You probably read the title and said "of course it doesn't have to be hard, everyone knows that!"
But for me it's not so obvious. I end up thinking it has to be way harder than it actually is. I think it requires hours of preparation, cooking fancy recipes etc. But that really isn't the case.
My biggest obstacle in terms of cooking is the fact that I live alone. So I need to either make smaller versions of the recipes I find, or find things that freeze well. Having to eat the same thing for 2-3 days is okay with me, but beyond that I am over it. So the good news is, my mom and I are in what I call the practice phase. Right now we are finding recipes that go along with the guidelines of the "21 Day Sugar Detox" (with a few of my own modifications LOL), and we are going to cook some and see what we like. Once we can find 10 or so recipes that we really enjoy, we are going to work on making 1-2 recipes each, and splitting them with each other. We are going to portion everything out, I will take care of the calorie counting, although a lot of the recipes I am finding have their calories and portions already calculated. Granted they can be a little off depending on the brand of certain items, but I can easily double check that.
I think cooking and sharing it with my mom will keep me going, because the times that I really don't want to cook stuff I will make sure I follow through. But we really might only need stuff dinners and an occasional lunch.
Breakfast is easy. Breakfast doesn't excite me very much, but I can do eggs with turkey sausage or bacon, or a protein shake. Easy peasy.
Lunch can easily be a salad. I also enjoy zucchini noodles (just shredded zucchini) or spaghetti squash. In fact I will probably be eating a lot of both. I was able to find some reduced fat frozen turkey meatballs, and they go great with either "noodle". When I need something quick and easy I need those things.
I was also able to make my own version of a frozen burrito using my high fiber whole wheat tortillas. What blows my mind is my version is 240 cals and almost twice the size of the frozen burritos at the store which are 300 calories. I like mine better, and the fact that it is a high fiber whole wheat tortilla is the icing on the cake. That is something again that I can throw in the freezer and use in a pinch.
I'm going to be making turkey chili, and a cauliflower cheeseburger casserole. My mom is going to make jalapeno popper chicken (which I have had and love, we will see if she likes it), and we are still on the hunt for new recipes. I really hope we can make this a habit. It really would be easy if once a week we only had to cook one or two things, and could have the whole week (at least dinner) taken care of.
Proving to myself that this doesn't have to be super hard or time consuming is very important. That is what is going to keep me going. Knowing that if I "had to" I could pop a frozen burrito or frozen meatballs in the microwave and still have that be a much healthier option than frozen convenience foods or fast foods is going to make all the difference.
Do you have any quick and easy go to meals? Or some of your favorite healthy recipes? I'd love to hear them if you are up for sharing!