For many over-worked cubicle dwellers, meals consist of Luna bars, Lean Cuisine lunches, and soups out of a can. Yup, that used to me, too. (And I admit that I sometimes still reach for a protein bar when I’m in a rush.)
But it’s better for you, your body, and your budget not to subsist on these so-called convenience foods. Anyone who’s seen the 2004 documentary Super Size Me knows about the horrific impact the McDonald’s drive-through can have on your health.
But so-called health foods have their drawbacks, too. Canned soup is notoriously high in sodium, as are many frozen entrees. (Often the salt is to compensate for the flavor lost when they remove most of the fat.) Not to mention the fact that it’s kind of sad to be ingesting the same microwaveable meals day in and day out.
And let’s not forget the financial cost of convenience foods. Sometimes those ready-made packets can be twice as expensive as their less convenient counterparts!
What’s a cash-strapped, time-crunched worker to do? I try to prepare a big batch of food on Sunday nights, so I’ll have healthful meals to last most of the week. I then supplement my rice casserole or Greek salad with lots of fresh fruits and veggies and (yes) even the occasional convenience meal, which is stashed in the freezer for emergencies (not everyday meals). With a little experimentation and a few kitchen implements like a casserole dish and a slow cooker, I’ve found several nutritious meals that I can prepare quickly and easily. My favorite is instant brown rice with salsa and veggies mixed in and baked for 30 minutes.
What about you?