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Healthy Balance

How To Eat Healthy Without Cooking


Let me be real with y'all: I hate cooking. Every part of it. I hate grocery shopping, prepping, the actual cooking part, and cleaning up. I get so disappointed when I go through all the effort to try a new recipe, follow the directions perfectly, and what I get is meh.

But eating healthy is important to me because it helps me feel my best and fuels my athletic performance. In addition to working here at UVA Health, writing about healthcare, I'm a certified fitness instructor. For the purposes of this post, I define healthy eating as getting a good mix of lean protein, whole grains, vegetables, and fruit. Here are my tips to eat healthy without cooking — or at least cooking very little.

Bowls: A Healthy No-Cook Meal

Try making a bowl. All you need is:

Here's one I like:

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Salads: Just Assemble & Eat

Salads add another way to eat healthy without cooking. You just need:

One of my favorites:

Wraps: More Than Another Boring Sandwich

A wrap is another way to mix things up and eat healthy without cooking. Just get:

An easy one I like:

Find a Few Easy Things to Cook

I know. This is supposed to be "eat healthy without cooking." But hear me out. You can round things out by picking a few quick, easy meals you don't mind cooking. And they can be budget-friendly, too.

One of mine is scrambled eggs, wheat toast, and a side of fruit. Another is oatmeal. I cook it in the microwave and add:

Stock Up on These Things

One key to eat healthy without cooking is to stock up on easy-to-grab healthy foods:

Bottom Line: Don't Make Yourself Cook If You Hate It

I felt a lot of relief when I quit trying to force myself to get into cooking. I've accepted that I don't want to and I can still eat healthy without cooking. Eating this way gives me more time and energy for other healthy habits, like spending as much time at the gym as I want and taking time for self-care and stress relief.

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