The holidays have come and gone, so now it’s time to get back on track. Whether you spent the holidays binging on eggnog or avoiding the in-laws at all cost, last month was a doozy for most folks. Here are six cooking resolutions every guy should have in 2016.
Perfect portion control
It’s a no-brainer that portion control has everything to do with a healthy lifestyle, so why not try harder to manage it in the New Year? It’s easy to stick to appropriate servings while you’re in a routine, but it can be much more difficult while at parties and on the weekends. Resolve to stay on track no matter what, even when those extra wings are staring you in the face during Sunday Football.
Become a crockpot king
The ever-popular crockpot is a great way to prepare a meal ahead of time. Just toss in your favorite ingredients in the morning, head to work, and by the time you’re back home, voila! A savory beef stew awaits. And for those who really want to turn it up a notch, the Hold & Go Slow Cooker is a great place to start. It combines all the essentials of a regular crock pot, with added features that are ideal for any guy, chef or not. This slow cooker, which Rachel Ray has called, “the coolest slow cooker I have ever seen in my life!”, is ultra-portable, featuring a unique handle for carrying, which also doubles as a lid-holder.
Make your own condiments
Condiments are so delicious, they’re often the motivating factor behind choosing a certain meal just so you can use a piece of food as a vessel. Even though condiments may seem like they’re just a little extra, they often pack some pretty hefty calories along with that great taste. If you’re a slave to ranch dressing, BBQ sauce, pesto mayo, or any other delectable dippings, look up some recipes and try to make a version yourself. Jar it, keep it in the fridge, and you’ll be a happy camper.
Invest in proper kitchenware
Stocking a kitchen can get expensive, but it’s worth the research and investment to make sure you’re well-equipped with the proper tools. If you’ve ever tried cutting veggies with a dull knife you’ve had since you’re college days, you’ve probably already sworn off cooking for the rest of your life. However, when you make the switch to a set of chef’s knives, supply yourself with nonstick frying pans, and have a blender that actually chops through food, you’ll see a whole different, and brighter, side of cooking.
Start your day with protein and fats
Breakfast is considered the most important meal of the day, so what you put into your body in the morning sets the tone for the rest of your waking hours. “A simple cooking goal would be to learn how to cook a breakfast based of protein and fats,” said Joe Robinson, co-founder of UK-based online nutritional coaching service Sustain Nutrition.
“The vast majority of people have carbohydrates for breakfast — think cereal, oats, bread. The issue here is that breakfast is ‘breaking the fast’. At this point in the day, your blood sugar is at its lowest and a meal of just carbohydrates will spike blood sugar (even more so for those who are overweight with poor insulin sensitivity). This is then followed by a blood sugar drop, leaving people tired and lethargic mid-morning,”
Aside from the obvious eggs-with-a-side-of-lean-meat and protein shake breakfast options, there are other ways to sneak protein into the first meal of your day. Chia seeds and Greek yogurt, for what Layla Khoury-Hanold refers to as a “Protein Powerhouse,” is one quick and easy way. “The combination of protein-dense yogurt and Chia seeds helps to build muscle and keep you full longer,” Khoury-Hanold says. So don’t discount these protein-packed seeds, for they are small but mighty.
Take a cooking class
When all else fails, just ask for help! Cooking for yourself is important, but not everyone is a natural born chef. If you’re struggling to get into the groove and find yourself stuck, try experimenting in a cooking class. If you just plain don’t like cooking, a class is a fun way to turn your hesitation into a social event. Plus, it’s a great way to meet other singles if you’re on the market.