5 Ways to Eat Healthy When You Don't Have the Time to Cook
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5 Ways to Eat Healthy When You Just Don't Have the Time (or Energy) to Cook

Nutrition
Lakshmi Devan
3 min read

5 Ways to Eat Healthy When You Just Don't Have the Time (or Energy) to Cook

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Show me one person who’s not busy today and I’ll give you a dollar. The enthusiastic interns are busy. The industrious corporate worker is busy.

The stay-at-home mommy of 3 is busy. The sagacious grandparents are busy. Hell, even toddlers are busy these days with their play-dates and yoga classes.

Well, at least they have the luxury of yoga or ballet. I mostly spend my weekdays slogging it off, eagerly waiting for the weekends, just so I can spend the 2 days washing clothes and doing the dishes. Some days I sneak in a little movie time somehow, and that feels like an achievement to me. I’m perpetually running from pillar to post and yet I never find time to do anything properly. I’m done bathing before the water has even said hello to my skin and I’m done eating a meal from my toast-only-diet before the first bite reaches my stomach. I make all kinds of toasts – peanut butter, chilli cheese, bacon and mushroom, prawn and sesame – and they all come from a dressing jar.

But I’m tired now…so are my internal organs, skin, and hair. I’ve been meaning to get my life in order and for once, do the right thing for my body and mind. Therefore, as I made tiny changes to my routine that brought on a massive change to my health, I decided to document it here, so one day it can help someone else bring about a change in their lives.

On that note, here are 5 ways to eat healthy when you just don’t have the time (or energy) to cook.


  1. Choose pre-cut.
There are those who frown upon pre-chopped vegetables and fruits because they supposedly lose nutrition in the process of packaging, but pay no heed to them. Anything that makes your life simple is nothing short of a blessing. Home-cooked curry and rice will always be healthier than the ‘happy meal’ from your favourite fast food joint (no offence). Don’t get me wrong; fast food is great when you need an occasional treat, but you don’t want to make it your everyday food, if you’re looking to be healthier. So, order pre-cut without a thought, save time and cook at home.


2. Never skip breakfast.


I really want to state the most clichéd breakfast quote here (and my hands are itching!), but I’ll skip it because we know it all too well. If there is one thing you would do for me, then it should be finding time for breakfast each morning. Fruits in yoghurt, peanut butter toast, scrambled eggs or green smoothies take a mere 5 minutes to prep and keep your metabolism strong.

3. Utilise the freezer.


Oh, the wonders of the freezer! Did you know that research recently found that frozen foods have the same amount of nutrients as fresh food before freezing, and the process causes no loss of nutrition at all. You know what that means? That means you won’t have to waste time making a list, shopping, waiting in queue for billing, and dragging heavy bags back home every week.  

All you have to do is shop once a month and you can freeze most ingredients. Also, some frozen foods available at supermarkets work equally well -

Frozen vegetables like broccoli, spinach, peas, and carrots without any sauce, frozen fruits like strawberries, raspberries, blueberries (without sugar), frozen shrimp, and frozen yoghurt.

4. Try one-pot recipes. They never disappoint.


If you’ve at least tried cooking before, then you know that the most frustrating part about cooking isn’t cooking itself. It’s a sink full of dirty dishes. So, what do you do? Go one-pot! There’s no paucity in one-pot recipes online. You can literally make anything in one pot – from soups and stews to pastas and lasagne.

Ways to Eat Healthy

5. Order takeout, when you have to.


…and with no guilt. Just remember to be smart about it. Order a well-rounded meal with sufficient proteins, fibre, fats, and carbohydrates- and you have nothing to worry about.

I know that it almost feels counter-intuitive to think that healthy living can be effortless. But I’m not here to tell you that it’s easy; I’m just here to remind you that the words ‘healthy’ and ‘unhealthy’ aren’t black and white. Just as eating broccoli doesn’t make you healthy, eating a muffin won’t make you unhealthy either. All I want to tell you today is that there is always room for improvement and if a healthier living is your goal for this year, then you’ve got the right training to set on the path. Good luck!

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