HOW TO EAT HEALTHIER WHEN COOKING JUST AIN'T YOUR THING - Sonia Jhas
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HOW TO EAT HEALTHIER WHEN COOKING JUST AIN’T YOUR THING

Want to know my dirty little secret? The one thing, as a health and wellness expert, I’m just not supposed to say out loud?

I don’t love cooking.

Like, I just don’t love it.

Sure there’s the occasional Sunday where I decide to whip up some buttery eggs and bacon for the family, but as a general, more often than not, I’m just not a big fan of spending my time in the kitchen.

I used to feel bad about it, like I had a problem that needed major fixing, particularly since I grew up believing that a major part of a woman’s role in the household is to cook for the family. But, I’m happy to report that I’ve gotten over a lot of that bullshit and have embraced some pretty basic workarounds that have made cooking feel less awful for someone who doesn’t have dreams of becoming a master chef.

MY 4 WORKAROUNDS FOR
COOKING HEALTHY WHEN YOU HATE IT

TIP 1:
Pair cooking with an activity you love

The idea of having to spend more than 15 minutes in the kitchen preparing food is enough to make me want to desperately order Uber-eats or eat peanut butter and toast. So when cooking is called for, I’m now in the habit of pairing my time in the kitchen with something I actually enjoy doing so that the cooking becomes secondary and actually pretty tolerable. What sort of activities am I talking about here? Well, I have a couple of podcasts reserved just for cooking occasions so I can listen and laugh along with my favourite hosts while I saute, slice and roast. You get to decide what won’t feel soul-sucking for you. You might enjoy blasting music, listening to an audio book or turning cooking into a romantic date activity with your partner.

TIP 2:
Meal prep in advance

It will probably still feel tedious to you as a fellow non-chef, but meal prepping in advance can completely transform your eating habits. You don’t have to make full meals and portion them out at the beginning of each week like they do on instagram, but you can make cooking feel less like a challenge by getting a few things prepped in advance. For example, wash all of your produce ahead of time so that you just have to grab it from the fridge and go. Or if you’re feeling extra snazzy, take it one step further and chop all your veggies so that all you have to do is grab a “cup of this” and a “handful of that” at dinner time.

Want to be a bit more Type A about it without having to lay out a million tupperware containers of chicken breast and veggies? Go ahead and write down your menu(s) each week in advance so that you don’t have to devote brain power (or additional stress) after a busy day of work to the “what’s for dinner?” question. As with anything in life, a little preparation can go a long way!

TIP 3:
Find raw fruits and vegetables that you like

I know how this sounds, but hear me out. As we know, fruits and veggies are ultimately the best for our bodies – we may not like it, but the research and nutritional data that backs this up is incredible. Want to feel better in your body and see your skin improve naturally? Eat a lot more raw fruits and veggies because these beauties work some serious magic. Plus they make a pretty satisfying snack and are super easy to throw on a plate as a side in the name of dinner – no cooking required. The key is discovering which raw fruits and veggies you genuinely like.

To me berries, melons, and apples taste pretty outstanding. Carrots, green peppers and cherry tomatoes I also find delicious. And while I’ll never quite be a person who gets excited over leafy greens, if I sprinkle enough of all of the above onto my greens, suddenly my tastebuds are happy and I don’t need to struggle through a cooking flex. Chop, slice, serve – it’s as easy as pie!

TIP 4:
Find simple recipes that actually taste amazing

This sounds like a no-brainer, but when you really aren’t a lover of cooking, those recipes that foodies on the internet call “simple” can be totally overwhelming. Who has lemon grass in their fridge anyway? On the other hand, recipes that are marketed as “only five ingredients” tend to taste like bland cardboard if you ask me. If I’m going to be a grown up and spend time in my kitchen trying to make healthy meals, the end results on my plate better be delicious. They just have to be. Period.

So to help you find that balance between spending the least amount of time in your kitchen and giving you healthy meal options and ensuring everything has incredible flavour and texture, I’m sharing all of my favourite recipes with you, which you can find here. These are meals that I have work-shopped over and over again in my own home (not because I love cooking, but because I was tired of not finding food that served the balance I wanted). Over the years I’ve built up quite the reliable repertoire of recipes that don’t take too long to make, are nutritionally balanced and (most important of all) that don’t taste like cardboard. Enjoy!

You don’t have to be passionate about cooking to eat well

One of the biggest myths I see out in the wellness world is that in order to eat healthy you have to love cooking. Well, sorry not sorry, but I just don’t buy it. In fact this myth is a big reason why so many people struggle with their wellness goals – because it makes it all feel so much harder than it needs to be. Take it from somebody who doesn’t get any sort of genuine joy from spending time in her kitchen – there are workarounds, really good workarounds, to help you eat healthier without having to spend any more time than necessary cooking. I hope these tips help!