How to eat a balanced diet when you are busy

It might seem like you can’t win these days; research shows people need to eat healthy meals made from quality ingredients, but suffer when trying to meet this requirement because it puts them under pressure. A study carried out in North Carolina State University, even suggests the stress of trying to make meals from scratch is so great that it outweighs the benefits of doing so. People worry about making healthy meals as it takes time and know-how, both of which can be scarce. Nonetheless, there are ways to eat a healthy balanced diet without straining too much.

Slowly does it

Slow cooking can lessen the time and effort needed in which to make a wholesome meal. You can pop various ingredients into the pot and just leave it to cook gradually as you work or carry out chores. Stew, soup, curry and various other dishes are ideal. Busy people may gather ingredients and refrigerate them before bed, and simply put them in the cooker in the morning.
Slow cooking is cost-effective and lends itself to tasty meals because the flavor of meat, fish or vegetables has plenty of time to enrich the entire dish during cooking. You can thicken meals by combining a few teaspoons of cornflour with water and adding the mixture to a dish as it cooks.

Think big

If you want to save time, consider cooking meals in bulk and freezing them for later use. Making a big batch of chili or curry once a week can provide you with meals when you are too tired to cook or have unexpected visitors you want to feed. Other suitable dishes include cottage pie, soup, casseroles, lasagna, and any other meals you and your family especially enjoy. It’s best not to freeze eggs, and you can’t freeze salad, but other than that, most ingredients can be used. Even cheese is fine to freeze when grated first.

No-cook foods

Experts often praise the value of eating raw foods because they hold in nutrients that are otherwise lost in the cooking process. Keep a variety of them handy, such as salad, fruit, nuts, spinach, cauliflower, sproutings, fermented vegetables, seeds, and coconut. There are plenty of other types of foods that come ready to eat also, like bread, hummus, cooked meats to consume cold, crackers and dairy produce. You can easily rustle-up a decent meal from these ingredients when there’s no time to cook.

Are takeaways an acceptable alternative?

Fast-food isn’t the answer to not wanting to cook, at least, not as a permanent solution. The occasional takeaway probably won’t do you any harm and can be a tasty treat. However, most options are unhealthy when consumed as a long-term measure. There again, some kinds of fast foods are healthier than others. For instance, a grilled chicken and salad sandwich is better than a massive burger with lashings of mayonnaise. You can usually tell which options are best because they contain salad or greens and their meat content isn’t fried extensively in fat or battered.
You may feel under pressure to produce wonderfully healthy meals each day, but you don’t need to slave away in the kitchen for hours to get it right. Reduce stress by implementing the ideas mentioned and you will have more time to enjoy relaxing.

References: http://www.newsonwellness.com/2014/09/is-the-stress-of-cooking-worth-the-benefits/
http://www.savethestudent.org/save-money/food-drink/surprising-foods-that-you-can-and-cant-freeze.html
http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/howto/guide/10-top-tips-using-slow-cooker

About bridget

bridget webber

Bridget Webber’s background rests in mental health, counselling, hypnotherapy, NLP and art. She brings knowledge from her experiences into her writing and specializes in emotional wellness and the creation of, rather than search for, joy. You can catch up with her insights and musings on Twitter.

Twitter: @InsightManager

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