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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 18, 2020

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

Learning how to get in shape and set goals is important if you’re looking to live a healthier lifestyle and get closer to your goal weight. While this does require changes to your daily routine, you’ll find that you are able to look and feel better in only two weeks.

Over the years, I’ve learned a lot about what it takes to get in shape. Although anyone can cover the basics (eat right and exercise), there are some things that I could only learn through trial and error. Let’s cover some of the most important points for how to get in shape in two weeks.

1. Exercise Daily

It is far easier to make exercise a habit if it is a daily one. If you aren’t exercising at all, I recommend starting by exercising a half hour every day. When you only exercise a couple times per week, it is much easier to turn one day off into three days off, a week off, or a month off.

If you are already used to exercising, switching to three or four times a week to fit your schedule may be preferable, but it is a lot harder to maintain a workout program you don’t do every day.

Be careful to not repeat the same exercise routine each day. If you do an intense ab workout one day, try switching it up to general cardio the next. You can also squeeze in a day of light walking to break up the intensity.

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If you’re a morning person, check out these morning exercises that will start your day off right.

2. Duration Doesn’t Substitute for Intensity

Once you get into the habit of regular exercise, where do you go if you still aren’t reaching your goals? Most people will solve the problem by exercising for longer periods of time, turning forty-minute workouts into two hour stretches. Not only does this drain your time, but it doesn’t work particularly well.

One study shows that “exercising for a whole hour instead of a half does not provide any additional loss in either body weight or fat”[1].

This is great news for both your schedule and your levels of motivation. You’ll likely find it much easier to exercise for 30 minutes a day instead of an hour. In those 30 minutes, do your best to up the intensity to your appropriate edge to get the most out of the time.

3. Acknowledge Your Limits

Many people get frustrated when they plateau in their weight loss or muscle gaining goals as they’re learning how to get in shape. Everyone has an equilibrium and genetic set point where their body wants to remain. This doesn’t mean that you can’t achieve your fitness goals, but don’t be too hard on yourself if you are struggling to lose weight or put on muscle.

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Acknowledging a set point doesn’t mean giving up, but it does mean realizing the obstacles you face.

Expect to hit a plateau in your own fitness results[2]. When you expect a plateau, you can manage around it so you can continue your progress at a more realistic rate. When expectations meet reality, you can avoid dietary crashes.

4. Eat Healthy, Not Just Food That Looks Healthy

Know what you eat. Don’t fuss over minutia like whether you’re getting enough Omega 3’s or tryptophan, but be aware of the big things. Look at the foods you eat regularly and figure out whether they are healthy or not. Don’t get fooled by the deceptively healthy snacks just pretending to be good for you.

The basic nutritional advice includes:

  • Eat unprocessed foods
  • Eat more veggies
  • Use meat as a side dish, not a main course
  • Eat whole grains, not refined grains[3]

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Eat whole grains when you want to learn how to get in shape.

    5. Watch Out for Travel

    Don’t let a four-day holiday interfere with your attempts when you’re learning how to get in shape. I don’t mean that you need to follow your diet and exercise plan without any excursion, but when you are in the first few weeks, still forming habits, be careful that a week long break doesn’t terminate your progress.

    This is also true of schedule changes that leave you suddenly busy or make it difficult to exercise. Have a backup plan so you can be consistent, at least for the first month when you are forming habits.

    If travel is on your schedule and can’t be avoided, make an exercise plan before you go[4], and make sure to pack exercise clothes and an exercise mat as motivation to keep you on track.

    6. Start Slow

    Ever start an exercise plan by running ten miles and then puking your guts out? Maybe you aren’t that extreme, but burnout is common early on when learning how to get in shape. You have a lifetime to be healthy, so don’t try to go from couch potato to athletic superstar in a week.

    If you are starting a running regime, for example, run less than you can to start. Starting strength training? Work with less weight than you could theoretically lift. Increasing intensity and pushing yourself can come later when your body becomes comfortable with regular exercise.

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    7. Be Careful When Choosing a Workout Partner

    Should you have a workout partner? That depends. Workout partners can help you stay motivated and make exercising more fun. But they can also stop you from reaching your goals.

    My suggestion would be to have a workout partner, but when you start to plateau (either in physical ability, weight loss/gain, or overall health) and you haven’t reached your goals, consider mixing things up a bit.

    If you plateau, you may need to make changes to continue improving. In this case it’s important to talk to your workout partner about the changes you want to make, and if they don’t seem motivated to continue, offer a thirty day break where you both try different activities.

    I notice that guys working out together tend to match strength after a brief adjustment phase. Even if both are trying to improve, something seems to stall improvement once they reach a certain point. I found that I was able to lift as much as 30-50% more after taking a short break from my regular workout partner.

    Final Thoughts

    Learning how to get in shape in as little as two weeks sounds daunting, but if you’re motivated and have the time and energy to devote to it, it’s certainly possible.

    Find an exercise routine that works for you, eat healthy, drink lots of water, and watch as the transformation begins.

    More Tips on Getting in Shape

    Featured photo credit: Alexander Redl via unsplash.com

    Reference

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