Culinary nutrition can be defined as the art of eating and cooking for health. Making this change can be challenging, but here are some tips to get you started.
1. Educate and arm yourself with knowledge about culinary nutrition.
Follow websites, Facebook pages, and Instagram feeds that support culinary nutrition. Happy to get you started, just click on the links! The more you see it and the more you surround yourself with this information, the easier it is to begin blending it into your daily life.
2. Set a food standard for yourself.
What are your non-negotiables? There are some things I simply will not put into my body and some things I must have on a daily basis. This isn’t about being a food snob either; rather it’s about what you are willing to put into your body and what you want to avoid. Some things to think about avoiding are: chemicals, pesticides, herbicides, natural flavors, gluten, conventional food, preservatives, GMOs (genetically modified organisms), carrageenan, etc.
3. Beware of the 80/20 rule.
It’s not about sticking to our food standard most of the time. When we leave room to eat in such a way that harms our health, we are no longer respecting our body. Remember your non-negotiables and commit to honoring those decisions 100 percent of the time.
4. Challenge yourself.
Take on a 3, 5, 7-day clean, whole, and healthy food challenge, or even just a one day food challenge! Make note of how you feel before the challenge and after the challenge.
5. Choose organic.
If your food standard is to avoid all chemicals, pesticides, herbicides, and GMOs then choosing organic will do that for you. It’s easy to get overwhelmed by what to eat and what to avoid. Sometimes we just need to know the bottom line. Choosing organic, whether it is a whole food or packaged food, is your bottom line.
6. Cook more often.
Each week challenge yourself to learn a new recipe from one of the social media outlets your follow. Try this spicy, chocolate black bean soup!
7. Do it yourself.
Flavor your morning yogurt with berries and honey, make your own homemade almond milk, bake your own granola sweetened with local honey, mix up your own salad dressing and avoid all the hidden and unnecessary ingredients found in packaged, processed food.
8. Explore your local community.
Push yourself out of your comfort zone and sign up for a Community Supported Agriculture box (CSA). Challenge yourself to cook something new that you find in the box each week. You can also visit local farmer’s markets and get to know your community of farmers. Find the farmers that match your food standard, and support them by buying local.
9. Get organized.
Plan it, prep it, cook it. Eating to promote good health requires planning. Once you have all of your ingredients for the week, ensure you will stick to the plan by prepping your meals. Finally, cook and enjoy!
10. Make your health your number one priority.
After all your health is the vehicle to living the life you want to live! Treat it well.
Have you made the shift towards culinary nutrition yet? What tips do you have to share? What’s holding you back? Would love to hear your thoughts!