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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 November 19, 2019

20 Time Management Tips to Super Boost Your Productivity

20 Time Management Tips to Super Boost Your Productivity

Are you usually punctual or late? Do you finish things within the time you stipulate? Do you hand in your reports/work on time? Are you able to accomplish what you want to do before deadlines? Are you a good time manager?

If your answer is “no” to any of the questions above, that means you’re not managing your time as well as you want. Here are 20 time management tips to help you manage time better:

1. Create a Daily Plan

Plan your day before it unfolds. Do it in the morning or even better, the night before you sleep. The plan gives you a good overview of how the day will pan out. That way, you don’t get caught off guard. Your job for the day is to stick to the plan as best as possible.

2. Peg a Time Limit to Each Task

Be clear that you need to finish X task by 10am, Y task by 3pm, and Z item by 5:30pm. This prevents your work from dragging on and eating into time reserved for other activities.

3. Use a Calendar

Having a calendar is the most fundamental step to managing your daily activities. If you use outlook or lotus notes, calendar come as part of your mailing software.

I use it. It’s even better if you can sync your calendar to your mobile phone and other hardwares you use – that way, you can access your schedule no matter where you are. Here’re the 10 Best Calendar Apps to Stay on Track .

Find out more tips about how to use calendar for better time management here: How to Use a Calendar to Create Time and Space

4. Use an Organizer

An organizer helps you to be on top of everything in your life. It’s your central tool to organize information, to-do lists, projects, and other miscellaneous items.

These Top 15 Time Management Apps and Tools can help you organize better, pick one that fits your needs.

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5. Know Your Deadlines

When do you need to finish your tasks? Mark the deadlines out clearly in your calendar and organizer so you know when you need to finish them.

But make sure you don’t make these 10 Common Mistakes When Setting Deadlines.

6. Learn to Say “No”

Don’t take on more than you can handle. For the distractions that come in when you’re doing other things, give a firm no. Or defer it to a later period.

Leo Babauta, the founder of Zen Habits has some great insights on how to say no: The Gentle Art of Saying No

7. Target to Be Early

When you target to be on time, you’ll either be on time or late. Most of the times you’ll be late. However, if you target to be early, you’ll most likely be on time.

For appointments, strive to be early. For your deadlines, submit them earlier than required.

Learn from these tips about how to prepare yourself to be early, instead of just in time.

8. Time Box Your Activities

This means restricting your work to X amount of time. Why time boxing is good for you? Here’re 10 reasons why you should start time-boxing.

You can also read more about how to do time boxing here: #5 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity.

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9. Have a Clock Visibly Placed Before You

Sometimes we are so engrossed in our work that we lose track of time. Having a huge clock in front of you will keep you aware of the time at the moment.

10. Set Reminders 15 Minutes Before

Most calendars have a reminder function. If you have an important meeting to attend, set that alarm 15 minutes before.

You can learn more about how reminders help you remember everything in this article: The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder That Works)

11. Focus

Are you multi-tasking so much that you’re just not getting anything done? If so, focus on just one key task at one time. Multitasking is bad for you.

Close off all the applications you aren’t using. Close off the tabs in your browser that are taking away your attention. Focus solely on what you’re doing. You’ll be more efficient that way.

Lifehack’s CEO has written a definitive guide on how to focus, learn the tips: How to Focus and Maximize Your Productivity (the Definitive Guide)

12. Block out Distractions

What’s distracting you in your work? Instant messages? Phone ringing? Text messages popping in?

I hardly ever use chat nowadays. The only times when I log on is when I’m not intending to do any work. Otherwise it gets very distracting.

When I’m doing important work, I also switch off my phone. Calls during this time are recorded and I contact them afterward if it’s something important. This helps me concentrate better.

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Find more tips on how to minimize distractions to achieve more in How to Minimize Distraction to Get Things Done

13. Track Your Time Spent

When you start to track your time, you’re more aware of how you spend your time. For example, you can set a simple countdown timer to make sure that you finish a task within a period of time, say 30 minutes or 1 hour. The time pressure can push you to stay focused and work more efficiently.

You can find more time tracking apps here and pick one that works for you.

14. Don’t Fuss About Unimportant Details

You’re never get everything done in exactly the way you want. Trying to do so is being ineffective.

Trying to be perfect does you more harm than good, learn here about how perfectionism kills your productivity and how to ditch the perfectionism mindset.

15. Prioritize

Since you can’t do everything, learn to prioritize the important and let go of the rest.

Apply the 80/20 principle which is a key principle in prioritization. You can also take up this technique to prioritize everything on your plate: How to Prioritize Right in 10 Minutes and Work 10X Faster

16. Delegate

If there are things that can be better done by others or things that are not so important, consider delegating. This takes a load off and you can focus on the important tasks.

When you delegate some of your work, you free up your time and achieve more. Learn about how to effectively delegate works in this guide: How to Delegate Work (the Definitive Guide for Successful Leaders)

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17. Batch Similar Tasks Together

For related work, batch them together.

For example, my work can be categorized into these core groups:

  1. writing (articles, my upcoming book)
  2. coaching
  3. workshop development
  4. business development
  5. administrative

I batch all the related tasks together so there’s synergy. If I need to make calls, I allocate a time slot to make all my calls. It really streamlines the process.

18. Eliminate Your Time Wasters

What takes your time away your work? Facebook? Twitter? Email checking? Stop checking them so often.

One thing you can do is make it hard to check them – remove them from your browser quick links / bookmarks and stuff them in a hard to access bookmarks folder. Replace your browser bookmarks with important work-related sites.

While you’ll still checking FB/Twitter no doubt, you’ll find it’s a lower frequency than before.

19. Cut off When You Need To

The number one reason why things overrun is because you don’t cut off when you have to.

Don’t be afraid to intercept in meetings or draw a line to cut-off. Otherwise, there’s never going to be an end and you’ll just eat into the time for later.

20. Leave Buffer Time In-Between

Don’t pack everything closely together. Leave a 5-10 minute buffer time in between each tasks. This helps you wrap up the previous task and start off on the next one.

More Time Management Techniques

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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