Ok, it’s time to talk about it. Yes, that excuse that often pushes many of us who are cooking for one or two, away from reaching our nutrition goals. In many of our posts we mention that a successful healthy meal plan involves planning, and is often much easier to maintain when eating home cooked meals. No matter what, you can’t compare a home cooked meal to that found in a restaurant simply because when eating out you can’t have full control over the ingredients and the amounts of them used in your meal We understand that it’s challenging to cook for one or two. Follow our tips and you too, will learn the secrets to making it possible and enjoyable.
Getting successfully “on track” when cooking for yourself or you and another individual
Begins with early planning of your weekly meals. It is important to decide in advance what you will be having for your meals, or to have a general idea. Knowing what you will be cooking allows you to buy the proper ingredients and amounts that will not go to waste, and will make following a recipe easier since you can make sure you have all the ingredients you need on hand.
Shop according to your needs.
If you are new to cooking for just yourself or for a small number of people, altering your shopping habits may require some getting used to. This can happen when you and your partner first become empty nesters, when you move away from a large family, or if you are just starting out on your own. Try shopping with another individual- such as a family member, friend or close neighbor to share those items that come bulk quantities. Generally, small size, or individually packed items tend to cost more, so this is a way to save money.
Don’t over-visit the store
The fact that you are cooking for yourself, or for you and one more, doesn’t mean you have to hit the store every single day. Instead, aim to shop once or twice a week at the most. Not only will this save you money and time, but will alleviate the likelihood of buying unhealthy little snacks.
Plan to store
Sometimes modifying the number of servings a recipe yields is easy, but sometimes it can be tricky. If you come across a recipe you are interested in trying, or are cooking a dish of your own that is hard to cook in small portions, after cooking, divide the dish into desired and appropriate portions and store the remainder for use later in the freezer. You can easily use Ziploc bags or Tupperware containers by writing the name of the food cooked and dating it.
Make healthy foods easily accessible
Aim to make healthy food items easily accessible for a meal or as a “grab and go”. For instance, cut up a few vegetables or make a salad without dressing that you can easily access for several meals. Another idea is to combine different kinds of berries into a large bowl and take out of the refrigerator as needed.
It isn’t as difficult as it may seem and is well worth the effort. Enjoy!