My Favorite Hack for Easy Weeknight Dinners

easy weeknight dinners

Ook so let’s talk weeknights. Notoriously next-level when it comes to healthy eating, right? After a long workday, commute, errands, and events, I totally get that the last thing most people have the time or energy for is whipping up an hour-long meal. As someone who *enjoys* cooking, even I can relate. So lately, my fiancé and I have been experimenting with how to make weeknights EVEN easier after full workdays. Because, as you may know, my food philosophy is that healthy eating should be one of the easiest, most automated parts of someone’s life — because the easier, more natural of a fit something is, the more likely someone is to be able to sustain it long-term. If you haven’t already experimented with these little hacks, I encourage you to give them a shot this week!

Health Hack #1: Pre-cooked, real-food freezer meals. Here’s the thing: MOST, most freezer meals are not ideal, real-food options. Most are packed with sodium, preservatives, chemicals, or bizarre additives that are the LAST things you want to be pumping your body with right before you fall asleep. You want your body to be able to focus on rest and rejuvenation, not using its resources to clean up a chemical overdose! However, there are more and more real-food freezer meals popping up every day. Eat Local, for example, is a Seattle-based company that prepares healthy meals fresh in their kitchen, then portions them into frozen meals. I’ve even found healthy pre-cooked freezer meals all the way across the world in Edinburgh, and they make the perfect easy weeknight dinner to heat up, then have hot and ready-to-eat in five minutes or less.

Health Hack #2: Healthy delivery. After a busy workday, it’s always tempting for me to want to just go out instead of eat at home. However, eating out often makes it so much more tempting to come in with the best intentions for a healthy meal, yet leave wondering how you somehow managed to order a cheese plate, bread basket, and few glasses of wine you never even meant to have. But ordering in removes all that temptation and gives you all the benefits of eating out — not having to cook or clean up — along with more control as to what you filter, search, and order. On busy nights, I’ve been dropping the should-be-cooking guilt trip and instead just using UberEats or Postmates to order in a big salad or power bowl. Last night, my fiancé and I also shared a side of sweet potato fries and kombucha. Take out has connotations of being unhealthy (we’ve all opted for a pizza or Chinese food before) but why not make it work FOR you? There are so many delicious health-food restaurants and dishes these days that the benefits are multiple: you support other healthy small businesses, spend less money if you were to go out to a restaurant, are less likely to get side-tracked with your choices, and get more time to finish whatever you’re working on at home (even if it’s just decompressing after the workday) while the food arrives.

I know there are many meal prep services out there (here are a few I wrote about in a previous post) but we’ve never gone that route completely. (Yet.) Instead, it’s just nice to have some alternatives for the days when cooking isn’t doable, putting you at a much higher risk for foraging through old boxes of crackers in your pantry, eating your children’s snacks, or ordering less healthy take-out. And don’t get me wrong: I love a good pizza or Thai food night, and totally appreciate the value of meal prepping at the beginning of the week. But this is just another tool for those average nights that you’re not necessarily looking to go all out, and still want something healthy to eat. In my opinion, automating and delegating are two tools women use at work, in their relationships, in getting their errands done — why not also for the food that fuels all of that, too?

What’s your secret weapon for eating well during the workweek?

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P.S. Want easy, healthy workweek recipes? Check out the Taste of Health Meal Plan.

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