Life is busy! It seems to be getting busier! How do we fit all our commitments in?!
As a result, we struggle to take care of ourselves, particularly with nutritious food that is easy to prepare. My secret is meal planning and preparing things in advance, so I am already halfway there before I stagger in the door. It’s amazing how spending an hour planning and prepping each week can make such a huge difference to my evenings for the remainder of the week. In fact, I can’t remember the last time I picked up takeaway food on the way home from work it works so well. I will give you a few of my super easy go to ideas for meals and see if you can simplify the decision-making process when you are fatigued.
- Home-made toasted muesli. Add yoghurt, milk and berries or a banana and you’re good to go.
- A quick poached egg with sourdough toast is hard to go past. If you can add English spinach, avocado and mushrooms then I’m there!
- Porridge is simple and easy to prepare, and especially hearty in winter.
- Fruit and yoghurt smoothies are a winner in my kitchen.
- I love roasted veggies for breakfast but don’t have time for that in the morning so always have some leftovers each week that I can munch as brekkie.
- A mushroom and spinach omelette is very nourishing and quick to prepare.
- Try not to think complicated or time consuming as the habit won’t stick. Keep it simple, real and tasty.
- Leftovers (cook once, eat twice is a great rule). This is my absolute favourite for lunch.
- Simple salad wraps with some protein (chicken, tuna, egg).
- Make up a salad early in the week and leave it in the fridge at work in containers ready to go, just add some lemon and pepper or some smoked salmon to change it up each day.
- Soup and a crusty roll can be very satisfying. Make a batch of soup in a slow cooker and it’s ready to go for the week.
- So many simple meals to make your lives easier – use a slow cooker in the winter to make soups or curries that are wholesome and filling.
- My Thermomix whips up some amazing meals with very little effort on my behalf – a great investment (and a gun at smoothie making!) and good inspiration.
- Pan frying a piece of fish and adding steamed vegies or salad is very quick to prepare.
- I love a pan fried and roasted pork fillet with some rice and vegies. Again, simple, quick, and tasty.
- Make a roast once a week and throw in extra vegies for breakfast on subsequent days.
- Protein balls can be whipped up in about 10 mins and kept in the fridge for a quick hunger buster (I use cashews, soaked dates, lime zest and juice then rolled in coconut).
- A small serve of nuts can be a great satisfier.
- Yoghurt or milk and fruit smoothie.
- Homemade muesli bars.
- Even dried fruit in small quantities.
Pretty sure I am preaching to the converted here but the rules on foods to avoid are:
- If it comes in a package put it back on the shelf (keep it real)
- Avoid refined sugar, if you need a hit use fruit and naturally sweet foods (a couple of dates are an awesome sweet hit)
- Take away foods have that magic combination of sugar and fat to drag you in. The more prepared you are (I carry muesli bars in my handbag as a preferable alternative to collecting something from the petrol station on the way home. In fact, now that I think about it, I only ever fill my car with fuel in the wee hours of the morning as I’m pretty much guaranteed not to feel like eating crap at ridiculous o’clock in the morning!)
- Extra portions that you simply don’t need.
- Cakes and pastries etc.
- Soft drinks (have soda or natural mineral water and some fruit instead).
Remember to avoid complicating your life – there’s enough on your plate as it is. Always tell yourself that nutritious foods results in healthy bodies and make better choices, allowing for the times when you will struggle by preparing ahead of time.
Author: Mel Ingram