How Do I Eat Well When I am Busy?

A business woman, thinking

A Woman Considering Her Options.

What do you do?

A You can cook.

B You can go to a good restaurant.

C You can find last night’s restaurant meal and finish that.

D. You can go out and grab a fast food meal.

E. Grab a cookie, then a doughnut, later on a bag of chips (after all your diet has to be well rounded right?)

Feeling discouraged? After all, only A is healthy and inexpensive. What are your best choices?

As someone who is busy, and doesn’t love cooking, I had to come up with some fast ways to prepare a meal that was healthy, reasonably priced, and fast. When I was working, I came up with the following tricks.

A healthy meal, USDA recommendation

A healthy plate. USDA recommendations.

I started with rice: easy to cook, I didn’t have to stand over it, just add the rice to boiling water and set a timer.  Rice and other grains are easily saved for future meals. Baked or boiled then smashed potatoes, either white or sweet, will work well also. (I don’t bother with peeling potatoes, remember, I am aiming for easy).

Other grains are easy to cook, and make a good base for a healthy meal.

Vegetables: These can be frozen or fresh. Vegetables are easily cooked on the stove or in the microwave. A little water added to them and they steam quickly. A little fat added to them after cooking will add some good flavor. They can be cut up and added to the starch, or eaten separately.

Protein: Generally left over meat works best for a fast and easy meal. I cut it up, and if I don’t want to cook it any more (sometimes adding more cooking can dry out meat or fish) I add the small pieces to the hot grains and let the grains heat up the meat.

Fish and shellfish cooks quickly if fresh.  If it is reheated very gently (i.e. by adding it to the hot grains or potatoes and letting the heat of the other food warm the fish or shellfish) it will be delicious.

Other proteins such as beans or tofu are really good ways to make a fast, inexpensive and easy meal.

Start your meal with fruit for extra ease and health.

For dairy cheese, milk or soy milk or other milk substitutes work well, easily and quickly.

Enjoy!  (Don’t forget the health benefits of coffee, dark chocolate, and red wine.  Life is good, let’s hear it for good healthy eating!)


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