Contrary to popular belief, there are ways to eat healthy when you are too tired to cook that don't involve spending countless hours in the kitchen. With a little bit of planning, you can eat healthy no matter how busy or tired you are. The busier we are, the more important it becomes to eat healthy in order to stay healthy in order to keep up with your packed schedule. Whether it be long office hours or kids that are keeping you busy, a packed schedule is no excuse to eat unhealthy food. Although most people think that it is not convenient to eat healthy, all it takes is a little bit of preparation and healthy food can be right at your finger tips. Here are 7 ways to eat healthy when you are too tired to cook!
1. Start the Week with a Plan
As they say, failing to plan is planning to fail and finding ways to eat healthy is no exception. Whenever you have a little bit of downtime - for me it's Sunday afternoon - take a few hours and make a plan. Plan out your meals and write a grocery list so that there is no guessing involved when trying to decide what to eat for dinner when you make it home after a long day.
2. Keep a Well Stocked Pantry
After coming up with a plan, put this plan into action and stock your pantry and refrigerator with healthy foods for the entire week. A few staples that I keep on hand include: plain Greek yogurt, oats, berries, bananas, apples, kale, spinach, carrots, hummus, whole grain crackers, quinoa, sweet potatoes, red wine and dark chocolate. This way, a healthy meal or snack is only a few minutes away!
3. Keep Healthy Foods on Hand
When you are shopping for your groceries, keep any unhealthy items out of the cart. Purchase only healthy items so that you are required to eat and snack on nutritious foods. If you bring unhealthy foods into the house, you are more likely to eat these foods; it is much easier to avoid temptation when it is kept out of the house!
4. Keep Easy-to-prepare Foods on Hand
Keeping easy-to-prepare foods on hand is one of the best things to do when you know you are going to be too tired to cook. A healthy meal doesn't have to involve hours in the kitchen; it can be as simple as one protein, one starch and one veggie. Things like pre-chopped veggies, quick cooking brown rice, hard boiled eggs, peanut butter and banana sandwiches on whole grain bread, low-sodium soups, canned beans, frozen veggies and Greek yogurt can all turn into a complete meal very quickly!
5. Purchase Pre-chopped Foods
Although pre-prepped and pre-chopped foods are often a little bit more expensive than if you were doing it yourself, sometimes these foods can make all of the difference in the world. Things like pre-chopped butternut squash, onions, peppers and dinner kits save you on an exhaustive day! Unless money is no issue, try not to get into a habit of having to reach for these foods by using that set aside time at the beginning of the week to prep your own!
6. Cook Food in Bulk
My favorite way to save time throughout the week is to prep a few meals on Sunday night. I usually make one casserole, like crockpot lasagna or a large pot of soup, a large batch of grains, a pot of beans, a pan of roasted veggies, a bag of homemade protein bars, and some pre-chopped veggies. This way, dinner is either already ready or a new meal, like a stir fry, can easily be thrown together! This makes lunch a healthy breeze too!
7. Know Who Delivers and What the Healthiest Options Are in Your Area
Sometimes enough is enough and delivery is the only answer and that's okay as long as you have a plan! Take a look around your local area and see who delivers and find the healthiest options. Make a list of these places, phone numbers and what to order and place it on your refrigerator so that when delivery is necessary, you can still get a healthy meal!
A healthy meal doesn't have to be extravagant; with a little bit of planning it can be just as simple and convenient as heading to the drive-through. One good decision leads to another and over time, you will stay healthy and thus more productive in your already busy day! What are your favorite meals to throw together when you are too tired to cook?