Whole Story

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8 Time-Saving Tips for Healthy Eating

Busy people rejoice! Whole Foods Market is passionate about healthy eating — and that means we’re passionate about making healthy eating easier.

We know that it’s simpler to eat nutrient-dense plant foods when the preparation fits into your schedule. That's why we’ve pulled together these time-saving tips for creating nutritious meals all week long.

  • Prep for success. Shop and then wash, chop and store fresh veggies once or twice a week to minimize cooking time on other days.
  • Bean there, done that. Once a week, prepare big batches of beans and lentils for dishes like Simple Black Bean Soup. Our Healthy Comfort Food Favorites meal plan will help you learn to make the most of batch cooking.
  • Slow saves time. With a slow cooker, you can prepare healthy delicious meals while you’re at work (or even while you’re sleeping). Check out our video to learn the technique.

  • Make grains galore. Cook extra whole grains and store portioned leftovers in the freezer for up to a month — you’ll be ready when you need a healthy meal in a hurry. Read our guide to Cooking with Whole Grains.
  • Transform leftovers into tomorrow’s lunch. Tuck cooked ingredients in a whole grain wrap or burrito. Give chili new life in a Baked Chili Potato.
  • No prep necessary if you shop the frozen aisle for greens, grains, vegetables and fruits. Try frozen cauliflower in Creamy Cauliflower and Apple Soup or frozen spinach in Quick Italian Spinach and Pasta Soup.
  • Stock up on shortcut staples, such as whole wheat pasta and cans or cartons of no-salt-added lentils, beans, vegetable broth and tomatoes. You’ll always be ready for meals like Whole Wheat Pasta with Tomatoes and Veggies.
  • Get “fast” food and feel great about it!  Look for the Health Starts Here® logo at our salad bar, hot bar, self-serve cases and full-serve cases — you’ll be sure to find convenient options that follow our Four Pillars of Healthy Eating.

Do you have a time-saving tip that helps you get healthy food on the table — even when you’re in a hurry? I’d love to hear it, and I’m sure our readers would too.




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Rayna Schaefer says …

Best bang for your buck, rotisserie chicken! Costs about the same as a fresh chicken and all the work is done for you. The 1st meal can be paired with roasted veggies, that only take about 20-25 minutes. The next meal can be to pull all the leftover meat off and make chicken salad, soup, or add it to anything for the protein part of a dish. Then you have a carcass that you can place in the freezer for later and make homemade chicken stock in the slow cooker. Best way to stretch your dollar that you worked so hard for.

Jennifer Spivey says …

I have found that buying the 365 brand at Whole Foods is just as cheap as crappy store brands elsewhere. My entire kitchen is 95% 365 and it really helps my budget.

Barbara says …

I love the idea of washing and prepping/cutting up veggies for use during the week. My question is this: I've heard once you wash and cut produce it begins to loose some nutrient value. Do you know how much loss will occur if you prep ahead?

Nikki - Community Moderator says …

@BARBARA - Unfortunately we don't have the nutritional info for after you cut veggies.

Sue says …

I live alone and love to prepare 2 batches of some kind of grain: usually a rice mix for one, and a variety of choices for the second. (oat groats, wheat berries, quinoa, barley.) I basically follow your general recipe of 1 cup of grain to 2 cups of water in 2 separate casseroles. I find wild rice needs more water. I add cinnamon sticks, ginger, and a tablespoon coconut oil to one casserole. I add 4 sprigs of fresh rosemary, thyme, garlic, and EVOO to the 2nd casserole. Finally I cover the casseroles and bake at 350 for approximately 1 hour, checking after 45 minutes. I have 4 servings of cinnamon/ginger grain to which I later add dried or fresh fruit and chopped nuts. And the 4 servings of rosemary/thyme/garlic usually find themselves served under a chili or stir fry, or as a side with a different main dish. The freezer bags with one serving each are easily identified because I make sure the cinnamon stick or rosemary sprig are visible. I remove them after they are defrosted, before combining in another dish. This kitchen habit fights for the "BEST" nomination with prepping containers of all the current raw veggies and some fruit. Sliced fresh onion and mushrooms, mini peppers sliced into wheels, shredded cabbage or carrots, chopped tomato, and many more are in my refrigerator ready to grace a salad or quick stir fry. With my food processor, I can prep 5 veggies in 15 minutes, and I don't need to clean up the processor again for 4 - 5 days. Great time saver. And I find I eat a LOT more veggies, even adding them to more combinations that I have never thought of before. So this one is also a health saver.

Diane says …

Great tips!!

Beverly says …

I found this very helpful thank you