How many meals per week are you eating away from home?
Over the last 40 years, more and more people are eating out, leading to a significant decrease in nutrient density and greater health risks.
Some studies show that less than 20% of adults are currently meeting the USDA guidelines for a healthy diet.
A quick bite on your way to work, a working lunch, and grabbing take-out on your way home does adversely affect your health. Eating fresh home-cooked meals allows you to make healthier choices while spending less and supporting a healthy lifestyle.
1. Healthier Choices At Home
Have you noticed the size of the meals today at your favorite restaurant? Portions have simply gotten out of control, leading to greater incidences of obesity, high-cholesterol, and heart disease. Eating at home allows you to dictate the portion, and the quality of the food you and your family consume.
The calories you consume when eating at a restaurant, can be staggering. By preparing lean proteins, whole grains, and plenty of fresh vegetables, you can lead a healthier life. If you have children in the home, it also gives them a jumpstart on good nutrition practices that can last a lifetime.
2. Cost Advantages – Budget Friendly
Not only will your health improve by forgoing high-calorie meals at restaurants, so will your finances! Eating healthy meals at home can cut your food budget dramatically. When you consider that a healthy and satisfying meal can be prepared for less than $30 for 4, it is difficult to imagine that a run through a drive thru for the same cost is the best option.
High-fat/high-calorie foods do not provide the physical energy, or the mental energy you and your family needs to thrive, and eating out is taking a dent out of your budget. For 2 weeks, forgo eating out, and put all the money you have saved into a jar for a special evening out, a horseback ride, or a camping trip to a favorite destination.
3. Celebrate Friends And Family With Over Home-Cooked Food
Instead of eating out, consuming countless calories, and spending a fortune, consider an intimate get-together with your friends and family, over a home-cooked meal.
Engage all of the invitees in the process; make it a potluck, or engage everyone in a task in the kitchen. Make the kitchen the center of your home where food, family and friendships are celebrated. The meal will spur creativity, fellowship, and healthy eating practices.
4. Know What You Are Eating
Unlike foods purchased from the grocery store, restaurants do not have to disclose ingredients, calories, fat, or additives in your meal. MSG hides in everything from pizza sauce, to pasta, meats, and more. While your favorite restaurant may disclose some allergens, few disclose key nutrition information to help you make healthy choices.
A great meal out of the home is fine from time to time, a regular diet of restaurant or take-out foods will expand your waistline.
According to a recent study published in the Nutrition Journal, the average American spends only 20-30 minutes preparing dinner each evening. You can prepare healthy, tasty meals at home, quickly, with a little forethought and preparation.
Not only can you eat healthier, but also spend more time with your friends and family, over a great meal. On beautiful evenings, grill fresh fish or turkey burgers outside; on cool winter evenings, enjoy a rich vegetable soup. Buy local foods when possible through co-ops, or direct, to support farmers in your area.
Cooking is not rocket science; explore, experiment and create by cooking healthy and tasty meals at home.
MUST-HAVE KITCHEN TOOLS:
- Slow cooker so meals are warm and ready when you get home.
- Juicer to make your own natural, truly 100% juices.
- Food processor to speed preparation.
- Vacuum sealer so that when the peaches look amazing at the farmer’s market, you can freeze them and enjoy in the winter.
- Wok – stir fry meals are a great quick way to prepare a healthy and satisfying dinner.