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Eat anything you want. Just cook it yourself.

Toronto Holistic Nutritionist Laurie McPhail Eat Anything You Want Just Cook It YourselfHappy New Year! As holiday feasting has come to a close along with 2022, thoughts have likely turned toward New Year’s resolutions to be healthier and/or lose weight in 2023. The plethora of diets out there (Mediterranean, DASH, Paleo, Keto, Low FODMAP, Vegan, Low Carb-High Fat, Low Fat-High Carb, MIND, Weight Watchers and many more) can easily have you calorie counting, confused and stressing over micro-managing your macro-nutrients (“gee, how many grams of fat, protein and carbs should I eat?“).

So let’s cut straight to today’s pearl of dietary wisdom, expressed so eloquently by New York Times bestselling author Michael Pollan and captured succinctly in this 3-minute videoEat anything you want. Just cook it yourself. Seriously, people overcomplicate matters. I promise you that this single step of cooking your own food will advance you leaps and bounds toward a healthier you.

And I want to help. Members of The Nutritional Reset community receive delicious, nutritious and simple recipes throughout the year to inspire home cooking. So if you aren’t already a member, sign up here for free. And then, go ahead and eat anything you want. Just cook it yourself. Read on for more about why this is so important and for my special offer: invite your friends to join The Nutritional Reset Community and I will send each of you my Big Batches for Buddies recipe collection to inspire you in the kitchen.

Eat anything you want. Just cook it yourself.

Cooking your own food is likely the single most impactful step you can take to improve your overall health and energy. Let’s face it, just like your car needs the right fuel to work optimally, your body needs the right food to be its healthiest.

Unfortunately, too many of us feed ourselves with overly processed foods. Many processed foods are full of thickeners, preservatives, colourants, poor quality fats, refined sugar and salt. This CBC Marketplace article published today shines a light on the shocking amount of sodium in some restaurant meals, even ones that appear to be healthy. Even worse, these foods are often stripped of nutrients like vitamins, minerals and essential fatty acids (usually in order to extend shelf-life).

This is calorie-rich but nutrient-depleted food. To understand why this is so problematic for our health consider this:

  • it is estimated that the body performs an average of 37,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 chemical reactions every second to function (you read that correctly, that’s 37 thousand billion billion chemical reactions every second),
  • every one of these chemical reactions is catalyzed by an enzyme,
  • every enzyme requires co-factors and
  • vitamins and minerals are the co-factors!

So if your diet is not providing you with optimal levels of vitamins and minerals, your body simply will not perform at its best. And processed foods are poor providers of nutrients.

Foods that are whole and unprocessed are hard to binge on

Toronto Holistic Nutritionist Laurie McPhail Cook It YourselfHighly processed carbohydrate foods tend not to trigger the release of satiety hormones and can also result in wild swings in blood sugar that can compel you to eat more. As a result, it is easy to overeat such foods. Foods that are whole and unprocessed, however, are hard to binge on. When was the last time you heard someone say they ate an entire head of cauliflower in one sitting? By preparing and eating whole foods you ingest far more health-promoting nutrients without over-consuming calories. So you can pretty much eat what you want, as long as you cook it yourself. And, I would add, as long as you ensure half your plate is non-starchy vegetables. As John, one of my favourite trainers on Aaptiv puts it, “live your truth and eat your vegetables”. That’s my modus operandi as well.

It’s easier than you think to cook it yourself

Yes, it does take time to cook your own food. But you can whip up a meal in less time than it takes to order something for delivery. It just takes a little planning – meal planning and shopping in advance so you have what you need on hand when you need it. An arsenal of satisfying, healthy and simple-to-make recipes is absolutely critical to success. And my blog post, Top 10 Time-Savers in the Kitchen, contains a trove of ideas to make home cooking faster and easier. One tried and true method is batch cooking.

Batch cooking on the weekends (or whenever is most convenient for you) is a great option. Your slow cooker and pressure cooker can be your best friends when it comes to putting something hot and tasty on the table without having to pay much attention to it at all. I’ve included here a favourite recipe for each of these handy kitchen gadgets:

Buddy up and double down!

Toronto Holistic Nutritionist Laurie McPhail Cook It YourselfSpeaking of best friends, why not buddy up and double down? You can:

  • batch cook together to make your time in the kitchen a fun social hour (many hands make light work and you can get twice as much done) or
  • coordinate it that each of you makes a big batch meal on your own and then get together to swap half the portions.

That way, you get two dishes to enjoy for the effort of one. Read on for my special offer to encourage you to buddy up.

Invite a friend to sign up to The Nutritional Reset Community & I’ll send you both my Big Batches for Buddies recipe collection

Invite a friend (or friends, the more the merrier) to sign up here and they will automatically receive my Big Batches for Buddies recipe collection. This is a selection of shareable, easily freezeable, soups, stews, curries and casseroles (serving 6 to 8), perfect for wintry weather. Remind your friend(s) to enter your name where the sign-up form asks “How did you hear about The Nutritional Reset?”. That way I’ll know to send the collection to you as well, with my thanks for helping grow The Nutritional Reset community (one of my goals for 2023).

Throughout the year, I send members of The Nutritional Reset community nutritious, delicious recipes for meals you can easily make yourself, to inspire your home cooking. So if you are reading this but not yet a member, sign up for free and set yourself up to cook up a storm in 2023!

Want to make it even easier to cook it yourself?

The Nutritional Reset also offers meal planning services so all the planning is done for you. Each weekly plan is customized to your food preferences, lifestyle, level of cooking ability, time available to cook etc. And it includes nutritional information for all recipes, tips on ingredients and preparation and complete shopping lists. Find out more about The Nutritional Reset’s meal planning and nutritional counselling services here.

So go ahead… Eat anything you want. Just cook it yourself.

Remember, you don’t have to make your food restaurant-worthy. You don’t even have to make it so it looks awesome on Instagram (my Instagram photos certainly don’t). You just have to make it! And your body will thank you for it, I promise.  

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