Maintain a Stock of Quick-Cook Foods

Fast healthy food-preparation begins with what you bring into your kitchen.

Instant Foods
Buy ‘instant’ foods that can quickly be made into meals. Good buys are canned foods like tuna; low-fat, low-sodium ready-to-serve soups; beans like kidney beans, black beans and navy beans; chopped tomatoes; sliced mushrooms; and baby potatoes. Buy tomato-based pasta sauces, salsa,low-fat mayo, soy sauce, teriyaki, Tabasco and chili sauce to add flavor to grilled chicken breasts and stir-frys.

Prepped or Frozen Foods
Buy a variety of your favorite salad ingredients, pre-washed bags of lettuce, cherry tomatoes, cucumber, onion, fresh vegetables – pre-washed and ready to use, or buy frozen vegetables and fruits. Choose tomato or vegetable juices, or unsweetened fruit juices.

Stock your refrigerator with low-fat shredded cheese, cheese strings, low-fat yogurt, 1 percent milk, cottage cheese, Cool Whip, and eggs (keep some cooked for snacks).

Chicken breasts, ground steak and a range of deli-sliced cold meats, like turkey, chicken and lean ham.

Grains and Carbs
Choose whole wheat cereals, pasta, basmati rice, low-sugar cereal bars, soft-flour tortillas, corn tortillas, whole wheat pita, English muffins and whole wheat bread. For nutritious snacks buy a range of nuts, seeds, dried fruit and fresh fruit.

How to Create Fast Healthy Meals

The next thing is learning how to combine these foods to create healthy, weight-conscious meals in minutes. Here is a sample day’s eating:

Breakfast (2 minutes)
– Bowl of whole wheat cereal with 1 percent milk, topped with tbsp chopped nuts
– Glass of Unsweetened Orange Juice

Snack (1 minute)
– 1 apple
– 1 low-fat cheese string

Lunch (4 minutes)
– Whole wheat sandwich: low-fat mayo, lean ham/chicken, lettuce, tomato, cucumber
– 8 oz pot low-fat yogurt

Snack (1 minute)
– Cereal bar
– Handful dried apricots or apple rings
– 2 Brazil nuts

Dinner (5 minutes preparation)
Chicken Enchilada
– 1 Soft-flour enchilada
– 1 cooked chichen breast
– 2 tbsp salsa
– 2 tbsp shredded cheese
– Salad leaves, tomatoes, sliced onion, cucumber
– 2 tbsp low-fat dressing

Spread soft-flour tortilla with salsa, top with some sliced cooked chicken and shredded cheese. Place in hot oven for 10 minutes and serve with some salad.

Snack (1 minute)
Dip some strawberries in a pot of low-fat chocolate Jell-O Pudding

Fast Healthy Food

The above 3 meals and 3 healthy snacks take a total of 14 minutes to prepare. Which is no slower than most fast-food restaurants. But unlike junk-food, the above foods help you stay healthy and manage your weight.

For more fast-food recipes, see: Quick Recipes For Healthy Weight Loss

Foods For Weight Loss
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