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5 Advantages to Homemade Food

As a society, we are failing.

We are failing to make our health a priority.

We are failing to even assess our health.

We are failing in medicine. Medical practitioners are so limited by time and money that they fail to practice preventive medicine.

We are failing by not slowing down and continually giving into convenience.

We are failing because we argue about which nutritional strategy is “right” rather than helping find something that works long-term for each unique person.

Number One Investment

A trip through the drive-thru offers such convenience that we are willing to choose speed over quality.  We are willing to buy pre-packaged hard boiled eggs and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches because even those require too much time in the kitchen.

I’ve learned, through my own experience and also by coaching my clients, that there is one investment we can make in our life that will pay huge dividends to overall health.

That investment is to make homemade food.

Yes…I am talking about giving up the time to do other things that are far less important like watching Netflix and spend some time in the kitchen to make good old-fashioned homemade food just like grandma did.

Don’t get me wrong…I am not talking about fancy.  My meals are never fancy but they are homemade almost 95% of the time.  Homemade means starting from scratch (or just about scratch) to create a meal that provides macro and micronutrient value.  It means passing on convenience because you love your body (and your family’s) that much.

I can hear it now: “But Amanda…you are crazy!  I don’t have time.”

I call B.S.

Don’t confuse priority for time

It isn’t that you don’t have time, it is that you don’t make food preparation a priority.  If you calculate the hours you spend trolling the internet, catching up on your Netflix shows and waiting in line at drive-thrus and restaurants, I am willing to bet those would stack up to a few hours of solid meal prep time during your week.

If you don’t know how to begin to meal prep, you can read my blog post HERE that will walk you through it in four easy steps.

There is no greater preventative investment in your health than in your nutrition. You may feel great now but you are setting yourself up for failure by not making changes for your future. Not just for you but for your kids too.

My heart aches when I see young children already on the brinks of obesity who simply had no choice but to follow on the heels of their parents. We have an obligation to keep our kids safe, protect them from outside harm and provide them the tools to do this on their own as well. Food is no different.

5 Reasons homemade food is better

My opinion aside, there are five clear advantages to making homemade food.

1. Higher in volume, lower in calories

Simply put, making food at home offers more bang for your buck.  When eating out or buying pre-packed food, there is so many more hidden fats, preservatives, salt, and sugar.

When comparing similar items made at home versus store/drive-thru bought, you are able to consume more food for the same nutritional value.

Let’s look at some examples.

Example #1: Tortilla Chips

For one serving of Mission tortilla chips (1 oz/12 chips), there are 7 grams of fat, 18 grams of carbs and 2 grams of protein.

I can make my own tortilla chips at home using 2 Mission tortillas which yield 16 chips for only 1g of fat, 18 grams of carbs and 2 grams of protein.

 

There is much more hidden fat in the pre-packaged chip and not to mention a plethora of ingredients that aren’t included in plain tortillas.  You can eat far more when they are homemade for a lesser caloric value.

Example #2: Overnight Oats

Oatmeal is an easy morning breakfast.  Overnight oatmeal has taken breakfast time by storm because it is an easy prep ahead option.

Quaker has even now created their own version of Overnight Oats. Within one container of oats, there are 10 grams of fat, 50 grams of carbohydrates and 11 grams of protein when prepared as suggested.  You can prepare your own oats at home with fresh fruit, almond milk, yogurt for again a lesser caloric value.

 

Example #3: French Fries

McDonald’s french fries have 19 ingredients.  Yes, 19.  Mine at home has 4: real potatoes, salt, pepper and olive oil.  Occasionally I get crazy and add a 5th, garlic. By the way — they still taste awesome.

 

In a medium McDonald’s french fry there are 16 grams of fat, 44 grams of carbohydrates and 4 grams of protein.  This compared to making 4 ounces of fresh fries at home that are baked in the oven with fresh spices and a small bit of spray olive oil which will have roughly 1 gram of fat, 25 grams of carbohydrates and 3 grams of fat.  You can eat almost double the quantity of homemade french fries for the value of one medium french fry at McDonald’s.

2. More nutritional value

As a human being, eating healthy is essential for growth and development. When we buy processed foods or Fast food, the method used to prepare these food items often strips the food of the nutrients our bodies need to survive and thrive.

Buying fresh vegetables, fruits, and meats allow you to prepare the food in such a way as to preserve these nutrients.

(Want to learn how to fill your body with real food to look and feel your best? Check out my Feel Amazing Naked challenge by clicking here.)

3. Saves cash

I highlighted the comparison of eating at McDonald’s versus at home in a previous blog post on how to save money on real food.  It costs roughly $15-20 for one meal for a family four at McDonald’s, that would be an average of $45-60 per day and then an average of $1350-$1800 per month to eat out. We are a family of four and our monthly budget for groceries is $900 and it is 95% real food.  Making your food from scratch DOES require more time. In the long run, though, will cost you far less money.

4. You are in control

When you eat out portions are ridiculously more than we need. It is easy to be tempted by the food in front of you and eat way more than needed. Not only that, you can’t control exactly what you want and often end up having to be the “picky” customer to get you want.

Homemade meals allow you to get it the way you want in the quantity you want it.  You are more aware of what you serve yourself which may have a positive impact on weight loss if that is your goal.  Making a homemade meal gives you 100% control of the outcome.

5. It’s a family affair

You don’t have to go it alone.  It isn’t up to one person in the household to make changes. It is a group effort that involves the little people in your life too. The buy-in from the whole family to begin to cook and eat at home is far greater when it becomes a teamwork atmosphere.

Allow the family to create meal ideas together. Shut off the TV, turn on your favorite Pandora station and meal prep together.  Most of all, sit down together at the table and enjoy the fruits of your labor.

Put It In Action

The reasons for shifting to home cooked meals are glaring.  It takes behavior change and investment to actually put this shift into action.  The great news is that the value of home cooked meals is becoming more clear for younger generations, the twenty-somethings, as they are spending more time in the kitchen according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Be an advocate for your health and take control of what goes into your body.  Enjoy a quality meal out now and then for an alternative dining experience.  BUT don’t get pulled into the temptation of convenience.

If you need a little help in starting to prepare those meals, click HERE and I will walk you through it start to finish.

I’d love to hear from you: How often do you cook at home?

Cheers to food balance,

Amanda

Homemade Nut Butter: The Best Cashew Pecan Butter

I have a slight obsession with nut butter

Some form of nut butter makes a daily appearance in my menu line-up.  I love it with fruit, in my oatmeal or straight from the jar on a spoon (which can be really dangerous).  Take a look at it in action below.

Nuts are an amazing way to incorporate healthy fats into your diet necessary for great hormone function and energy supply. The taste is just a lucky byproduct.

This nut butter recipe may change your life. I am not joking, it really is that delicious. You are going to make it and swear that the sugar fairy dumped loads of sweetness in there when you weren’t looking.

But Pecans…WOW!  Their nutty sweetness really comes through when you emulsify them. Pecans, paired with cashews and a few spices make what many of my friends refer to as “Nut Butter Crack”, but it’s just my favorite nut butter — cashew pecan butter!

Homemade Cashew-Pecan Butter

 

Cashew Pecan Butter

This naturally sweet and creamy nut butter is sure to be a staple in your fridge.  It's made with 4 simple ingredients and pairs perfectly with your favorite piece of fruit or as a party dip.

Course Snack
Prep Time 1 minute
Cook Time 9 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 1

Ingredients

  • 2 cups Unsalted cashews
  • 2 cups Pecans
  • 1 teaspoon Pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon

Instructions

  1. Place pecans and cashews in a food processor. (I have a 14 cup Cuisinart and use that thing all the time.)

  2. Lock lid in place and begin to blend for roughly 2-3 minutess.

  3. Stop blending and use a spatula to mix butter that has begun to stick to the sides as well as the oil that has begun to form at the center.


  4. Add cinnamon and vanilla. Put the lid back on and mix for another 2 minutes.


  5. Repeat step 3.

  6. Blend for another 2 minutes. Butter should be warm and a bit runny.

  7. Pour nut butter into a Mason jar or other storage container and store in the refrigerator.

If you’re a big fan of nut butter like I am, you really need to give this cashew pecan butter a try. The perfect amount of sweetness, the perfect nuttiness, an oh so smooth and creamy. Just make sure not to eat it spoonful by spoonful (although it wouldn’t be the worst thing you could do)!

Looking for my more macro friendly AND real food recipes?

Click HERE to download the entire book!

Work Hard Be Kind,

AWalk

Homemade Oven-Baked Tortilla Chips

I love chips and salsa.

Who doesn’t it?

The challenge is they are extremely high in fat and not in a healthy way. They are typically fried in vegetable oil. Not only does that leave a greasy film on your teeth when you are done, it also makes you feel kind of crappy.

And who wants that?

The average one ounce serving of tortilla chips contains 8 grams of fat, 2 grams of protein and 20 grams of carbohydrates. And all of that is in a measly 10 chips. (wah!). Seriously, who can eat just 10 little chips and call it a day?

(Want to learn how to fill your body with real food to look and feel your best? Check out my Feel Amazing Naked challenge by clicking here.)

Homemade Is Always Best

An easy option to combat the average tortilla chip dilemma is to make your own. Besides, making your own chips from your favorite corn tortillas allows you more food and greater control of what you put into that body of yours.  This notion was recently confirmed for me when a friend brought to my attention that the nutritional facts on my favorite bag of tortilla chips were wrong (pure devastation).

My Oven-Baked Tortilla Chips Recipe

My oven-baked tortilla chips are a huge hit in my household. Also, they go great with salsa and other delicious dips. And I’ve been known to use them in other recipes as well! Check it out below.

Homemade Oven-Baked Tortilla Chips

These will knock your socks off because they taste so good and are sooo EASY! My kids prefer that I make them over any other option. You can eat them with salsa or as a side to a favorite soup or as a homemade nacho.

Course Appetizer, Side Dish
Cuisine Mexican
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 8
Calories 270 kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 package of your favorite corn tortillas (
  • Maldon Sea Salt Flakes
  • Spray olive or avocado oil

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Place tortillas on top of one another making one big stack.
  3. Cut tortillas in half, in half again and one more time making eighths.
  4. Spread tortillas on a baking sheet, staggered.
  5. Very lightly spray tortillas with a bit of olive oil. You want just enough to allow salt to stick.
  6. Lightly salt chips to taste.
  7. Place chips in the oven for 8-10 minutes until golden brown and crisp. (They brown fast so keep a good eye on them as they cook as oven times may vary.)

Recipe Notes

Bonus Dessert Option:

Spray chips with a light spray of coconut oil and sprinkle with cinnamon and coconut sugar then follow cooking times above for a simple and healthy dessert.

 

Macros are calculated based off of nutritional info from Mission Corn Tortilla Chips, 24 count bag.

Looking for my more amazing FREE resources to create a healthy lifestyle, check them out HERE.

What’s your favorite dip to use with oven-baked tortilla chips? And do you have any other recipes that require tortilla chips? Let me know!

Work Hard Be Kind,

AWalk