4 Simple Solutions For Delicious Meals When You Are Short On Time

When life gets busy and you don’t have much time, meal delivery and menu planning services can help you get satisfying meals on the table with ease.

September is a busy month, whether you are working and supervising schooling from home or not.  Evening meetings can rob you of your usual meal prep time which can result in you eating take out or boring meals more often that you’d like.

If you are like so many of us, struggling with a lack of time and inspiration, I’ve pulled together some of my favorite solutions to get you through your most challenging weeks.

When you are in the beginning stages of working on Intuitive Eating, you might wait to decide on your meals until the actual day.  That’s so normal!  After all, while you were dieting, you structured your meals according to diet rules, or what fit within your points limit. Your choices probably got pretty limited.

I hear from my clients all the time: “I calculated exactly what I could eat at {insert name of favorite restaurant}. It’s too much effort to do that every time I want something else, so I stick to what I know is safe.”

And then you start to loosen the reigns with Intuitive Eating!  You choose foods that not only tickle your taste buds, as provide excitement and joy to all your other senses too.  You might feel like a kid in a candy shop!

But planning your meals on the fly can get pretty challenging, especially if you have a family relying on you to have food in the house!  And when you have busy weeks or months, even the usual meal planning and getting to the grocery store can be too much. So, you resort to nightly take out.

I’ve been there too…

(Yes, it’s hard for me, as a dietitian, to admit that I also struggle at times!)

But let’s face it, take out every night gets boring too. And you also don’t feel that great either.

That’s where meal kits and menu planning services can be a really nice compliment to the take-out we all tend to fall back on.

Kelly Abramson intuitive eating dietitian


Over the years, I’ve experimented with different options to get my family through these kids of weeks and today (lucky you!), I’m going to share them with you.


Here are my 4 dietitian-approved* solutions to the meal planning & preparation struggle for time-starved women:

  1. SunBasket

Who do I recommend this for? If you want organic (mostly) home-cooked meals and you have an adventurous palette, but you can’t spend more than 30-45 minutes prepping dinner.

SunBasket is a meal kit (and prepared meal) delivery service with a focus on organic ingredients.

They are my personal favorite in this category.

    • Tons of options. From my experience and research SunBasket gives you so much more variety. This week, I have 26 options from which to choose. Don’t panic though because they are categorized by meat, fish and vegetarian to make the selection process less intimidating.
    • Recipes are interesting and multi-cultural. I’ll be the first to admit that I like to eat a wide variety of foods and that I love to cook. SunBasket is my favorite for easy and varied menu selections that taste as good as something I might make from scratch.
    • Can customize proteins, from vegetarian to different fish and meat choices, you have some say in what you cook and eat.
    • Also now offers lunch, snack and heat-and-eat options in addition to the traditional meal prep kit.
  •  Use this special link to get $40 off your first order.


2. Daily Harvest

Who do I recommend this for? Singles, couples or families that want an easy way to increase the fruits and veggies they eat and don’t mind paying a bit for that luxury.

Daily Harvest offers frozen single-serving smoothies, bowls, soups, flatbreads and snacks. I personally use their smoothies and energy bites.

As someone who loves to make her own smoothies, I am the first to admit that I initially 🙄 at this product.  But when life gets crazy, and you really don’t even have time to prep your frozen bananas, this is a big win.

    • I’ve been using Daily Harvest for about a couple months now, and I have to admit that I’m loving these organic smoothies. Each smoothie comes frozen in its own paper cup. Remove the lid, add the liquid of your choice, and pour it all into the blender. In about a minute, you have a delicious breakfast (add protein powder, etc.) or snack.
    • Tons of options to keep things interesting. My favorites are the carrot & cinnamon, cold brew & almond, and cherry & almond.
    • Kid approved. My kids and husband love them and will actually make themselves a smoothie for a snack. 🙌
    • Note: You NEED a good blender for many of these smoothies, particularly those that contain cacao.  Unless you like to bite into cacao nibs in your smoothie…
  • Use this coupon code for $25 off at https://www.daily-harvest.com: RE-THRY6BG.


3.  Freshly

Who do I recommend this for? Singles, couples or families with competing dinner schedules. Those who want high quality heat and eat options.

Freshly offers single serving heat and eat meals.


4. The Fresh 20

Who do I recommend this for? Singles, couples and families who are looking for an economical option to try new recipes and save time with meal planning, shopping & cooking.

The Fresh 20 is a menu and grocery list subscription service.  For most plans, you get 5 dinner recipes and a grocery list on Friday for use during the following week.

    • When you get stuck in a rut and are eating the same foods over and over, but you still have time to cook and shop, this is a fantastic option.
    • Receives high marks from my clients.
    • Economical service that provides recipes and a grocery list, which is a huge time saver.
    • Options include classic (includes meat, fish and veg each week), vegetarian, gluten free, dairy free, etc.
  • Click this link to learn more and get started.

*Note: You’ll see referral codes on a couple of these products. In the interest of full disclosure, I do receive a credit when people use my links.  I personally use and stand behind these products.

When our lives get busy, planning and preparing meals can be too much for our time-starved schedules.  If you find yourself eating out or ordering take-out more than you like, it’s ok to plan some time off.

You don’t have to do it all! Use some of these meal planning and menu services to help you get delicious meals on the table, even when you don’t have much time.  Knowing your limits and making the choice to lighten your load with meal preparation and meal planning is a form of self-care too.

Don’t fall into this trap!

When time is tight, I find that most women start eating in front of their computer, TV or phone. This is distracted eating and it can affect both the amount of food you eat and the enjoyment you get from your meals.

If you are a distracted eater and need a solution to help you overcome this habit, I have a great solution for you!

Click here to download my Distracted Eating Workbook. It helps you gradually decrease your distracted eating habit over the course of 4 weeks, with checklists to help you stay on track.

Kelly Abramson intuitive eating dietitian