Tag Archives: weightloss

Home Cooked Meals and Improved Fitness After 40

home cooking

Home Cooking or Eating Out

It has been reported that almost 61 percent of people eat at restaurants at least once per week. The same poll found that there were frequent diners who ate out three to more times per week! What about you? How often do you eat out?

Obesity in the American population has not plateaued yet, in fact, it continues to increase. Eating away from home has been identified as one of the culprits. Portion size and preparation techniques of restaurant food has been found to be contributory. Paradoxically, studies show that those who cook  at home have a decreased risk for obesity and the related illnesses,  like diabetes type 2. Home cooking often results in healthier fare with fewer calories. In my book Second Chance at Health-Learn to Love Active Living and Clean Eating, I offer guidance on programs that are perfect for home cooking!

The Western lifestyle would seem to necessitate this eating pattern. Long hours at work, after school activities and fatigue all play a role in succumbing to the ease of driving through the fast food lane, or stopping to pick something up.  Does this sound like you? If this sounds like you, keep reading, I am going to offer you some simple ideas about how and why to begin cooking and eating at home.

As a health professional and a blogger making these suggestions falls right in line with my patient care paradigm.  I outline the easiest way to transition to cooking and eating at home.

Cooking and Eating at Home is Healthier

Cooking at home is less expensive and healthier.  It is less expensive because you can use sales and coupons to maximize your budget. It is healthier because you are in charge of the additional sugar, salt and fat content. We also tend to eat smaller portions when we eat at home. Cooking at home can easily be done on a budget as well.

Why Do We Eat Out So Often?

As I talk about in my book, Second Chance at Health- Learn to Love Active Living and Clean Eating,  taking the time to identify your own barriers to change is paramount. Without understanding the ‘Why” makes in harder to move onto the “How”. What are your barriers? Do you feel like you have limited time to shop and prepare? Or do you lack of skills and confidence? Do you not like to cook? All of these and more have been reported and barriers to home cooking.

Begin simply! Take These Steps to Begin Cooking at Home

First, make a commitment and plan to cook and eat at home 2 additional days a week if you eat out more than 3 times per week. The final goal should be to cook and eat at home 5 times per week. Set a date and circle it on your calendar.

Second, stock up on common home cooking staples for the pantry and the fridge. By having the staples available it can be less tempting to throw in the towel and head out to the fast food restaurant. Here is a list of staples that I found useful. Click on the link and print it and use it to restock your kitchen. Well Stocked Pantry

Third, design your menu. For the first month, I suggest making the foods that you ate growing up! These recipes and cooking techniques should be  familiar to you! Don’t spend too much time worrying about nutrition content during the first few weeks! Just enjoy the food memories!

Forth, generate your grocery list using your menu. If you cited that you have limited time to shop, the use one of the shopping apps that most grocery stores are offering now! If you cites limited time for preparation, utilize the already prepped food such as pre-cut vegetables, pre-cut meats, or even the pre-packaged fresh meals!

Face Your Fears

If you lack the skills and confidence to cook, you have options here to. My first suggestion is to stop being so hard on yourself. Practice makes perfect, and unless you are planning to try out for Chopped, most home cooks can dice and saute more than adequately. Your confidence will increase as you continue.  My second suggestion is to follow a recipe. Exactly. Don’t attempt to substitute an ingredient or spice. I speak from experience.  And if the meal you have prepared is inedible, you can resort to a PB&J (again I speak from experience).

Use Home Delivery Meals

If you simply do not like to cook, which is ME! I use a meal delivery program called Blue Apron. I can follow the recipe and have an amazing meal to the table within 30-40 minutes. These meals rival many meals I have eaten at restaurants.

On a Budget? No Problem!

Cooking at home on a budget can also be accomplished. When money is tight, I suggest generating your weekly menu based on the grocery store sales. If chicken is on sale this week, chicken it is. If the beef or pork shoulder is on sale, then find your recipes that include those ingredients.

Use Technology

Use technology to your advantage, you can find recipes that have been tried on Pinterest. There are also meal planning apps. Try this one. Eat at Home. Or this site has already done the work of finding the top 5 apps! Five Best Meal Planning Apps.

One More Important Benefit

Another benefit of home cooking is improved relationships! Cooking along side your spouse or children can result in conversations that may not have occurred in a noisy restaurant! You can improve your family’s physical health and emotional connection! Now is the time to take care of your health and your families health.  Buying food from the grocery store is less expensive than eating at a restaurant. Use my tips to begin cooking at home!

Here is one of my average week dinner plan:

Monday: Blue Apron Meal

Tuesday: Blue Apron Meal

Wednesday: Blue Apron Meal

Thursday: Breakfast for Dinner: usually eggs and pancakes 🙂

Friday: Oven baked crispy chicken wings and celery

The weekend meals are usually breakfast and late lunch so we don’t eat dinner. If we are on the sail boat, our go to is simple Pb&J sandwiches, or hummus and vegetables.

Keep it simple, and don’t over think it. Try to simplify your life. Give yourself time to slow down and enjoy the time at home around the kitchen table. Fitness after 40 is not only about exercise, it is about balance.

Order your copy of  my book now.

Second Chance at Health: Best Diet Plans

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The Best Weight Loss Plans

There are so many weight loss and eating plans available that it can be difficult to decide where to start. Your friends at work are succeeding different diets. Some are on thee Ketogenic diet, your cousin is following Whole30, and your doctor wants you to follow the DASH diet. But which one do you choose? Don’t despair, my ebook, Second Chance at Health-Learn to Love Active Living and Clean Eating, can guide you!

This post will break them down into simple terms. It will help you understand which might be your BEST eating plan.

Calorie Restricting Plans for Weight Loss

Weight loss plans that involve calorie limiting plans are very common. They are based on limiting the calorie intake to approximately 500 calories below your basal metabolic rate, or BMR. If this caloric limit is greater than 800 calories per day, it is safe (per the FDA) to perform without medical over site. To find out what your BMR is you can use a Tanita Scale, or use this link. BMR Calculator

The calorie limiting plans will require you to monitor your caloric intake daily based on your food choices. These plans can be modified for people with obesity-related health conditions such as diabetes, high cholesterol, or high blood pressure. The food selections can support the special needs of each of those conditions, while providing calories sufficient for weight loss. These plans can also incorporate the popular macro monitoring as well. There are many apps for smartphones that monitor your calorie intake and calculate macro and micro nutrients for those who need to monitor those.

This type of eating plan is fantastic for the individual who likes to monitor, plan, calculate and be intensely involved. Individuals who chose this type of plan often like to cook and prep for their success.

Meal Replacement Plans for Weight Loss or Weight Maintenance

Meal replacements were one of the first diet changes that I used in my 30s. I used Herbal Life shakes. Using meal replacement shakes as a weight loss program typically involves replacing two meals a day with a shake and then eating a sensible third meal.
This type of meal plan is remarkable for quick weight loss, but sustaining it can be somewhat trickier. With meal replacement programs, the transition off the program will need to be managed. Meal replacement shakes can be incorporated into other diet programs. They can be used to provide additional protein as needed to maintain muscle mass during a calorie-reduced diet. And they can be used to maintain and sustain weight loss due to the consistent nutrition count which helps to maintain a certain calorie level.

This type of diet is the one to use when you are busy and don’t have time for preparations, or you dislike cooking.

Whole Food Plans for Health That Can Be Used for Weight Loss and Weight Maintenance

Whole food/clean food eating plans encourage eating foods that are in their most natural forms . Ensure that they have been not been processed at all, or are processed minimally. These types of plans include paleo and Whole 30. They emphasize that eating good wholesome foods can rebalance the body and health.

These types of plans can be utilized for weight loss by using the BMR calculation for weight loss, or even just by eating the correct portions. The medical diets, such as Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes diet (TLC diet), diabetic diets, and the Mediterranean Diet will fall into this category.

The ketogenic diet requires significant limitation of carbohydrate intake to induce nutritional ketosis. This state allows the body to use the fat stores for energy which results in weight loss. This diet is high fat, moderate protein and low carbohydrate.

These diets are ideal for those who like to cook and have time to prep their foods. These plans encourage eating clean foods and result in great results.

Sustainable Eating Plans for Weight Loss and Weight Maintenance

Eating plans that are sustainable—for the weight loss goal, as well as for maintenance—will include the foods that a person likes to eat, in the proper portion size for either weight loss or weight maintenance. The initial eating plan, depending on the goal, will include adjusted amounts of macro nutrients, which are protein, fat and carbohydrates. If the diet is for weight loss, there will be a limit on the fat and carbohydrate intake, and adequate protein. to maintain muscle mass. These ratios would vary.

Eating plans to manage high blood pressure will focus on sodium and potassium intake. Eating plans for diabetes will focus on adequate carbohydrate counts. This ensures that the blood sugar improves, but does not result in symptoms of low blood sugar or hypoglycemia.

There are many more types of eating plans to choose from. These are the plans work when followed! I have also recommended combining one or more eating plans. Combining eating plans allows for the ebb and flow of life while maintaining your path to your goal.

Your most pressing question at this point should be, “Now what?” order my book and be prepared to learn to love active living and clean eating!

No matter what your goal is, I know you can and will attain and surpass it. I can’t wait to hear from you as you describe your success story.

Please  comment, like and reblog.

Click the buy now button to purchase my book! Buy Book Now

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Fitness After 40 Transformation

Pete Shirley took steps to regain health he had lost! Click on the link to read more about his journey! He is an inspiration of dedication and success to all who know him!

Thank you for allowing us to look into your life!

Nursechrisp interviews a veteran.



To learn how to incorporate activity and clean eating into your life, order my book, Second Chance at Health- Learn to Love Active Living and Clean Eating.