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  • Jillian Tedesco

Why cooking at home is so important for a healthy lifestyle



Over the years, I have heard clients and customers say they hate to cook. Some say they don’t know how. Others say they don’t have time. All great excuses.


Being able to cook or quickly prepare meals and snacks at home is important in building a long-term healthy lifestyle. Otherwise, you will be consuming processed foods or eating out for all your meals. You might think, "How will I make room for cooking with my schedule"? Or "I have enough money to spend on going out, it’s not that big of a deal."


But let me explain...


If you want to live a healthy lifestyle cooking at home IS a necessity. Let’s broaden the term cooking to meal preparation. You don’t have to cook like Gordon Ramsey....’m referring to scrambling eggs or making a salad.


And if you think you're going to start living a healthy lifestyle without having to make small changes in your home kitchen to support your goals...you're in for a rude awakening. Just being honest. You have to get real and understand that anything you want in life is going to require time and effort. Your health is no different.


You see, eating out is not always a good substitute. We don’t always know the ingredients in our meals. There can be fats you might not consume if you are cooking from home (like hydrogenated cooking oils, which are trans fats and inflammatory oils in foods that wreak havoc on your body). Cooking from home eliminates both of those.


When eating out, you also don’t know the amount of salt/sodium in a meal which can leave you bloated and holding water. Hello, Chinese food! You won’t get that if you prepare Chinese at home. YES - it can still be as delicious, if not more!


What about portions? Ohhh, do restaurants love to give us hearty portions or what!? The amount of food we are served at a restaurant or with takeout makes us feel like we are getting more bang for our buck vs worrying about our waistlines. If you are not mindful of this when you go out, overeating is easy. If you’re hungry when you sit down, forget about it!


The easiest (& cheapest) foods to overfill plates with are starches: rice, pasta, bread, and any carb for that matter, are a good way to make you feel like you are getting a good deal. We are almost always served 2-3 portions of starch when we go out!!!


Protein is also over-served, but really only in America. At fit-flavors, we serve a 4-5 oz portion of protein, which is about 30-45g of protein in most of our meals. If we are being served a 10oz portion, that could easily be 65-90g of protein for one meal. Unless your goals are massive muscle gains like a bodybuilder, you don’t need that much protein for a meal.


As for processed foods, we all know those are not the best options. I will also go as far as saying I am not a fan of consuming a protein bar every day or having cereal every morning. Why? Because it’s processed and not as high quality as real food. It’s not going to offer the same micronutrients, fiber, and vitamins we would get from fruits and veggies.


OK...shew, lots of information, truth, and a few sprinkled opinions here. The next step after reading this far is to tackle how we embrace meal preparation from home without spending too much precious time.


Here are some examples of quick at-home things to enjoy in less than 10 minutes. On this list, you will find whole foods that are nutrient-dense and you'll notice proper portions with balanced plates where proteins, carbs, and fats are present in their ideal ratios.


  1. Breakfast (or lunch) scramble: Scramble eggs with pre-cut veggies from the store. Maybe you like spinach, throw that in there too. Serve with a piece of fruit or berries and ½ an avocado.

  2. Breakfast muesli: I love to eat this post-workout when I need a refuel. ⅓ cup old fashion rolled oats, 1 serving of collagen, 1 Tbsp hemp seeds, 1 Tbsp chia seeds, 1 T nuts (I love chopped pecans or walnuts), a handful of fresh blueberries, a pinch of cinnamon, a pinch of salt, and 1 cup of oat or nut milk. Enjoy cold!

  3. Breakfast smoothie: 1 cup of fruit, 1 cup of oat or nut milk, 1 scoop of protein powder, and a handful of spinach (frozen works too). Pro tip: if you use frozen fruit you don’t need ice, but you might need more milk.

  4. Easy wrap: Here you are consuming a processed wrap, read your labels to find one that aligns with your goals. Load your wrap with enough cooked chicken so the wrap won’t break(probably 3 oz), a handful of spinach or lettuce, 1 Tbsp of your favorite sauce or dressing. If you are feeling fancy, add ½ avocado and a slice of tomato. Guac is another addition, too.

  5. Pre-cooked chicken & rice: Assemble these in a bowl and microwave with frozen veggies. Top with fresh sea salt and a drizzle of olive oil. Fit-flavors has bulk items like chicken, rice, potatoes, etc you can easily make meals or wraps on your own at home.

  6. The beast salad: This is a daily go-to quick meal in our home. Pre-cut lettuce, pre-cut shredded carrots, some cherry tomatoes, cucumber (this you will need to cut), fresh blueberries or an apple for crunch, micronutrients, and fiber, 3-5 ounces of protein (you should have premade in your fridge for easy assembly: burgers/chk breast work well) 1 Tbsp of nuts or ½ Tbsp of sunflower seeds, top with your favorite dressing. This is my favorite dressing (and it’s calorie-friendly).

One of the reasons I created fit-flavors was to solve a problem. There aren't many places to go where you can get all the macros and ingredients when you want a meal. Also, companies' motives are not your health, otherwise, we would all be fit and healthy. fit-flavors’ goal is your health. If you see results we win, that’s our promise.


When you consume our meals regularly, what starts to happen is subconscious training. You start to realize what a proper portion looks like and how you should feel after a meal. When we are constantly fed the wrong portions that are not macronutrient balanced, we don’t know what is normal. But if we are fed proper portions with good balance, and the meals are of high quality, we start to establish a new standard for our meal times.


If you're local to St. Louis and you've never given fit-flavors a try, shoot me a DM on IG. I want to help you pick your first meal, on me! And if you're one of our tried-and-true customers (We love you!), be sure you're claiming all of your points for free food with our Rewards Program!

Yours,

Jillian









 

NEW EPISODE! Owning the Wait Podcast


EP68: Ditching Bad Habits Sometimes a habit can become so deeply rooted that we don't even realize when we're doing it. This can be a problem when we want to ditch a bad habit. In this episode, I share my journey of trying to ditch one of my own bad habits and giving some tips that may help if you have a habit that you'd like to ditch.


 

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