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Simple Cooking 101: Preparing All Three Daily Meals in Thirty Minutes

Simple Cooking 101: Preparing All Three Daily Meals in Thirty Minutes

Just like you, I get busy. I really do. As rewarding as my work is, it’s also pretty demanding. Adding in time for exercise, eight hours of sleep every night (well, most nights), seeing patients at two clinics, eating well and traveling for speaking and teaching engagements leaves me with even less time. But eating well is so important to feeling well, so I make it a priority. And believe me, if I can do it, so can you.

Preparing healthy food is a skill, like riding a bike or driving a car. It takes a little time to learn, but it’s really not that difficult. All you need are a few simple techniques and basic tools, and more importantly – a plan.

Even when there is little time and your schedule is spread thin, healthy meals can be simple and easy to prepare. I don’t have time to cook elaborate recipes. So, I have learned how to prepare three meals a day in 30 minutes total. Yes, that’s right, three meals in 30 minutes. Read on to see just how easy this is:

FOR BREAKFAST

For breakfast, I make a whole-food protein shake. The key is to have all the ingredients in the fridge and cabinet so I can just pop them in the blender. Prep time: 3 to 5 minutes.

Here are some of my favorite recipes:

The Ultra Shake

The Real Deal Green Smoothie

FOR LUNCH

I usually keep lunch simple by making a big salad (with pre-washed greens and veggies, to save time). My favorite combo is arugula, avocado, a can of wild salmon, cherry tomatoes (no cutting required), and pumpkin seeds sprinkled on top. Dressing is a mix of extra virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper. Prep time: 5 to 10 minutes at most.

Here’s a great example:

Basic Salad

Or if you want to spend a little more time on something more gourmet, here are some options:

California Kale Cobb Salad

Taco Salad

FOR DINNER

When I’m short on time, I keep it simple yet delicious. I’ll cook a piece of fish, a lamb chop, grass-fed beef or organic chicken breast in a skillet with a little bit of coconut oil. For veggies, I’ll stir-fry chopped greens like bok choy or broccoli with pre-peeled garlic cloves and enjoy it with a sweet potato with salt and a little grass-fed butter. (TIP: I bake sweet potatoes in advance when I have the oven on anyway to have them on hand so all I have to do is heat them up.) Like I said, super-simple, delicious and easy — 15 minutes total prep and cook time. Less time than it takes to drive to takeout, order and return home!

Here are some tips on how to quickly sauté proteins.

And, here are some tips to quickly sauté veggies.

Now that you know my tricks to cook an entire day of healthy meals in 30 minutes, I hope you are able to employ the tactics, enjoy the meals and feel great. Bon appetite!

Mark Hyman MD is the Director of Cleveland Clinic’s Center for Functional Medicine, the Founder of The UltraWellness Center, and a ten-time #1 New York Times Bestselling author.

If you are looking for personalized medical support, we highly recommend contacting Dr. Hyman’s UltraWellness Center in Lenox, Massachusetts today.