How to Eat Well for Endo if You’re a Busy Person
Last updated: October 2023
One of the biggest barriers I see endo clients facing when it comes to managing endo is time. Most people feel overwhelmed by life and endo as it is, without having to cook healthy on top of that.
For many, grabbing a microwave meal can feel like our only option, but a diet high in processed foods can lead to inflammation, which can worsen pain.1,2
So, what’s a busy person to do?
Being smart with food shopping
Start getting smarter with your food shopping choices.
When you know you’re going to be busy, and your choice is to eat something quick or skip it altogether, consider fruits that don’t require you to do any extra work, such as having to peel or cut up. Berries, apples, pears, plums, peaches, goji berries, and mulberries are all great examples of fruits that can be eaten without any fuss. Add some nuts into the mix, and you’ve got a great snack that helps to deliver nutrients and energy, balances blood sugar, and doesn’t take time.
Soups, salads, and veggies
I imagine most of us will agree that some of the most off-putting parts of cooking healthy is all that chopping.
My first tip here is to go with what’s convenient. You can pretty much buy most veg pre-prepared these days. It’s easy to find already trimmed beans, shredded cabbage, chopped onions, cubed squash, and the frozen aisle typically has broccoli and cauliflower florets ready to be cooked how you like.
Yes, they are packaged in plastic, and it would be better for our bodies and the environment if we opted for unpacked veggies, but until you’re able to make more room for that kind of cooking in your life, it’s about picking your battles. Recycle what you can of the packaging and appreciate that eating healthier is going to support your body (and the planet!) much more than eating a diet of processed foods and microwave meals.
If you can’t afford to buy all your veg pre-prepared, maybe look at which veg you can afford to buy this way and which veg you can quickly prepare yourself. Don’t forget to hunt around in the supermarkets for good deals, too.
The other option, if it’s in your budget, is to look at minimally processed fresh soups and meals. With the rise in wellness, we’ve also seen a rise in brands that are offering more healthy convenience foods, and often, they make a point of fitting in a couple of your veg servings for the day.
Try to avoid canned soups and go for the fresher options. In the UK, we have brands like Re: Nourish. We also have brands like BOL that make up veggie-rich meals like curries and noodles, made with fresh ingredients and minimal processing. These won’t be on the cheaper side, but they come in at about the same as a microwave or convenience meal.
If protein is where you get caught up, a good option is tinned or packaged beans and lentils. Soaking beans and cooking them takes a lot of time, and in my personal experience, although some experts say the opposite, I bloat more with this approach and have more trouble digesting them than the ready-to-go kind.
Often, these have been sitting in water and softening up for some time, so that can make them easier to handle for some of us. Just give them a good rinse before you eat them, and if you can afford it, go for BPA-free packaging.
Another great option is tinned fish. Tinned sardines, mackerel, anchovies, etc., can all be very easily added to your ready-made salad, noodles, or curry (as listed above!). Precooked meats like chicken breast can be an easy addition if you’re a meat eater, too.
If breakfast is where you get caught up, here’s my go-to: uncooked oats, chia seeds, seeds, nut butter, berries, and my milk of choice. It takes me all of about three minutes.
If you’re really short of time, consider getting a big mason jar or just use whatever storage you have and chuck the oats, seeds, and chia seeds altogether then, all you have to do each morning is top with milk, nut butter, and a quick handful of berries.
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