This is not a sponsored or compensated post! Any specific brands mentioned are by choice because I truly enjoy their products. As much as I like to cook, there is nothing better than coming home to ready-made leftovers or convenience foods--more time to knit, yo! Eating healthy and fast are not mutually exclusive and these are some of my favorite quick n dirty options. Depending on your personal food needs these might not work for you, and that's ok! We all have our own magic list and I'd love to hear some of yours.
Protein powder: This shit saves my life. If your focus is on whole, natural-state foods then protein powder doesn't make the cut but I love it. While I do eat meat/fish/eggs etc, this is an easy way to get in extra protein. Right now I'm on a breakfast smoothie kick (a subject of another upcoming post!) and protein powder is a main feature in those. I'm flexible on brand as long as it meets my main criteria: whey protein vs any other kind, contains 20g+ of protein per serving, and unsweetened. Organic, grass-fed or hormone free are additional pluses! Currently digging Tera's Whey Unsweetened Grass-Fed.
Protein bars: Similar deal as above re: foods in their natural state. I don't believe in using these as full meal replacements (not enough calories) and I don't depend on them as a daily staple. I mainly use them for snacks or delaying meals, like if I want to wait until Mark gets out of work at 8:30 to eat dinner with him, or if I need a boost before a run since I can't run on a full stomach. I'm majorly in love with ThinkThin high protein bars, despite the stupid name. 20g protein and gluten free! They do contain soy protein, and I try to avoid lots of soy in my diet, but at least they only use non-GMO soy. The only other drawback is that they contain sugar alcohols for sweetness, so if you're looking to avoid those then they are off-limits. I don't mind, and my sugar intake is low so these bars are almost candy-like to me! <3 the creamy peanut butter flavor. Some of them are a little dry/weird in texture--chocolate espresso and brownie crunch, I'm looking at you!
Ready-to-go meats: Huge category, tons of options!
- Rotisserie chicken, especially when Stop n Shop does $5 chickens on Friday.
- Pre-made burgers. Trader Joe's has frozen uncooked turkey burgers and chicken chili lime burgers for RIDICULOUS prices--$2.99/box of 4 and $3.99/box of 4 respectively at my TJ's.
- Precooked sausages and meatballs. I'm a fan of the chicken ones by Aidells that come in tons of flavors and most are gluten free and nitrite free.
- Deli meats are a good option unless you're worried about sodium. Applegate Farms is nitrate and nitrate free though. Since I don't eat sandwiches, these are good on top of salads or just rolled up and eaten by themselves/with cheese as a snack. Also good in omelets or torn up and added to scrambled eggs!
Vegetables...I have no easy shortcuts, sorry! Bagged salad is about as convenience-y as I get. I don't like canned or frozen vegetables and I actually like chopping veggies in a martyring myself kind of way, so I tend to avoid the pre-chopped stuff from the supermarket. But if you truly hate prep work those are great options! Instead I just make big batches of veggies that will last for multiple meals and keep supplementing it with different protein.
What are your shortcuts when you're low on time or energy but big on hunger?