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Time to eat?

We live in a time which is short of time. We live our lives according to schedules which we continue to cram full of appointments, meetings and events, all of which involved preparation, amending, rescheduling, budgeting, travelling and countless other tasks which eat away at our time. We end up ignoring what we enjoy and love in life in our slavery to our schedules. We neglect our families and friends, our communities and we neglect our health. We don’t sleep enough and we don’t eat well. We just don’t have time to. At least that’s what we think. There are a number of ways in which you can eat a healthy, balanced diet, in delicious meals that don’t take up much time at all.

Firstly, forget about processed microwave meals, ready meals in cans, take away food and fast food. None of that has the right nutritional values for a healthy diet. Once in a while, of course, it’s okay to eat an instant meal or a kebab, but it’s not okay to live off them. Throw away your microwaveable meals but don’t throw away your microwave. This little cooker has a much-maligned reputation. It’s known best for its ability to defrost and heat up food quickly, but it can actually cook faster and as well as any conventional oven. The key is to get the settings just right. Easy and quick meals to make in the microwave include risottos, enchiladas and the best bacon you would never guess had been done in a microwave.

Another great way to cook food in a conventional, but quick way is to use an induction cooktop. Read up about them before you commit, somewhere like Induction Select, as you might have to make some changes regarding your cookware. Once you’ve got yourself ready to go, you can cook the meals you would like to cook in a conventional way but in just a fraction of the time. It’s the best of both worlds.

One of the healthiest ways to eat is just to go raw. As someone said “the healthiest meals don’t have ingredients – they are the ingredients. An apple is an apple”. This is a great approach, especially when it comes to snacking. As an alternative to this, you can put your favourite raw ingredients in a blender and make a smoothie to snack on. It couldn’t really be faster and they make great breakfasts.

You can use the same raw ingredients and just chop them up to make a salad. If you don’t want to spend a lot of time making the salad dressings, you can do this in advance – make a whole lot of it and put it in the refrigerator ready to use whenever you fancy a quick salad. You can also use this method to prepare sauces for more complicated meals. If you already have the sauces prepared, cooking dishes such as Chicken Tikka Masala, Spaghetti Carbonara and Coq au Vin become much quicker and less daunting to take on.

A final idea is to save time by cooking slowly. Yes, you read that right. Before you go to work, chop whatever vegetables and meat you want, put them in the slow cooker with your seasonings, sauces and water and switch on the slow cooker. When you get home the cooking will be completely done – the meat with be deliciously tender as it will have been slowly cooking all day.

By combining these methods, you’ll find that eating healthily at every meal is possible without having to spend hours in the kitchen. All it takes is a little organisation on your part. Get your groceries delivered online and update your order every time you notice you are running short of something. Combine your existing sauces to create new dishes, throw in different ingredients and you’ll see how easy it is to come up with a full menu.

Finally, whatever time you manage to save using these methods, use to reflect on how to recover a healthy balance in your daily schedule. Sometimes an extra five minutes each day can help you organise yourself much better, allowing you to spend that valuable time with your family.