Having cereal for dinner because you don’t like to cook? Here’s what you can do to still create healthier habits for yourself.
Are you someone who doesn’t love to cook? Don’t fear, because you are not alone!
Based on one survey, nearly 1 out of 3 Americans don’t know how to cook. The reasons (or excuses) vary, ranging from having a spouse who does all the cooking to simply not having enough time.
You may even struggle with an insecurity that you’re not measuring up to those who are making amazing dishes, posting them up on social media as they concoct recipes off the top of their heads (and really seem to enjoy doing it!). Meanwhile, you may have a few staples that you call on most of the time. Your trusty backup plan is cereal for when you’re tired from work and don’t feel like cooking or doing dishes.
There are likely many things you’d rather be doing than cooking or meal planning. And although preparing your own meals (in advance when possible) is the best way to know what you’re putting into your body, for many, cooking and meal planning are not enjoyable or practical.
Here are a few tips for sticking to your health goals when cooking is not your favorite activity:
1. Don’t check out.
Just because you don’t like to cooking from scratch doesn’t give you free reign to go crazy. No matter what you choose, consider what’s in it and how you full you are as you’re eating. Is there another option available? Could you lose the sauce? Do you need the sour cream and the cheese? Staying engaged and mindful will help you make informed choices more often.
2. Prepare yourself for lazy days.
Stock up on quick items that can help build a quick and healthy meal. Have on hand some frozen, steamable vegetables and microwavable baked potatoes that you can cook right in their packaging in 5-8 minutes. The only thing left to figure out is what protein to serve with it!
3. Be efficient.
Take advantage of times when you’re feeling especially creative by prepping items or whole meals to be frozen and reheated later. Look for strategies that work best for your lifestyle. Is it easier to make a dump meal in the crockpot every morning, or would you rather commit to a 30 minute meal on most nights? Choose a strategy that works best for you and find ways to make it interesting.
4. Don’t beat yourself up.
Moving toward a healthier lifestyle means taking small steps in the right direction. Try not to be critical of yourself for not being perfect. Instead, focus on what you can do in that moment. Have just a few bites of dessert, get a smaller lunch portion, or go for the flat bread instead of that large hamburger bun. Focus on your long-term goal of good health, and your body will respond to the positive changes.
Adapted from the original article.
HEADER IMAGE: KAROLINA GRABOWSKA
Angela Stancil MS, RD, LDN is a Memphis-based Registered Dietitian and food enthusiast who believes all people can learn how to fit healthy, nutritious foods into their lifestyles. Through her media work, she focuses on bringing nutrition education and science to the public that is personalized and easy to understand.