makes cooking more pleasurable (or miserable) than a good (or bad) knife. If you’ve never used a professional-grade knife, take a basic knife skills class or search YouTube for videos on the topic.
In the end, if you use some of these tips and start doing the cooking yourself, you will find that’s it is enjoyable. Let the kids chip in and help, they will be learning something new, it gives families together time instead of everyone watching TV or playing video games, and most importantly you control what goes into your family’s mouth, it will be healthier because you control what goes into the food. Meaning: lower fat, lower sodium, no additives or preservatives. Doing all this will also make it much easier for those on diets to stick to it! You will not be beating yourself up when you slip and turn into that drive thru. In some cases diets are needed, but in a lot of cases if people would just change what and how they eat they would simply lose weight just from eating a healthier proper diet.
For more information on this subject or to schedule a complimentary fitness evaluation contact Eric J. Collier 256-509-9807 or visit www.inhomepersonaltrainingservices.com Don’t forget to ask about our Virtual Training Program.
By Eric J. Collier
Cronus Health & Fitness