According to a recent survey, 40% of Americans spend 30 to 60 minutes cooking dinner, yet nearly 80% would like to spend 30 minutes or less. The summer can give us the motivational push to make positive lifestyle changes, but busy schedules can make eating right a challenge.

From cookouts to lengthy vacations, summer is filled with on-the-go activities and tempting food choices. Just because you have a full social calendar doesn’t mean your diet should suffer. There are surprisingly easy ways to maintain healthful eating habits.

Turning out guilt-free and delicious meals can be done in 30 minutes or less. Choosing 98% fat-free, pre-cooked meats and prepared vegies allows you to treat yourself to mouth-watering dishes in minutes. These simple tips will have you on the way to eating smarter in no time:

Keep easy-to-use ingredients on hand: Think steam-in-the-bag veggies, high-fiber tortillas and prewashed salad mixes.
Make sure you’re getting enough protein and fiber: These nutrients help you feel full longer. Find them in ingredients like fat-free egg substitute and bagged broccoli coleslaw.
Take salads up a notch with flavor-packed add-ins: like roasted red peppers, fresh basil, and sun-dried tomatoes. Easy and delicious!
Embrace the 80/20 rule: If you’re smart about what you eat 80% of the time you can loosen the reins the other 20%.
An easy meal to whip up is pasta: but topping it with nothing but sauce can lead to excessive carb consumption. Make a single serving of whole-wheat noodles go far by tossing it with some grilled chicken and lots of veggies.

There are many different varieties of pre-cooked chicken and beef options found in the grocer’s freezer and refrigerated sections, and don’t forget canned tuna; so you can create delicious and smart meals in minutes.

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