Tuesday, January 1, 2013
Healthier eating one month at a time
Happy New Year! A new year really is a great time to make plans for a new life. Whether you routinely make resolutions every January 1 or you swore them off years ago as impossible, I hope you'll at least "hear me out" and read the rest of this post.
It is a well-accepted fact that the majority of our health problems today are diet related -- heart disease, cancer, diabetes, cholesterol, and so on -- and there are very few among us who couldn't improve on some aspects of our diet. And knowing that healthy habits do not magically appear overnight, I thought it would be fun and helpful to set one healthy eating goal every month to focus on.
For January, the goal is simply to cook at home -- from scratch -- more often! Regardless of where you are on your food journey, you can do this. If you eat out three or four times per week or per month, set a goal to eat at home more often. If you already eat at home quite a bit, but you are heating up food from a box or can, set a goal to cook from scratch more. If you eat out every day for lunch, then double the size of the dinner you cook so that you can take left-overs for lunch.
Why should you do this? Because almost half of all food dollars in the United States are spent away from home. Yep, almost half of the money people spend on food is spent at restaurants and fast food establishments. Of course, you are not eating half of your meals away from home because eating out costs two to four times as much as eating at home, so eating out is an expensive habit. And who among us does not eat more when eating out? Restaurant servings are usually about twice as large as what we should be eating. And even if you try to control your portions when eating out, the food is often high in salt, fat, and sugar. By eating at home more, you will reduce the number of calories you consume, and you will save a lot of money! If you eat at home rather than a fast food establishment, you will also keep a lot of garbage out of landfills.
To get you started, I'll be posting simple recipes on here throughout the year. We'll have a different goal each month, and as you focus on that goal, I'll be providing tips and recipes during the month to help you stay on track. If you haven't done so already, you can sign up to "Get new posts by email" in the right-hand column so that you don't miss anything!