Think You Don’t Have Time to Cook Dinner?

By: Natasha Uspensky, CHHC

“I don’t have time to cook” is one of the most common challenges I hear from my clients and readers that keep them from eating healthier. And I bet you struggle with this as well!

I get it: You’re tired. You had a long day. The last thing you want to do after work is slave away in the kitchen.

So you go out and eat a big, calorie bomb of a meal, or you order takeout Thai food, binge-eat frozen pizza or chips and salsa, or worse yet, sup on some packaged, processed crap you found in the back of your pantry.  Or if you do cook, you’re so starving and stressed that you resort to fatty comfort foods to help yourself feel better.

Yes, my friends, this is definitely getting in your way of being in your ideal body, waking up with tons of energy, and looking and feeling your absolute best.

But guess what? I’m here to help. I, too, am no big fan of weeknight cooking, and I’m going to share with you my 3 magical steps to making your dinners work for you. I myself spend no more than an hour, mayyyyybe an hour and a half, TOTAL, on cooking Monday through Friday using the strategies below. So if I can do it, so can you!

1: Lighten it up

Hopefully by now you’re no stranger to the NU Way of Eating that I talk about in pretty much every other email. (If you have no idea what I’m talking about, read this). So you know that the key to reaching your healthiest body, highest energy, and balanced hormones and blood sugar is by making the lunch-dinner switch.

Eating your biggest meal of the day at lunch is not only amazing for your metabolism, digestion, cravings, and weight, but it also frees you from all that cooking in the evening! If you’ve had your nice big lunch, all you need for dinner is a soup, salad, or some cooked veggies. Done and doner. {Check out some fave dinner recipes here and here}

2: Stock up

Even if all you’re rocking for dinner is soup and a salad, you still need to make sure you have the components already in your fridge, so that there’s no “oops, nothing to eat! Gotta order in” happening. This means stocking up, over the weekend, with all the yummy fresh, seasonal produce you need for throwing together a big delicious salad or a warming soup, as well as some raw nuts and seeds to make them more filling.

Always have a clam shell of organic spinach or a bunch of organic kale on hand as your base. And make sure to have all kinds of great seasonal goodies (like root veggies and beans in the winter; berries and sprouts in the spring; tomatoes and avocados in the summer; apples and squash in the fall) on hand to keep your meals interesting.

Stock up on soup basics like organic veggie broth, organic crushed tomatoes, beans and garlic. And of course, a great extra virgin olive oil, an assortment of vinegars (try raw apple cider vinegar or coconut vinegar), organic mustard, herbs, and raw agave or honey are must-haves for delicious dressings. {Check out a spring seasonal shopping list here}

3: Cook ahead

Here it is, guys, the biggest secret to making weeknight dinners a snap. Cooking ahead a big pot of soup, or roasting some veggies over the weekend will ensure that dinner is done in the 5 minutes it takes you to reheat something (on the stove, not the microwave!) or toss it over a salad. And this doesn’t mean spending hours of your Sunday cooking! A soup is the world’s most low maintenance thing to cook, and it’ll happily simmer away while you’re doing laundry, or catching up on Game of Thrones.  Same with some veggies happily roasting away in your oven!

That’s it! Just follow these three steps, and dinner will become the easiest meal of your day in no time at all. By committing to these steps, you’ll sleep better at night (without that big heavy meal digesting in your belly), feel more energized in the morning, naturally lose weight, and rest assured that you are doing something amazing for your health. And of course, you’ll save your time and energy for relaxing, unwinding, and some sweet self-care in evenings!

 {Photo: Pinterest}

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