You are here

Cook for Your Health

May 16, 2008

Main Image

Learning the art of simple meal planning will help you get all the nutrients you need as well as release you from dependency on restaurant food, fast food and other processed foods. You eat differently when you  feed yourself at home versus when you are out and about. Restaurant food is usually very salty and highly flavored, as it’s designed to be a taste sensation and it often comes in very big portions. By buying and preparing your own food, you can eat in accordance with your body’s actual needs and you are less likely to overeat or consume excess salt and flavoring.

Cooking delicious, satisfying meals in a brief period of time is a skill worth learning. It’s not difficult, but it takes practice. At first, you may burn the rice or overcook the greens but that’s okay. Give yourself permission to make mistakes.

For many people, the task of cooking seems daunting. They are puzzled, and ask questions like, “How do plain, ordinary vegetables turn into such a delicious meal in a few minutes?”

Here are a few ways to easily make plain vegetables more exciting:

  • After cooking, it usually only takes 3 minutes of steaming  or sautéing, add 1 tablespoon olive oil or toasted sesame oil to every 2 cups of veggies.
  • Add 2 bay leave or 1 teaspoon cumin seeds to the cooking water.
  • Sprinkle cooked veggies with toasted pumpkin, sesame, flax or sunflower seeds. Or sprinkle with almonds, walnuts or dried shredded coconut.
  • Sprinkle greens with fresh herbs: mint, dill, basil, parsley, cilantro or scallion.
  • Use tamari soy sauce or umeboshi vinegar to add extra flavor to cooked veggies.
  • Squeeze fresh lemon or lime juice over steamed vegetables.
  • After steaming, quickly stir-fry with a pinch of sea salt, olive oil and garlic.

Few cookbooks address the initial, most-challenging period. They don’t mention that cooking a meal takes much longer when you are an inexperienced chef than it does when you have had some practice. Cooking takes some patience and practice. In a short time, you will be effortlessly washing, chopping, cooking and nourishing yourself and others.

About the author

Joshua Rosenthal is the Founder and Director of the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. He has worked in the nutrition field for more than 25 years, teaching at the school alongside health leaders including Andrew Weil, Deepak Chopra and Barry Sears. At Integrative Nutrition students are trained as Health Coaches, receiving the holistic nutrition education necessary for them go out into the world and help others improve their health and happiness.