What is happening to our society that makes us all so busy? I am no exception to this. At times, I have to plan weeks in advance to meet up with a friend. This truly is insane. I can’t solve this problem for you right now but I can try to help you put food on the table faster. None of us have time to cook gourmet meals on a daily basis. Let’s aim for quick, healthy, and delicious. Here are some tools that I use:
- Helpful appliances. The oven is my friend (not in the summer though; maybe the grill then). I love just tossing in protein along with root vegetables and any veggies I like roasted (asparagus, broccoli, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, etc). A couple of baking sheets and I have a complete meal right out of the oven.
- Stock up. For example, when you have some extra time, boil some chicken, shred, and freeze in small bags to use for tacos, soups, bowls, stir fries, etc. Super quick meals with this step taken care of.
- Convenience food. Use convenience food but make sure you choose wisely and read ingredients. I like using frozen fruits or vegetables, canned beans, pasta sauce and other sauces but make sure they are all whole ingredients.
- Leftovers. I love leftovers. I “refresh” them by adding new, fresh vegetables. Some leftovers can all be mixed together with fresh produce to create a new meal in minutes without wasting food.
- Pre-chop. I recommend this but I don’t do it. I think I’m pretty fast at chopping veggies and I don’t mind it but I know this has been super helpful for many of my clients. Just using a few minutes to chop the night before or a few days before can really speed things up when you only have minutes to cook.
- One pot. I love one-pot meals mainly because I hate doing dishes. Stir fries, casseroles, stews, soups, etc. I especially love soups because I don’t have to stand over it and can take care of other things while my food simmers until I’m ready to eat it.
- Batch cooking. Another thing I don’t do but others have found it helpful. Double or triple the recipe and store extras in the freezer for later use. You know what you like out of the freeze such as chili, meatballs, soups, lasagna, etc.
- Weekends. Don’t forget to plan for the weekends too. So many people get stuck. We never want to eat out 3 meals a day. That is weight gain for sure. Even 2 is no good.
- Support. Don’t forget that we can’t do anything alone. Share duties with your partner, kids, family, friends, etc. Potlucks are nice. Maybe friends can get together with a large batch of food and you all swap to make up a variety of meals for the week. Have fun with it. Cooking is not an option so find ways to enjoy it.
If you need help understanding nutrition and all the mixed messages out there, give us a call. We will address your stress level, eating habits, exercise, cravings, emotional eating, and overall health and happiness. Start with a free health consultation at www.HappyFoodHealth.com or (619) 876-2655. See if this is the right match for you. I do things very differently to make health a natural lifestyle and this is not for everyone. Check out Yelp for other people’s opinion of Happy Food.
~ Samantha Hua, Nutrition & Holistic Health Coach, San Diego, CA