Cooking for one person – 14 Questions Answered

So, you’re single and trying to eat healthily but cooking for one person seems like more trouble than it’s worth. You got questions…I’ve got answers!

Cooking for one person
Cooking for one person

When starting down a new path in life, there are always questions.  The problem, at least for me, is I feel dumb when I ask them. I feel like people who would have the answers, those “In The Know” are looking down at me and wondering why I would attempt this when it’s obvious that I don’t even have the most rudimentary skills to make it happen.

Is this the truth?  Probably not but all it takes is that one person to make us feel like we would never be able to pull this off, right?

I’m here to tell you that you can do it and I’d like to help!  I’ve got answers to 14 common questions about how to get started on this journey to eat healthier and be successful cooking for one.

What Should I Eat If I Live Alone?

What Should I Eat When Living Alone?
What Should I Eat When Living Alone?

What do single people eat?

Generally speaking, people who live alone tend to have poorer eating habits than those who don’t, men to a greater degree than women.  I’m not throwing shade here, it’s just a fact.

Why?  Theories abound but it seems most singles agree that it’s harder to keep fruits and vegetables fresh until they can be used and it’s harder to purchase portions of fresh food sized for a single person.

And let’s not forget accountability…it’s easier to eat cake for dinner when there’s no one there to see you do it.

What should I eat if I’m single?

I’m not crazy about the wording of this question because it seems to indicate that there are things we are “allowed” to eat and things we are “not allowed” to eat.

We should be striving to add more whole foods to our diets and cutting back on empty calories as well as processed foods but let’s face facts: There will absolutely be (the very occasional) times when you’re going to eat cake for dinner.  And that’s ok.

What can I cook that’s healthy?

What can I cook that's healthy?
What can I cook that’s healthy? 

What is a healthy dinner?

There’s no one-size-fits-all healthy meal.  People have different likes, different eating habits and different beliefs on what is ethical food.  Based on what our bodies need to thrive, a meal should consist of protein, fruits and/or veggies, complex carbs and calcium.  And don’t forget that a tad bit of fat helps your body absorb all those nutrients!

How do single people eat healthily?

It’s easier to eat healthy when you have the healthy foods you need right on hand. Whether you like to shop for groceries daily, weekly or monthly, make sure you go with a  meal plan in mind and a list in hand.

Take advantage of the butcher, seafood and deli counters to get the exact amount of product you’ll want to eat.  Shop for loose fruits and veggies in produce and don’t hesitate to ask the clerks in produce and meat if you can get portions smaller than the packages that are on the shelf.  Lastly, check-in the frozen aisle for healthy foods that will keep for a while in your freezer!

How do I cook when living alone?

How do you cook when living alone?
How do you cook when living alone?

What are the easiest things to cook?

There are plenty of simple recipes out there that just take just a few minutes to prepare such as spinach feta pizza and pan-seared scallops.  You could also just Google “simple meals to make” to get some great ideas as well!

How can I simplify cooking?

One of the easiest ways to simplify cooking, in my opinion, is to make something once and use it (at least) twice.  Make creamed spinach for a side to your steak and use the leftovers for eggs florentine. Dill Greek yogurt dip is great for dipping some veggies while watching your favorite movie but it’s also great as a chicken marinade or in egg salad!

You’d be surprised how easy it is to whip up something delightful when you have a good selection of condiments and spices.  Szechuan-style shrimp? Nothing but shrimp, rice and condiments. You can pick these spices and condiments up as you go along so don’t hesitate to invest in a new spice or additional type of mustard. These things have a long shelf life and come in handy when you’re on a mission to “throw something together”!

What should I cook for one person?

What should I cook for one person?
What should I cook for one person? 

What should I make for dinner for one person?

I think too many people feel like cooking for one person is somehow different than cooking for an entire family.  It’s exactly the same. Oh, the proportions may need to be adjusted but that’s it. Spaghetti and meatballs? Just cook 2 ounces of spaghetti (the end of the bundle should equal the diameter of a quarter), top with a quarter cup of sauce and a few meatballs.  Viola! Spaghetti for one.

What should I make for lunch for one person?

My favorite lunch for one is a repeat of what was for dinner.  It was good then, right? Well, it’s good now, too!

What about breakfast?

What I make for breakfast is varied depending on whether I have to work or not.  If I have to be up and out in a hurry (because, let’s face it. We’re always in a hurry in the morning, right?) I’ll go for a very quick smoothie or something that I’ve pre-made on my day off, like a breakfast cookie or overnight oats.

If I have the time, I like to make eggs with…well…something.  It depends on my mood.

Sometimes, (I’ll admit it!) I just grab whatever leftover comes to hand, even if it isn’t technically considered to be “breakfast food”.

I guess what I’m saying here is just have something.  While we can’t always make time for breakfast, we can always grab something healthy and eat it on the way. Not hungry? Grab something anyway because I guarantee that you will be. Your body hasn’t had food in 12 hours or more and, if you’re famished by lunch, I also guarantee that take-out is going to look much better than that salad you packed.

What should I cook tonight?

So, it’s happened.  You were busy, you didn’t take the time to plan, you didn’t take anything out of the freezer.  There’s nothing for dinner.

Really? Nothing?

This penne pasta dish comes together in no time flat.  So do scrambled eggs, peanut butter toast or a hummus tabouli wrap.  Just take a deep breath, open your cupboard and your mind.  I promise there’s something to eat!

What can I cook when I run out of ideas?

This is actually one of my favorite things.  Why? Because I get to try something new. First of all, what do you have for ingredients?  Let’s say you have a chicken breast, a potato and some frozen peas. Just Google it! Seriously.  “Chicken potato frozen peas. Enter.” This method has never failed me.

Still got questions?  Ask away in the comments below and I’ll do my best to answer them!.

All my best


Change Your Food, Change Your Life

We’ve become a society of convenience-based, fast-food junkies but what’s the REAL cost of processed food? My motto: change your food, change your life.

Change Your Food, Change Your Life
Change Your Food, Change Your Life

We are all acquainted with those people who wouldn’t know a fresh vegetable if it ran them down in the street. Maybe you are one of those people. Or, rather, were one of those people.

The fact that you’re here, reading this article, tells me that you’ve changed. It tells me that you want to eat differently.

I had a dear friend who embraced the motto, “I only have a kitchen because it came with the house”. Yes, she was being funny but it was also (mostly) true and, if we’re being truthful, we all feel that way from time to time.

We’ve become a society of convenience-based, fast-food junkies. I’ve made a decision to change my life, to change the way I eat, so now I’m embracing this new motto: “Change Your Food, Change Your Life”.

Here are a few reasons why.

Do Processed Foods Make You Hungry?

Do Processed Foods Make You Hungry?
Do Processed Foods Make You Hungry?

The US National Institutes of Health say that eating a diet full of processed foods causes a rise in hunger hormones.

In a month-long study, 20 volunteers lived in a laboratory and spent two weeks eating a diet of processed foods followed by two weeks eating a diet of unprocessed foods.

It was discovered that the unprocessed diet caused appetite-suppression hormones PYY to rise while hunger hormone ghrelin went down.

This did not happen for the processed food portion of the study. As a matter of fact, the volunteers consumed an average of 500 more calories every day while on the processed foods diet.

Why is this happening? The answers aren’t clear. Obviously more studies are needed to get to the bottom of this.

Do Processed Foods Make You Fat?

Do Processed Foods Make You Fat?
Do Processed Foods Make You Fat?

The study I’ve noted above took great care to make sure that the nutritional intake for the two diets was similar but, here in the real world, things look a little different, don’t they?

We tend to choose (and overeat) processed foods that are full of refined carbs, added sugar and fat, all of which appeals to the human palate, but tend to fall short when it comes to fiber, protein and nutrition.

When we couple that with the information garnered about hormones in the study mentioned above, it’s no wonder we’re gaining weight.

Studies have shown again and again that beings who eat (humans, mice, dogs, etc) gravitate towards foods that taste good and we don’t mind compromising our health to do it.

In past generations, this desire was mitigated by the food that was available and the process of preparing it. If you missed that deer or didn’t have wood to build a fire, then you simply had to consume what you had.

In today’s society, the plethora of readily available and inexpensive convenience foods assures that we can eat as much as we want, whenever want.

Do Processed foods make you tired?

Do Processed foods make you tired?
Do Processed foods make you tired?

We’re Bushed. Zonked. Fried. Done in. Pooped. Whatever you call it, it’s no fun to be weary.

As we struggle valiantly to stay awake during the morning meeting, we vow to do better.

We promise ourselves that tonight we’ll lose the screen time, skip that second glass of wine and hit the sack earlier. So why isn’t it helping?

While all these things are certainly issues in our day-to-day lives, the fatigue that we’re suffering could be directly linked to the foods that we eat.

More and more, experts are uncovering the reasons that processed foods make you tired. And they’re not necessarily the reasons you may think.

I think we all know that when we eat a donut, the blood sugar spike we get will be quickly followed by a dip, leaving us tired and cranky.

What many people don’t realize is that the same holds true for so-called “white” carbs. These are the refined carbs found in many white foods such as white bread, white flour, white rice and some breakfast cereals.

The better choices to avoid that sugar crash are whole grains such as whole-wheat bread, brown rice and oatmeal.

Things go much deeper than that, however.

Because many processed foods don’t contain the nutrients that our bodies need to function, using them as a main food source can lead to a variety of health issues such as anemia. The higher salt sugar and fat content can cause high blood pressure, heart disease and diabetes.

The chemicals that are used in processed foods can cause fatigue as well. Inorganic phosphate, for example, is shown to reduce oxygen uptake as well as impede the body’s ability to produce fatty acids. Considering that it’s used in up to 70% of all processed foods, I think we can agree that it’s a problem.

Do processed foods make you crave sugar?

Do processed foods make you crave sugar?
Do processed foods make you crave sugar?

Why does it seem that the more we eat, the more we want?

The answer is simple: Modern industrial food manufacturers have worked tirelessly to create foods that make us want more.

They have surrounded us with food that is cheap, delicious, calorie-dense and impossible to resist.

They have created food that is, by design, addictive.

So, yes. That sugar-filled donut you ate this morning really did make you crave more sugar.

But how do they do it? This next part’s a little scary so buckle up.

Manufacturers have discovered how to use a precise combination of sugar, salt and fat to virtually ensure our overconsumption of the foods they’re pushing. This concoction lights up the pleasure centers in the brain, creating a euphoria that compels us to want more.

It’s so powerful that it’s been compared to cocaine. Yes, you heard me right. Check out these findings put together by Yale University.

The Future of Processed Foods

The Future of Processed Foods
The Future of Processed Foods

Despite the outcries of those who look to regulate the industry, I wouldn’t expect things to change anytime soon.

Where there is a demand, there will, without doubt, be a supply and right now processed foods account for more than half the calories that Americans consume.

Ultimately, it’s up to each and every one of us to educate ourselves and then map out a nutritional plan that works in our individual lives.

No, we’re not experts but we don’t have to be.

We only have to strive each day to be a little better than the day before.

We only have to want to make those small changes and see them through until they become so ingrained that we find that we have, after all, changed our lives.  Check out this article for a few tips on how to begin cooking your own healthy and delicious foods at home!

Please feel free to share your personal journey in the comments below!




Creating Healthy Whole Foods Meals For One

So, what the heck is a whole foods diet, anyway? Take a minute to read this for my opinion on the subject on creating healthy whole foods meals!

Cooking Whole Foods
Cooking Whole Foods


As I mentioned before, I love to cook but cooking for one person seems like a lot of work. You have to haul out the bowls and the pans. The utensils, the cutting board, and the dishes. Not to mention the shopping and clean-up! All for that one meal. But the good news is that I’ve been experimenting in my kitchen. I’ve been creating some tasty and healthy whole foods meals to share with you. I’ve also come up with some easy cooking hacks, tips and ideas to make meal preparation a little bit easier and more efficient.

What Is A Whole Foods Diet?

What Is A Whole Foods Diet?
What Is A Whole Foods Diet?

So what is a whole foods diet, exactly?  Well, that’s sort of a loaded question.

The first thing I would like to point out is that what I’m referring to when I say “diet” is not what is commonly thought of as traditional dieting (i.e. weight loss diet plan). What I’m talking about is a healthier way of eating. (And if you do lose a little weight then all the better, right?!?)

The second thing I’ll say is that there are a number of definitions out there. Many vegetarians see their choices as being the true whole foods diet, while vegans (including raw vegans, fruitarians, juicearians, sproutairians, etc) feel that THEIR choices are the correct ones.

These are all great options and I have deep respect for those who desire, for whatever reason, to remove meat or animals products from their diets but what I’m referring to is a more general description. More of a goal, really, as opposed to a specific plan.

I’m concentrating on avoiding processed foods in favor of using fresh foods, or foods in their natural state if you prefer.

Fresh Foods vs Processed Foods

Processed Foods
Processed Foods

The term fresh food means, once again, different things to different people.

If we wanted to be literal about this, we would go to the hen house every morning to gather eggs. Then we would head to the barn to milk Bessy so we could churn the butter for bread made from the flour we milled after harvesting the wheat in our own backyard.

I, personally, don’t want to wait that long for breakfast so I’m in favor of using a meter, of sorts, that rates food from red to green. From Very Bad (Is there anything in this that isn’t chemicals?) to Sainthood (Why, yes, I do maintain an organic, totally self-sufficient, plant-based household). I simply aim for something in the green(ish) section.

In all seriousness, acquiring fresh food is easier than ever. Most of us are no longer at the mercy of growing seasons, weather or the proximity to others who are willing to barter foodstuffs.

In regard to fresh foods vs processed foods, I am simply referring to foods that are in their natural state vs foods that have been modified in some way to make them ready to eat or easier to prepare. Think a fresh potato instead of boxed potato flakes. Really, it’s that simple.

If you do want to take things a step further (and sometimes I do), the movement to purchase locally grown or raised products is gaining serious traction. You could google local farms (or farmers markets), check your local newspaper or peruse the community bulletin board. I have discovered that most local merchants are happy to direct you to another one if they don’t have what you need.

And think of all the cool people you’ll meet.

Is Eating Meat Healthy?

Is Eating Meat Healthy?
Is Eating Meat Healthy?

Is eating meat bad? Is eating meat healthy?

The debate is never-ending and certainly not one that I could ever settle.

There is one thing that I DO know…many experts agree that meat can be a part of a whole foods meal plan.

Keep in mind that this not a specific eating plan we’re talking about here but more of a guideline.

Fresh and unprocessed is the key (sorry chicken nuggets). Based on that train of thought, some will even argue that fresh meat is more compatible with a whole foods diet than the processed vegan alternatives.

Shopping For Whole Foods

Whole Foods
Whole Foods

Now that we’ve had this chat, you’re ready to jump right in and work up a healthy eating plan, right?

Unfortunately, creating healthy meals is a “no-go” if you don’t have the proper ingredients.

The first thing you’re going to want to do is go shopping for whole foods.

I’m not going to tell you what to buy because I think we’ve already covered that. And we all have different tastes. I love Brussels sprouts, for example, but my best friend gags at the mere sight of them.

No, my advice is simple.  Shop the perimeter of the store because that’s where all the good stuff is. Close your eyes and picture taking a walk around the (inside) outer limits of your local supermarket. That’s where you’ll find fresh produce, seafood, meat and dairy.

Shopping for one person is trickier than shopping for a group so the first thing you’re going to want to do is to decide what you’re going to cook in the upcoming week and use that to make a list.

If you’re feeling stuck, I have posted some of my favorite recipes in the Let’s Get Cooking! tab on my home page. There are a few aisles you may want to hit but if you have a plan you won’t waste your time wandering aimlessly and (probably) buying things you didn’t intend to buy.

For more information on shopping for one person, check out this post.


Whole Foods
Whole Foods

I’ll be adding a few recipes each week under the Let’s Get Cooking! tab on my homepage.

I’ll do my best to categorize them but my idea of evening food might be different from yours (breakfast for supper, anyone?) so feel free to look around to see what’s there.

I’ll also be including those aforementioned cooking hacks, tips and ideas. Any that pertain to a particular recipe will be included in that post but

I will also be writing posts about some ideas I’ve come up with. Please come back often to see what’s new!

This is a journey and I hope you’ll join me. I look forward to seeing your ideas and recipes, either in the comment section below or by email.

So, are we ready?

Let’s Get Cooking!



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