Cooking for two doesn't have to be a hassle. (Courtesy) 

Some people have a hard time cooking for just themselves or only two people. Sometimes this situation involves an older person or couple who once cooked bigger meals when their kids were still living at home.

Sometimes singles or young couples without children face the challenge of cooking small meals.

Often, people in these situations give up on cooking healthy meals and instead opt for easily accessible processed food or fast-food takeout. These bad food choices can lead to all kinds of chronic digestive issues, weight gain and disease.

It is possible to maintain a healthy, sustainable diet when cooking for one or two. Below are a few tips to get you on the right track.

Plan Ahead

When you make a plan before heading to the grocery store, you are more likely to stick to the list, spend less money and buy healthy food.

You're also more likely to set aside the time to cook knowing that all the ingredients you need are available at home. Finally, you can even think through a plan for using the leftovers.

Be realistic. Start by planning two or three homemade dinners a week. Go with what works for you.

Use your freezer

Buying in bulk saves money. Don’t  miss out on really great bulk prices just because there’s only yourself or you and your mate to cook for. 

This is where a freezer comes into play. Divide items bought in bulk into smaller portions and freeze them. 

Pull out frozen bananas, kale, spinach, peaches nad berries and use them to make smoothies. Buy bulk spinach and kale to use in sauces and salads for extra greens in your diet.

If you’re not a fan of plastic freezer bags, great reusable silicon bags are available.

Go plant-based

Animal protein historically is among the most expensive food and takes the most time to prepare. If time is an obstacle to preparing healthy meals at home, ditch the protein and keep the ingredients on hand to make a fast and easy salad.

For salads, you can put together endless combinations of lettuces, capers, olives, artichokes, hard-boiled eggs, seeds, nuts, lemon juice, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, kale, spinach, sprouts and even fruit!

Spruce up leftovers

There are two kinds of people: those who love leftovers and those who hate them. Many find them boring and repetitive, but they don’t have to be.

If you make roasted chicken with vegetables for dinner, reinvent the leftovers into quesadillas, chicken salad or a soup.

Blend leftover salad ingredients with some fruit to make a green smoothie. Add lefgover veggies to eggs and make an omelet.

Think fresh

Buy fresh produce that is in season and in only quantities that you know you will eat. Buy different types of produce with each trip to the grocery store to maintain variety in your diet.

Scale down large recipes

Most recipes are designed to feed several people. If you don’t want the extra food, learn to scale a recipe down to fewer servings or a single serving.

Sometimes scaling down a recipe to a single serving requires research but with a little work, it can be done.

By planning ahead and keeping healthy food readily available, cooking for one or two actually can become quite easy.

Based in Tyler, Texas, Integrative Health Matters is a whole-health practice dedicated to healing in every area of patients' lives. 


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