It’s no secret that how we live and what we eat can either spur on or help prevent some of the biggest threats to health like diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and heart disease.

Since the 1960s, people have been preparing food at home less often, and relying on fast food a lot more. Yet, extensive research shows that home cooking is key to a healthy lifestyle, the more meals people prepare at home, the more fruits and veggies they eat. 

However, although many people know they need a more nutritious and balanced diet, they don’t know where to start. 

Eating healthy takes more than sourcing a list of healthy foods and recipes. It requires planning and some discipline to shop for and prepare nutritious meals.

To help overcome common barriers to cooking at home, and kick start your transition into a healthier lifestyle, below are some helpful tips from Dr. Rani Polak, the Director of the Culinary Health Education Fundamentals Coaching Program at The Harvard Medical School.

 

5 tips to help you live a healthier, more nutritious lifestyle: 

  • Make shopping for fruits and vegetables more convenient: community supported agriculture groups and farmer’s markets are great, but canned and frozen is fine. Consider ordering  your food online and having it delivered.
  • Plan meal preparation with an eye toward efficiency: cook in large batches, and freeze extra cooked ingredients separately so that they can be re-purposed in different recipes.
  • Look for shortcuts: use quick-cooking orange lentils or even no-cooking-needed bulgur as a nutritious base for a meal.
  • Keep it simple and start every meal with a vegetable: leftover roasted or grilled veggies can be served as an “antipasto.” If you don’t have one already, Pamper your kitchen with a grill pan, which is a basically a “Frying” pan with elevated ridges that duplicate the effect you get on your outdoor grill. 
  • There are endless possibilities for easy and nutritious homemade soups: try incorporating soup into your meal planning; make lots, and freeze the extra.
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The VB Staff – Em, Isabelle, Beverley and Zan