The One Change that Could Change Your Health
By Corinne Dobbas, MS, RD Nutrition Counselor, Writer and Speaker
Many of my clients say, “I just don’t have time to make dinner.” If this phrase isn’t uttered, then I’ll hear something along the lines of, “But, I just don’t know how or want to cook.” After these words are said, I’ll sit and let their statement float in the air. Typically, I’ll repeat back what I hear—just to clarify that we’re on the same page. And, it usually goes something like this, “So, you’d like to lose some weight and become healthier, but you can’t eat out less and aren’t willing to cook, which keeps you from attaining your goals.”
Interestingly enough, the conversation suddenly changes, and talk of batch cooking, steaming, roasting, grilling, baking, and planning ahead takes place. Now, I’m being told what will be done in order for them to achieve their goals! … And I love it! The realization that no change will occur unless some changes are made hits and strikes a chord. Cooking is now on the forefront.
Reasons to Get Cooking
Simply cooking more and choosing the right foods in the right amounts (imagine your plate as ½ produce; ¼ whole grains; and ¼ lean proteins), can lend to improved health outcomes—such as a smaller waistline, deceased sodium and fat intake, more stabilized blood sugar levels, increased amounts of fiber, improved nutrient and antioxidant consumption, and a better protected heart. Ultimately, because restaurant food is notoriously high in fat, sodium, and sugar; extreme in portion size and calories; and low in fiber and amounts of produce.
When my clients begin cooking more—not only do they see significant improvements in their weight and health, but their energy levels increase, relationship with food improves, and their relationships with those in their home improve as well. Meal time becomes an opportunity to “catch up.” Cooking is certainly about fostering a healthy lifestyle, but it’s also about nurturing your relationships with others—whether family, friends, or you that you’re cooking for.
Let’s Get Cooking!
If you’re new to cooking, or simply looking for some quick easy healthful recipes, see my below favorites. They’re by far gourmet, but they fit the “healthy, fit, and quick” bill! Happy cooking and healthy eating!
Top 3 “No-Brainer” Easy Healthful Dinners
- Meatballs 101: A serving of Trader Joe’s turkey or vegetarian meatballs; over 1- 1 ½ cups of spinach, spaghetti squash or whole-wheat pasta; mixed with roasted peppers, mushrooms, onions, zucchini (or whatever veggies you have around … the more the better!); topped with ½-1 cup marinara sauce and sprinkled with parmesan cheese
- Baked Chicken Tomato Madness: Baked chicken breast, topped with 3-4 tablespoons of tomato paste and/or marinara sauce and a dash of mozzarella cheese. Serve with your vegetable of choice and a slice of whole-grain bread.
- “Stew” 101: Mix one 25-ounce can of marinara sauce with two 12-ounce cans of black, kidney, or chick peas; 32 ounces of low sodium tomato soup; 1 bag of pre-washed spinach; 3 cups of sliced mushrooms, peppers, and zucchini; and two cooked, 5-6 ounce chicken breasts (optional). Let simmer until vegetables are fork tender or cooked to taste. Makes about 6-8 one-cup servings. Great for multiple meals!
For more tasty easy recipes, click here
What will you make for dinner tonight?
Corinne Dobbas, MS, RD is a leading nutrition counselor, writer, and speaker and trusted nutrition source for the media. She believes that optimal health starts with the activity that you do every day—eat. Corinne is a Registered Dietitian (RD) with a Masters in Nutrition who adores helping people find health through nutrition. You can find Corinne in the San Francisco Bay Area counseling, speaking, and writing about nutrition. She specializes in weight management, sports nutrition, and disordered eating. To learn more please visit Green Grapes Nutrition. You can also connect with Corinne on Twitter and Facebook.