In today’s fast paced world we consume over 30% of our daily calories away from home. These less-than-wholesome calories are accumulating around our waists and draining our bank accounts.
So why do we eat out and shun the kitchen? Simple: convenience. We don’t have the time to toil away over a hot stove. However, evidence is mounting that we are paying big for the so-called convenience of outside food.
Obesity-related diseases are on the rise, as are the number of folks who are just plain unhappy with how their bodies look and feel. Cooking at home seems to be the first step on the road to healthier bodies.
Here are the top 5 reasons that you should start cooking and eating at home…
Reason #1: It’s Good For You
Highly processed foods are harmful to our health, and that’s exactly where you’ve been getting the bulk of your calories if you eat out a lot. Most of us are eating less than half of the recommended amount of fibre, fruit, and vegetables, which could be fixed easily by eating at home.
Simple meals made at home with fresh produce and organic meats or eggs are nutritionally superior to over-flavoured, over-processed restaurant food. Not to mention the high-calorie beverages and starters that so often accompany a restaurant meal. When you eat at home you take in more nutrient-dense calories that are higher in fibre.
Reason #2: It’s Far Easier Than You Think
Eating out so often has conditioned our concept of a meal to be one with complicated flavors and accompaniments. This misconception has made us fear the kitchen. But I urge you to reconsider.
Meals made at home need not mirror those ordered in restaurants. On the contrary, simple is better when it comes to home cooking. Plan your entire meal around a couple of pieces of fresh produce and a wholesome, lean protein. No need for complicated sauces or sides – these are where the harmful calories hide anyway.
Reason #3: It Costs Less
Fresh, simple ingredients need not cost a lot, especially when compared to the cost of prepared meals.
Shopping the perimeter of the store is always a good plan. Here you’ll find the fresh produce, meats, dairy, and seafood. Venture into the aisles for oils and spices to compliment the fresh ingredients.
Reason #4: It Is Preventative Medicine
In the US the annual health care expenses related to obesity is $150 billion, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Worldwide this number is over $1 trillion annually. These numbers are staggering, and sobering when you think of all the individual lives that are being negatively impacted by obesity.
Rather than waiting for you and your family members to experience the health risks related to obesity, start your own mission to cook simple meals at home and redirect your future. Remember the words of Benjamin Franklin, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”
Reason #5: It Reduces Body Fat
Eating at home is also one of the best ways to reduce your body fat. Meals eaten at home contain an average of 200 calories less than meals eaten out. Let me tell you, a reduction in 200+ calories per meal will quickly translate to pounds lost!
Start today, and don’t be afraid to start small.
Pick one meal that you’ll make at home either today or tomorrow, and write down your simple menu and grocery list. You could start with the Savory Greek Waffle recipe below or check out one of my favourite food blogs for ideas. My go-to’s include Natasha’s Kitchen and Budget Bytes..
And let’s not forget the place that a challenging, consistent exercise program has in your quest for good health and a fit physique.
Savory Greek Waffles
Here’s a fun way to eat your eggs – cooked in a waffle maker! In this recipe the subtle flavors of Greek omelet are served up in a convenient waffle shape – complete with Kalamata olives, feta cheese, roasted red bell peppers, chicken sausage and broccoli. This is the perfect recipe to enjoy for brunch or to make on the weekend and portion out for a week of quick on-the-go breakfasts to grab and enjoy on your way to work.
Courtesy of RealHealthyRecipes.com
What you need
Olive oil spray
¼ cup milk
¼ cup feta cheese, crumbled
½ cup roasted red bell pepper, thinly sliced
¼ cup Kalamata olives, seeded and chopped
½ cup fresh broccoli, chopped
¼ teaspoon sea salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
2 links chicken sausage, chopped
Preheat your waffle griddle on medium-low heat. Spray generously with olive oil.
In a large bowl combine the eggs, milk, feta, bell pepper, olives, broccoli, sea salt, black pepper and chicken sausage. Mix well until fully combined.
Transfer ½ cup of the omelet batter into the waffle iron, close, and cook until golden and cooked through. Transfer to a plate and continue cooking the remaining batter in ½ cup scoops. Enjoy!
One serving equals 279 calories, 18g fat, 6g carbohydrate, 1g fibre, and 18g protein.