Guide to Healthier Cooking for Beginners

Lady Diet from Diet.com
September 06, 2007
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Beginner’s Guide To Healthier Cooking

Welcome to Diet and Fitness podcast, a free audio podcast sponsored by Diet.com. This is your fit, fun, and fabulous host, Lady Diet, ready to give you the skinny on the latest diet fitness health tips and news.

Today’s podcast comes just in time for anyone out on their own this September, in dire need of an escape from blah college foods like Raman noodles and other microwaveable quick fixes. Whether or not you’re a student away from mom’s cooking, if you’ve got your own kitchen, there’s no better time to start having fun developing a healthy diet! The key is to have balanced, satisfying meals and incorporate all your essential food groups to get the nutrients you need. Listen up – here are four essential things you need to know to get started with healthier cooking!

1)First, get acquainted with your kitchen. Make sure it’s organized with all the basic appliances and utensils. You’ll need a toaster, a good set of kitchen knives, pots and pans, and perhaps a blender (if you’re into making healthy and delicious smoothies like I am)! You can easily find kitchen starter sets at most retailers with all the spatulas, measuring cups, can openers, and other things for extremely reasonable prices. Invest in one good medium saucepan and one good frying pan.

2)Next, make a weekly menu. If you’re dependent on your microwave for quick meals because your schedule is packed this Fall, planning ahead is essential – plan more complex meals for when you have more time, and plan meals-on- the-go that you can make ahead of time and put in containers for when you’re in a hurry.

3)After you’ve made your menu, your next task should be mastering the grocery store! Have fun and take your time to browse the aisles, read labels and understand your healthy options – Choose whole grain items over refined. In the Produce section, spend the extra money to get pre-washed or pre-cut veggies if it means the difference between you actually using them or not. Grocery stores have great packaged fresh-cut vegetable combinations that are excellent for easy stir-fries or as part of a salad. My personal essential salad ingredients include cherry tomatoes and baby-cut carrots!

4)Check out the plethora of great cookbooks for beginners out there! My personal favorite is Betty Crocker’s Cooking Basics: Learning to Cook with Confidence. It’s spiral bound with plenty of pictures and it includes all the standards, like how to cook chicken, steam vegetables, and even do a Turkey dinner all by yourself. My favorite part is that it provides charts with basic cooking terms, shelf lives for different foods, and lists of which foods are supposed to be refrigerated and which ones aren’t!

I need to emphasize that healthy cooking doesn’t have to take a lot of time and that anyone can do it! Being prepared with the essential equipment, a few simple grocery items, a bit of enthusiasm and a plan of attack is all you need to branch out from the microwave to the stove! The new Back on Track Fitness Challenge starts September 17th. It’s time to embrace change and kick off your healthy diet for Fall!

If you have any comments or suggestions about today’s podcast, or any fun health diet or fitness tip, please feel free to email me at LadyDietPodcast at dietdotcom.

This is Lady Diet signing off…

 
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