Some days, it feels like everything in New York City contributes to unhealthy eating. Long hours at work, tiny kitchen spaces, and a delicious restaurant on every corner often make takeout and delivery the most appealing options.
However, the easiest, fastest option is rarely the healthiest option. February is American Heart Month, and the 2019 focus is on cholesterol¹. Nearly a third of American adults suffer from high blood cholesterol, a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke. One of the top ways to control cholesterol, according to the Mayo Clinic², is through a healthy diet.
Maintaining a healthy – not to mention cost-effective – meal plan doesn’t have to be complicated, time-consuming, or messy. Some basic knowledge and planning can help you to create healthy meals in your home, saving you time and money as well as boosting immunity, controlling weight, and improving overall emotional health.
Resources for Healthy Eating
The National Kidney Foundation has a series of videos from ‘Sodium Girl,’ in which food writer Jessica Goldman Foung shares healthy, low-sodium recipes and tips to help fight kidney failure and promote overall health and well-being.
One of the critical aspects of a healthy diet is variety. Incorporating new ingredients, cooking methods, and flavors into your diet can help to keep a home-cooked meal plan feeling fresh and new. RESOBOX is a Japanese cultural center that offers classes and exhibitions supporting all aspects of Japanese arts and culture, including food! You can explore and sign up for cooking, art, and language classes at all three locations in Manhattan and Queens.
A vegetarian or vegan diet has been linked to numerous health benefits, including weight loss, and a lowered risk of chronic diseases such as cancer, type-2 diabetes, and heart disease³. These diets are also supported by organizations with a mission of preventing cruelty to animals, some of whom offer meat-free recipes and cooking tips.
Even if you’re not ready to adopt a completely vegetarian or vegan diet, you can try the trend of Meatless Monday – a growing movement where regular people take meat out of their diet for one day per week. A recent study⁴ found that eating vegetarian once per week for a decade can help to save the lives of 20.6 million domestic animals – not to mention the health benefits this habit provides to the people themselves.
Some online vegetarian/vegan cooking resources include:
In line with its organizational mission to support justice for living creatures, AO offers cooking videos for home cooks to create healthy, meat-free meals. These include breakfast nachos, eggplant panini, and enchilada casserole.
Perhaps the best-known organization for the prevention of animal cruelty, PETA hosts a comprehensive database of vegan recipes and cooking tips, in addition to a free vegan starter kit and a vegan mentor program.
Healthy Cooking Classes
The institute offers many healthy cooking classes for home cooks at all levels of expertise. From ‘Techniques of Healthy Cooking’ to ‘Fast and Fresh Vegan Dinners’ there is something for everyone. The ‘Family Sushi Workshop for Parents & Kids’ gets the whole family involved, while ‘Vegan Entrees for Meat Lovers’ helps to support the Meatless Monday trend.
Since 2002, HCNY has been offering home cooks classes in cooking basics including Knife Skills 101 and How to Use Spices, in addition to their vegan/vegetarian and international cooking series.
All New Yorkers understand the appeal of restaurant eating and takeout. According to the National Restaurant Association, there are 50,153 restaurants in New York City, making an estimated $51.6 billion in sales in 2018 alone⁵. However, cooking at home can be fun, as well as being good for you. Take your health into your own hands by learning more about healthy cooking in NYC.
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