This is my lunch from last Thursday – spinach, green lentils, sunflower sprouts, baked sweet potato, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds and hemp seeds with lemon-tahini dressing.

While carrying my plate back to my desk at work, a delivery man walked past me, stopped and exclaimed “that looks healthy!”  I replied back that it was and we engaged in a very interesting conversation about his health and diet.  This very sweet man told me that he has been dealing with some health concerns and is trying to change his diet but he sometimes works 12-15 hour days and on the go, he has no time to prepare meals.  This usually means he ends up stopping at fast food joints which he doesn’t want to do anymore.

This got me thinking.  Health and nutritious foods should not be a luxury for people with time and money.  And while we are all busy with life it’s essential that we find time to make better dietary choices.  This doesn’t necessarily mean we have to slave away in the kitchen to eat well but spending a small amount of time on food preparation can go a long way.

I’ve come up with a few of my favourite ways to prepare food to help save time and money:

  • Veggie sticks and dip – buy your favourite veggies like carrots, celery, cucumber, peppers, snap peas and cut into sticks.  Then combine and divide into single serving containers and keep in the fridge so you can grab and go when needed.  Also do this with hummus or other bean dip.
  • Smoothies – never underestimate the power of the smoothie!  I keep a Magic Bullet blender on my desk at work.  I fill a cup with fruits, greens and protein powder and blend when I’m ready for it.  Otherwise I will make a smoothie at home and bring to work (mason jars work great for carrying around large amounts of smoothie) You can pack a lot of nutrients in a smoothie and having a homemade smoothie is a lot better then smoothies from fast-food restaurants I’ve seen.
  • Have a plan – creating a meal plan at the beginning of the week can help you decide what you’ll need for meals and how to allocate your time should you need to prepare it.
  • Trail mixes – buy in bulk your favourite nuts, seeds and dried fruit (sulphite free) and create your own mix and package as single serving snacks.
  • Quinoa – there is nothing quinoa won’t do!  Use it as a cold or warm breakfast, add it to salads or use it as a base to salads for lunches and dinners.  Prepare it ahead of time and keep it in the fridge, lasts 3-4 days.
  • Fruit bowl – if you have an office job, keep a bowl of fruit on your desk for those afternoon sweet cravings.

Currently my favourite time saver is my superfood booster:

I got so frustrated each morning with having to dole out 1 tablespoon of each of my breakfast toppings so now twice a week I prepare single servings of pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, chia seeds, hemp seeds, goji berries and raw cacao nibs.  I keep these in my fridge until I need them for my raw buckwheat breakfast, on breakfast quinoa or oatmeal. 

I read a great quote today by Jennifer Thompson, “appreciate your health and understand that health isn’t everything, but without your health you have nothing.”

Do you have any time-saving tips and tricks?