As a busy business owner and mum of a one year old, I know how easy it is to reach for quick and easy processed foods! But we all know that we feel better, we look better, we have more energy and we sleep better when we eat good, NUTRITIOUS foods.
So the trick is to find ways to make meals and snacks easier (and faster) to avoid temptations. Whether you are organised and do meal preps at the start of the week, or you have easy go-to meal options, the key is to FIND WHAT WORKS FOR YOU so you are more likely to stick with it!
I have to admit meal prep is something that I don't do very often. A lot of my trainer friends find this works well for them and has simply become a habit.
I like to have quick easy options I can whip up for those extra busy days. My go-to meals require very little prep, I include lots of veggies, they are usually relatively low calorie, and they taste delicious :) But they often involve the microwave (which I can understand is not everyones first choice) and I often use ready made sauces, some of which do have preservatives and can be high in sodium and sugars.
My freezer is ALWAYS full of:
1. Frozen veggies - mixed veggies, spinach and greens mix, cauliflower and broccoli and often a stir fry mix.
2. Frozen fish fillets and chicken 'take outs'.
3. Frozen fruits. I have a selection of berries (blueberries, strawberries and raspberries) and mango.
My cupboards are ALWAYS stocked with:
1. 2min rice packets! Why? Because it is soo easy!
I also have a microwave bowl that is especially for cooking rice so if I am cooking for a few people I will use the cheaper ordinary rice and microwave it (12mins).
2. Seeds and nuts. Chia seeds, sunflower/pumpkin seeds. Pistachios, cashews and if I'm feeling extravagant sometimes pine nuts.
3. Easy to add sauces. I love the Watties WOK creations - teriyaki and honey soy. When I was pregnant I didn't have these as they contain preservatives. Other great ones are the five brothers garlic tomato based pasta sauce, and the Watties butter chicken. Yes they have sugars and sodium, they are never going to be as nutritious as home made sauces, however they are still a good base for a healthy meal and a heck of a lot better than fast food! I'm all about BALANCE and moderation.
4. Oats. I use the microwave original oats. They don't have any added sugars and are super quick.
5. Vegan protein powder. I use a golden pea protein, I find it is much easier to digest than whey, I don't get bloating from it and I add it to smoothies so I can't taste it ;p
ALWAYS In the fridge:
1. Fresh spinach pre washed.
2. Avocados (except when they are ridiculously expensive!!)
3. Natural yoghurt or coconut yoghurt (unsweetened). Coconut yoghurt is much more expensive so I watch out for this on special at the supermarket.
My breakfast is usually oats, cooked in the microwave with frozen berries. Natural yoghurt or coconut yoghurt (unsweetened) on top and a big sprinkle of nuts, seeds and some dried fruit like crasins. If berries are in season, I'll add fresh berries galore... YUM!
Sometimes I will have toast with peanut butter and chopped up banana. Quick, easy, filling and YUM... and very easy to eat on the go in the car haha.
I'm a really big fan of rice. I usually have brown rice, but not always. I love stir fry vegetables and the range of ready made sauces in the supermarket keeps them varied. I dish up on a bed of fresh spinach leaves and avocado.
I will often have a vegetarian stir fry, if I have more time I will add chicken, or sometimes just throw a fish fillet in the oven and have that with it.. super quick, very lazy, but ultimately a pretty healthy meal.
Quick and Easy meal - Teriyaki stir fry with brown rice on spinach and avocado.
Another super quick, filling meal is 2min rice with a can of flavoured tuna (I love savoury onion). I have this on a bed of spinach and avocado also. Sometimes I have grated cheese on top and/or some light mayo :) Yes this sounds awful, but I have many a friend who has tried this and liked it haha. It's an easy one to take to work if you have a microwave there.
When I was pregnant I chose not to have canned tuna, I still limit how much tuna I have a week.
I have wraps most weeks. I use a spinach based wrap with a chicken 'take out' or fish fillet, mixed salad veggies (including fresh spinach leaves of course and avocado), and lite aioli sauce. I add grated edam cheese but that could easily be left out or you could use feta. They are so filling and full of yummy fresh ingredients, but are quick and easy to make.
Easy and quick meals don't have to be unhealthy or tasteless!! Let me know your favourite go-to quick meals.
Smoothies are a staple in my household.. whether for a nutrient packed lunch, a post workout snack or a sweet treat they are always filling, delicious and loaded with goodness!!
The combinations are endless, but the majority of my smoothies sneak in spinach :)
One of my favs is vegan vanilla protein powder, banana, blueberries, carrot and a handful of spinach. Mixed in the blender with coconut water. YUM!!
To see the recipe for my Blueberry Mango Smoothie, click HERE.