Food

Healthy food in a hurry

Life is so busy these days, and often we try to save time by buying unhealthy fast foods. So what can you do to ensure that you eat healthy food and still have time to get to everything?

Fruits & Veg:

Fruit and veg are quick and easy. Fruit you can eat raw most of the time, and you can pick up dried fruit already packed in perfect portions sizes (watch the sugar though). Often eating fruit helps with cravings for sugar too. Don’t overdo it though, fruits still contain a lot of sugar, so take it easy.

Veggies can be eaten raw too, depending on what they are. Steaming also cooks them quicker (10 minutes or so depending what you are steaming) and seals in more nutrients than if you were to boil them. You can also buy frozen veg which are also very quick to cook, most are fully cooked in around 5 minutes, and they are already chopped!

Look out for fresh veggies that have also been chopped for your convenience. They might be a little bit more expensive, but if you don’t buy as much junk food, you can use the extra bucks you save on buying these wonderful packets of convenient veggies 😉

You can make various salads, and always add a little meat for protein, or use them as a side.

Meat and fish:

This is where it may become a little more expensive. I always keep a supply of frozen crumbed fish. This may be slightly less healthy than the fish that comes without the crumbs, but they cook in under 15 minutes on the stove. You can also get the frozen fish that is not crumbed, they cook quickly too.

You can also buy meat that has been cubed or cut into strips. This saves time on cutting the meat yourself and when meat is cut, it cooks faster. Beef steaks can also be cooked quicker as you don’t need to cook them completely like pork or chicken. If you enjoy rare steak, its a great time saver!

You can also buy meat that is already cooked. I am not sure what the prices are overseas, but here in South Africa, a roast chicken goes for about R45-R85. This is cost effective enough (depending on where you buy it) if you are two people like my husband and I, we can eat that for two nights.

I am sure that for a small family, it wouldn’t be overly expensive if you need dinner in a hurry or want to have a lazy night.

Meal ideas:

I am not big on cooking, so the less time it takes, the better for me. Here are a few things that I do:

Mornings:

Cereal (5 mins)

Muesli and yoghurt (5 mins)

Scrambled eggs on wholegrain toast (10-15 mins)

Lunch:

Chicken  salad (10-20 mins)

Tuna (canned) salad (+/- 10 mins)

Baked beans on toast (5 mins)

Cooked veg with couscous (5-20 mins)

Hummus with sliced tomato on wholegrain toast (5-10 minutes)

Dinner:

Fish with steamed veg and a baked potato (or sweet potato, in the microwave they both take 3-10 mins)

Beef and veggie stir fry on rice (+/- 20 mins)

Spaghetti with lean beef mince and veggies (+/- 20 mins)

Extra tips:

  • Make sure that the sugar, saturated fat and sodium content is not too high, this is often the case with convenience foods and cereals. Don’t be fooled by low fat foods, read these labels carefully too, they often put more sugar or salt in these to make them taste better. Read the food labels to weigh up your options and choose the healthiest.
  • Anything cooked in the oven leaves you free for that time to do other things. You can roast veggies, meat, potatoes, and even make casseroles.
  • Pasta cooks quite quickly, and so do certain types of rice. The healthier types of pasta and rice (whole wheat, brown rice, basmati, etc) do take a little longer. You can use those 10-25 minutes to make lunch for the next day or bath your children, pick out clothes for the next day, or dry your hair. You only occasionally need to check on them.
  • Try a few recipes off this website and other helpful sites or books. Just search for quick healthy meals on the internet.

Above all, enjoy your food, and get creative, switch things up so that you don’t get bored. Eating healthy doesn’t have to be boring and time-consuming 🙂

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