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Diet Diva
Diet Diva

Get advice on healthy eating, nutrition, and weight loss from expert dietitian Tara Gidus. 

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Rely on Convenience

Creating quick and healthy meals with prepared foods.

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Canned vegetables.Does the thought of cooking or preparing a meal seem like a daunting task? If so, I’ve got a secret for you: it’s okay to “cut corners.” Convenience foods exist for the sole purpose of making your life easier, and it’s okay to let them do just that. These prepared packages remove the messy and time-consuming prep work involved in the cooking process.

There are so many options when it comes to foods that are packaged for your convenience, and there is no shame in using them to save a little time and effort.

Canned/Jarred

For example, opt for canned or jarred fruits and vegetables. Instead of taking the time to cook dried beans, why not just buy them canned? Also, don’t immediately write off canned meats. You can use canned chicken, tuna, or salmon to make a salad, casserole, pasta dish, or cracker spread.

Pre-prepared

There are so many prepared foods that can make your cooking experience hassle-free and easy, from pre-made pasta sauces to cake mixes. There are a variety of side dishes already prepared and packaged for your convenience.  Take hummus, for example. Why would anyone put the mortar to the stone and grind up their own chickpeas (OK, I know blenders are easier, but still) if this delicious, protein-packed spread comes pre-packaged and ready to eat?

Picking up a rotisserie chicken from your grocery store is not only an easy way to throw together a quick dinner, but you can also use it for other recipes that call for chicken like a chicken salad or chicken soup.

Pre-cut/Washed

Buy your veggies pre-chopped if you know you’re going to be in a pinch. Choosing the chopped container of onions instead of the whole onion, or the bag of pre-chopped, pre-washed broccoli can save you tons of time. There are pre-washed salad mixes, pre-sliced fruit, pre-chopped garlic, pre-shredded cheese…the list goes on and on. Don’t be afraid to use these handy packages!

Dinner might be a little bit quicker to prepare tonight!

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Tags: Cooking Healthy , Healthy Eating , Quick and Healthy

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About the Author


MS, RD, CSSD, LD/N

Tara Gidus is a nationally recognized expert and spokesperson on nutrition and fitness.

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