Eating healthy when you don’t have time

Author: Dr. Michelle Durkin on 15 June 2021

You want to eat healthy but you don't have time. Sound familiar?

While it may be true that your time feels limited, you actually have the same number of hours in the day as everyone else. It's just super easy for the busyness of life to get in the way of eating your best.

When you are "too busy" you automatically increase your stress level. When under stress your ability to make good, logical decisions becomes compromised. All the blood going to the reasoning centres of your brain gets shunted to the survival areas of the brain. Therefore relying only on your intelligence to make a nutritious decision during times of stress is setting yourself up for failure.

So what can you do to work against this?

Here's one strategy that works for me:

You don't need a recipe to create a healthy meal. 

Looking up recipes, choosing a recipe, making sure you have all the ingredients, and then choosing another recipe & repeating all take time and decision making skills.

I want you to know that it is possible to eat real, whole, unprocessed, nutrient dense food that not only tastes delicious, but can be prepared in little time with virtually zero culinary talent, no complex decision making needed!

Need me to elaborate? Check out these 12 meal & snack ideas that are recipe-free.

  1. Breakfast:  fried eggs & chunks of sweet potato along-side 2 slices of bacon and top with salsa, avocado slices and cheese.
  2. Breakfast: squeeze half a lemon & a splash of maple syrup over plain Greek yogurt (if you have a dairy sensitivity use Coconut yogurt). Top with chopped apple, walnuts, and a sprinkle of hemp or chia seeds.
  3. Breakfast: Last night's leftovers (who says it has to be "breakfast food"?)
  4. LunchGiant salad with spinach/kale greens, loads of veggies, a protein source, ½ avocado, and nuts/seeds. Drizzle with olive oil and lemon juice.
  5. Lunch: Leftover burger and vegetable soup (e.g. sauté garlic, onions, celery, carrots in butter, add a can of diced tomatoes and veg broth. Puree if desired)
  6. Lunch: Canned tuna with sweet kale salad kit (use your own olive oil and lemon juice instead of the packaged dressing). Add extra veggies, cheese & avocado.
  7. Dinner: Burger (no bun; use lettuce or cabbage leaf instead) with all the fixings & veggie side (grilled, sautéed, or steamed).
  8. Dinner: Roasted whole chicken, roasted root veggies, and green beans (you can buy at Costco pre-washed and no trimming required) boiled for 8 mins with a dab of butter.
  9. Dinner: Grilled salmon over quinoa or wild rice, steamed cauliflower & broccoli drizzled with melted butter and slivered almonds.
  10. Snack: Raw veggie sticks and guacamole (you can buy pre-made guacamole at most grocery stores & Costco)
  11. Snack: Apple or banana with nut or seed butter
  12. Snack: ¼ cup of macadamia nuts and >70% dark chocolate bites or cacao nibs

Now I would love to hear from you! What is one healthy meal or snack that you make without a recipe and saves you time in the kitchen? Leave a comment below and I'll be back next week with another edition of Doctor as Teacher Tuesday. 

3 Replies to “Eating healthy when you don’t have time”

Steph VanderMeulen

Number 4 is my absolute favourite and I have been eating it every day for two months so far, either for lunch or supper! I just load it with whatever I can, as much variety as I can, and use egg or beans on top.


Thank you Dr
Great ideas Ill print the list and keep it on my fridge


Dr Michelle Durkin ND

You’re welcome! Good idea to keep it on the fridge for easy reference 🙂

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