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7 Quick And Healthy Dinner Recipes For Busy People

7 Quick And Healthy Dinner Recipes For Busy People

If you’ve ever done a search for healthy dinner recipes, you’ll find that all the dinner ideas seem to be formal, Chef Cazzarana-type culinary works of art. As if modern people (like you and I) have time to whip up some snazzy hot meal with fresh-from-the-garden vegetables in Williams-Sonoma cookware every night! Most of us are usually happy to get dinner over and done with so we don’t have to listen to the zombie sounds from our stomachs while we get on to other things.

However, eating healthy is not just a beautiful concept, it is a way of life that can improve your overall health if done consistently. With a little patience and preparation, it is possible to cook and eat healthy, wholesome meals at dinner time. These meals don’t involve delivery pizza or microwave glorified lunchables. Without taking much time from your schedule, you can fix these meals for yourself, some friends, or for your entire family.

Here are 7 healthy dinner ideas for busy people just like you:

1. One Sheet Pan Parmesan Crusted Salmon with Roasted Broccoli

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    How easy is it to throw everything in one pan and let it cook together? This recipe from Cooking Classy has vegetables and meat all in one. It even is topped off with a crummy crust, lemon juice, and parmesan cheese.

    2. Slow Cooker Cheesy Italian Tortellini

    cheesy-italian-tortelini

      I’m with Betty Crocker on this one because I am so in love with cheese-filled Tortellini. With seven simple ingredients, you can put this together in the slow cooker on low in the morning or at noon time, and guess what? By dinner time, your food is hot and ready to serve.

      3. Fully-Loaded Sweet Potato

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        So if you’re not a big eater at dinner time because you don’t like to feel your stomach loaded right before you go to bed, this is a small scale dinner for you. This idea from Food Matters has all the garnishes you could love and takes just a little over an hour to prepare.

        4. One-Pan Italian Sausage and Peppers Pasta (Gluten-Free)

        One-Pan-Itlian-Sausage-and-Peppers-Pasta-iowagirleats-08_mini

          This is a helluva easy recipe from Iowa Girl Eats. Vegetables, meat, and pasta constitute this 30 minute dish and it’s all topped off with provolone cheese. Or maybe you could top it off with any cheese you like. Voila! While the quality of marinara sauce can be overstated, the shallots and cheese certainly bring out the taste.

          5. Chicken Milanese

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            Half Hour Eats presents this idea that takes just 20 minutes. Crispy chicken breasts join together with cool salad ingredients (like arugula) to create an inviting and lovely dinner, just for two, or for an entire crew.

            6. Mocha Hot Chocolate

            9 out of 9 Doctors prefer JAVA COAST ESPRESSO BAR

              I know. I know. This is not exactly a dinner but I couldn’t resist. Coffee flavored hot chocolate served up with your favorite biscotti is, well… the perfect dessert after a wonderful dinner. Come on, after all, it only has three simple ingredients. Go ahead. I know you want to.

              7. Slow Cooker Chicken Burrito Bowl

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                No. 2 Pencil serves up a snazzy idea of soft chicken combined with flavorful Mexican seasonings. With this recipe, you can throw everything in the slow cooker in the morning and forget it until dinner time. This makes great leftovers to freeze and works with burritos for tomorrow’s lunch.

                Featured photo credit: James Colquhoun / Food Matters via foodmatters.tv

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                Daniella Whyte

                Psychology Researcher

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                Last Updated on July 10, 2020

                How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

                How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

                We all have them—those hurtful, frustrating, offensive, manipulative people in our lives. No matter how hard we try to surround ourselves with positive and kind people, there will always be those who will disrespect, insult, berate, and misuse you if we allow them to.

                We may, for a variety of reasons, not be able to avoid them, but we can determine how we interact with them and how we allow them to interact with us.

                So, how to take control of your life and stop being pushed around?

                Learning to set clear firm boundaries with the people in our lives at work and in our personal lives is the best way to protect ourselves from the negative effects of this kind of behavior.

                What Boundaries Are (And What They’re Not)

                Boundaries are limits

                —they are not threats or ultimatums. Boundaries inform or teach. They are not a form of punishment.

                Boundaries are firm lines—determined by you—which cannot be crossed by those around you. They are guidelines for how you will allow others to treat you and what kind of behaviors you will expect.

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                Healthy personal boundaries help protect you from physical or emotional pain. You may also need to set firm boundaries at work to ensure you and your time are not disrespected. Don’t allow others to take advantage of your kindness and generosity.

                Clear boundaries communicate to others that you demand respect and consideration—that you are willing to stand up for yourself and that you will not be a doormat for anyone. They are a “no trespassing” sign that makes it very clear when a line has been crossed and that there will be consequences for doing so.

                Boundaries are not set with the intention of changing other people. They may change how people interact with you, but they are more about enforcing your needs than attempting to change the general behavior and attitude of others.

                How to Establish Boundaries and Take Control of Your Life

                Here are some ways that you can establish boundaries and take control of your life.

                1. Self-Awareness Comes First

                Before you can establish boundaries with others, you first need to understand what your needs are.

                You are entitled to respect. You have the right to protect yourself from inappropriate or offensive behavior. Setting boundaries is a way of honoring your needs.

                To set appropriate boundaries, you need to be clear about what healthy behaviors look like—what healthy relationships look like.

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                You first have to become more aware of your feelings and honest with yourself about your expectations and what you feel is appropriate behavior:

                • Where do you need to establish better boundaries?
                • When do you feel disrespected?
                • When do you feel violated, frustrated, or angered by the behavior of others?
                • In what situations do you feel you are being mistreated or taken advantage of?
                • When do you want to be alone?
                • How much space do you need?

                You need to honor your own needs and boundaries before you can expect others to honor them. This allows you to take control of your life.

                2. Clear Communication Is Essential

                Inform others clearly and directly what your expectations are. It is essential to have clear communication if you want others to respect your boundaries. Explain in an honest and respectful tone what you find offensive or unacceptable.

                Many people simply aren’t aware that they are behaving inappropriately. They may never have been taught proper manners or consideration for others.

                3. Be Specific but Don’t Blame

                Taking a blaming or punishing attitude automatically puts people on the defensive. People will not listen when they feel attacked. It’s part of human nature.

                That said, you do not need to overexplain or defend yourself. Boundaries are not open to compromise.

                Sample language:

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                • “You may not…yell or raise your voice to me…”
                • “I need…to be treated with respect…”
                • “It’s not okay when…you take things from my desk without asking…”
                • “I won’t…do your work…cover for you anymore…”
                • “It’s not acceptable when…you ridicule or insult me…”
                • “I am uncomfortable when…you use offensive language”
                • “I will no longer be able to…lend you money…”

                Being able to communicate these without sounding accusatory is essential if you want others to respect your boundaries so you can take control of your life.

                4. Consequences Are Often Necessary

                Determine what the appropriate consequences will be when boundaries are crossed. If it’s appropriate, be clear about those consequences upfront when communicating those boundaries to others.

                Follow through. People won’t respect your boundaries if you don’t enforce them.

                Standing our ground and forcing consequences doesn’t come easily to us. We want to be nice. We want people to like us, but we shouldn’t have to trade our self-respect to gain friends or to achieve success.

                We may be tempted to let minor disrespect slide to avoid conflict, but as the familiar saying goes, “if you give people an inch, they’ll take a mile.”

                It’s much easier to address offensive or inappropriate behavior now than to wait until that behavior has gotten completely out of hand.

                It’s also important to remember that positive reinforcement is even more powerful than negative consequences. When people do alter the way they treat you, acknowledge it. Let people know that you notice and appreciate their efforts.

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                Final Thoughts

                Respect is always a valid reason for setting a boundary. Don’t defend yourself or your needs. Boundaries are often necessary to protect your time, your space, and your feelings. And these are essential if you want to take control of your life.

                Start with the easiest boundaries first. Setting boundaries is a skill that needs to be practiced. Enlist support from others if necessary. Inform people immediately when they have crossed the line.

                Don’t wait. Communicate politely and directly. Be clear about the consequences and follow them through.

                The better you become at setting your own boundaries, the better you become at recognizing and respecting the boundaries of others.

                Remember that establishing boundaries is your right. You are entitled to respect. You can’t control how other people behave, but you do have control over the way you allow people to treat you.

                Learning to set boundaries is not always easy, but with time, it will become more comfortable. You may eventually find that boundaries become automatic and you no longer need to consciously set them.

                They will simply become a natural extension of your self-respect.

                Featured photo credit: Thomas Kelley via unsplash.com

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