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  • Writer's pictureLinda Brewster

Don't Like to Cook? Me Either!

But I know that a healthy diet is important!  I want to live a long life with good health and my diet can help me get there or send me down some rough back roads!

Here are several strategies you can use to make healthy eating more manageable and enjoyable:

1.      Prep Ahead: Dedicate a specific time each week to do some basic meal prep. Chop vegetables, cook some grains or proteins, and store them in containers. This way, you can assemble quick and healthy meals without the need for extensive cooking each day.

2.      Choose Ready-to-Eat Foods: Opt for pre-washed and pre-cut vegetables, canned beans, pre-cooked chicken, and other ready-to-eat items. These can significantly cut down on preparation time.

3.      Healthy Snacking: Keep a variety of healthy snacks readily available, such as nuts, seeds, yogurt, fruit, cut-up veggies, and hummus. This way, you can grab something nutritious when you're hungry, without resorting to unhealthy options.

4.      Utilize Convenience Items: While fresh foods are great, frozen fruits and vegetables are also nutritious and convenient. They require little to no prep and can be added to smoothies, soups, stir-fries, and more.

5.      One-Pot Meals: Look for recipes that involve minimal cooking and use only one pot or pan. Stir-fries, sheet pan meals, and simple pasta dishes can all be healthy and quick options.

6.      Salad Kits: Many grocery stores offer pre-packaged salad kits that include all the ingredients you need for a delicious salad. Just add your favorite protein for a complete meal.

7.      Healthy Takeout Options: If cooking is a real challenge, explore healthier takeout or delivery options. Many restaurants offer salads, grilled proteins, and other nutritious choices.

8.      Meal Replacement Shakes: While not a substitute for whole foods, meal replacement shakes can provide a quick and balanced option when you're short on time.

9.      Plan Balanced Meals: When you're not cooking, pay attention to creating balanced meals. Include a source of protein (e.g., lean meats, fish, tofu, beans), complex carbohydrates (e.g., whole grains), healthy fats (e.g., avocados, nuts), and plenty of vegetables.

10.  Use Healthy Condiments: Keep a variety of healthy condiments, such as olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salsa, and hummus, on hand to add flavor to your meals without much effort.

11.  Hydration: Don't forget to stay hydrated. Water is essential for overall health and can also help control appetite.

12.  Mindful Eating: Even when you're not cooking, practice mindful eating. Pay attention to portion sizes and eat slowly to savor the flavors and give your body time to signal when it's full.

Remember that a healthy diet is not just about individual meals but also about your overall eating patterns. Prioritize whole foods, limit processed foods, and aim for a variety of nutrients to support your health and well-being. If you can, consulting with a registered dietitian can provide personalized guidance based on your preferences and needs.


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