Many of us assume that we don’t have the time for healthy eating. There’s a belief that a healthy diet requires a huge amount of meal prep and cooking time or a big budget for superfoods and exotic ingredients. In reality, eating well can be quick, affordable and fuss-free. Here are some top tips to take the hassle out of healthy eating for those with hectic schedules.
Batch cooking is a brilliant way to save time, effort and money while enjoying delicious, nutritious meals. The idea is to cook a large volume of food and freeze individual portions to enjoy at a later date. If you’ve got an hour or two free on a Sunday afternoon, for example, you could rustle up a stew, a pasta dish and a homemade soup and then freeze the dishes to defrost and consume during the week. When you’ve been at work, or you’ve had a long day chasing after the kids or running errands, all you have to do is pop the dish in the oven and then serve it with a side of vegetables or a salad. If you’re new to batch cooking, there are hundreds of recipes available online.
Quick, healthy recipes
Most people don’t have hours to spend creating a homemade feast every evening. The good news is that you don’t need a lot of time to put healthy, tasty dishes on the table. From easy blackened cod, which takes 15 minutes to cook, to a vibrant whole-grain pasta dish with a rich tomato, zucchini, onion and pepper sauce and fresh herbs, you can boost your nutrition even when you’re up against the clock. Use the Internet or recipe apps to search for meals you can cook in 15, 30 or 60 minutes, depending on how much time you have. You can filter the results according to the ingredients you want to use, the type of cuisine you fancy, cooking and prep time and dietary requirements.
One of the main reasons why people don’t eat as healthily as they’d like to is a lack of time, which means that they eat on the go. If you find yourself popping to a store or a local cafe or coffee shop every lunchtime, start making your lunch the night before or get up 15 minutes earlier. It takes just a few minutes to make a healthy sandwich, wrap or salad. Add raw vegetables and pieces of fruit to your lunch and try to avoid snacking on sugary foods. Opt for complex carbohydrates, which release energy slowly and make you feel fuller for longer. You can also take servings of meals you’ve made at home, such as soup, pasta or rice. Add a side to boost your intake of vegetables. If you’re having a pasta salad, for example, you could serve it with some fresh spinach leaves, chopped tomatoes or rocket.
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It’s understandable to assume that healthy eating requires a lot of time in the kitchen and a substantial grocery store budget. The truth is that eating well doesn’t have to be expensive or time-consuming. Try batch cooking, make your lunch the evening before, search for quick, healthy recipes online and add healthy sides to every meal.