Q. I'm busy and it's hard for me to prepare meals. Do you have any suggestions for eating healthfully on a timed schedule?
A. There are many things you can do to make healthy eating easier when you’re always on the go. Prepare lean meats in batches, advises Cynthanne Duryea, R.D., a dietitian who specializes in preventive and cardiovascular nutrition at Cooper Clinic in Dallas, Texas. “Bake, broil, or grill chicken breasts, pork tenderloin, or lean beef fillets in amounts that can be used for a second or third meal.” The meat can be sliced and refrigerated, and tossed onto a salad, or into a sandwich or a whole-wheat pasta dish, she says. “Use a slow cooker. Place lean pork chops or chicken into a crockpot along with onions, garlic, celery, carrots. When you get home at the end of the day, dinner will be ready.”
Take advantage of the convenience of prewashed salads, well worth the price; simply add tomato or additional veggies to add color and nutrients. And don’t ignore frozen veggies—the nutrient quality rivals that of fresh vegetables, says Duryea. Smoothies are another great option for a quick, light meal: add a soy- or whey-based protein powder to 1 cup of unsweetened frozen berries, 1 frozen banana and 1 cup of skim milk or soymilk. And finally, soothe yourself with soup: heat a canned lentil/bean-based soup (protein-packed and fiber-rich). Top with low-fat cheese, add a few whole-wheat crackers and dinner’s ready.