We’re busting excuses here this month at Anytime Fitness, and it’s time to tackle a nutrition related one. As a healthy cooking professional, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard these excuses:
- Healthy cooking just takes so long.
- I just don’t have time to eat healthy.
- I’m too busy to eat healthy food.
Trust me, I get it. We’re all swamped. There aren’t enough hours in the day for any of us! And I’m not going to lie to you and say cooking healthy food at home is as quick as picking up some fast food on your way home from work.
But what I will tell you is that for 10-15 minutes more time than you’d spend in the drive-thru, you can have a healthy dinner option that is fueling your body so well that you’ll have more energy. And with more energy, you’ll be able to accomplish more things in a day more efficiently. So basically, by spending a little bit of extra time devoted to healthy eating, you’re actually gaining more minutes in your day.
Find Your Fast Favorites
With the plethora of recipes out there, it can be easy to assume that folks pretty much never eat the same meal twice, but the truth is, most families stick to the same rotation of 7-10 dinners each and every night.
Your Mission: find some healthy and fast recipes to slot into those spots. Learn ‘em, love ‘em, and use ‘em! Once you get the hang of those recipes (and can guarantee your family loves them), cooking a healthy dinner is no more time intensive that getting delivery.
Take Advantage of Your Free Time
I know you’re probably thinking, “what free time?” But I promise if you can carve out an hour or two on a Sunday afternoon, you can gain hours and hours of time during the week. A bit of time spent chopping produce, boiling some eggs for snacks, or pre-making some breakfast options can make the hectic and crazy weekdays go much more smoothly. I honestly believe an hour of prep time on a weekend can gain you four or more hours of time during the week.
Don’t be Afraid to Use Some Convenience Items
In general, convenience foods are a no-no when it comes to healthy eating. They are processed, packed with sodium and preservatives, and generally not so great for your body. But there are some convenience items that can be your friend when you’re in a rush. Check out the produce section of your grocery store, chances are, you’ll find pre-chopped packages of onions, peppers and lots of other veggies—saving your precious minutes when cooking. Also, check out the freezer section for pre-cooked versions of lentils, rice, beans, and other healthy options. Just make sure you check the ingredients—you want foods without any added ingredients.
Your Slow-Cooker is Your Friend
What if I told you that if you get up 15 minutes earlier in the morning, I can give you an hour or more of time in the evening? Some of you morning haters might not take me up on it, but 15 minutes in exchange for more evening time sounds like a deal to me! And you can get it by using your slow cooker. The slow cooker works hard for you while you’re doing other things (like, uh, working). Most slow cooker recipes take 15 minutes or less to put together, and you’ll have a healthy dinner waiting for you when you get home. You can’t get much quicker than that.
One-Pot Meals Rock
It’s easy to make a main dish in 15 minutes. Or a side dish in 15 minutes. Or a salad in 15 minutes. But all of them together? Not so easy. That’s why one-pot meals are amazing. You just make one dish instead of dividing your attention (and your time) between multiple courses.