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A happier, healthier you

Inspiration for Healthy Cooking at Home

by Yes Health

Studies tell us that home cooked meals are a main ingredient in a healthy diet. People who frequently cook their own food consume fewer calories, carbs, sugar and fat (even if they aren’t trying to lose weight) than those who cook less and eat out more, according to Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health research

This is fantastic news, and yet—last year, the U.S. Commerce Department released data showing that, for the first time ever on record, consumers spent more money at restaurants and bars than at grocery stores. Of all developed countries, Americans cook the least and eat the fastest. While many of us may have a desire to eat at home more, the issue is often time—mixed with a lack of inspiration and confidence in the kitchen.

Here are 8 tips from the Yes Health coaches to help us all slow down and find time (and inspiration!) for a home-cooked meal or two each week: 

  1. Grow your own. Now that it’s summer, try sowing your own seeds. A few easy-to-grow, low-maintence, high-yield crops include tomatoes, carrots, beets, zucchini and cucumbers. Both kids and adults love picking and eating sun-kissed produce straight from the plant. 
  2. Start an herb garden. Rosemary, mint, sage, thyme and basil are all versatile and delicious. Plus they can be grown in small pots in a sunny window if space is tight. Herbs can make recipes taste great without needing to rely on extra sugar and salt. 
  3. Visit your local farmer’s market. Choose the most colorful, interesting fruits and veggies and look up new recipes to try when you get home. Sometime having a main ingredient is all the inspiration you need to try something new.
  4. Eat with the seasons. When you plant a garden and frequent farmer’s markets you get to know what’s in season. Cooking with fresh ingredients gives your dishes the best flavor and texture. We also love consulting this seasonal produce guide
  5. Prep your produce. Wash, cut and package your veggies ahead of time so they’re ready to use. For example, slice up organic carrots or a few bell peppers for easy snacking. Wash and spin lettuce and store it in portion-appropriate containers. This makes healthy lunches a snap!
  6. Get organized. Start with a clean, orderly kitchen and fridge. Keep older items in front so you see and use them. As you get replacements, place them behind the items that are currently in use. Use clear glass or plastic storage containers and group similar items together. A quick glance can tell you what you have on hand and what’s for dinner tonight!
  7. Perfect your grilling skills. Try cedar-planked salmon or thickly sliced veggies tossed in oil and herbs. Grilled peaches are a unanimous Yes Health summer fave. We like to make leftovers for a tasty addition to greek yogurt the next morning. 
  8. Discover new recipes. Check our Yes Health Facebook page for delicious, healthy, easy-to-make recipes. Our coaches test and recommend their favorites each week.  Be sure to like us to instantly inject your newsfeed with new cooking inspiration.

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