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Cook Like Your Life Depends on It

I tell people to cook like their life depends on it... because it does.

The food we take into our mouth goes to our stomach, where it is digested and eventually assimilated into our bloodstream.

The nutrients we take in create our cells, organs, tissues, skin, hair, brains... and even our thoughts and feelings.

Learning to cook high-quality foods for yourself and those you love changes everything.

Cooking nourishes our bodies on a variety of levels. When we put our own energy into food, we ultimately put that energy back into ourselves.

When we cook, we have control over the quality and quantity of ingredients we are eating. In a restaurant or with takeout, we relinquish that control. We do not know where the food came from, how much salt or sugar was added, what kind of oil was used, the cleanliness of the kitchen, etc.

By cooking our own food, we are in control of these factors and can adjust them to our needs.

People today increasingly eat most of their meals out, in delis, or fast food chains, snacking along the way. Home is often like a hotel, only serving as a place to sleep at night.

It's rare to have a home-cooked meal as a family. The lack of quality, home-cooked food leads to a deficiency of nourishment.

Yes, everyone is busy. People do the best they can. But the ultimate goal is to find ways to est more nutritious food.

Don't confuse taste with function. One main reason people don't cook is because it feels overwhelming: too many ingredients, too long of cooking time, etc.

If you want a fancy meal, go to a restaurant. You don't need to be a gourmet chef at home. It's more important that you fuel and nourish your body well in a convenient, intentional way.

Occasionally, making a complex recipe is fun! But for daily purposes, simple, down to earth meals that can be prepared with low stress are a good thing. (Home cooking also saves you money!)

Keys to Healthy Cooking:

  1. Organic is Best, but Commercial is Ok

Always try to get the freshest food possible, even if that means commercial produce. Organic options may not always be available, but fresh fruits and vegetables are healthful ingredients that will nourish you much more than processed foods.

2. Organic is Better

When you have the budget and access for organic, go for it. These foods will taste even better. Organic is good for your body, but it's also good for the environment, too. Pesticides, herbicides, and fungicides not only kill the bugs, but they pollute the soil and water supply as well. Try to eat clean foods without chemicals whenever you can.

3. Local is Even Better

Local foods are always "what's in season." When you know the people growing your food, you have an even deeper relationship with each meal. Sometimes local can be as close as your backyard or windowsill!

4. Fresh is Best

A good tip for when you're grocery shopping is to stay in the outer perimeter of the building and try not to spend too much time in the inner aisles, where you will find most of the packaged and refined foods. Focus on fresh ingredients and whole foods.

5. Keep it Simple

Rather than spending hours in the kitchen making elaborate meals, keep it simple. Part of keeping it simple can be prepping foods when you get home from the market so you can easily grab and go throughout the week. Chop veggies and prep big batches of greens and grains for the week.

6. Cook Once, Eat Twice

You don't have to start from scratch each meal. Cook once and eat twice to increase the amount of homemade food you're eating without spending too much time in the kitchen. Make extra and change up the flavors and fresh add-ins. Put leftover food in the fridge in portioned containers for easy to grab future meals.

7. Vary Spices and Flavors

Cook food in a simple way then use condiments, spices, and herbs to personalize the meal.

8. Mistakes are Ok

Experiment and be ok with mistakes. Everything in life has a learning curve. It will take time and may seem difficult in the beginning. Stay with it, and cooking will become easier, more enjoyable, and hugely rewarding.

Once you become confident, you will have a lifetime of delicious, home-cooked meals for yourself, your family, and your friends, save thousands of dollars, and increase health, vitality, and family relationships.

9. Notice the Effects of Your Cooking

Cooking for yourself is the best way to understand how you are affected by food. Since you know what you are putting into the meal, you can understand the food's effects on your body more directly.

Explore, experiment, and learn to distinguish the foods and quantities that support your health from those that do not.

10. Be Flexible

Yes, I strongly encourage home cooking. However, I am not saying that we must cook ALL of our food or NEVER eat out. That's not realistic. It is important to have balance and a flexible attitude. Sometimes it is healthier to go to a restaurant rather than stress out about preparing a meal.

Being too rigid in your eating habits can be isolating. Sometimes it's best to go out, have fun, enjoy the company. And sometimes this flexibility can be healthier than staying home along and eating high-quality foods 24/7.

Can you find a balance and not get stuck in "either/or" thinking?

Health is a journey, not a destination. Cooking nourishing foods that fuel your body well is a vehicle in that journey.

Be Intentionally Well!

Email me at if you have questions, goals, or concerns you would like to discuss!

Visit to learn about my habit building programs.


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