Eating healthy when you’re constantly on-the-go and don’t have a lot of time to cook can be hard, but it’s not impossible. Here’s how to eat healthy without having to turn on a single stovetop burner or oven.
General tips for eating healthy without cooking
Buy pre-cut produce
However, this does require you to rethink some of your assumptions. Uncut vegetables tend to be cheaper than pre-cut vegetables, but the question is: is the return you get from spending a little more for convenience worth it to you? If the convenience of buying pre-cut produce gives you more time and less headaches, then the price might be worth it. (As a side note — if you’re cooking for just one, this might be how you finally stop wasting food).
Keep in mind that pre-cut produce also typically does not last as long.
Focus on whole grains
Nowadays, there are a lot of options of frozen whole grains, like frozen quinoa with vegetables or frozen brown rice. Getting a couple packages of those can help you to stay on track with easy meals.
Pick a couple proteins
We live in a day and age where you can buy already cooked proteins like deli meat (go nitrate-free) or pre-cooked beans and lentils. Getting a couple pre-cooked proteins that you can use throughout the week will help you stay on track.
Follow a formula
Once you develop a formula like whole grain + two vegetables + one protein + sauce or sprinkle of cheese, that can make this type of eating easy and accessible.
Specific meal ideas for a week
Let’s talk specifics. Healthy eating is characterized as a diet rich in vegetables, fruits, whole grains and lean proteins. Here’s an example of what you can buy for a week that will help you make quick healthy meals:
- Cooked rotisserie chicken. If you go to Sprouts, you can even get the already shredded chicken.
- Microwaveable lentils or pre-made lentils (shout-out to Trader Joe’s).
- Frozen brown rice (yet again — shout-out to Trader Joe’s).
- Canned beans (low sodium might be the move here).
- Pre-cut carrots and celery.
- Frozen vegetables.
- Pre-cut fruit.
- Oatmeal packets.
- Bagged salad mix.
What meals can you make with these ingredients?
- Breakfast: Fruit and oatmeal.
- Lunch: Either lentils and rice or beans and rice. Serve with carrots and celery or bagged salad mix.
- Dinner: Chicken with rice and frozen vegetables (heat up in the microwave). You can add whatever sauce you want to this.
While this does seem repetitive (because it is), you can vary the vegetable type and add different sauces to make each meal seem different.