Hippocrates once famously said, “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food,” underscoring that the way we eat enormously influences the way we feel.
You’ve likely experienced the difference yourself when comparing how short lived your energy feels after having a muffin for breakfast let’s say, as opposed to the long lasting fuel of a vegetable omelet. Or how an apple with almond butter can carry you through the afternoon whereas a candy bar leaves you drained and craving.
Healthy food feels awesome not only in the moment you put fork to mouth but also for hours afterwards. Cookies? They feel good for the 3 seconds they’re in your mouth and then punish you with hours of sluggishness, guilt, bloating and gas. Not worth it…. Most of the time anyway.
Eating a whole foods diet is the very best first step you can take on your road to a healthy lifestyle. Once you’ve mastered that, keep going because the next best step you can take in your own self-care is preparing your own food.
Even if you make wise and healthy choices when ordering in or grabbing take-away, you are still eating fast-food, prepared by someone who may be overworked and underpaid and not at all concerned with your wellbeing. You’ll also consume more fats and sodium in these foods than you’d use at home. Additionally, you’re likely paying three times more than necessary.
One way to begin taking charge of your menu is to prepare one dish a week that you can freeze for quick meals. Soups are especially great because they are simple, satisfying and filling. I make a pot or two of soup every week so I have options available, which keeps my menu interesting. There are a bunch of recipes in the archives you can check out like Turkey Minestrone, Carrot-Tarragon or Mushroom soup.
Additionally, you can begin making some of your own snacks. Rather than buying humus, make your own. Same with guacamole. Serve with carrots or radishes for a healthy balanced snack. Olive Loaf bread dipped in olive oil makes a satisfying treat too.
Another idea is making your own toasted nuts.
When you buy roasted nuts in the grocery, there’s no way of telling when they were manufactured or how long they’ve been sitting on the supermarket shelf. If it’s been a while, the oils become rancid which in turn can create free-radical damage in your body. Plus, the salt used in commercially roasted nuts is usually refined and liberally used, giving you a shot of sodium with those rancid oils.
Instead, make your own flavored nuts. It’s easy and they’re far more delicious than commercial brands. You can jazz them up by using different spices, many of which have great health benefits.
Here’s a recipe I made yesterday morning. It took all of 10 minutes and tasted so much nicer than the store bought spiced cashews I’ve had in the past. I used Turmeric, known for it’s anti-inflammatory, cancer fighting and immune boosting benefits, cayenne, for some heat on a cold winter’s day, and garam masala, for an extra kick. You can make this recipe with any nut or seed, although cashews are a nice source of Tryptophan, so if the winter’s got you down, they would be a nice one to choose to enhance your mood. I hope you enjoy them!
So I have a question for you… what percentage of your meals are homemade vs. store bought? If you cook a lot at home, how do you organize it for efficiency, time and cost effectiveness? And what’s your favorite thing to make at home? I’d love to hear in the comments below.
Wishing you a warm and happy week!
- 1 cup raw cashews, soaked in water for about an hour. Drain and dry thoroughly. Place in a bowl
- 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- ¼ teaspoon Himalayan salt
- ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder
- ¼ teaspoon garam masala
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- Pre-heat oven to 350’F
- Place the sesame and olive oil in a container that has a lid. Add the spices and salt and cover tightly. Shake jar until ingredients are well blended.
- Pour oil and spice blend over cashews and toss to coat completely.
- Spread spiced cashews on baking tray and place in oven. Bake for 15-20 minutes until toasted brown, tossing after 7 to 10 minutes. Remove from oven, sprinkle with a tiny bit of Himalayan salt and allow to cool before serving.
- You can store them in a mason jar in the fridge once they are completely cooled.