Some of us have a disposition towards laziness slacking being effort efficient. We may find ourselves calculating if doing a task is worth the effort or just avoiding them all together. We like to do the least amount of work possible to achieve our goals. Being effort efficient often leads to less than ideal habits such as going to the convenience store to put off grocery shopping, having an assortment of snacks for dinner and not caring enough to follow all the rules other people advise us to live by.
Being effort efficient has a bright side, which is the ability make the most of our efforts. We find ways to streamline the process by finding short-cuts that don’t take away from our end goal. Here are a hacks I’ve discovered along the way…
Cook in bulk:
Next time you miraculously manage to find the motivation to cook, make extra servings. Cook the foods you intend to store plain and add flavor later.
Grains like rice and quinoa last in the refrigerator about 4-6 days. Cooked beans last about 5 days. Cooked meat/poultry/ seafood lasts about 3-4 days. Freezing then microwaving later is an option if you really want to avoid cooking for a while.
Pre-chop veggies so you can quickly add them to a salad or just snack on them plain. I find myself much more likely to eat them when they are already chopped. If that is really too much work, you can buy them already cut at the grocery store.
I also recommend trying Gourmet Gardens squeezable herbs. Sure, it isn’t as good as fresh herbs, but it can add flavor to your meal when you don’t want to go through the hassle of chopping everything.
Find (nearly) effortless staples:
Any form of food that doesn’t require much preparation works. My staples are fresh fruit and veggies, nuts, greek yogurt and whole grain pita with hummus.
Chewing is really tedious sometimes. Put your meal in liquid form to save yourself all the unnecessary effort. Make an extra serving or two for later.
For an easy breakfast try blending plain greek yogurt, orange juice, berries, kale/spinach, banana and ice (adapt as you prefer). It takes 5 minutes and is loaded with nutrients. Any kind of produce can be worked into a smoothie and greek yogurt is great way to give it a kick of protein.
Master the convenience store:
Your best options at convenience stores will usually be fresh fruit, greek yogurt (watch out for sugar), nuts and protein bars. While most protein bars are really just candy, some aren’t that bad (I recommend Odwalla). When it comes to convenience foods, the shorter the ingredient list the better. Try not to resort to this too often.
Find healthy restaurants:
Sometimes we just don’t want to cook and wind up getting a quick meal out. Find a reasonably priced restaurant near you that has healthier options. I usually go with Panera, Au Bon Pain or Subway. Try to minimize the amount of food you eat out, because it is easy to fall into the traps of labels and buzzwords and think you are being healthy, when really, you aren’t.