Nutrition
Recipes

Real Food, Real Fast: Quick & Healthy Meal Ideas When You’re On the Go

What's your
workout style?
Find out how to get the best workout results for your unique body type, personality and fitness level.
Take the Quiz

It’s one of those days. You know the kind where you feel behind schedule from the get-go, even though you woke up 5 minutes before your alarm went off.

Your schedule is booked back-to-back and eating is almost an after-thought…UNTIL…your stomach growls and you realize it’s been hours since you’ve had anything to eat. Maybe you do what millions of American do — hit the drive-thru.

The drive-thru is “fast food,” right? Well, maybe not. In October 2014, a study showed that the average drive-thru wait time was 219.97 seconds. That’s nearly 4 minutes and for what? High salt, high fat, low nutrition, processed food, warmed under a lamp until you shout your request for a #3 into the speaker.

What if I told you that in the same amount of time, or maybe just a little bit more, you could have a freshly made meal that not only tastes better than combo meal #3, but is better for you?

Greatist.com has a list of 52 healthy meals you can whip up in 12 minutes or less. Most of these meals require more assembly than actual cooking ability. Here is a sample day’s menu with the approximate time it would take you to make each meal. (Recipes shared from the Greatist.com link above.)

Breakfast – PB&H Waffle (2 minutes)

Toast 1 whole-grain waffle and smear with 1 tbsp. natural peanut butter. Drizzle with 1 tsp. honey and sprinkle with 1 tsp. sesame seeds.

Lunch – Taco Salad (6 minutes)

For the dressing, combine 2 tbsp. salsa, 1 tbsp. low-fat Greek yogurt, 1 tsp. olive oil, and 1 tsp. chili powder. Serve dressing over a salad with: 2 cups baby spinach, ½ thinly sliced celery stalk, 1 chopped scallion, 1 tbsp. chopped black olives, 2 tbsp. corn, and ¼ cup drained and rinsed black beans. Optional: Add ½ lightly toasted tortilla cut into strips to each salad.

Dinner – Couscous with Chicken Sausage Ragu (12 minutes)

Cook 1 serving couscous according to microwave instructions, about 7 to 10 minutes. While couscous is cooking, heat ½ tbsp. olive oil over medium-high heat. Slice open 1 uncooked chicken sausage to remove the casing and add meat to the pan. Add ¼ cup onion (chopped) and sauté, crumbling the meat with a wooden spoon. When the meat is no longer pink (about 4 to 5 minutes), add 1 cup canned crushed tomatoes, 1 garlic clove (minced), 1/8 cup basil leaves (chopped), and salt and pepper to taste. Cook about 2 minutes to warm through and toss with couscous.

In 20 minutes, you can have three tasty, nutritious meals that require only basic cooking skills. That’s what I call time well-spent.

What's your
workout style?
To make life change faster and easier, find fitness that fuels your soul and fits your unique personality.
Take the Quiz