Getting Started in the Kitchen

Eating healthy means you are going to have to cook. There is really no way around it. Trust me, I tried. If you don’t want to cook you either have to buy processed junk at the grocery store or eat out where they use rancid oils and low quality foods. Let’s just accept it… and get in the kitchen.

I will say,  it doesn’t have to take forever and be super complicated. You can make simple, wholesome, and yummy meals for your family in thirty minutes. I know you can because I do it, and I am not a great cook.

There are so many diets and so much information on how to eat healthy. This article is just focused on the very basics. If you are feeling overwhelmed with where to start, this is a great place.

Utensils

Okay, you don’t need to go buy a bunch of stuff to be able to start cooking. If you only get two things, get a sharp set of knives and a cast iron skillet.  Having these items is more than enough to make dinner for your family every night.  They don’t have to be really nice to start off. Just go to Marshalls or HomeGoods.

You will be cutting up lots of veggies so sharp knives will really help. This is where you will spend the bulk of your time in the kitchen. If you are just starting to eat whole foods this will be new to you. Give yourself some time to learn how to cut them up.  

Cooking with a cast iron skillet is fast, easy and free of toxins. It gives great flavor to your foods and the clean-up is very simple.  Cooking with cast iron takes getting use too. It will get much hotter than you other pans, and it will be the same heat across the whole pan. This makes it great for cooking meat and vegetables. Basically you can cook your entire meal in this pan… pan sear your meat and then saute your veggies in the fat.

Meal Structure

A meal should be made up of 30% protein, 30% fat and 40% veggies. Simply put more than half your plate should be veggies and you should include fats in each meal.

I know lots of people will tell you it will take tons of meal prep on Sunday to actually eat healthy. It does take some prep, but it doesn’t have to be all complicated. Here is how I structure a week’s worth of meals.

I pack lunch one time for the whole week.  An example would be a chicken salad.  Grab a container of spinach, rotisserie chicken, olive oil, and maybe some mixed veggies. Everyday just make your salad with those ingredients.

For dinner I just buy the number of proteins I will need for the week and veggies to go along with it. For example I will buy proteins: natural sausage, fish, and chicken breast.  Then a couple veggies: asparagus, broccoli, and brussel sprouts.  I might also get a starch like: brown rice or sweet potatoes. I will just combine them in different ways throughout the week.  It doesn’t have to be complicated. As you get the hang of it you can get more and more interesting and detailed with the meals.

 Dinner all on one pan. In the oven on 350 for 20 minutes. Veggies just have coconut oil, salt and peeper on them. 

Dinner all on one pan. In the oven on 350 for 20 minutes. Veggies just have coconut oil, salt and peeper on them. 

Fat. Lots of Fat

Every meal you cook should include a fat. Fat is a good thing and you need to get a variety into your family's diet. There are some fats that are made for cooking and others that should go on a salad.

It is very important how you use fats, because if you use them incorrectly they go rancid. You will not be able to taste that they are rancid, but your stomach will tell you - you know those gross burps. The more solid the fat (animal drippings, coconut oil, and butter) when cold the more heat it can stand, the more liquid (olive oil when cold) the less heat it can stand.  

Read more details on fat here.

Give yourself time. This is like learning a whole new way to cook and interact with your food.  Don’t let yourself get overwhelmed. Keep it simple latl first. Once you get the hang of cooking meat and veggies then start tackling some of your food cravings.