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Help! I Have No Time To Prepare Healthy Meals!

By Makheni Zonneveld aka The Coolest Granny in Town

I often hear this, from working moms who want to join the home cooking movement but do not find the time. Are you one of them? You are not alone. I hope the following tips will help.

I was also a working mom so I can relate to this issue. I am still working even though my situation is less challenging because I am self-employed. I work because I want to and I no longer have kids in the home. That does not mean that I have unlimited time. I recently talked to a friend who is retired and he said that he and his wife have realised how boring it is when you have nothing to do. How I wish I could take over the hours of the people who have the luxury of being bored or lonely because I have so much to do.

Let’s look at 3 points:

Help! I Have No Time To Prepare Healthy Meals!


Our priorities are determined by what is important to us. The fact that some women raise this issue means that they find it important. Finding something important is a good start, but the fact that you have too much on your plate means there are too many things that you consider  important so you need to make choices and reorder your priorities. There are only so many waking hours in a day and we all need time for rest and relaxation.

Look at what you spend time on and decide what is less important than cooking healthy meals then either stop doing it or spend less time on it or let someone else do that. An example is cleaning the house. That’s not something you can cut out so you are left with spending less time on it or getting someone else to do it. Let’s talk about that someone else. 

If you do your own cleaning, if you can afford it, rather pay someone to do that. Affording it may mean cutting out on expenditure that does not add any value to your life. I talk to a lot of people who say that they cannot afford important stuff but their clothes, handbags, shoes and watches show that they are walking billboards for brands. Being a fashion slave is very costly. 

Paying someone to clean your house is not the only option, It also depends on how old your kids are and whether you are a single parent or not. Unless your kids are tiny tots, it is a good idea to rope them in from an early age. Let them do everything that is age appropriate and also not create unnecessary work for you like leaving their stuff lying around for you to pick up. If they are old enough, they should prepare lunch boxes for themselves and for you. Start involving them in different chores and in preparing meals at an early age. If you do have a husband, he should pull his weight and be part of the solution. That takes us to the second point, assertive communication.

Assertive communication

Getting members of your household to pull their weight takes assertive communication. This is part of assertive behaviour. Being precedes doing, so it is about becoming assertive before you can adopt assertive behaviour. We teach people how to treat us. If your husband or your children or both treat you like a skivvy, it is because you have taught them that you are the family skivvy. Many women do that and then complain. I do not have to elaborate on this important issue of becoming more assertive here because in 2005 I presented a keynote address at a women’s day function on this same topic at one of the big banks in South Africa. They allowed me to record the whole presentation and I put that on a DVD. After recovering my costs, I started distributing the DVDs for free. 10 years ago, I converted it to a free mp4 and now it is one of the Free Health Club (FHC) free resources available on the link below.


Planning meals saves a lot of time. I’m one of the spontaneous people who do not by nature plan their lives. I realised that this is not an effective way of doing life so I decided to start planning my time and now planning important things such as meals comes naturally. One of my main priorities is what goes into my mouth so I do not leave that to chance. I plan my meals and also cook in bulk and freeze. I even bought a second freezer because I bake wheat-free bread that lasts for a fortnight and cook and freeze stuff like kale, beans, soup and curries. I also use frozen vegetables because they retain their nutrients, they cost less and there is no chopping time. My only chopping time is for vegetables that are brought unfrozen such as mushrooms, sweet potatoes, brinjal as well as salad vegetables. All this planning has reduced my cooking time drastically.

To recap:

Re-evaluate your priorities.

Involve everyone in the household.

Plan, plan and plan.

Cook in bulk and freeze.

Watch the mp4 and enjoy the new assertive you. 

Makheni Zonneveld AKA The Coolest Granny in Town, is an energetic 1953 vintage model. She is a speaker, wellness coach, storyteller and author. 

Help! I Have No Time To Prepare Healthy Meals!



Help! I Have No Time To Prepare Healthy Meals!

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Help! I Have No Time To Prepare Healthy Meals!

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Edited by Bwalya M Mphuka

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Help! I Have No Time To Prepare Healthy Meals!

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