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...and it does not have to be a time consuming chore.

It’s easy to feel overwhelmed and fed up by the swirling cloud of conflicting nutrition advice and claims these days, by health conditions we or loved ones may be struggling with, or just by the seeming lack of time to address any of it.

But the good news is that simply cooking and eating at home increases positive health outcomes, life expectancy, likelihood that our youth will eat and be healthier as adults, and more.

Studies show that:

  • When we dine out at restaurants, we consume meals with 50% more calories, fat, and sodium than when we prepare meals at home.

  • We can alter the behavior of our genes at the molecular level by what we eat.

  • Cooking at home could enhance our lifespan. After following a group of 1,880 men and women over age 65, researchers found that people who cook up to five times a week were 47% more likely to still be alive after 10 years, according to a 2012 study in Public Health Nutrition.

  • Teens who have regular family meals have a higher daily intake of vegetables, fiber, vitamins, and minerals than their peers who have less frequent family meals. And those who take part in food preparation are more likely to enjoy cooking in their adulthood, and they have healthier diets, including higher intakes of fruits and vegetables and lower intakes of sugar-sweetened beverages and fast food.

It turns out that cooking our own food is one of the best things we can do for our well-being. 

And eating well does not have to be a dutiful but passionless parade of “twigs and bark,” as some skeptical acquaintances put it. You also do not have to be a chef or an experienced home cook or have a large fancy kitchen to enjoy the flavors and benefits of good food at home.

With some basic equipment, ingredients, and skills, a little planning and practice, you can whip up nourishing, delicious food in no time (and often for half the cost of eating out or boxed/pre-prepared food).

We can savor eating food that tastes good, helps us feel good, be healthier, have more energy, prevent chronic disease, live longer, and connect with family, friends, and maybe even our own creativity, without breaking the bank or spending ages preparing it.

One of the easiest and most satisfying ways to eat well and save time and money is the magical “one pot wonder.”

These 5 healthful, tasty, one pot recipes save time in preparation, clean up, and if you make a large batch to have leftovers- they save cooking time another day when all you have to do is reheat a meal, plop yourself down, and savor your handiwork. And you’ll be saving money at the same time.

Win- win.

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