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Let’s Get Cooking

Editor-in-chief, gerontologist

The way we eat has such a large impact on our overall health. Regardless of what conditions or ailments we are living with, eating well can make a significant difference to our total well-being.

The one major factor that all researchers agree with is that cooking at home is a lot healthier than going out to eat. You have total control over what ingredients you use and how much of these ingredients you add to each dish. Both salt and fat content are easy to regulate when you are are the one responsible.

If you have ever wanted to improve your diet by making more of your meals at home, we have put together some tips to help get you motivated. Hopefully these ideas will  be the starting point to a healthier you in the years ahead.

Plan Out A Menu

As the dinner hour approaches, things are so much simpler if you know what you are making ahead of time. By planning out a weekly menu, you can avoid those dreaded nights of  staring at an opened refrigerator door wondering what to make. A menu helps remove any “guesswork” and lets you match the amount of time you have for cooking to your daily schedule. If you know that you are getting home late on Monday, plan a crock pot meal that will be ready the moment you walk in the door. If you have extra cooking time on Thursday, make that the day you prepare a more elaborate time-consuming meal.

Another positive benefit of meal planning is that you can watch the store ads and flyers and buy food at a much lower price. You can make use of fresh in-season produce in the dishes you decide to pick for the week ahead. All of these choices will save you money.

Cook In Bulk

Many of us are used to cooking meals for a large family. We have spent countless hours preparing dishes for our kids and their friends. We made sure there was plenty of food to go around. Now it may be that you are cooking for yourself or one other person. However, it is just as easy to double a recipe as it is to make a small amount. Many couples or single individuals end up making larger meals because of this. They will eat a single serving and then freeze the rest. Another option is to pick a “cooking day” (perhaps a Sunday) and prepare a bunch of meals for the whole week. Since most of us own a microwave, you can just pop in these prepared meals and be eating in no time.


Try New Recipes

There are so many ways available today to get recipes and plan out a menu. Besides the hundreds of cookbooks you can find at your local bookstore, online recipe sites are  plentiful. Even if you decide to to try one new recipe a week, it will help to break up the monotony of cooking. You get to add to your cooking repertoire and find new favorite dishes to include as part of your regular weekly meals.




Eating and cooking with friends and family is a social activity. Include kids, grandkids, neighbors and friends. Maybe even plan a potluck dinner. This is an easy and fun way to get together and share delicious food and good company. Now that summer is here, barbecues are an added option to celebrate food with the people in your life. These are memories that will last a lifetime and leave you feeling that you are a part of a larger community.


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Cynthia Lopinto

Cyn LoPinto, M.A. is a gerontologist focusing on significant issues affecting older adults and their families. Her areas of interest include lifestyle enrichment, family dynamics, and caregiver support. Cyn has worked in both the recreational and healthcare industries.

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