Everyone is “busy” these days. Lately, I’ve heard several variations of the following from those close to me: “I’d love to eat healthy, but… I’m too busy!”

Sound familiar?

Stop. Close that freezer. Put down the frozen dinner. Toss out that takeout menu. All you need is a little help from your new “best friend foods,” which will make it easy for you to eat healthy, no matter how long you worked, how tired you feel, or how busy you are. They’re loyal and will keep you grounded no matter what craziness life throws your way. And, unlike your other friends, they’re never too busy for you.

Meet your new circle of friends:


Opening a perfectly green, perfectly ripe avocado is among the greatest of life’s simple pleasures. Avocado is nature’s butter: rich, creamy and decadent. Avocados are nutritional powerhouses, packed with protein, vitamin B6, vitamin E and healthy monounsaturated fats. They help lower cholesterol, control blood pressure, reduce inflammation, promote eye health, and fight free radicals in the body.

Add avocado to your quinoa salad for a match made in healthy heaven, or mix it into a smoothie for a creamy texture, or simply blend it with some lemon juice and herbs for a great sauce for salads or pasta noodles. Mash it in a bowl with a fork, some cilantro, lemon juice and a pinch of salt and Cayenne for a quick homemade guacamole.


It’s packed with protein (including all nine essential amino acids), fiber, iron, lysine, magnesium, riboflavin, copper and manganese. Plus, it’s gluten-free! Quinoa cooks in just minutes and is so versatile – add anything you want to it, mix it together and, voilà! Make a big batch of quinoa on a Sunday night, put in the fridge and then take it out when you’re hungry for an easy breakfast (add almond milk, cinnamon, raisins, nuts and/or fruit), or lunch (put it in a glass Mason jar (no BPA that way!) and take to work as a salad mixed with whatever veggies and dressing you have) or dinner (warm over the stove with some garlic, coconut oil, coconut milk, curry powder and veggies for a quick curry or pour some pesto on top).

Hemp Seeds

While this form of hemp is totally legal and totally edible, warning: it IS addictive. These tiny seeds are packed with flavor and add a great crunch to any meal. Hemp seeds are unparalleled in terms of their omega 6 and omega 3 ratio. They’re also a great source of plant-based protein, with all of the essential amino acids the body needs. To use, just add 1 to 2 tablespoons of hemp seeds to pretty much any meal. Also try hemp protein for an easily digestible boost to your morning smoothie, or use hemp oil for an extra omega-3 boost to your salads or main courses. How about a quinoa salad with some avocado and hemp seeds, for example?

By Rebecca Leffler