You’ve come home late and you’re absolutely exhausted and starving. Making dinner doesn’t always seem like it’s the most appealing thing in your to-do list so you open your cupboard and open up a box of cereal thinking you’ll just have a “light dinner”. Or maybe you grab some pieces of bread and cheese and quickly make a grilled cheese. Or maybe you open up a bag of chips. Either way – these options are going to deplete your energy, possibly not have enough food to be a full meal, and you’re going to miss out on major nutrients like protein and vegetables and overdo it in the refined carbohydrates. Weight loss disaster and health disaster!
So since we know those situations WILL happen, we won’t try and prevent the late night arrivals home, but we can prevent what’s being chosen and available for dinner, so let's look at some solutions for how to throw something together within minutes that’s also balanced. Guess what’s not going to make you so tired when you arrive home late again? Eating well :)
Since protein is often the food that’s not chosen in a pinch or for “light” meals because it may take longer to make let’s look at some no-cook quick protein options and how to incorporate them.
No Cook Quick Protein Options
- Organic canned beans – just open, rinse and add to a veggie soup or chopped veggies with vinaigrette for a quick bean salad
- Edamame, without the shell – it stays in the freezer so just take it out run a bit of water on it and add to a veggie soup or throw in a pan with frozen vegetables and quickly sautee with extra virgin olive oil + garlic or just herbs and spices, or just eat as is
- Shrimp – it stays in the freezer as well so it’s ready when you are with just a bit of water to defrost. Easily added to sautees, stir fries or make a picnic of shrimp, dip, fresh veggies and wholegrain crackers if you aren’t cooking at all
- Cottage Cheese or Greek Yogurt – both can be eaten straight from their containers or mixed with other things. For example, greek yogurt would be a perfect addition to that wholegrain cereal you thought of having so you pump up the protein a bit. Cottage cheese can be mixed with fruit or spread on toast with sliced tomato and avocado for savory meal/snack
- Already Cooked - if you cooked up a bunch of organic chicken, wild fish or lean beef, placed it in your freezer, you could pull it out to defrost and eat it whenever you like! Try and avoid those pre-cooked store bought proteins as they usually have a lot of fillers and preservatives.
It’s important to remember that “light” meals shouldn’t be void of protein, especially when weight loss is a goal in sight. Protein will help fill you up, keep your muscles lean and create a faster fat burning metabolism all day long. Never underestimate the power of easy to throw together salads with quick proteins added on top. Light, filling and nutrient dense. Your body, mind and exhaustion will thank you!