Everyone wants to eat healthily, but as recent obesity figures show, it does prove too difficult for some.
Perhaps the problem lies in the availability of food, and the lack of availability of other food. If I went to town, I’d be surrounded by burger shops, sandwich shops and bakeries with not a salad bar in sight. It’s a real problem, but sometimes, it can’t be helped.
This is because, on the whole, it’s far quicker to prepare unhealthy food than it is healthy food. Why do you think fast food is so popular? It’s quick, cheap and tasty, and people can’t really be faulted for indulging.
So rather than trying to eliminate one aspect of the problem, we should improve another. More specifically, we should look for ways to make healthy eating a quicker, more enjoyable task. This food has a reputation for being tasteless, and too much of a hassle to prepare. But it really doesn’t have to be either.
So, allow me to help. The following post will run you down a handful of ways to make delicious, healthy food in as little time is possible. Take these into account the next time you draw up a meal plan!
Tip 1: Buy pre-washed, pre-sliced vegetables
Most of our cooking time is lost in the preparation stage, so look to cut down where possible. One of the major ways to do so is to buy food that’s already cut, prepared and washed. This will mainly be an option for fruit and vegetables, but take into account stuff like pre-grated cheese too.
Tip 2: Stick to shorter recipes
We live in a world where speed is everything, and if it takes too much time then it isn’t worthwhile. We can see this everywhere, from ‘lose weight in 5 minutes’ DVDs to overnight money making tips. And yet, this notion isn’t necessarily bad. If saving time motivates you to do something, then why not do it?
The same is true of healthy eating. If the time it took to cook and eat a super healthy meal was shortened, we’d all be more likely to do it. This in mind, several companies, like Hampton Creek, have begun to focus more on the time element. This means it’s simpler for people to enjoy healthy food!
The Hampton Creek culture strives to make healthy eating an easy task, and that usually means brief recipes. One of the main reasons people don’t eat healthily is the sheer amount of time it takes to wash, prepare and cook meals. By using shorter, more concise recipes, you can gain all the health benefits with none of the fuss.
Tip 3: Utilize a slow cooker
In an article about saving time, why would I recommend a slow cooker? Well, while it may take a lot of time to cook, it won’t take a lot of your time. You can turn the slow cooker on on Sunday morning and let it run until the veg/meat is cooked. You don’t have to check it every ten minutes, or turn it. You can go for a bath, or watch TV.
This also allows you to prepare lunches for the week in one fell swoop. If you slow cook a hunk of meat on Sunday, you’ve suddenly got fillings for sandwiches every single day.
Tip 4: Cook in bulk
On a similar note, cooking in bulk reduces the amount of time you need to spend cooking. Instead of making rice three times a week, make a huge vat once and refrigerate it. Now you can take what you need when you need it, and it only needs heating up.
Tip 5: Eat more raw and pre-cooked food
Most foodstuffs (besides meat) don’t require any cooking. It’s reasonable to incorporate more raw and ready cooked foods into your diet without losing any health benefits. Use items like pre-cooked meats, nuts, raw vegetables, cheeses and yogurts. If you’re having an outdoor BBQ, build it around pre-cut breads and ready-made salads. If you don’t need to cook it, look for ways to fashion a tasty meal out of what you have.
Be careful, though. Some things must be cooked, no matter how edible they seem. Check the packaging if you’re not sure, or consult a store attendant.
Tip 6: Grate, don’t peel!
Peeling fruits like oranges and vegetables like carrots and potatoes is a giant waste. There’s so much goodness in those peels that it’s a crime to ignore it! So rather than wasting time trying to get every last piece of skin off that carrot, why not simply prepare your meal differently?
You could peel your oranges on top of some protein pancakes, or peel them into a fruit smoothie. For your vegetables, make sure you cut out any unsightly blemishes and bruises first. With your potatoes, the skins can be eaten depending on cooking method. Jacket potatoes, for example, taste great as long as the skins are washed beforehand.
Tip 7: Don’t waste your leftovers
If you have leftovers, you don’t need to cook again. That food is sitting there waiting for you to indulge! As long as you store it correctly, there’s no reason to not eat last night’s pasta dish for dinner today.
Carbohydrates like pasta will typically need refrigerating, as will most meats. If you want to store food for more than a week, whack it in the freezer. All of a sudden, you’ve cut your food prep time by a hefty margin.
Tip 8: Keep your kitchen stocked with staples
Some vegetables only really start to pop when coupled with a seasoning, like salt and pepper. If you don’t have these basic ingredients in your kitchen, it can spoil the meal or result in a wasteful trip to the shops.
This trip to the shops is a severe time sink, and it can really remove the joy from the experience. So make sure your kitchen has all the bare necessities – olive oil, garlic and herbs, to name a few.
If this isn’t proof that healthy eating can be a speedy process, I don’t know what is. It doesn’t take life-altering decisions, it just takes a little bit of careful thinking. Thanks for reading!