Whether you like cooking or not, there are most definitely times when you aren't able to or don't want to cook your own meals. This shouldn't stop you from being able to eat a healthy, balanced diet. There are no end of nutritious and healthy foods or meals you can create without having to spend hours in the kitchen.
Some of the below tips might seem obvious and others might have slipped your mind, but they're all great ways to ensure you're receiving the nutrients you need to thrive.
Most of the time, the snacks we eat don't require any preparation or cooking. Whilst it's easy to reach for the nearest biscuit or chocolate bar when you start to feel peckish, use your snack as an opportunity to pack nutrients in.
There are lots of healthy snack options, that don't require any cooking, such as:
Veg sticks with humous
Nuts and seeds
Slurp on smoothies
Whilst this does require a bit of kitchen action (i.e. using a blender), there technically isn't any cooking. It's also super speedy too. Smoothies, when balanced, really can deliver a nutritional punch. Simple ingredients such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, oats, milk and your imagination can lead to no end of flavour combinations. Just remember to be mindful of your portion sizes - the recommended serving size is usually 150ml.
Be selective with convenience foods
Convenience foods can absolutely have a place in a healthy, balanced diet. Particularly one where you're not able to or don't like cooking. However, be selective with the foods you choose.
Use traffic light labels and read the back-of-pack nutrition labels to compare similar products. This allows you to make informed decisions. Opt for convenience foods with mostly green and amber labels. For example, canned soups are a good no-cook meal. If you have two similar soups, but one is slightly lower in salt, opt for that one.
Become a takeout connoisseur
There's no denying the easiest way to eat without cooking is to order takeout. So, it would be silly to ignore the factors to think about, including:
Adding a side salad or vegetable side dish to your meal
Making sure your meal contains a source of protein
Opting for carb-based side dishes, such as chips or rice, that aren't cooked in lots of oil
Replace full sugar fizzy drinks with sugar-free versions or water
Reviewing the restaurants and cafes in your local area. Are there any that specialise in providing healthy and nutritious meals?
You don't need to spend hours in the kitchen to eat healthy and fuel your body. The key to success is being more mindful with your food choices - from snacks and convenience foods to the takeout you order on a busy night.