Recently I saw an old friend I hadn’t seen in a while. She lamented the fact that she just didn’t have the time to eat as healthy as she’d like to, which inspired me to write this post about quick-and-easy healthy meals. Kate, this one’s for you…and everyone else out there trying to find the time to eat healthy in this fast-paced busy world we live in. Even if you mostly shop at Costco, they have a great produce department with many organic options as well.
Sadly society seems to value working more and more hours, over quality of life and healthy eating. If your life is crazy-busy too, maybe some of these quick-and-easy healthy meals will help you to eat a bit healthier as well.
Quick-and-Easy Healthy Meals
You’ve probably heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. But why? For starters, you’ve likely just been fasting for the past 6-10 hours. So eating something in the morning kick-starts your metabolism for the whole day. Eating a healthy breakfast can also help stabilize your blood-sugar and help you lose weight, not to mention the lasting positive effects it can have on your mood throughout the day as well.
So even if you’re not hungry in the morning, or don’t think you have the time, it’s important to eat a quick bite.
One thing we do when we know we’ll be short on time in the morning is to make breakfast the night before.
- Measure out the water to make rolled or steel-cut oats (or other hot cereal).
- Boil the water then turn it off.
- Add the oats, a dash of cinnamon, a tablespoon of coconut oil and a handful of raisins and almonds.
- Cover and let is all soak together over night.
- In the morning your oatmeal will basically be “done”. Just re-heat for a few minutes and you’ve got yourself a delicious, healthy breakfast.
- While you are waiting for the water to boil, pull together some snacks or lunch for the next day…see below.
Not an oatmeal fan? Try a banana with two tablespoons of natural peanut or almond butter. For the healthiest option look for nut butters that consist of only nuts; no sugar, salt, or other filler ingredients.
Savory Breakfast Idea
Do you prefer a savory breakfast? One of my favorite, hearty breakfasts is this Asian-style breakfast bowl that combines brown rice, canned salmon, and an avocado. Top with a little Gomassio and GF Tamari, and enjoy. This high-protein, healthy-fat meal really sticks to your ribs and keeps you going for hours. Look for “canned” salmon in foil packets that are even easier to deal with than cans.
We usually make enough dinner the night before, to have leftovers for lunch the next day. If you don’t have left overs, try the Asian-style rice and salmon bowl mentioned above and add in some arugula or spinach. Or try the Mexican-style rice bowl mentioned below. Bringing your own lunch is not only healthier for your body; it’s healthier for your bank account as well.
It can definitely be a chore to figure out what to make for dinner, or just to find the energy to cook something when you get home after a long day. We are a big fan of one-pot meals, less work with a big taste pay-off. We try to make several things on Sunday that we can re-heat through out the week. Most soups and stews will last refrigerated for up to 5-days. You can throw in a few new veggies or a bit more broth each day to change it up, or help stretch it out. Make a quick salad and you’ve got a complete, healthy meal.
- Make a pot of brown rice or quinoa, 3-4 cups will last you for 5-days. Add a can of black beans, salsa and an avocado to some of the rice or quinoa for a quick, healthy Mexican-style dinner.
- Create a big pot of veggie stew or lentil soup
- Buy a bag of pre-washed organic mixed greens and spinach or arugula, top with a little olive oil and red-wine vinegar for a quick and healthy salad.
Quick and Healthy Snacks
Make up a bag or two of snacks the night before (while your oatmeal water is boiling.) My favorite quick and healthy snacks include the following:
- Organic apple* slices with almond butter
- Carrot and celery* sticks with hummus. Look for low sodium brands of hummus, or make your own hummus on the weekend with this quick-and-easy recipe, to have on hand throughout the week.
- A handful of mixed nuts. This high-protein, healthy-fat snack is easy to eat on the go.
*Apples and celery are on the Dirty Dozen list, so try to buy organic, or peel the apple before eating.
I hope this post gives you some ideas for getting a few more healthy meals into your already packed day. Please leave a post to let me know your favorite quick-and-easy healthy meals.