How to Eat Healthy When I Don’t Have Time to Cook

My life has been crazy busy lately with my work schedule and wedding planning and I have not been able to work on the blog as much as I would like. I thought this would be a great opportunity to share how I eat healthy when I don’t have time to cook whenever I would like. I’m going to share what my routine has been like the past couple of months and how I have stayed on track without the extra time to whip up creative, healthy dishes.

One thing to note is that I do NOT miss out on unhealthy food splurging. There have been multiple birthdays or other celebrations and other weekly unhealthy lunches and/or dinners. I try to eat healthy 75 – 80% of the time and it has been working for me. (Side note, I have also been exercising about 3 – 4 days per week because I have a sedentary job and I need to get up and move at some point.)

Eating healthy doesn’t have to be creative. If time permits, it helps to be creative so eating healthy doesn’t get boring and bland over time, but that’s not always possible. I’m going to share my breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert go-to options. This is what I’ve been doing to make sure I fit into my wedding dress in May!

Breakfast

I basically only eat one of two things for breakfast: Greek yogurt or oatmeal. I pick Greek yogurt single serving cups, such as Chobani or Oikos, that are usually 150 calories or less. I add about 1/8 cup of crushed cereal into the yogurt and mix it up, such as Honey Bunches of Oats. Yum!

As for the oatmeal, I do not buy the instant oatmeal packets because I like to control the ingredients that go into my oatmeal. Here’s a typical recipe for my oatmeal:

1/4 cup of old fashioned rolled oats
1.5 tsp Stevia
2 tsp PB2 (powdered peanut butter)
2 tsp sugar free pudding mix (such as cheesecake flavor)
2 tsp reduced sugar jelly or jam (such as strawberry)
1/2 tsp cinnamon

I soak this mixture over night in a mix of skim milk and water. In the morning, I microwave for 3 minutes (in 1 minute increments so the oatmeal doesn’t spill over). Then I add about 1/8 cup crushed cereal to soak up the remaining liquid, such as Honey Bunches of Oats.

Lunch

Since I eat 6 of my 7 lunches at work, I try to keep it simple. It’s usually one of the following:

A salad I make at home; my favorite dressing is pretty much any Bolthouse Farms dressing

A frozen meal under 350 calories, usually Lean Cuisine or Healthy Choice Cafe Steamers

A low sodium canned soup, 140 calories or less per serving

Dinner

Here’s the part of day when I have to actually cook something. I try to only cook once per week by making a big batch whenever food runs out and not cooking for the next few days. Here are some quick options I like to rotate:

Fish – pretty much any kind is quick and easy. Most of the time I like to poach salmon (see my poached salmon recipe) or bake tilapia.

Baked Tilapia

This baked tilapia is super easy. Just place some thawed, rinsed tilapia fillets on a foil lined baking pan, top tilapia with a seafood seasoning (I like Chef Paul Magic Seafood Blends), and bake at 400F for 20 minutes.

A stir-fry is another favorite: I like to use ground turkey and frozen veggies for these. Always stock up on frozen veggies for quick meals!

Turkey Veggie Stir Fry - Kate's Better Bite

I like to eat dinners like this with avocado and a fried egg on the side.

Another go-to is soup! I boil a couple chicken breasts in water for an hour then add a Manischewitz soup mix and boil for another hour or two (depending on the instructions). Since the cooking process is longer, this dinner is made a day before it’s needed, but it’s easy because you just set a pot to boil and you don’t have to do any vegetable chopping or any kind of other prep.

If you need something super quick, have some turkey, chicken, or veggie patties or sausages in the freezer and make lettuce wraps. All you really have to do is microwave the meat. Of course you’d have to have lettuce, such as romaine or butter lettuce, on hand. Some additional toppings can be: salsa, sour cream, avocado, tomato, or anything else that sounds good.

Dessert

Yes, I have dessert pretty much every night. I like to mix plain, fat free Greek yogurt with something, such as a sugar free pudding mix or pre-made pudding, frozen fruit blended in a blender, or 1/2 of a mashed banana. I usually eat this along with peanut butter straight from the jar.   🙂

If you want to know any specific recipes, let me know in the comments section and I will be sure to post an actual recipe post. Otherwise, these are all of my secrets for now!

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