Confession: I'm a health coach that doesn't like to cook

It’s true. I’m a health coach that doesn’t love cooking. I should explain: I don’t HATE cooking, but –  like you –  I don’t have a lot of time to make meals with long ingredient lists that require an hour or more in the kitchen. I have a business to run. People to see. And a life to lead. So, yea, I don’t love cooking all the time.

That being said, I know it’s important to eat healthy, home-cooked meals. So, I cook, but I cook fast. Most of my meals take 30 minutes or less to cook. That’s right – 30 minutes or less. Want to know how I do it? Here are my hacks:

Use quality ingredients. You don’t need to doctor your food with sauces and dressings if the vegetables are fresh and the protein is high-quality. The truth is, the better a food naturally tastes, the less you have to do to make it taste good.  It’s really that simple. And for those of you saying to yourself “quality food is expensive”, you don’t have to break the bank to follow this hack. Most local farmer’s markets have affordable produce. Costco has some pretty great organic and conventional finds. And the Environmental Working Group has a handy, dandy list to help you choose between organic and conventional.

Meal prep until you figure out what you like. This is a big one. I planned out meals quite a bit when I got started down my health journey. It allowed me to figure out what flavor profiles I liked, how long meals took to make, and what things I needed in my pantry to make my favorite dishes. This hack allows me to stock my pantry appropriately and stop by the grocery sans list when I’m not in the mood to try out new recipes.

Stock your pantry and fridge with your favorite staples. I always have kale, mushrooms, coconut oil and soy sauce in my house as stir-frys are my go-to. I also always have beans, quinoa, pepita seeds and avocado because a fiesta bowl is easy to make when pressed for time. It’s up to you to decide what works best for you, but, once you know what you like, stock your house with items so you can make a healthy meal you know you’ll like in a pinch.

Those are my home-cooking hacks. Do you have others you use? If so, share them with me on Instagram at @ericaballardhealth. Also, if you liked this post and want more like it, sign up for the Erica Ballard Health Newsletter.