My name is Erica and I dread the kitchen - which probably sounds strange coming from a health and nutrition coach. I understand the importance of eating healthfully AND I can and will admit cooking has never come naturally to me. I also resonate strongly with some of the reasons you might not like to cook, such as:
No time - cooking sometimes feels like an added chore that you don't have time for.
It's easier to order out - you prefer the convenience of ordering takeout or delivery from your favorite restaurants.
The clean-up - the thought of having to do dishes and clean up after cooking feels like yet again one more chore to add to the list of things you don’t have time for.
Food tastes better when someone else cooks it (this one is my favorite 😜)- you may believe that they are not good at cooking and therefore food prepared by others just tastes better.
Fear not though. healthy cooking doesn't have to be complicated or time-consuming. With a little planning and preparation, it's totally possible to cook and eat healthfully even if you don't like to cook. Check out six hacks for healthy cooking just for you:
Meal prep: This is a great way to save time during the week. If you cook your meals in advance, you only have to do it once and you're set for the week. For example, bake a batch of chicken and freeze the leftovers. You can add cooked chicken to salads, wraps, or pair it with healthy carbs or vegetables.
Crockpot meals: Slow cookers are a great way to meal prep. You can add lean meat and veggies to a pot, turn it on, and let it cook itself. Make more than you need and freeze the leftovers for a quick meal in the future.
Rotisserie chicken: Buy a fully-cooked rotisserie chicken from the grocery store for already prepared protein to add to your meals.
Buffet/salad bars: If you don't have time to cook, buying pre-cooked meats from salad bars or buffets is a quick (bear in mind it is more expensive) way to get healthy protein for your meals.
Frozen foods: If you don't want to cook at all, frozen foods from the grocery store may be the answer. Choose products with just a few recognizable ingredients, and check that there are no added preservatives. Frozen vegetables, in particular, are just as healthy as fresh, and microwavable steamable veggies make for a quick and healthy side dish.
Work with a nutrition coach: If you struggle with menus, food choices and cooking, consider working with a nutrition coach who can help you develop a personalized nutrition plan that fits your lifestyle and preferences. They can offer guidance on meal planning, grocery shopping, and cooking tips that can help make healthy eating more manageable.
Making healthy food choices is all about small, sustainable changes. One final bonus hack when planning to change the way you eat - think about the “add in” method. Look for opportunities to add in a healthy choice rather than getting frustrated trying to eliminate the less than healthy food choices. This also gets easier when you create a food environment that encourages your healthy choices. So if you're someone who hates to cook, don't worry - there are plenty of options out there to help you eat healthily!