5 Healthy Eating Strategies For People Who Hate Cooking

by Brandon Topp

Short on time to cook regularly? Bored by the repetition of chopping, measuring, boiling, waiting? Overwhelmed by grocery trips and food lists — yet still want to eat healthy? We hear you: Maybe as much as you hate to admit it, you hate to cook, yet you still want to eat well.

Whether or not you’re ever going to be an enthusiastic chef, you can still learn a lot about healthy eating by watching Z Living's huge roster of cooking shows, especially our new series Hemsley + Hemsley where two food-loving sisters share delicious, ultra-healthy, and food-porn-beautiful recipes. But seeing isn't necessarily doing, we realize. So what can you do if you really don't like to cook? We've got some ideas.

1. Seek Out Some Professional Curation.

One of the biggest deterents to cooking consistently is knowing what to shop for and exactly how much to get. Stepping outside of your comfort zone in regards to ingredients and recipes can be daunting and overwhelming. To simplify and streamline that process, new services like Blue Apron and HelloFresh make exploratory cooking easier by sending you packages of ingredients with easy-to-follow instructions, which turns the "art" of cooking into something more assembly-line style, and super do-able. And if you still can't stand the idea of any cooking at all, try a healthy meal delivery service like this one (used on our show, Altar'd), and available throughout the US, to get chef-prepared healthy food delivered daily that you only need to heat and eat.

2. Turn Meals Into Events.

If you're not into cooking, dutifully following a low-carb recipe on a Monday night isn’t likely to spark your imagination. Making the meal prep part of something bigger, however, adds to the fun factor. A dinner party, cooking class, or backyard barbecue could just be the boost you need to get yout culinary juices flowing. Check out our 5-Minute Checklist For Packing A Healthy Picnic to create an easy, fun day outside with your family. 

Also on Z Living: This Is Our Big Secret For Quick & Easy Meal Planning

3. Focus On Simple Meals.

Guess what: Simple meals are often healthier than culinary masterpieces. If you’re bored waiting for water to boil or sauce to simmer, focus on simpler, faster-to-prepare meals like salads or wraps. For some can’t-fail examples, check out these 7 Healthy Five-Minute Dinnersthis quick 4-ingredient side dish or a healthy smoothie

Also on Z Living: How Expiration Dates Trick You Into Wasting Food

4. Pickle And Plant.

Not all forms of creating a dish consist of chopping vegetables and standing in front of a stove. If traditional cooking (or the time and effort it takes!) doesn't interest you, try planting or pickling some of your food. Growing a vegetable in your garden is a totally different experience than cooking one, and it provides a fresh kind of entertainment. Pickling can also be a nice way to sidestep conventional cooking, as it just consists of jarring a fruit or vegetable with vinegar, water and varied other ingredients...then putting it away and carrying on with your life, until you're ready to eat it.

Also on Z Living: What’s Healthier—Fresh Or Frozen Fruits & Veggies? 

5. Make The Kids Do It!

You heard us right, if cooking isn’t fun for you, spin it into a beneficial and health-positive new hobby for your young ones. Chef Jeff of our show Family Style with Chef Jeff recently introduced us to a program called Edible School Yard, which introduces children to cooking with fresh ingredients from seed-to-spoon. Lifting valuable lessons from initiatives like this can help spin your disdain for cooking into a progressive parenting play. 

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