How to make healthy meals when you don’t have time

Author: Dr. Michelle Durkin on 31 July 2018

The biggest excuse that I hear about why you can't eat healthy is that you don't have enough 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. What's different is what you prioritize and where you choose to spend your time.

Now, don't get me wrong - if there is something I can do to reduce the amount of time spent preparing healthy meals - I will do it.

Here's one strategy that works for me:

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

Looking up recipes takes time, choosing a recipe takes time, making sure you have the ingredients takes time and then choosing another recipe if you don't takes time.

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 next to no time with virtually zero culinary talent.

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) 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 month with another edition of Doctor as Teacher Tuesday. In the meantime, enjoy all the guest posts in the month of August!

2 Replies to “How to make healthy meals when you don’t have time”


The only thing I would change is the Tuna to Salmon. Too much Mercury in the Tuna

Dr Michelle Durkin ND

Unfortunately any deep water fish like tuna or salmon are susceptible to mercury contamination. Always good to know if you detox heavy metals easily or if you are an accumulator.

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