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Tips To Cook More in 2019

Tips To Cook More in 2019

4 Reasons Why You Should Cook More in 2019

By Natalie Bickford, MS

We can’t believe it’s already 2019! Now is the time of year when we reflect on the past year and create new goals and intentions for the year ahead.

Some of you have probably set a goal that falls into the ‘health’ category, whether that means working out more, eating healthier, running a marathon, reading more books or reducing stress. While there are tons of ways to improve your health, we think one of the most valuable tools is learning to cook.

Instead of cutting out foods or following a fad diet, we want you to vow to cook more in 2019! But you don't have time?! Fear not. We’ve got some time-saving tips for you!

Why should you cook more?

Save money. When you plan out your meals for the week, you’re less likely to go out to eat or order take out. On average, Americans spend $3,365 per year at restaurants. When you spend $20 on a takeout meal, you could make 2 meals at home with leftovers for lunch the next day for the same price or cheaper. Eating out costs 5 times as much as cooking at home, according to Forbes Magazine. Save moola so you can travel to an exotic race destination by cooking more!


Improve your health. Cooking your own food gives you total freedom and control over the ingredients you put into your meal. You would be surprised at the amount of processed ingredients like refined sugar, inflammatory oils and preservatives used in many restaurants, fast food, and packaged foods. Take control over what you put into your body and cook more are home with wholesome ingredients!

Learn a new skill. It’s always fun to learn something new or get better at something. You can see your progress and really impress yourself, family and friends. Once you cook a bunch of different recipes using certain techniques, you’ll soon be able to just whip something up with ingredients you have on hand, Chopped style! You may even start to look forward to cooking -- it's actually really fun!

Feel more confident. When you feel more confident in the kitchen, you’re more likely to want to cook more. Getting your kids involved in the cooking helps them get excited about trying something new (read more tips for feeding picky kids).

How To Find Time To Cook at Home

*RFCFES = Run Fast. Cook Fast. Eat Slow.

Cooking can seem daunting, whether it’s because you don’t know how or don’t want to spend the time figuring it all out. Good news! Cooking doesn’t have to be complicated, RFCFES is full of simple, budget-friendly and delicious recipes that anyone can make.

Below are a few handy time-saving tips!

Plan ahead. Plan your meals for the week and make your grocery list so you can do one big shop. This will save you a lot of time with grocery runs. Run Fast. Cook Fast. Eat Slow. includes more tips on meal planning. 

Check out our Marathon Training 7-Day Meal Plan!

Meal prep is key.
Set aside one afternoon one day a week to prep food for the week. You’ll be amazed at what you can accomplish in just 2 or 3 hours. Make a list of all the items you have to prep or cook and organize it by whether it requires the oven, stove, or neither (raw). This way you can have one thing going in each category for maximum efficiency!

Double the recipe. Double recipes so you can have leftovers for lunch the next day. If the recipe is freezer-friendly (think soups, stews, sauces, shredded or ground meats), then double the recipe and freeze leftovers for a quick, easy meal down the road. This way you’re making 8 portions instead of 4 in the same amount of time.

Make one big grain salad and/or soup every week. We love grain salads (recipe ideas) and soups because they’re hearty, nourishing, and keep well in the fridge. Soups and salads in the winter are essential for boosting your immune system. They’re also the perfect easy work lunch!

Check out the Time-Saving Tools section in RFCFES for some tips on kitchen tools that will save you time.

Tips and Tricks on How To Cook More

It’s super common for people to follow through on their resolutions and goals for all of January, but once February rolls around we start to get lazy again and life takes over. According to Business Insider, 80% of resolutions fail by the second week of February.

We’ve got some tips for you to actually stick with your goal of cooking more in 2019.

Finding the time. It may seem like a lot of planning, shopping and cooking time, but by putting in the hours, your actually saving a lot of time, money and stress throughout the week.

Make it a habit. Once you get into the habit of cooking more at home, it’ll become second nature. You’ll gain confidence, efficiency, and the ability to flex recipes to use ingredients you already have on hand. Plus eating healthy will give you an energy boost to accomplish all of your other To Do's in less time. 

Do it with a friend. Find a friend who wants to join in on the fun! You can share recipes that you made, meal plans and even cook meals together.

Track your Results. Keep track of how many meals you make for yourself each month. As you get better and faster, you can start to see how much you are saving, and how much your cooking skills have improved to keep you motivated!

We hope this blog post gets you excited to get back in the kitchen and vow to cook more in 2019!


Natalie is a nutritionist and personal chef in Portland, OR who specializes in women's health and sports nutrition. She loves creating simple, nourishing meals and recipes to fuel your life. Find Natalie at nataliecooks.com. 

Photos by Alan Weiner 

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