One of the biggest challenges in a healthy lifestyle is coming up with fresh and tasty things to make on your own. The alternative option — dining out — is not only more expensive, but also much more difficult to fit into a healthy lifestyle. Eating at home gives you the benefit of knowing exactly what is going into your food and the ability to control portions, though at the cost of convenience. Plus, cooking every day can get monotonous and may chip away at your motivation to eat nutritious foods when the alternative is so much easier. Don’t let boredom derail your nutrition goals — just stop cooking!
Yes, it sounds counterintuitive to stop cooking to keep eating healthy, but it’s quite the opposite. Once you strip away all the extra steps and focus on basic ways to make delicious meals, you’ll see how easy it is to eat great without cooking a thing.
First, it’s good to note that there are diets out there specifically for those who don’t want to cook. A popular diet is the raw food diet. The idea is that cooking kills off essential nutrients and natural enzymes that help with the digestive process and ward off chronic disease. People on this diet eat food that is unprocessed and usually organic, and that does not need to be cooked. Some key foods in the raw food diet include fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds. However, this diet is not for everyone. If you’re looking for something a little more flexible, read on for tips that will help:
Blender or Food Processor
Take away the chopping and prep by having a blender or food processor do the hard work for you. When you think of a blender, smoothies may be the first thing you think of, but don’t limit yourself! Shred cheese for salads, pulverize tomatoes for gazpacho or take this non-traditional approach to smoothies.
Despite the name, this helpful kitchen gadget takes all the effort out of cooking while still packing a big flavor punch. This hands-off approach applies to breakfast, lunch, dinner and even dessert! Most slow cooker recipes require you to cut and measure some ingredients, but once that’s done, you just throw it all together and let it simmer for hours at a time. This is a great tool for someone who works: Toss it all in before you leave for wor,k and by the time you get home, your healthy dinner will be waiting for you!
Gradual and steady just like a slow cooker, mason jars are helpful tools for a cold method of “cooking.” Start with a dry base like chia seeds or oats and add in a liquid for absorption overnight. Mason jars are great for a big prep on Sunday and the ability to grab and go with your meal the rest of the week. Overnight oats just get better the longer they sit!
Try these easy and fun recipes. Print them for use later!
Shitake Mushroom “Sushi” Rolls
Salted Turtle Overnight Oats
Mason Jar Zucchini Pasta Salad
Avocado Spinach Dressing
Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken Sandwiches