In honor of the New Year, I'm asking everyone to make a New Year's Resolution with me. For most people, New Year's resolutions focus on getting healthier -- like losing weight or going to the gym more often. Well, I have a better one and it will go a long way toward any health-focused goals you aspire to this year.
In 2011, try cooking half -- just 50 percent! -- of your meals yourself, instead of eating out or eating already prepared foods, like unhealthy frozen dinners. Sound too hard? Here's some tips to help you.
- If you don't know how to cook, try buying a cookbook with easy recipes like Martha Stewart's Great Food Fast.
- If you don't have time to cook during the week, try cooking big batches of food on the weekend (like chilli, soup, or anything in a sauce) that you can put in separate, stay-fresh containers and eat during the week or freeze for later.
- Invest in a slow cooker, which allows you to throw everything in a big pot and -- voila! -- you have home-cooked meals waiting for you when you come home from work.
- If someone else cooks in your house, try to support them by going grocery shopping or by helping them while their cooking.
Finally, here's an easy recipe for breakfast (to replace your Pop Tart or Frosted Flakes): oatmeal with bananas and maple syrup.
Follow the instructions on the box to cook the oatmeal. (I cook mine with water instead of milk, and I let it cook on the stovetop while I'm getting ready for work). Then add slices of banana, sprinkle in some cinnamon and top it off with real maple syrup (note: make sure the container lists maple syrup as an ingredient -- the real stuff is expensive, but worth it). Feel free to add any other fruits or nuts to the oatmeal. The picture above also has shredded coconut.