Heart Month – Healthy Diet

Heart Month – Healthy Diet


>>Hello, I’m April Ho, I’m a
clinical dietitian at the Center for Community Health & Prevention. And I am here in our kitchen at the Healthy
Living Center to talk to you guys about how to get excited about home cooking. In honor of Heart Health Month, I think
home cooking is a great topic because one of my favorite authors Michael Pollan has
been known to issue the challenge if you want to get healthier and lose
weight, eat whatever you want, but prepare it all from scratch at home. And I think that works for a variety of reasons. One is that 90% of the time if
you’re cooking at home, you’re going to be using healthier ingredients
and making a healthier meal. And number two, if you’re preparing everything
yourself, you’re going to appreciate it more. You’re going to take your time, you’re
going to eat slowly and you’re going to appreciate your food rather
than rushing through it as we tend to when we get fast food or eat out. So, I have four tips for how to get excited about
home cooking because I think this is something that my patients struggle with a lot – getting
motivated to do more cooking at home. So, my first tip is to make sure that your
kitchen is a place that you actually want to be. Even the best of chefs do not want to
cook in a dirty kitchen or a messy kitchen or a dark kitchen. We want to cook in a
place that we’re naturally excited to be in. So, go through your kitchen, clean
it out, put some plants in there, make it a well-lit area that you enjoy being in. My second tip is to find a really good
source of recipes that make your mouth water. And spend time collecting recipes. I think before I touched my first pot or
pan I had many, many recipes on Pinterest, that’s my preferred recipe source. I had many recipes on Pinterest that I was
really excited to try. They looked delicious and I could not wait to make them
at home and see how they turned out. So, that’s my second tip – is to
find a source that you like. As I said I like Pinterest, All Recipes is
a great source, blogs are a great source; there’s really an endless supply online. And, of course, there’s also
good old-fashioned cookbooks. My third tip is to split your
prep from your actual cooking. And what I find is that when I do
this it makes both parts easier. So, when the prep work is already done, when I
go to cook the meal it’s a lot more enjoyable because I can just start right at the fun
part, which is what I really want to do. And at the same time, when all I need to is
prep and I don’t have to think about the rest of putting it together, or actually following
the recipe, that eases my mind as well and makes my prep work an actually more
relaxing time, where I can just focus on being in the moment, smelling the food, chopping it, making it look like what I want it
to look like to go in my recipe. So, separating those things actually
makes both parts more enjoyable. My fourth and final tip is to start cooking
by making a simple healthy side dish. And there’s two reasons that I like to do this. One is that when you cook a main dish,
the stakes are a little bit higher because you really want it to turn out well and
if it doesn’t you’re not only left with nothing to eat but also, you’ve put
a lot more into this dish. Whereas, if you make a side dish, you still
have something that you know you can rely on for the rest of your meal and you
can just chalk it up to an experiment that you’re not going to try again. Another reason that I like to start
with a simple vegetable side dish is that most things can be made a lot
heathier just by adding a vegetable. A donut plus a vegetable is a
lot healthier than just a donut. So, if you’re adding vegetable and adding
fiber to your meal, you’re adding a lot of much needed nutrients and you can
improve the overall heart health quality of your meal just with a very simple side dish. So. I hope those were helpful. Those are my
four tips and that’s what got me excited about cooking and I hope that it helps to
get you excited about home cooking as well. Again, I’m April Ho, clinical dietician
and I hope I see you in my clinic.