Healthy eating seems difficult to us today because we have grown accustomed to “convenience foods” with artificial, processed ingredients. Despite the fact that these foods are the easiest items to buy at grocery stores and mini marts when you have very little time, there are actually plenty of healthy snacks that you can easily have on hand with just a little bit of planning. In addition, preparing healthy meals can become quick and easy once you practice and develop routines.
Keep several items of fresh fruit handy in your backpack, handbag or car. Many varieties of fruit provide ready to eat snacks that are every bit as convenient as bags of potato chips if you remember to shop for them and bring them along with you. Wash fruit ahead of time and pack it in a plastic or paper bag so that it stays clean. Choose durable fruits such as apples to minimize bruising or pack fruits in containers that will protect them. Also carry small bags of nuts, which contain protein as well as healthy fats. Dried fruits go well with nuts and are less perishable (and less messy) than fresh fruit.
Keep Healthy Ingredients on Hand
Healthy eating involves avoiding most processed convenience foods and cooking meals from scratch instead. Save time cooking from scratch by thinking ahead and prepping some ingredients when you do have the time in order to use them later when you prepare meals. Cook beans and grains and keep them in your refrigerator to use when assembling meals. Cut bags of vegetables ahead of time so you can easily reach for them when you need them. If you do not have the time to do any prep at all, keep cans of beans and frozen vegetables on hand to use when preparing meals. Some grocery stores sell bags of freshly cut vegetables as well.
Practice, Practice, Practice
The difficulty of cooking from scratch has been exaggerated for us by advertising agencies with an investment in steering us toward buying processed foods, which have much higher profit margins than simple, healthy foods such as beans, grains and fresh fruits and vegetables. It’s certainly true that it takes less time to pop a frozen pizza in the oven than it does to cook a simple, healthy dinner, but cooking gets dramatically quicker and easier as you develop routines and skills. An important component of quick, healthy eating is learning your way around your own kitchen and developing a base of quick, healthy recipes that you can expand over time.