The Lazy Girl’s Guide to Making Meals Healthier

There’s a lot of assumptions that people make when I tell them I’m studying to be a Dietitian. One of them is that I’m a “food snob”, which could not be further from the truth. I will literally eat just about anything and dance while doing it. The second is that I eat perfectly all the time, which is also completely false. The truth is, as a college student, there have been times when I literally have eaten Peanut butter and pita crackers for dinner. The amount of Lean Cuisines that I have eaten in my life is ridiculous. When it comes to making food for myself, I like to put in minimal effort and keep it simple. 

Is it weird that I love these so much?

My laziness has proven to be useful, however, because I’ve mastered the art of sneaking in extra “healthy” ingredients to super simple meals. So here, I present, The Lazy Girl (or Guy’s) Guide to Making Meals Healthier:

Tip One: 

Smoothies are the Beyoncé of healthy meals. Fast, portable, and your options are endless. When you’re making a smoothie, leave strawberry tops on. These little leafy greens contain vitamins and minerals like calcium, iron, and vitamin C. Adding a handful of spinach is also a great pro-tip for an extra veggie boost with no weird taste. 

Tip Two: 

Eggs are one of the best foods on this planet and I cannot be convinced otherwise. They’re versatile, nutritious, and affordable. A way to make them even healthier? Add minced cooked broccoli or cauliflower to your scrambled eggs! The texture is similar, and you can go the extra mile if you want with a little sprinkle of cheese (I would).

Tip Three: 

Nuts and seeds are underappreciated. These little teeny guys are packed full of fiber and healthy fats, which is a recipe for staying fuller for longer. Toss a serving size of unsalted sunflower, chia, or flax seeds onto a salad for an extra nutrient boost. Or, throw a handful of almonds on your yogurt in the morning. 

Tip Four: 

Cauliflower pizza crust. Need I say more?

Tip Five: 

I love a good pasta night as much as the next girl. The next time you decide to make pasta, stop by a grocery store and pick up veggie noodles! They’re vegetables (usually carrots, zucchini, or some other squash) that have been noodle-ized (this is a word now) to mix in with your pasta. 

Pasta lovers, unite.

Tip Six:

Salsa should not be underestimated. Yes, it’s the companion and long-time BFF of the chips at your favorite Mexican restaurant, but it can also be used in burritos, tacos, and with eggs! Break out your blender or food processor and blend an extra ½ cup of mixed tomato, pepper, and onion into your salsa serving. 

Tip Seven:

Zucchini is one of my favorite vegetables for an odd reason- it has virtually no taste. While some people may see this as a downfall, I see it as an opportunity. Zucchini can be grated, chopped, or minced and added to almost any mixed dish with no flavor alteration, whether it’s pasta, any kind of salad, or a casserole. Zucchini is the guardian angel of vegetables- its presence is not always known, but it’s there for you when you need it. 

Tip Eight: 

Say it with me, people- “Tupperware”. Tupperware is obviously useful for saving leftovers, but it’s also really handy for meal prep in advance! I like to chop up a bunch of onions, zucchini, and tomato and place them each in their own little Tupperware container. Later on in the week when I’m in a hurry (or just absolutely starving) I can grab handfuls out of each container and toss them into almost any meal. The key to this one? Choose versatile vegetables that can be thrown in with almost anything. (Some other versatile veggie suggestions: mushrooms, broccoli, any squash, and carrots!)

Healthy meals don’t need to be gourmet or time-consuming. After all, saving time on meal prep leaves more time for you to go out and slay it in the real world. Or get an iced coffee, depending on how bold you’re feeling. 

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