A Simple Healthy-Eating Plan for When You Have No Time

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"I just don't have enough time to cook healthy..."

Being involved in the health & fitness industry for over 30 years, this is something I've heard more times than I can count! People will tell me all the time that they just don't have the time to spend hours in the kitchen and cook these elaborate, healthy meals. Well, let me tell you, this menu plan will take less time than driving through a fast-food drive-through and will be way tastier and better for you!

For this five-day menu plan, you will have to do a bit of prep work at the beginning of the week, and that prep should only take about 45 minutes. After your initial prep work is complete (I like to prep on a Sunday), then each day you'll only need about 30 minutes to prepare your meals. I'm not talking 30 minutes for each meal, I'm talking a total of 30 minutes a day.

Your health should be important to you. You are important to so many people, and so taking care of yourself and eating well isn't just for you, it's so you can be healthy and active in the lives of your loved ones as well! Food can be the best form of medicine or a slow poison; it's your choice. So let's start making some healthy choices and get started with our meal plan.

Here Are My Suggestions:

  1. Review the menu plan below. If there is anything on it that you don't like, make a substitution (keep it healthy)
  2. Print the grocery list. Quantities listed are per person, so multiply the quantities by the number of people eating.
  3. Check your kitchen to see what you already have, and then circle the items on the grocery list that you need to buy.
  4. Do the prep work and be sure to watch the "prep work" section of the video. It will give you the details of how to do the prep work.
  5. Then, each day you can watch a specific section of the video which will teach you how to specifically make the meal for that day. The menu plan below lists the time-stamps for each day.

Prep Work (I highly recommend that you watch the video to get the details):

  • Cook chicken breast: You can cook the chicken whatever way you like best. Be sure you do not overcook the chicken or it will be dry when you reheat it. I like to cook mine in water or broth so it stays more moist.
  • Cook baking and sweet potatoes: Put potatoes in preheated 400° oven for about 45 minutes
  • Cook quinoa: follow directions on package
  • Slice and Cook eggplant: Coat with oil. Cook in preheated oven until slightly browned.
  • Cut up vegetables: Slice grape tomatoes in half and cut onions, cucumber, celery, carrots and red peppers into bite-sized pieces. Mince ginger into small pieces.
  • Make vegetable soup: In a large bowl, add 32 ounces of vegetable broth, four cups frozen vegetables, one can diced tomatoes and one tablespoon dried oregano. Stir, cover and put in fridge.
  • Make popsicles: (can use small, freezer-safe bowls too) Put 2 bananas, 3 cups coconut/almond milk, 1 cup plain Greek yogurt, 4 tbsp. cocoa powder and 1/3 cup peanut butter into blender. Blend until smooth; then freeze.
 

Day 1 - (Watch video at 17:10)

  • Breakfast: Wilted Greens with Poached Egg
  • Snack: Dried Apricots and Peanut or Almond Butter
  • Lunch: Greek Salad
  • Snack: Vegetable Soup
  • Dinner: Chicken with Creamy Salsa, Sweet Potato (option to add a side salad)
  • Dessert: Popsicle

Day 2 - (Watch video at 24:30)

  • Breakfast: Organic or GF Toast with Peanut/Almond Butter and 1/2 Banana
  • Snack: Yogurt with Blueberries
  • Lunch: Sweet Potato, Quinoa and Black Bean Cake, 8 Tortilla Chips
  • Snack: Vegetable Soup
  • Dinner: Stir-fry over Quinoa, Side Salad
  • Dessert: Popsicle

Day 3 - (Watch video at 34:12)

  • Wilted Greens with a Poached Egg
  • Snack: Dried Apricots and Peanut/Almond Butter
  • Lunch: Greek Salad
  • Snack: Vegetable soup
  • Dinner: Eggplant Parmesan, Cucumber, Red Pepper and Onion Salad. (optional 1/2 Sweet Potato)
  • Dessert: Popsicle

Day 4 -  (Watch video at 37:35)

  • Breakfast: Toast with peanut butter and banana
  • Snack: Cinnamon Apples
  • Lunch: Mexican Salad with Creamy Salsa Dressing
  • Snack: Dried Apricots with Peanut/Almond Butter
  • Dinner: Salmon, Baked Potato, Asparagus
  • Dessert: Popsicle

Day 5 - (Watch video at 42:10)

  • Breakfast: Wilted Greens with a Poached Egg
  • Snack: Avocado Toast
  • Lunch: Salad with Salmon, Asparagus, and Avocado
  • Snack: Cinnamon Apple your choice
  • Dinner: Salmon Wrap with Tzatziki Sauce, Roasted Potatoes and Onions
  • Dessert: Popsicle or small Fudgsicle cups

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Be sure to view and print your grocery list for your five-day menu plan by clicking here. 

Michelle Spadafora started Faithful Workouts in 2009 after 22 years in the fitness industry. She created Faithful Workouts to be a place where you can come and strengthen your relationship with God while you strengthen your body and mind, a place where you can find great workouts for all fitness levels, receive simple, practical nutrition information and connect with a real community who knows that the journey to better health is more about encouraging each other and less about being perfect.

This article originally appeared at faithfulworkouts.com.

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