4 Tips to Becoming the Best {Healthy} Chef You Know

I’m often asked “what is the number one thing that I should be doing to lose weight?” (or “have more energy”, “be sick less often”, …etc.)

The truth is, there isn’t really a key item approach to achieving those goals you’re working to accomplish.  You need a whole arsenal of healthy habits that you consistently practice over time – drinking water, moving your body, eating a nutrient rich diet, taking proper supplementation, and reducing your toxic exposure.  (It may seem like a lot, but I promise, it’s easy to do once you take steps to create habits 🙂

But there is one skill that we can all develop…and is often overlooked and it is absolutely critical to your long term health.  The secret skill – getting your booty into that kitchen and start cooking from whole, fresh ingredients!

Trust me, I totally get it that when we work full-time, have an overloaded social schedule, need to get in our daily workouts…it can feel tough to find the time to get in the kitchen and prepare a meal.  But could you believe that cooking could actually make your life a lot easier?!!  Cooking can give you more energy, save you money, and even make you look better! And with a little planning, it doesn’t have to be super involved to have a huge impact on your life.

Here are a few tips that helped me navigate my kitchen as a newbie {healthy} chef:

  • Start with recipes containing 5 ingredients or less.  When you’re first starting to cook, recipes that contain tons of ingredients and different cooking methods can quickly become overwhelming.  Creating delicious meals does not have to be complicated, and some of the most simply prepared dishes can have a tremendous amount of flavor.
  • Boost your confidence by finding a signature dish and then start playing with it!  By fixing a dish 2 or 3 times, it’s amazing how confident you can become not just with that particular dish, but also with all the ingredients that go into it.  Once you’ve familiarized yourself, you can start substituting spices, veggies and proteins to really make the dish your own.  Plus, you can whip that dish up in half the time once you know what you’re doing!
  • Join a CSA.  Joining my first CSA last summer was probably the best thing that ever happened to me as far as the kitchen is concerned.  Kohlrabi?  Blossom Squash?  I would have passed right on by them at the farmers market!  But by having a pre-chosen box of vegetables delivered to you every week, you are forced out of your comfort zone and learn how to prepare veggies that you may have never actually bought yourself.
  • Learn a few good never fail flavor combos.  It can be hard to veer from a recipe when you’re new to cooking, because the last thing you want is for it turn into a complete disaster!  But as you start experimenting, you learn no-fail combinations that are destined for greatness.  I’ve found that cumin is always good with a sweet potato dish, and lemon juice with brighten up any sautéed green.  Check out the book The Flavor Bible – it’s a great resource to begin experimenting with flavors to bring out the best tastes in foods.
  • And most importantly – never, ever forget to have fun!  Invite some friends over and share a glass of wine while you cook or light a candle, put on some music and make cooking dinner a relaxing “me-time” ritual.

What are some of your best tips for navigating the kitchen?  Share in the comments below 🙂

Happy Cooking!

xo, Brooke

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