This Nutrition Month, Simply Cook & Enjoy

Written By Christy Brissette
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Do you sometimes feel too tired to cook at the end of a busy day? Me too. When work, family and other commitments get particularly hectic, it can be tempting to grab dinner from a restaurant on the way home from work or order in. I am often too exhausted and pressed for time to take more than 15 minutes to make dinner.

A recent survey conducted by Dietitians of Canada found that nearly half of Canadians don’t cook at home regularly. We know that cooking meals at home rather than reaching for fast food or restaurant meals is healthier, because we can increase the vegetables and fibre-rich foods and limit the amount of fat, sugar and salt that gets added. So what’s standing in our way of cooking more often?

There are many barriers to cooking healthy meals at home: not having enough time, not knowing what to make, or thinking making healthy meals is too hard, not tasty or too expensive. That’s why for Nutrition Month 2014, Dietitians of Canada is encouraging all of us to “Simply Cook and Enjoy”. For the month of March and beyond, dietitians across Canada are providing tips to help make cooking healthy meals fast, easy, affordable and fun.

As a Nutrition Month spokesperson, I get to spread the word about how easy cooking healthy meals can be. This is a topic that is near and dear to my heart. I live and breathe it each day as a food-loving dietitian and in the ELLICSR Kitchen with Geremy and all of the ELLICSR friends like you who come to our classes, watch online or connect on social media. At the ELLICSR Kitchen, our main goal is to provide the knowledge and tools you need to put nutrition information into practice to prepare nutritious and delicious meals that are budget-friendly and easy to make.

So what do I do with the 15 minutes I have to make dinner? I’ve learned the secret is preparing some of the ingredients ahead of time.

Be Prepared

To save time during the week, prepare some of your ingredients in advance. I find this makes a huge difference in my week. When I think about what lunches and dinners I want to have during the week and prepare some of the ingredients, I find I eat healthier and feel better. Set aside some time on the weekend to make batches of whole grains like brown rice, millet or quinoa and beans and lentils. These can be used in recipes like soups, stews and salads for quick lunches and dinners. It also helps to wash and chop some vegetables for the next couple of days so you can quickly throw them into a salad or stirfry. For more tips on what to prepare ahead, check out this video:



If you need some more inspiration to get you in the kitchen, there’s an app for that! Visit the Cookspiration website to download a free iPhone or iPad app that provides quick and easy meal ideas, healthy recipes and nutrition information.

For more information on Nutrition Month or to find a dietitian near you, visit the Dietitians of Canada website.