If you catch yourself ordering in or using the microwave (guilty) to defrost frozen pizzas most nights of the week, then it could be a sign you might not have the best relationship with food. While there’s nothing wrong with indulging in a restaurant dinner or ordering a pizza now and then, doing this too much is going to hurt your wallet and your waistline, and is probably not going to be as healthy as cooking at home.
And look, we all know the benefits of healthy eating habits such as home cooking with fresh ingredients, but if you’re not a passionate foodie and aren’t in love with the process of cooking, it can be hard to muster the energy to create a masterpiece in the kitchen or even to carefully portion and mix ingredients. So, to make home cooking less of a chore for you, try out some of the following tips.
1. Find quick and easy recipes for meals you’ll love
One of the easiest ways to make home cooking more exciting is to find a bunch of quick and easy recipes for the foods you know you already love to eat on a night out. If there’s junk food you love (hello, nachos…), there’s usually an equally delicious recipe you can cook at home.
The great thing about these kinds of recipes is that you’ll be able to use fresh, unprocessed ingredients that aren’t loaded with preservatives (ie. they’ll taste better and be better for you). And tbh, most of the time you’ll discover your home cooked meals will taste far better than the alternative from the corner pub.
2. Adopt a better sleep schedule (yes, really)
One of the biggest reasons people avoid healthy home cooking for dinner is that they can’t find the energy to cook after a long – and usually annoying – day at work. While some jobs are tiring no matter what, getting enough sleep is usually the best way to make sure you’re firing on all cylinders until bedtime.
To make sure you get the right amount of downtime, don’t go to bed past midnight; instead start winding down earlier with activities that don’t involve a lot of visual stimulation (too much blue light from monitors and phone screens will make your sleep worse). Trust your body’s signals and get into bed when you start to yawn so that you get a better night’s sleep and make work less of a burn-out for you the next day.
3. Keep your kitchen tidy, prepared and organised!
Having to wash utensils, clean the stovetop, and scrounge for ingredients to begin cooking is going to dampen your spirits and make you more likely to go with a lazier (and less healthy) option.
To help you eat healthier during the week, spend time every weekend cleaning your kitchen and making sure it’s stocked and ready for the coming days. Clean up spills as they occur rather than ignoring them (they get hard and crusty!), keep your pantry stocked with staples that you use all the time, and make sure that you have everything organised so that you don’t need to search for anything before you start cooking.
4. Get started tonight!
Think about a takeaway item you want to eat for dinner tonight and commit yourself to the goal of recreating it at home, instead using fresh ingredients. You’ll probably be surprised with how well you do at cooking the meals you love at home, and will no doubt love the extra change in your pocket…
Find out more about healthy eating in our RECIPES section and while you’re here, why not subscribe to our newsletter? We won’t send out too many, we promise. It’s full of free classes, discounts, workout road tests and a round up of everything fitness in Sydney!