Last week I finished up the “healthful freezer” portion of my kitchen series. I’d started writing about creating a healthful kitchen way back in March, beginning with tools and utensils to have in your kitchen, then moving on to what to keep in your cupboards, and finally on to what to keep in your refrigerator and freezer. Hopefully by now your kitchen is fully equipped and stocked! Now it’s time to get cooking.
We’ve already learned that a lot of people have gotten away from cooking (for various reasons) and that some people never really learned how to cook in the first place. But if you’re not exactly a self-described chef, don’t worry, because you don’t have to be. Having a few basic skills under your belt should give you the confidence to turn your oven on or break out those fancy new pots. Cooking actually can be a lot of fun, and it’s also relaxing.
Chopping, slicing, and sautéing are great ways to decompress from a stressful day. And if you’re mulling over an important life decision, what better way to do so than while whipping up a batch of homemade soup? Plus, let’s not forget that preparing meals at home (beyond just popping a frozen dinner in the microwave) can make you healthier and save you some money. I should add that my goal isn’t to teach you how to cook. I’ll leave that to the experts. What I’m hoping to do is to inspire you a little bit to venture into your kitchen and try your hand at cooking.
Words to the wise: You’ll come across cookbooks and recipes that are lengthy and involved. You’ll also see recipes that feature not-so-healthful ingredients such as butter and cheese (not that you can’t eat these, but everything in moderation). So to start, look for recipes with only a few ingredients. Narrow your search to more healthful or lower-fat recipes. You don’t necessarily have to look for “diabetic” recipes, either (besides, not all diabetic recipes are exactly healthful). You might even try subscribing to a healthful cooking magazine, such as Cooking Light, Eating Well, or Vegetarian Times. And don’t forget about the recipes in Diabetes Self-Management and on DiabetesSelfManagement.com! Finally, you might ask a dietitian for help, too. A dietitian can help you with cookbook and recipes ideas, and can also help you modify some of your family favorites to make them lower in fat, sodium, or carbohydrate.
Don’t overlook live talent, either. Maybe your sister, best friend, or coworker whips up a mean chicken stir-fry or veggie lasagna. Ask if they’ll show you how to make their favorite dish. If you’d prefer step-by-step instructions, look for cooking videos. Food Network, Cooking Light, and Real Simple Web sites offer plenty of videos that can teach you everything from how to boil water to how to prepare Thanksgiving dinner.
Anyone can learn how to cook! More next week.
Source URL: https://www.diabetesselfmanagement.com/blog/cooking-basics-getting-started/
Amy Campbell: Amy Campbell is the author of Staying Healthy with Diabetes: Nutrition and Meal Planning and a frequent contributor to Diabetes Self-Management and Diabetes & You. She has co-authored several books, including the The Joslin Guide to Diabetes and the American Diabetes Association’s 16 Myths of a “Diabetic Diet,” for which she received a Will Solimene Award of Excellence in Medical Communication and a National Health Information Award in 2000. Amy also developed menus for Fit Not Fat at Forty Plus and co-authored Eat Carbs, Lose Weight with fitness expert Denise Austin. Amy earned a bachelor’s degree in nutrition from Simmons College and a master’s degree in nutrition education from Boston University. In addition to being a Registered Dietitian, she is a Certified Diabetes Educator and a member of the American Dietetic Association, the American Diabetes Association, and the American Association of Diabetes Educators. Amy was formerly a Diabetes and Nutrition Educator at Joslin Diabetes Center, where she was responsible for the development, implementation, and evaluation of disease management programs, including clinical guideline and educational material development, and the development, testing, and implementation of disease management applications. She is currently the Director of Clinical Education Content Development and Training at Good Measures. Amy has developed and conducted training sessions for various disease and case management programs and is a frequent presenter at disease management events.
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