My patients often say "I would be able to eat better if it was quick and easy." Little do you know that healthy food can be quick and easy, it just takes a little bit of planning and knowing the right tools to use. My favorite invention in the kitchen would have to be the crockpot. I know as a child I hated it, as a lot of our meals came out of it. However looking back, my parents were making sure we had nutritious meals every night when we got home.

We have started to use our crockpot (one with a timer too!) to make beans so that we don't have to buy the canned beans and we can flavor them how we want. One of the most recent additions to our kitchen cookbook collection has been a vegetarian crockpot cookbook. This book has opened my eyes to different things besides just chili and beans that can be cooked in the crockpot.

If you are one that says you would eat better if it was quick and easy, then spend a few moments at the closest bookstore and pick out a slow cooker or crockpot cookbook. As far as planning goes, once you have a handful of staples meals that you enjoy, slowly keep adding more but also uses these recipes so that you have those good nutritious meals. One simple change that can be made to your staple meals is changing the protein source while keeping mostly everything else the same. I am a vegetarian so most of my thoughts deal with vegetarian recipes, but switching out chickpeas for navy beans or chicken for turkey will change up these meals.

Spend 15 to 20 minutes on the weekend planning out what you will be eating, write down the ingredients that you will need and then go to the store. If you have time, do some of the prep work ahead of time. This way you'll only need to grab the prepped ingredients you need and either cook them, or throw them in the crock pot. You can eat quick and easy at home; it just takes some planning and having the right tools.