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Healthy doesn’t mean complicated. These simple meals will do.
A list of my go-to healthy (and actually quick!) meals during one of my busiest seasons.
I feel like I’m finally wrapping up one of the craziest roller coaster seasons of my life.
The biggest reason? My debut novel came out last week.
I made the decision to self-publish at the beginning of this year, and while I knew it was going to be a lot of work, I didn’t fully anticipate how much of my time it would suck up. Don’t get me wrong, I regret none of it, and I already know based on how much people are loving this book that it was absolutely worth it. But it’s been hard to juggle all my different work things (including this newsletter) on top of getting this book out in the world.
Which means, of course, that my meals have been sporadic.
Usually, I’m the kind of person who loves to plan out my meals and cook something delicious for dinner during the week. But with so much going on, things have looked really different lately. And I’ve had to adjust a few things in my usual routine.
You see, I feel like “simple” or “quick” meals tend to be associated with fast food, while “healthy” meals are associated with time, effort, and money. As things got busy in my life, I honestly thought my health was completely doomed. But instead of spiraling down the rabbit hole and solely relying on takeout for a few months, I decided to change the narrative around healthy eating at home—and got creative.
Here’s where I’m getting at: We overcomplicate trying to be healthy instead of finding easy solutions that work with our already busy lives.
Back in February when things really started ramping up for my book, I decided to sit down and really think through how I was going to make this next season of my life work—and that included writing down a list of (actually quick!) meals that I could turn to when things got way too busy and complicated to spend more than 15 minutes in the kitchen.
And of course, as a way to thank you for your incredible patience in this season, I’m going to share some of those meals with you today.
My actually quick healthy meals for busy seasons
Scrambled eggs with fruit
Greek yogurt with jam and pecans
Quick oats in the microwave with peanut butter and berries
Sourdough toast or whole-grain English muffin with smashed avocado (I buy the individual packs!)
Cheerios with milk (yes, real milk) and strawberries
Tuna packet on crackers with a green salad (I make it leafy greens, olive oil, white balsamic vinegar, salt, and pepper)
Crispy chicken salad: I buy Tyson air fryer chicken, mixed with my green salad (listed above), sliced cherry tomatoes, and shaved parmesan cheese.
Heat-and-eat chili with diced avocado, sour cream, and cheese (I love The Good Bean’s Classic Chili)
Cheese omelet with a green salad
Smoothie with frozen fruit, Greek yogurt, milk, peanut butter, and sometimes a teaspoon of honey
Kevin’s Natural Foods prepared meat with either microwaved brown rice or cooked whole-grain pasta
Chickpea tikka masala with microwave brown rice (can of chickpeas and a jar of tikka masala sauce)
Pasta with rotisserie chicken (or other prepared cooked chicken) tossed in pesto
Chicken or steak fajitas (I like to find prepared fajita meat ready to go)
Tuna pepper melts - tuna packet inside sliced bell peppers (or mini peppers) topped with mozzarella, then under the broiler for 3-5 minutes.
Vegetable fried rice — using up all the leftover veggies I have in the fridge, tossed with microwave brown rice, egg, and a yummy sauce!
1/2 frozen pizza (I like to find something heavy on the vegetables) with my green salad
Cheese, already individually wrapped (like Baybel!)
Apples or bananas with peanut butter
As you can see, these meals are very simple but still give you those nutrients we need. Fiber from the whole grains and vegetables, protein from the prepared meats or eggs, fats coming from cheese or oils in dressing or avocado. I also tend to keep it kind of light in terms of the number of carbohydrates I eat in the morning/afternoon and eat more of a substantial meal at night. This is just a personal preference of how I like my routine to look—and also because my husband and I eat our dinners together.
So if you find yourself in a really busy season, or heck, don’t feel like cooking much this summer (I mean, who would want to when you could be sitting on the beach reading a good book?), then these meals could be great to have in your back pocket when you need some healthy ideas.