Help! I Don’t Have Time To Cook Healthy!

hard boiled eggsWe get it – you have a LOT going on. Many times, it’s not so much that you don’t want to eat healthy, lose those extra pounds, and just in general feel a lot better about yourself, it’s that there are only so many hours in the day, and as much as you try, time won’t slow down so you can prepare a nutritious, well-balanced meal.

The result? You end up seeing less of your kitchen and more of that fast food drive-through.

So, when you’re super short on time, try these quick and easy breakfast, lunch, and dinner options — that don’t involve cooking!

Breakfast

• Snack-sized containers of low-fat Greek or low-fat plain yogurt
• Health Valley Granola Bar
• Arrowhead Mills Instant Oatmeal
• Fruit
• Whole-grain toast
• High-fiber cereal with milk (lactose-free, if necessary). Each of these ideas will take less than three minutes of your time.

Lunch

Ideally, you would take some time the night before or on the weekends to prepare healthy foods to pack and carry, but if that just isn’t realistic for you, try the following options:

• Buy prepared salads at your supermarket.
• Eat a sandwich— make sure the bread is whole grain and the meat is organic and not processed (look for fresh, low-sodium deli meat). Avoid high-fat condiments like regular mayo and choose mustard (it’s naturally low in fat) instead.

Snacks

• Nuts
• Low-fat cheeses
• Whole-grain crackers like Kashi
• Hard-boiled eggs

Dinner

This entails a similar effort as lunch, in that you need to buy precooked foods at the deli counter in the supermarket — but always ask for organic meat whenever possible. Buying food like this is a bit more expensive, but it’s quick, easy, and healthy – and unfortunately, convenience is rarely ever cheap.

• Pick up grilled chicken breasts, salmon or halibut fillets, or turkey breasts, all precooked. Then you can simply throw a portion into a plastic container and run out the door with it.

• Buy veggie side dishes, such as grilled vegetables, for example, brown rice with chopped olives, whatever tasty and healthy selections that appeal to you.

What About Frozen Meals?

For either lunch or dinner, frozen entrées are another quick and calorie-controlled option. The downside is that they’re usually processed — meaning they’re loaded with salt and preservatives. If you absolutely can’t cook a meal and want frozen meal options, try an entrée from Amy’s or Kashi, which tend to be much lower in sodium than others.

Yes, ultimately, the best and healthiest option is to cook your food. But, in today’s world, wanting and doing are two completely different things, and you sometimes need to choose convenience. But when you CAN, try to find the time to plan your meals for the week and cook healthy on the weekends. This way you will better be able to control your diet – which is the best way to control your overall health.

 

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