My (mostly healthy) food and cooking philosophy
I truly believe that cooking your own meals most of the time is one of the biggest steps you can take toward healthier eating.
Don’t get me wrong: I love eating at restaurants (especially non-chains with an actual chef). And I’m not afraid to admit that Dominoes cheesy bread is my favourite guilty pleasure. But to keep things balanced, I try to make sure restaurant food is an occasional indulgence. That way, it still feels like a special treat.
The rest of the time, I cook just about every meal for my husband and I at home (lucky guy, I know!). This isn’t always easy given that both of us work full-time, but with a little bit of planning and creativity we somehow make it work.
Our meals tend to be heavy on the vegetables, rich in lean protein and healthy fats and bursting with flavour in the form of fresh herbs, spices and aromatics. Many of the dishes I prepare are vegetarian, though not because we adhere to a vegetarian diet (which can be very healthy if done properly). It is simply because there are so many delicious dishes out there—curries, stir-fries, soups, stews, noodle dishes, bean salads—that don’t happen to include meat.
My healthy cooking regimen
Although I have a nutrition degree, I am not a nutritionist or dietician, so I cannot tell you what or how you should eat. Instead, I provide easy, nutritious recipe ideas you can try in your own kitchen along with healthy cooking tips.
In summary, here are the basic guidelines I try to follow in my life:
- Mostly homemade
- Plenty of plants
- Easy on the meat
- Healthy fats
- Herbs and spices
- Smaller portion sizes
- Fewer processed foods
- Less sodium
- Less sugar
It’s worth noting here that I don’t like the word ‘no’ or ‘can’t’ when it comes to food. For the average person, having an all-or-nothing attitude when it comes to nutrition will only set you up for failure. All kinds of foods can have a place within an overall healthy diet – it’s what you eat and how you cook most of the time that counts.
So rather than obsessing over what you shouldn’t be eating, try this trick instead: Think about all the other delicious, filling, nourishing foods out there just waiting to be transformed into a beautiful, healthy meal in your own kitchen. The possibilities really are endless, and if done properly, it’s impossible to get bored. For inspiration, check out my recipes page.
Healthy cooking should be fun cooking – mistakes welcome
Above all, cooking should be enjoyable. I genuinely look forward to making dinner after work each day (30 minutes is all it takes), whipping up egg sandwiches for breakfast on Saturday mornings, chopping a week’s worth of fresh vegetables on Sundays, making pizza with my husband on Friday nights. Taking whole ingredients and transforming them into a nutritious, flavourful dish is incredibly rewarding and something I take great pleasure in.
You’ll make mistakes, of course, but that’s part of it. Dry, overcooked chicken, undercooked Thanksgiving turkey (yikes!), caramelized blackened Brussels sprouts, bland pasta…I’ve done it all. The good thing is that for every mistake you make in the kitchen, you learn something.
The more fun you have cooking, the more you’ll want to do it. So stop taking it too seriously! Be creative. Experiment. Relax. Play. Eat and enjoy.
Explore my recipes page.