Home Nutrition How to Eat Healthy Without Cooking, According to a Dietitian

How to Eat Healthy Without Cooking, According to a Dietitian

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If you happen to don’t like working within the kitchen, you don’t have to surrender on diet. Samaria Grandberry, MS, RDN, LDN, provides her finest recommendation on tips on how to eat wholesome with out cooking.

Hate to prepare dinner? You’re in good firm. Even registered dietitians—who reside and breathe meals and diet all day—don’t at all times love spending hours within the kitchen. 

That mentioned, the choice to not cooking doesn’t need to be a take-out order or packaged meal (each of which may usually be laden with further sodium, unhealthy fat, and preservatives).

To show it, we tapped one in every of HUM Vitamin’s registered dietitians, Samaria Grandberry, MS, RDN, LDN—who prefers to spend her time exterior the kitchen for her high wholesome consuming ideas for the cooking averse. Get the news on how she sticks with straightforward, low-commitment recipes and no-cook meals to eat wholesome with out cooking.  

The System For a Balanced Meal

rainbow salad

The primary query Samaria Grandberry, MS, RD, asks herself when placing collectively a meal is: What sounds good? 

“I feel it’s vital to concentrate to your cravings,” she explains. “Once you ignore them, that’s while you see individuals having ‘cheat days,’ or binging on issues they don’t actually need to eat as a result of they’ve restricted themselves an excessive amount of.”

From there, that is Grandberry’s foolproof components for a wholesome, satisfying meal:

1. Protein

Grandberry searches her freezer for meals that present loads of protein, which can assist maintain you full.. “Since I don’t prepare dinner that a lot, I usually purchase recent meats in bulk, portion and freeze them,” she says. Grandberry recommends grass-fed, natural meat from an area farmer if that’s accessible to you. If you happen to don’t eat meat, she suggests getting your protein from beans, eggs (in case you’re not vegan), and complete grains like quinoa and millet.

Excessive-protein meals like meat present helpful vitamins—like B nutritional vitamins—which might be powerful to search out in different places, Grandberry says. Vitamin B12, for instance, helps make DNA and retains your blood and nerve cells wholesome, in keeping with the Nationwide Institutes of Well being (NIH). You will discover this nutrient in fish, meat, eggs, milk, and fortified breakfast cereals. Since solely animal merchandise have vitamin B12 naturally, vegans and vegetarians could not get sufficient of this nutrient from food plan alone. Dietary dietary supplements, like HUM Vitamin’s B12 Turbo, will help fill in some gaps.

2. Fiber

In the meantime, fiber-rich meals like veggies and complete grains are important for intestine and total-body well being. For fiber, Grandberry makes use of frozen greens like broccoli, corn, peas, and inexperienced beans. 

Based on the Mayo Clinic, dietary fiber helps guarantee common bowel actions, maintain blood sugar and levels of cholesterol underneath management, decrease blood stress, and should even cut back your threat of dying from coronary heart illness.

However for all the great fiber does, most People don’t get sufficient. Actually, analysis revealed within the American Journal of Life-style Medication exhibits that solely 5 % of People get the beneficial 19 to 38 grams (g) of fiber per day. By constructing each meal round high-fiber meals, you’ll be able to enhance your odds of reaching your beneficial day by day consumption. 

3. Grains

Carbohydrates are our our bodies’ primary supply of power, which suggests they’re a vital a part of any meal. (Added bonus: Many grains are excessive in dietary fiber too.)

Grandberry tries to incorporate a grain at lunch and dinner by reaching for brown rice, millet, quinoa, and bulgur. She typically incorporates complete grains into her breakfast, utilizing whole-grain bagels, granola, or oatmeal.

By incorporating grains, fiber, and protein, Grandberry is ready to create a plate that’s each satisfying and nutritious. “Principally, I comply with my cravings, after which I attempt to construct essentially the most filling, colourful, quick meal I can utilizing the aforementioned ideas,” Grandberry says. Talking of shade, that’s one other precept she follows: Purpose to get at the least 2 to three totally different colours in your plate per meal.  

Suggestions For Hitting The Grocery Retailer 

groceries on counter

Wholesome, straightforward meals usually begin with grocery retailer journeys. Listed below are Grandberry’s must-dos when purchasing for meals.

  • Fill up on frozen produce. Frozen fruit and veggies last more than their recent counterparts however nonetheless provide dietary worth, Grandberry says. Plus, they don’t usually require washing or slicing, which pace issues up when getting ready meals.
  • Go plain. Decide frozen fruit and veggies that haven’t been seasoned or combined with sauce. This fashion, you’ll get nutritional vitamins and minerals with none added sodium, sugar or energy. She additionally loves veggie mixes—like bell pepper and onion combo—as a result of they make it straightforward so as to add a wide range of greens to at least one dish. 
  • Spice issues up. The most effective methods to improve your meals with minimal effort is to season your meals. Spices and dried herbs could make a big effect on the general style of your meals. Plus, there are some severe well being advantages to utilizing spices and herbs whereas cooking. A research discovered that spices and herbs possess antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-carcinogenic properties. Moreover, they’ll decrease glucose and levels of cholesterol and have properties that may have an effect on cognition and temper. Decide up some in style seasonings like chili pepper, cinnamon, ginger, black pepper, turmeric, fenugreek, rosemary, and garlic.
  • Get some recent stuff. Whereas the majority of Grandberry’s fruit and veggies come from the freezer part, she nonetheless will get just a few recent gadgets like a bag of pre-cut salad greens, apples, onions, and any seasonal produce she may be craving. “Seasonal produce tends to be cheaper and at all times tastes higher.” Grandberry says.
  • Go for frozen meat. Frozen meat is simple to retailer and prepare dinner, which suggests it often makes its means into Grandberry’s purchasing cart. Nice choices embrace seasoned salmon and tilapia filets, shrimp, and floor hen and turkey. You may also choose up plain hen or lean beef from the meat counter and do some prep work from home: Season the meat, reduce it into chunks, and retailer it within the freezer.
  • Purchase meals that require minimal prep. Pre-sliced bread and bagels, snack nuts, eggs, yogurt cups and plain popcorn are nice grab-and-go meals.

Suggestions For Consuming Out

friends eating at restaurant

Some days can get so hectic that it’s simply best to swing by means of the drive-thru for breakfast or seize a cellular order out of your favourite lunch spot. However relaxation assured, you’ll be able to nonetheless rating a nutritious meal when consuming out. Simply maintain the following pointers from Grandberry in thoughts.

  • Search for choices with fiber. Salads, whole-grain sandwich bread, steamed greens and oatmeal are all high-fiber meals that fill you up with fewer energy per serving than low-fiber choices.
  • Go for grilled. When you might have the choice, select meals which were grilled as an alternative of fried. Fried meals are typically increased in energy and saturated fats.
  • Get it in a wrap. Some eating places provide their commonplace sandwiches as a wrap. If that’s the case, think about swapping out your bread for a whole-grain tortilla. You’ll nonetheless get fiber however reduce down on energy. 

What I Eat In a Day: A Cooking-Averse Dietitian

sweet potato bowl

Not everybody has the time (or want) to batch prepare dinner, meal prep, or lookup the right recipe. If you happen to don’t notably love spending time within the kitchen, there are nonetheless methods to eat wholesome. Grandberry, for instance, doesn’t wish to spend an excessive amount of time placing collectively dishes however is ready to keep a balanced, nutritious diet. Right here’s what a typical day of consuming appears to be like like for her.


“I usually wish to have espresso within the morning with some kind of protein like eggs and a complete grain like toast or a bagel,” Grandberry says. Some days, she prefers a straightforward breakfast parfait of vanilla Greek yogurt, granola, and sliced strawberries. 


Lunch is often Grandberry’s largest meal of the day. “I often make some kind of dish at first of the week and eat leftovers,” she says. A few her newest lunches embrace a salad topped with grilled hen, and white pasta with store-bought pesto sauce, shrimp and veggies. Whereas whole-grain pasta gives extra fiber, Grandberry prefers the style and texture of refined pasta. (And he or she believes it’s higher to eat meals you really get pleasure from, relatively than forcing your self to eat more healthy variations of the identical meals.) To chop down on prep and cooking time, she makes use of frozen meats and veggies.


Like lunch, Grandberry usually whips up a fast dinner recipe to final the whole week. One in all her go-to dinners is floor turkey, quinoa, frozen kale and roasted candy potatoes. To make the potatoes, she cuts up some recent spuds and tosses them in olive oil. Then, she sprinkles them with cinnamon, nutmeg and a contact of brown sugar and pops them within the oven for an hour. “I like issues I can put within the oven or on the range after which go do one thing else for some time,” Grandberry says. Crockpots and air fryers are different helpful kitchen instruments for individuals who hate to prepare dinner, she provides.


When Grandberry wants a fast chunk, she usually pairs fiber-rich fruit like apples and berries with a fats and protein supply like peanut butter. Almonds, cheese, and popcorn are her different go-to’s.

Backside Line

Maintaining a healthy diet doesn’t imply your life has to revolve round cooking. By conserving your kitchen stocked with quick-prep meals and constructing most meals round protein and fiber, you’ll be able to eat wholesome with minimal kitchen time. 

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