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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 September 28, 2020

                The Pros and Cons of Working from Home

                The Pros and Cons of Working from Home

                At the start of the year, if you had asked anyone if they could do their work from home, many would have said no. They would have cited the need for team meetings, a place to be able to sit down and get on with their work, the camaraderie of the office, and being able to meet customers and clients face to face.

                Almost ten months later, most of us have learned that we can do our work from home and in many ways, we have discovered working from home is a lot better than doing our work in a busy, bustling office environment where we are inundated with distractions and noise.

                One of the things the 2020 pandemic has reminded us is we humans are incredibly adaptable. It is one of the strengths of our kind. Yet we have been unknowingly practicing this for years. When we move house we go through enormous upheaval.

                When we change jobs, we not only change our work environment but we also change the surrounding people. Humans are adaptable and this adaptability gives us strength.

                So, what are the pros and cons of working from home? Below I will share some things I have discovered since I made the change to being predominantly a person who works from home.

                Pro #1: A More Relaxed Start to the Day

                This one I love. When I had to be at a place of work in the past, I would always set my alarm to give me just enough time to make coffee, take a shower, and change. Mornings always felt like a rush.

                Now, I can wake up a little later, make coffee and instead of rushing to get out of the door at a specific time, I can spend ten minutes writing in my journal, reviewing my plan for the day, and start the day in a more relaxed frame of mind.

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                When you start the day in a relaxed state, you begin more positively. You find you have more clarity and more focus and you are not wasting energy worrying about whether you will be late.

                Pro #2: More Quiet, Focused Time = Increased Productivity

                One of the biggest difficulties of working in an office is the noise and distractions. If a colleague or boss can see you sat at your desk, you are more approachable. It is easier for them to ask you questions or engage you in meaningless conversations.

                Working from home allows you to shut the door and get on with an hour or two of quiet focused work. If you close down your Slack and Email, you avoid the risk of being disturbed and it is amazing how much work you can get done.

                An experiment conducted in 2012 found that working from home increased a person’s productivity by 13%, and more recent studies also find significant increases in productivity.[1]

                When our productivity increases, the amount of time we need to perform our work decreases, and this means we can spend more time on activities that can bring us closer to our family and friends as well as improve our mental health.

                Pro #3: More Control Over Your Day

                Without bosses and colleagues watching over us all day, we have a lot more control over what we do. While some work will inevitably be more urgent than others, we still get a lot more choice about what we work on.

                We also get more control over where we work. I remember when working in an office, we were given a fixed workstation. Some of these workstations were pleasant with a lot of natural sunlight, but other areas were less pleasant. It was often the luck of the draw whether we find ourselves in a good place to work or not.

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                By working from home we can choose what work to work on and whether we want to face a window or not. We can get up and move to another place, and we can move from room to room. And if you have a garden, on nice days you could spend a few hours working outside.

                Pro #4: You Get to Choose Your Office Environment

                While many companies will provide you with a laptop or other equipment to do your work, others will give you an allowance to purchase your equipment. But with furniture such as your chair and desk, you have a lot of freedom.

                I have seen a lot of amazing home working spaces with wonderful sets up—better chairs, laptop stands that make working from a laptop much more ergonomic and therefore, better for your neck.

                You can also choose your wall art and the little nick-nacks on your desk or table. With all this freedom, you can create a very personal and excellent working environment that is a pleasure to work in. When you are happy doing your work, you will inevitably do better work.

                Con #1: We Move a Lot Less

                When we commute to a place of work, there is movement involved. Many people commute using public transport, which means walking to the bus stop or train station. Then, there is the movement at lunchtime when we go out to buy our lunch. Working in a place of work requires us to move more.

                Unfortunately, working from home naturally causes us to move less and this means we are not burning as many calories as we need to.

                Moving is essential to our health and if you are working from home you need to become much more aware of your movement. To ensure you are moving enough, make sure you take your lunch breaks. Get up from your desk and move. Go outside, if you can, and take a walk. And, of course, refrain from regular trips to the refrigerator.

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                Con #2: Less Human Interaction

                One of the nicest things about bringing a group of people together to work is the camaraderie and relationships that are built over time. Working from home takes us away from that human interaction and for many, this can cause a feeling of loss.

                Humans are a social species—we need to be with other people. Without that connection, we start to feel lonely and that can lead to mental health issues.

                Zoom and Microsoft Teams meeting cannot replace that interaction. Often, the interactions we get at our workplaces are spontaneous. But with video calls, there is nothing spontaneous—most of these calls are prearranged and that’s not spontaneous.

                This lack of spontaneous interaction can also reduce a team’s ability to develop creative solutions—there’s just something about a group of incredibly creative people coming together in a room to thrash out ideas together that lends itself to creativity.

                While video calls can be useful, they don’t match the connection between a group of people working on a solution together.

                Con #3: The Cost of Buying Home Office Equipment

                Not all companies are going to provide you with a nice allowance to buy expensive home office equipment. 100% remote companies such as Doist (the creators of Todoist and Twist) provide a $2,000 allowance to all their staff every two years to buy office equipment. Others are not so generous.

                This can prove to be expensive for many people to create their ideal work-from-home workspace. Many people must make do with what they already have, and that could mean unsuitable chairs that damage backs and necks.

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                For a future that will likely involve more flexible working arrangements, companies will need to support their staff in ways that will add additional costs to an already reduced bottom line.

                Con #4: Unique Distractions

                Not all people have the benefit of being able to afford childcare for young children, and this means they need to balance working and taking care of their kids.

                For many parents, being able to go to a workplace gives them time away from the noise and demands of a young family, so they could get on with their work. Working from home removes this and can make doing video calls almost impossible.

                To overcome this, where possible, you need to set some boundaries. I know this is not always possible, but it is something you need to try. You should do whatever you can to make sure you have some boundaries between your work life and home life.

                Final Thoughts

                Working from home can be hugely beneficial for many people, but it can also bring serious challenges to others.

                We are moving towards a new way of working. Therefore, companies need to look at both the pros and cons of working from home and be prepared to support their staff in making this transition. It will not be impossible, but a lot of thought will need to go into it.

                More About Working From Home

                Featured photo credit: Standsome Worklifestyle via unsplash.com

                Reference

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