How to eat healthy in less time, less money and less cardboard-taste

Written By


Expert Reviewed By

Dr. Lauryn Lax, OTD, MS

Dr. Lauryn, OTD, MS is a doctor of occupational therapy, clinical nutritionists and functional medicine expert with 25 years of clinical and personal experience in healing from complex chronic health issues and helping others do the same.

Img 0637 300X2001 3 | How To Eat Healthy In Less Time, Less Money And Less Cardboard-Taste


Eat Healthier


“I want to eat healthy, BUT…


I don’t have time to eat healthy.


I don’t have time to meal-prep.


Eating healthy is too hard to do.


­­______________-Fill in the blank.


Good intentions pave the road to either:


  • Success in your goals, or
  • Frustration or hitting a wall when the going gets tough


Today alone, in three separate conversations, I heard this age-old intention (“I want to eat healthy”) AND this age-old excuse: “BUTTTTT….”




“But” is a strong word.


It’s like shooting yourself in the foot before you even try.


While “want” (for change or success) is a fraction of the battle—the other is belief and putting action to the want—no ‘buts’ (or excuses) about it.


That being stated…sometimes, easier said than done right?


Life is busy. You don’t have time to cook. Healthy eating is bland. It’s expensive. It’s boring.


The thought of eating healthier sounds better than it is, right?


That is until today.


Here are a few key tips for eating healthier, in less time, less money and less cardboard taste:



  1. Cook 1x per day. You don’t have to go to town in the kitchen three times per day if it doesn’t work with your sched. Instead, try cooking in bulk for one meal per day. At dinner time, I typically make enough food for leftovers for lunch the next day. Boom. Lunch packed and ready to tote! You can also try cooking ‘in bulk’ one day per week (preparing chicken, potatoes, veggies, etc.)—but you don’t have to. A little time devoted to cooking (20-30 minutes) is all you need per day to meal prep enough for your evening meal, and the next day’s breakfast and lunch if you so choose. PLUS, your food is fresher and tastier! (Versus eating a chicken breast on Friday that was prepared on Monday).



  1. Keep it simple. Cooking and eating healthy doesn’t have to mean elaborate recipes. While there are a ton of fun recipes available on blogs and Pinterest out there, sometimes these can also seem overwhelming. Every meal doesn’t have to be a ‘party in your kitchen.’ The ‘basics’ can actually be pretty darn tasty. All you need is protein + veggies + quality fats + spices of your choice. Experiment with spices galore! Curry, cinnamon, sea salt, oregano, sage, rosemary, garlic, onion powder, basil, chili powder, red pepper, lemon zest, balsamic vinegar, nutmeg, all spice and more–the options are limitless! Here are a few simple ideas:


  • “Hash”: ground turkey sausage, diced sweet potatoes, kale in coconut oil


  • 2-3 cage-free eggs, 2 slices nitrate-free bacon, ½ avocado


  • Pan-grilled chicken with sage and rosemary herbs, roasted asparagus drizzled with olive oil and black pepper, cauliflower ‘mashed’ potatoes


  • Bison burger patties wrapped in romaine lettuce and sliced tomatoes, ½ avocado, roasted sweet potato wedges with cinnamon


  • Crockpot pork tenderloin (pulled pork), homemade coleslaw, diced butternut squash


  • Bison/ground turkey chili on top of sweet potato


  • Baked salmon with sea salt and pepper, sautéed kale in coconut oil, diced butternut squash


  • Flank steak, Japanese Sweet Potato with 1 tbsp. coconut butter, steamed broccoli


  • Grassfed ground meat (turkey or beef), spaghetti squash or zucchini noodles, sugar-free tomato sauce, roasted broccoli with olive oil drizzled on top




  1. Make your list. I love grocery shopping. It’s all about the experience—from talking to the cashiers, to the rush of this week’s latest deal or sale, and stocking up on some fresh new produce—it’s something I look forward to in the week. However, for some, grocery shopping is a chore, something they don’t look forward to. Wherever you fall on the spectrum of grocery shopping—if you make your list before you go, you save not only time in checking the things off that list, but you also save MONEY! While it may seem like a no-brainer to make a list, it can be easy to rush into the store, ‘knowing what you need’, then discovering a whole selection of add-ons that you realized suddenly that you needed. Make your list. And stick to it. Side note: Your list doesn’t necessarily have to be part of a detailed meal plan either. Buy foods you know you like and WILL eat. Simple eating and simple cooking will then lend way to using the groceries you do buy wisely and efficiently. Annnnd, if you happen to live in Austin (or Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Denver, Los Angeles, NYC, Philadelphia, San Fran, and Seattle), you have to try INSTACART -you make your grocery list online and they deliver right to your car door. Cool beans!




  1. Out of Sight, Out of Mind. If it’s not good for you, throw it out. I had to do this at one time when I was addicted to Crystal Lite, for instance. I would drink about a pitcher of the diet-water drink a day, and as a byproduct, I experienced frequent headaches and stomachaches. In order to ‘cut back’, I had to cut it out. And, in turn, my headaches and stomachaches went away, I could think more clearly and I experienced improved digestion. Easier said than done? Often times, taking the ‘first step’ is the most difficult. And while it may seem drastic to remove the foods or habits from your life that have become ‘necessary comforts’—why not try it and see the difference it could make in achieving your health and lifestyle goals.




  1. Cook Dinner In (Instead of Doing Dinner Out). There’s nothing like fellowshipping with friends, your significant other or family around a good meal. Take it up a notch and not only fellowship over a meal—but also in the kitchen. This is also great time to experiment and try a new recipe! Save money, eat a healthy meal and enjoy quality time with each other-win, win, win!


Lastly, I had to leave you off with a simple recipe for ‘pizza.’ I was talking with a client the other day who expressed to me her concern over adopting healthier eating habits. “I try, but I always end up just going back to the pizza or the snack bars and chips that aren’t that great for me.” I told her that nourishing her body doesn’t have to mean bland, tasteless, boring food.


Try this Pizza Casserole recipe from the Domestic Diva. I promise it won’t disappoint!



Easy Pizza Casserole:



  • 1 pound ground beef/turkey
  • 8 ounces chopped pepperoni, divided (Applegate Farms w/ no nitrates )
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt (or more to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon each of oregano, basil, and thyme
  • 4 cups roasted spaghetti squash noodles (1 large spaghetti squash or 2 small)
  • 2 cups sugar-free spaghetti sauce
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup Daiya mozzarella cheese or pecorino romano, and few tablespoons extra for sprinkling, optional



  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. In a large skillet over medium heat, saute the ground beef, ½ of the pepperoni, onion, and garlic.
  3. As the ground meat cooks, sprinkle in the seasonings. Taste (when cooked!) and add more to your liking if necessary.
  4. In a large bowl, mix the warm beef mixture, spaghetti sauce, squash threads, eggs, and cheese of choice.
  5. Place into a greased casserole dish (9 X 9 or 8 x 11).
  6. Top with the remaining pepperoni and a sprinkling of cheese.
  7. Bake for 30 minutes, or until golden and bubbly.
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