A quick healthy meal can be the difference between maintaining your health long term and falling off the wagon. It’s intimidating learning how to cook anything. Trying to cook something healthy can seem even worse. The quick healthy meals that you see all over Instagram look like a lot of work. When I first began to cook, heating up a frozen meal seemed so much easier. It was only through trial and error that I learned how to cook quick healthy meals.
Even though it seems like there is only one thing to learn, there are many skills you have to learn. First, you have to learn how to shop for ingredients that will be quick and healthy to prepare. Next, you have to know how much to buy to last you and/or your family for the week. Finally, you have to know how to prepare and cook it to taste good! It’s not as easy as it sounds, so don’t be intimidated by people who are eating healthy all the time. It took them a long time to build the skills to do so.
Prepare Quick Healthy Meals by Starting at the Store
Most grocery stores are hard to navigate. The delicious and unhealthy food is sitting in the front of the store tempting you to buy it. Stick to the edges and buy whole foods with only a few ingredients. Think about only buying foods that were grown or raised on a farm. I recommend sticking to precut frozen or fresh vegetables at first. These can go straight into the pan, oven, or even the microwave. You want to lower the obstacles to cooking, especially after a long day at work. Precut and prepared food will make you much more likely to cook quick healthy meals. Buy vegetables that steam in the bag so you can throw them in the microwave. Buy more than you need. You can always freeze the excess.
Buy lean protein like chicken, white fish, turkey, or very lean beef. Chicken is delicious and very easy to cook and a good way to start. Buy a lot at once (at least 5 lbs.). Eggs are also effortless to cook and delicious. Stick to whole food starches like your favorite potato, rice, beans, or oatmeal. Buy a lot at once. Especially nonperishable items. Amazon can also be helpful for pantry items especially some of their items off Prime Pantry. I like to buy pre-packaged Indian meals for quick healthy meals.
If you’ve never cooked before, start easy. Buy breakfast foods like eggs, pre-cut vegetables, and instant oatmeal. Don’t forget to buy a few of your favorite spices. Buy a good extra virgin olive oil to cook with and to add flavor. Buy a lot to keep you stocked up for at least a week. This may take some practice, but you have to experiment first to see how much you’ll eat! It’s better to have more than you need. You can always freeze extra food.
Cook Quick Healthy Meals by Keeping it Simple
Quick healthy meals don’t have to be complicated. The recipes you see online overcomplicate things. You can make delicious quick healthy meals with only a few ingredients. Don’t overburden yourself. Start with preparing one or two meals. Breakfast is easy. Scramble 2-3 eggs with your favorite seasoning and microwave for 30-45 seconds. Cook quick oats in the microwave for the prescribed time or cook a potato for 5 minutes in the microwave. Heat up your veggies in their steamable bag. Just like that, you have a full meal.
Once you get breakfast down prepare lunch and dinner. Bake seasoned and oiled chicken in the oven, roast or boil large amounts of oiled and seasoned vegetables, and boil rice. Keep the extra for another meal. Take your quick healthy meals to the next level by learning how to meal prep. This post will help you crush meal prep and take your cooking to the next level. Don’t overthink cooking quick healthy meals. Start simple by using what you have. Season with what you like and good olive oil to increase flavor. Begin on the continuum where you’re at and slowly increase how much cooking you’re doing once you feel comfortable. Building a cooking habit is like any other habit. Don’t overburden yourself to start with.
How to Eat Healthy on the Go
There are few times when you have all the time in the world to prepare a healthy meal. Often times we are running around from obligation to obligation. This makes it hard to eat well. Stay healthy on the go by preparing for busy times. Have an idea when you’re going to be too busy to get a full meal in. Prepare for this by packing a healthy meal or snack. Make large batch meals so you have food on hand you can heat up.
Bring healthy snacks with you so you’re not tempted by the unhealthy ones. Quick healthy meals can be as easy as a handful of nuts, fresh fruit, plain Greek yogurt, or raw veggies. Precision Nutrition (my nutrition certification company) has a great infographic on this. Longer trips will need more preparation. Think about what you need to bring to a hotel to make good meals. Don’t be afraid to go to the local grocery store. Pick up pre-made salads, microwaveable vegetables, rotisserie chicken, and cook in the bag rice. Have things ready to make so you can avoid poor restaurant meals. If you find yourself going out to eat a lot read through this post to keep it healthy at restaurants. Self-assembled meals at places like Chipotle or Qdoba are also great ways to get a quick healthy meal in.
Healthy food on the go is possible! Avoid the temptations of unhealthy quick food and be prepared with quick healthy meals. Remember your intrinsic motivations and why you’re eating healthy when you’re tempted!
Quick Healthy Meals Don’t Have to be Hard
Quick healthy meals are intimidating. People on social media overcomplicate them. It doesn’t help that we’re surrounded by bad food. It’s hard to eat healthy when everyone around you isn’t. Stick to your guns and remember why you decided to eat healthy in the first place. Start where you are and build slowly by replacing a few unhealthy items with better ones. Before you know it, you’ll be pulling out a healthy snack on a trip in the middle of nowhere.
Be prepared for busy times and remember your goals. Start at the grocery store by picking up whole food items. Learn how to prepare quick healthy meals you like. Be ready on the go with healthy snacks and options. Don’t overcomplicate things!
I hope this post helps you eat quick healthy meals. However, by no means is it comprehensive. Check out my new program which will give you the daily guidance on preparing meals and eating healthy.
What have you done to prepare quick healthy meals? What roadblocks have you run into when you’re trying to eat healthy? How have you handled quick meals on the go? Let me know in the comments!