I'm not personally one for New Year's Resolutions. When I was in grade school and high school, I had plenty of "new school year resolutions" in the beginning of August, but since the new year actually fell in the middle of classes, schools, and other activities, there wasn't much I could 'resolve.'
As I've gotten older however, I've seen more and more people making resolutions every January. And most tend to do with losing weight.
The gyms get fuller, Special K runs ads on every channel, and my friends squirm when they're offered a chocolatey dessert and peep out a quick "no thanks."
I hear of new fad diets every year. No flour, no carbs, no sugar, no processed food, etc.
People prohibit themselves from indulging in any form of fatty, sugary, or oily food. And most can hold out for nearly 2-3 weeks until everything comes crashing down in a moment of weakness.
And all the weight they lost comes back immediately.
Ironically, in all the years I've heard weight-loss resolutions, every single plan involves prohibiting yourself from eating something. No one ever tries introducing new things into their diet to help them lose weight.
And no one resolves to learn how to COOK.
Seriously, learning how to cook things from scratch is one of the surest ways to cut calories and improve your overall health. Obviously, you can't loose weight from constantly eating homemade burgers and mac & cheese, but even those typically fatty foods can be made healthier when you put them together at home.
Take for example a classic and easy dish: chicken parmesan
You can grab this box from Stouffers for around 410 calories and a lot of sodium:
Or, you can make your own. Dip a chicken breast in flour, egg, and breadcrumbs with parmesan cheese. Pan fry it in olive oil while you bake tomatoes in the oven. When your chicken's done, top it with your tomatoes and a circle of fresh mozzarella. Less calories, les preservatives, and less salt. All-around healthier.
Furthermore, learning to cook ends up cutting costs, so if one of your other resolutions is to save money, the two can go hand in hand.
If you're nervous about teaching yourself to cook, or just someone who's looking for some tasty and healthy recipes, take a look at some of my favorites from around the web. I assure you, they're easy, delicious, and full of nutrition.
Tender & Crisp Chicken Legs with Sweet Tomatoes
Caramelized Mushrooms and Dumplings
Tex-Mex Rice and Black-Eyed Peas
Parmesan Fish Sticks
Slow-Cooker Pork With Noodles
And, of course, be sure to check my recipe's list for some of my less indulgent recipes!