Our Rules for Healthy Cooking

I do a lot of family cooking and part of making things healthy is keeping it simple.  I know no big revelation here but when I say simple I mean realistic.  No one has the time to make elaborate meals on a regular basis.  Special occasion’s fine, but Monday thru Friday give me a break.  So my number one rule for healthy cooking is do your homework and have your go to recipes.  Foods that you know your family will in fact eat, if you hit the market you can grab the ingredients without a list, and will only take about 15-20 minutes to prepare and a total of 60 minutes to cook.


Part of healthy eating is consistency.  Stick to a plan that works for you so you can consistently reach your goals. If being healthy becomes too much work or too expensive then it will in fact fall by the way side and be passed up with quick, yummy tasting, cheap, and not so good for you meals.


Another great rule of thumb is to change it up.  One of the wonderful things about the internet is there are a million recipes for us to borrow, learn from and modify.  I use it all the time for information and inspiration. If you find yourself getting board with the same old same old then find some new recipes.


Keeping it simple can also mean limit how many ingredients go on the plate or in an individual dish. A lot of people discuss using up to five ingredients per dish.  An ingredient could be garlic or an onion. This rule is a way to really stay focused and keep your meals pretty healthy.  For example a naughty sauce can have up to ten or twelve ingredients.  The rule of five eliminates that style of cooking all together.  Save it for the restaurants.


Planning ahead is also very helpful for the quest to eat healthy.  We all have hectic weeks and busy lives so creating a menu a few days ahead can keep you on track.  If you have the chance to hit the farmers market then build your dinners around what you are grabbing.  This keeps spontaneous eating down to a minimum not to mention making your life easier.


When it’s possible to look at cooking as a relaxing art or something to help you unwind do it.  Poor a mini glass of wine put on some music, and just enjoy the process of creating food you are sharing with your friends and family.  That love you put into your food not only helps you enjoy cooking more, but clearly makes your food taste better.  I know this isn’t always possible, but try not to always look at cooking as a job.  This approach will automatically make your food healthier.  Another helpful way to make it fun is to cook with a friend and have joined family dinners or if your own children show interest have them participate.

Wishing you all great health, and bon appetit.

2012 Gabrielle Reece . All Rights Reserved.