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For Busy People: How To Cook Healthy In Less Than 30 Minutes

For Busy People: How To Cook Healthy In Less Than 30 Minutes

People are busier than ever nowadays. Whether you are a single mother, entrepreneur, or an underpaid and overworked employee, you know that you are busy. According to a recent Gallup survey, most Americans are no longer working 40 hours a week but rather 47 hours a week.

With rising inflation and stagnant wages, the majority of the employees in the workforce are forced to work more to maintain their lifestyle. Unfortunately, they are faced with making one of the biggest sacrifices, which is losing more of their free time. Almost no one would disagree that it is hard to eat healthier when you lack the time to prepare your own meals.

Many people opt for nutrition bars as a meal replacement, but many of them are heavily processed with preservatives and artificial ingredients. Alternatively, they may choose to buy a salad at a fast food restaurant. Unfortunately, most fast food restaurants either use heavily irradiated produce or preservatives. Neither option is ideal for someone who desires to eat healthier.

Hope is not lost though. Here are three ways that people can cook healthy in less than 30 minutes.

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1. Quick Combo Meals

It is possible to create satisfying meals by focusing on foods that require little to no cooking. Think about some of your favorite foods. Which foods do you like to eat raw? Which foods do you like to eat that can be cooked in 30 minutes?

One of my favorite quick combo meals is a whole avocado with black olives and nopales. The only thing that I need to cook is the nopales, and it takes about 10 minutes to heat in a frying pan. Avocados are high in protein, which can be an excellent choice to keep you full until the next meal.

Svetlana Ustinova (Owner of IGotOffer.com) suggests cooking an egg omelet. It is “healthy, high in protein, and naturally fat-free. Not only is it easy to make but it is very convenient as a busy businesswoman with three toddlers.”

You may take it a step further by adding some vegetables that you can quickly slice with two slices of bread to make a sandwich. There are many options that you can create based on your food preferences. The meal combinations are endless.

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2. Soups

Soups are a meal choice that can definitely keep you full until the next meal. It is best to plan your soup recipe beforehand so you can focus all of your efforts on preparing the meal. You can start by cutting the vegetables while you are waiting for the water to boil in the pot.

My favorite is a special recipe of mine called the OMG soup. OMG is an acronym for onions, mushrooms, and greens. I cook the mushrooms and greens in the pot. I typically use a trio of kale, arugula, and chard, but you are welcome to pick your own trio of vegetables. Lastly, I add the raw onions, sea salt, and two tablespoons of olive oil when the soup is finished.

I welcome you to try it. I also call it the OMG soup because I am almost sure that you will say “Oh My God” when eating it. There are many kinds of soup that you can prepare based on your personal food preferences.

3. Salads

As mentioned earlier, most busy people tend to buy their salads from the famous fast food restaurants, which typically offer better prices. Alternatively, some busy people do opt for a more expensive option. However, higher prices do not necessarily equate to higher quality.

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While most people do not have access to local farms or food co-ops, they can still take an extra step to ensure better food quality. You can choose to buy organic produce at your local supermarket. Moreover, you will also be likely to find organic oils there that you can use as a salad dressing.

Most people tend to eat the same fruits and vegetables on a daily basis unless they are challenged with a particular health condition that restricts them from eating more fruits and vegetables. The variety of produce is plentiful. You should not wait to be a victim of a disease for you to diversify your choices of produce.

There are many salads that you can choose to prepare based on your food preferences.

What About Snacks?

If you like snacks as much as me, do not fret. Preparing most of these snacks will take no more than an additional five minutes or no extra time at all. Furthermore, these snacks are also much healthier than the typical snacks that people buy like potato chips, cookies, and cupcakes.

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In a previous article, I listed some snack ideas that are not only flavorful but easy to prepare and healthier. I would be interested in hearing your recipes. Could you share one idea for a healthy meal that can be made in less than 30 minutes?

Featured photo credit: kpgolfpro via pixabay.com

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Kallen Diggs

Bestselling Author / Magazine Editor / Syndicated Radio Show Host

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Last Updated on September 16, 2019

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.

We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier.

The chronic procrastinators I know have spent years of their life looped in this cycle. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, hiding from work, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. It’s a bad habit that eats us away and prevents us from achieving greater results in life.

Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Here, I will share my personal steps on how to stop procrastinating. These 11 steps will definitely apply to you too:

1. Break Your Work into Little Steps

Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”.

For example, I’m currently writing a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Book writing at its full scale is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as –

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  • (1) Research
  • (2) Deciding the topic
  • (3) Creating the outline
  • (4) Drafting the content
  • (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10,
  • (6) Revision
  • (7) etc.

Suddenly it seems very manageable. What I do then is to focus on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I move on to the next.

2. Change Your Environment

Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.

One thing to note is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around. Refer to Steps #2 and #3 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity, which talks about revamping your environment and workspace.

3. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines

Having just 1 deadline for your work is like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back, until it’s too late.

Break down your project (see tip #1), then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date. Your timelines must be robust, too – i.e. if you don’t finish this by today, it’s going to jeopardize everything else you have planned after that. This way it creates the urgency to act.

My goals are broken down into monthly, weekly, right down to the daily task lists, and the list is a call to action that I must accomplish this by the specified date, else my goals will be put off.

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Here’re more tips on setting deadlines: 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

4. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-Stops

If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate.

Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email client. Get rid of the distractions around you.

I know some people will out of the way and delete or deactivate their facebook accounts. I think it’s a little drastic and extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions than counteracting via self-binding methods, but if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.

5. Hang out with People Who Inspire You to Take Action

I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Of course spending time with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates every day is probably not a feasible method, but the principle applies — The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You

Identify the people, friends or colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will inculcate their drive and spirit too.

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As a personal development blogger, I “hang out” with inspiring personal development experts by reading their blogs and corresponding with them regularly via email and social media. It’s communication via new media and it works all the same.

6. Get a Buddy

Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other.

I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.

7. Tell Others About Your Goals

This serves the same function as #6, on a larger scale. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.

For example, sometimes I announce my projects on The Personal Excellence Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and my readers will ask me about them on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to keep myself accountable to my plans.

8. Seek out Someone Who Has Already Achieved the Outcome

What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.

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9. Re-Clarify Your Goals

If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that.

Get away from your work (a short vacation will be good, else just a weekend break or staycation will do too) and take some time to regroup yourself. What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does your current work align with that? If not, what can you do about it?

10. Stop Over-Complicating Things

Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? That maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything.

Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. Read more about why perfectionist tendencies can be a bane than a boon: Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect.

11. Get a Grip and Just Do It

At the end, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Occasionally, I get readers and clients who keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day.

Reality check:

I have never heard anyone procrastinate their way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future.  Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and do it.

More About Procrastination

Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com

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