Author: Caitlin Suter, MS
The idea of cooking can seem overwhelming, time-consuming, difficult, you name it. For those who rarely cook, whatever the reason may be, there is often a concern of not eating as healthy of a diet. However, don’t let that discourage you from reaching your health goals!
When it comes to cooking (or lack thereof), whether it’s dislike, not enough time in the day, or not knowing where to start, we’ll go through some options that can keep you on track with healthy eating.
1. Plan ahead
A little planning goes a long way. Consider your plan by writing out the meals you have in mind and the grocery list for those meals. Whether you plan your meals out for the week, a few days ahead, or the night before, planning allows you to be organized, choose foods that match your health goals, and avoid decision fatigue.
You might be thinking, “what’s the difference between this and meal planning?” Meal prep is an additional, yet optional step for meal planning. It can save you time through the week for those on-the-go moments or limited time at home. Choose to clean, cut, chop, portion, or create full meals in bulk to spread throughout the week. Great for snacks too!
3. Skip the line
It’s as simple as it sounds. Browse groceries online, add them to your cart, select your pick-up time and arrive at your grocery store when your order is ready. Not only can grocery store pick-up save you time, but you’ll also avoid the temptations of grabbing more than the items on your list! Check your local grocery store for more details.
4. Get it pre-prepared
If you like having a hot meal but don’t want to put the work in, supermarkets can have options ranging from a hot-food bar, fruit and salad bars, rotisserie chickens, and more.
5. Find one dish wonders
A healthy dinner can be as easy as throwing all your ingredients onto a pan, drizzle some oil and seasoning and letting the oven do the work.
6. Consider a crockpot
Just as simple as baked meals can sound, you might like the idea of crockpot meals that can slowly cook overnight or through the work day. All that’s required is throwing the ingredients together and letting the crockpot do the work. Great for making meals in bulk.
7. Make the most of a microwave
Whether you’re trying to save time or hate the idea of leftovers, frozen meals have come a long way! Now-a-days there are quality frozen meals with a much smaller ingredient list, ingredients that look familiar, and many healthy options to choose from. Still not a fan of frozen meals? Try throwing some simple ingredients together in a mug and into the microwave for a great way to try something new, avoid waste, and get creative in an easy way. Think “omelette in a mug” with your favorite veggies cooked all in one step, “baked sweet potato in a mug” with your favorite toppings, or maybe even “chicken pot pie in a mug”!
8. Try no-bake
With some planning and prepping, there are many options for having a healthy meal that requires no stove, oven, or heat at all! Great for hot summer days!
9. Eat out
You read that right. Eating out can be convenient and quick when on the road or away from home. The quick choice doesn’t have to mean the unhealthy choice. Looking ahead at your route or where you’ll be staying to see what food options will be available will allow you to evaluate choices ahead of time. Most nutritional information for fast-food restaurants can be found online.
10. Use a kit in your kitchen
Meal delivery service kits range from some prep with ingredients provided, no prep, plant-based, no cooking required, and more. There are many kits for different preferences and it’s worth taking a loo