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Author: Tero Isokauppila

Best-selling author and functional medicine leader Mark Hyman, M.D. talked to us about his daily cooking routine, and we just had to share a few of his tips with you to elevate your week:

How does cooking impact long-term health? 

That depends on the way we cook. Cooking has become less and less common as Big Food tries to convince us we should save time in the kitchen and eat packaged and pre-made foods, and even still, if we cook with the wrong ingredients we aren’t helping ourselves. But when we cook real food at home we take control of our health; we get to choose every ingredient in the process to make sure our meal is truly serving us. Studies have shown that people who cook at home are generally in better overall health and from my own experience, I’ve seen when people start cooking at home with a focus on quality (like colorful organic veggies, clean protein, high-quality fat, and low-glycemic grains, beans, and fruits) they achieve improved blood sugar and cholesterol, and a healthier relationship to food as a whole. 

What does your weekly cooking routine look like?

On Sundays, I meal prep for my week—cooking a big batch of stew for lunches, roasting a pasture-raised chicken for multiple recipes, and making sure I have healthy travel snacks like trail mix, and olives. I always have a big salad or fresh greens on hand. On busy days, I love to kick off the morning with a smoothie, which only takes me about 5 minutes to toss together. 

What is the one cooking skill you wish everyone knew?

How to cook vegetables! I can’t tell you how many times I talk to patients about eating more vegetables but they say they struggle because they just don’t like them. When we dig in further, it turns out they have only ever been exposed to overcooked, mushy ones without flavor. Once I give them a few of my favorite recipes they can’t believe the difference! Roasting, sautéing, puréeing, and lots of other methods, combined with some herbs and spices, can produce incredible textures that will show you a whole new world of flavor and variety when it comes to eating vegetables. 

What is your go-to recipe for busy parents with limited time on their hands?

Kids love using their hands to make and eat lettuce wrap tacos. I use sautéed onions, peppers, mushrooms and some black beans with cumin, oregano and chili powder. Fill large Bibb lettuce leaves and top with avocado and fresh lime juice. This is a great recipe for kids because they get to use their hands and you can always switch up what kinds of veggies and protein you use for variety. 

What is something most people do in the kitchen that you wish they would stop today?

Using plastic. It’s easier than ever to find glass storage containers and other nontoxic kitchen tools, like wood or rubber cooking utensils, silicon or fabric bags, metal water bottles, and even stainless steel French press coffee makers to clean up all the places that plastics can sneak into your food and beverages. 

How do you make time for cooking?

When it comes to good health, eating well has to be a priority. So home cooking can take a little preparation but once you get into the swing of things it doesn’t really have to take a lot of time. I have my favorite go-to meals that I know I can turn to for a quick meal, and I utilize some really helpful resources to make that happen. For example, ordering food from Thrive Market (where Four Sigmatic is also sold 😉) to have delivered right to my house saves me time shopping, and another time-saver is that I make bigger meals when I do take the time to cook so I can have leftovers throughout the week. Once you making healthy eating a non-negotiable part of your week and experiment with what kinds of tools work best for your family you won’t remember doing it any other way. 

Hungry for more? Dr. Hyman has a brand new cookbook I think you’ll love. Food: What the Heck Should I Cook? has recipes aimed at creating real and lasting vibrant health and shows you that it is easy, convenient, and delicious to eat for the health of yourself, your family, and your environment.

These recipes are gluten-free, refined-sugar-free, nutrient-dense, and overflowing with flavor. You’ll find everything from breakfast, lunch, and dinner, snacks, desserts, and better basics—all using whole, real foods that help create radiant health.

Pre-order your copy of Food: What the Heck Should I Cook? Today so you can cook to elevate your health tomorrow.
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