Do you remember the days where you could sit idly over a meal for hours on end, sipping a second glass of Chardonnay and bantering whimsically with your partner of choice, while the last rays of the setting summer sun grace your nearly empty plates?
Yeah, me neither, although I sure wouldn't mind engaging in that fantasy.
To be completely honest, these days I dream about this more than fifty shades of anything. Don't tell my husband.
Currently, my time is split between breastfeeding a six-week old infant who is hungrier than the combined cast of the Housewives of Beverly Hills, sneaking in snippets of sleep whenever possible and putting as much food in my mouth fast, so I can continue to meet the demands of my ever growing and insatiable spawn. To say I get hangry would be an understatement and yet I still care about the kinds of foods I toss down my gullet.
Five Ways to Eat Healthy in a Hurry
Food Preparation: when I spend an hour or two preparing food, it makes eating during the rest of the week so much more manageable.
On the plus side, you don't have to be Betty Crocker in the kitchen to food prep. Typically, I bake some potatoes, hard boil eggs, chop a few veggies, and prepare a grain like rice or quinoa so they're ready to go when I'm ready to cook. Not only does this dramatically cut back on my time in the kitchen during the week, it's also a great source for meal ideas. I've got cooked rice and chopped up veggies on hand. How about a stir fry?
Cook Once, Eat Often: time is money, which is why I try to make enough food to feed a small army when I cook, or at the very least enough to feed my family several times over.
Think Outside The Box: you don't need to cook to be able to eat, so ditch the traditional three square meal ideal and get resourceful. A delicious source of complex carbohydrates, protein and healthy fats, a hearty bowl of granola and Greek yogurt will keep you satiated for hours.
Apples and peanut butter make a quick and tasty snack, and it doesn't get any easier than the tried and true banana. If those phallic fruits are good enough for marathon runners, surely they can sustain us.
Simple snack platters are another great way to get good calories in fast. Fruits, veggies and cheese is a lunchtime staple for me.
Some days I'll throw caution to the wind, ditch tradition, and have a simple dip for dinner. My husband and I have eaten this Fattoush Dip as our main meal more nights than I can count, and my math skills are fairly strong.
Chock full of Mediterranean flavors on a bed of hummus, it's definitely a favorite.
Another winner is this lightened up Artichoke Cheese and White Bean Dip. Plus, the leftovers make an amazing grilled cheese sandwich. Just sayin'.
Be Egg-cellent: Eggs are easy, filling, and fast, not to mention versatile. Scramble them, fry them, hard boil them, stuff them in a wrap, put them on a pizza, in a quiche or bury them in a frittata. Whatever you decide, eggs are your friend. Besides who doesn't love breakfast for dinner?
Jazz Up the Simple Sandwich: ham and cheese is so yesterday's news. Instead, toss your favorite fixins' on two satisfying slices of bread and call it a day, or really just dinner. Some of my personal favorites are the Ultimate Italian Panini, an Avocado Cheese Panini or a Blackberry Peach Grilled Goat Cheese Sandwich, perfect for summer and also with that glass of Chardonnay we originally talked about.
With any luck and these simple time saving hacks, you'll be able to go back for a seconds on that glass of wine and let's be honest, isn't that our real goal?