Stop Eating Out: How to Make Healthy Meals at Home

Stop Eating Out: How to Make Healthy Meals at Home

The choice between eating out and cooking at home is a common dilemma for busy professionals. On one hand, eating out is quicker and easier; but on the other, it can get expensive, and in many cases the food isn’t always the best for you, even if you avoid traditional fast-food outlets. However, cooking at home often means extra time and energy that, after a long day at work, you don’t always have.

As more and more people work more than the traditional 40-hour workweek (which is still enough to tire many people out), the time required to prepare a meal at home after a long day at the office can seem increasingly like a luxury. It’s often much easier to simply stop at a take-out restaurant, or, in this age of UberEats and other such apps, just order in.

Below are some tips on making it easier to prepare healthy, home-cooked meals and cut down on how often you eat out.

Prepare Food in Advance

A solid tip to avoid the problem of having no energy or time – especially if you’re the type who gets home late enough that the thought of cooking just makes you feel even more tired – is to get a head-start on your dinner early.

It may seem strange at first, but try getting up a bit earlier and starting on that night’s dinner in the morning, before you leave for work. You don’t necessarily have to cook a full meal, but even getting a head-start on things like marinating meat or fish, washing and/or chopping vegetables and storing them, or defrosting meat by transferring it from the freezer to the fridge will shave precious time off your food-prep schedule once you get home. You can even get started on some meals over the weekend, then refrigerate or freeze it for use through the week.

Make More Than One Meal’s Worth

Try preparing double- and triple-servings of some foods to store for use later in the week. Not necessarily full meals (you’ll probably get sick of leftovers of the same dish two or three times a week), but side dishes like rice or certain vegetables can be re-used in various combinations across a few different meals.

Do Your Dishes

This isn’t about acting like a nagging parent, but it’s a good idea to get into the habit of doing your dishes after each meal. Nothing will discourage you from cooking than arriving home to a sink full of dirty pots and pans that you know you’ll have to clean before you even start preparing food.

Eat Healthier

There have been numerous studies that link energy levels to the quality of food we eat. If you just eat stuff like McDonald’s or pizza all the time, it’s no wonder you never feel like preparing anything yourself. Don’t fall into this vicious cycle.

Do a little research and ensure that you’re getting the required amounts of nutrients in your meals. Modify recipes that include fatty ingredients like butter, or that recommend cooking with animal fat. Don’t add salt to food during preparation. Use non-stick pans to reduce the need for oils and butter while you cook. Trim the fat from meat and remove chicken skin before cooking. Try cutting down on the amount of meat in your meals, and balance it out with more whole grains and vegetables.

These tips are just intended to be a starting point to get you moving in the right direction. A little bit of effort and you’ll soon find yourself in the habit of eating at home, and eating better. It’ll likely save you some money, and you’ll feel better about yourself. It’s a true win-win situation.

Spelling and Grammar in Professional Communications

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You spend months waiting for that important email, and finally the day arrives! Opening your inbox, you see your new business partner’s name at the top of the list. But the subject line gives you pause: “Your invited!” Well, accidents happen, you think as you open the message – but it only goes downhill from there…

In a world ruled by social media, where something that occurred an hour ago is no longer considered “news,” conveying the message itself has taken priority over how that message is conveyed. In fact, many business owners forget that correct spelling and grammar are integral to professional communications. They help avoid confusion, loss of credibility, and a host of other problems.

A few advantages of grammatically correct writing include:

  • A good first impression of your business creates a solid foundation for the future at the outset. Proper grammar not only demonstrates impeccable attention to detail but also provides your audience with confidence in your skills.
  • Appropriate use of spelling, grammar, and punctuation results in more effective communication. It is crucial to convey your message in the clearest way possible, without hindering your audience’s ease of reading or comprehension.
  • According to LinkedIn, grammatically sound marketing messages help maintain an organization’s competitive edge. Research also shows that consumers are much less likely to make a purchase on a website with glaring spelling and grammar errors.
  • A recent study by Grammarly found that professionals who fail to progress to director-level positions in the first 10 years of their career make more than double the number of grammar errors.
  • The study also revealed that professionals who earn six to nine promotions in a 10-year period make 45% fewer grammar errors than their less frequently promoted colleagues.
  • Proper spelling is essential not only for the message you are attempting to convey, but also for the medium in which it is delivered. Spelling a professional contact’s name and email address correctly indicates that you respect them and their time.
  • Eloquent use of language establishes a business owner as an expert in their field. A perfect structure and smooth flow of your message indicates that you are speaking from experience, whereas awkward sentences imply lack of industry knowledge – regardless of whether or not this impression is a reflection of the truth.
  • Clear, error-free language also helps establish trust in both internal and external communications. Be it your clients, partners or even your own employees, anyone to whom you convey written messages must be able to rely on complete transparency from you as a business owner.

If you need proof that bad grammar can cost your business, one company learned about it the hard way. You may be familiar with the age-old debate on the Oxford comma. While in some cases it may not be necessary, in others its absence can completely change the meaning of a sentence. (For example, “I would like to thank my parents, Ayn Rand and God” vs. “I would like to thank my parents, Ayn Rand, and God.”) That distinction could cost a Maine dairy company $10 million in lawsuits due to unclear wording in a state law.

The next time you doubt the impact of spelling and grammar on professional communications, remember the examples above. Is an extra minute to proofread an email or a Facebook post worth it to avoid all the problems that could follow? It is, indeed.

 

Diana Spektor | DBPC Blog