I reached out to a handful of dieticians and nutritionists this week and asked them one simple question: What’s the biggest reason you think your clients don’t consistently eat well?
In not so many words, they all had the same answer:
“I don’t have time,” “I don’t like cooking,” “Meal prepping is time-consuming and boring,” “I dread going grocery shopping.”
All of the above can be summed up to laziness.
Similarly, I asked a group class the other day what they had for dinner the night before. One person said popcorn and red wine. Another said she ordered pizza. And another said ice cream. Another had chips and salsa. They all cited being too tired and too lazy to bother preparing anything better for themselves.
Truth is, most people just don’t find cooking, meal prepping or grocery shopping much fun at all, so they often opt for lazier ways to get food (i.e. buying ready-to-eat processed meals or eating out).
I’m not going to sit here and convince you that cooking can be fun or that grocery shopping should be the most exciting part of your day. Instead, here are some tips to make shopping, cooking and food prep slightly less time-consuming and definitely less daunting if you just aren’t motivated to become a master chef.
Organize a Weekly or Monthly Meal Swap:
Find a few friends at the gym who also dislike the time-consuming process of getting healthy food into their bodies and plan a meal swap. The idea is you each batch cook one meal and then come together and swap them with each other. Suddenly, you have a variety of healthy dinners for the entire week (possibly made by people who are better cooks than you are).
Invest in a crock pot if you don’t have one already. If you do, but you forgot about it because it hides on the top shelf in your pantry, pull it out and leave it on the counter. You barely even need to chop the onions you throw into the crock pot with your pork shoulder for delicious pulled pork.
Gluten and sugar-free pulled pork in 6 minutes of your time!
Step one: (3 minutes): Put pork shoulder, coarsely chopped onion, a few garlic cloves, 1/4 cup of molasses, 1/2 can tomato paste, 1/2 cup red wine vinegar, splash of fish sauce and spices to taste. I use chilli powder, paprika, turmeric, oregano, salt, pepper, cayenne pepper, cloves, cinnamon. Turn on crock pot. And leave.
Step 2: (3 minutes): With two forks, pull the pork. Add more seasoning if need be.
Here’s a great sugar-free BBQ sauce recipe, too, that would make it even easier! Then you’d just throw the pork into the pot with the sauce and maybe some onions and garlic.
Welcome to 2017!
So many grocery stores deliver groceries these days. Most don’t even charge you a delivery fee (especially if you spend enough money). Provide a day and time you want them delivered and you never have to go grocery shopping again. It’s an amazing feeling when suddenly your fridge is stocked and you didn’t even leave the house! There are also tons of smaller meal delivery services, too, that often have more organic etc options. Spend 10 minutes researching your options.
Invest in half a cow and a second freezer:
Or a pig or a lamb, or whatever your protein of choice happens to be. Than you don’t even need to go to a big grocery store. You can go just to a smaller produce store for your veggies.
Meal prep with a friend:
Choose a day, even if it’s every other week, and get together with someone to cook a few dinners for the week. Committing to a time with a friend will hold you accountable to follow through, and you’ll probably find yourself enjoying the cooking process a bit more.
Now you know why your mom always loved leftovers when you were a kid…
This one seems to simple and obvious, yet people often forget to do it. It doesn’t take any longer to cook 18 chicken thighs on the BBQ than 6. Just make sure you have lots of good tupperware!
You may never love cooking or food prepping, but you can switch a few of your habits to make it less of a hassle to make room in your life for your real passions.