Ideas for quick prep meals for busy people.

If you want to jump out of bed in the morning, feel excited about throwing on your workout gear, jog happily down the road to bootcamp or your gym, be energised (not exhausted) afterwards and feel great all day in your skinny jeans (or slim fit shirt for you guys) then read on for some handy meal tips that will put you on track to a healthier, happier life. Some of you will think that it’s so much easier to stop for a takeaway or pre-packaged supermarket options on the way home in the evenings; but if you’re organised at the beginning of the week with a trip to the supermarket for your eating essentials it can be super simple. Here are some ideas:

  • Buy a bag of baby spinach and one of rocket or salad leaves. These can be the base of many of your meals during the week. Add as many colourful veggies as you can squeeze in your trolley. Choose from boneless chicken thighs, salmon fillet (smoked or fresh), some red meat, or if you’re vegetarian – falafel mixture, or chickpeas and maybe some feta. Grab some nuts and seeds for sprinkling atop, and don’t forget amazing fresh NZ olive oil, and balsamic vinegar. A salad bowl is quick, easy, yummy and so good for you.  Adding cheese – mozzarella balls are a great option – will satiate you and prevent you from reaching for after dinner snacks. While putting your dinner salad together – make one to the side in your “lunchbox” for tomorrow.
  • If you’re looking for something a little more warming – whip up a Frittata that will last you all week. Try this easy Pete Evans recipe that utilises ingredients from a leftover roast meal:

10 eggs

½ cup coconut cream

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

3 tablespoons coconut oil or olive oil

1 large onion, sliced

2 garlic cloves, crushed

200g leftover roast lamb, chicken, beef or pork

200g cooked veggies (pumpkin, kumara, carrot or other leftover veggies) cut into cubes.

300g cabbage, kale, spinach or other greens, finely chopped

2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves.

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees and whisk the eggs with the coconut cream and salt and pepper. Cook the onions and garlic in the oil over a medium heat until slightly golden. Stir in the leftover meat, vegetables and parsley and cook gently for 2-3 minutes until heated through. Season with salt and pepper, transfer to a dish and pour over egg mixture. Sprinkle on some fresh grated parmesan for some extra kick. Bake in oven for 30mins or until egg is cooked through. Leave frittata to cool for 10 minutes before cutting into portions for about 6 meals. 

  • For a hearty option bursting with nutritious goodies – put together an osso bucco or lamb shanks dish (in the crock-pot); again something to last all week! Serve with fresh greens for endless energy. You’ll find recipes everywhere for these classics.
  • Frozen edamame beans are a brilliant high protein item for your freezer – pour boiling water over half a cup or so and leave for a couple of minutes. Season with some Himalayan salt and add a pinch of dried chilli if you like them spicy! You can munch on these while you scramble some eggs in a little coconut oil or butter – to which you can add some spinach leaves, some grated cheese and a few baby tomatoes. Easy as. 
  • A noteworthy aside at this point is breakfast. The morning after a late night at your desk (or at the gym, or maybe elsewhere) is an important time to fuel up for your coming day and sets the tone for eating well all day and ultimately feeling fantastic. Some people are not naturally drawn to food early in the mornings – instead a great option is to drink a glass of warm(ish) water with a generous squeeze of lemon juice, followed up by your small-full-fat-flat-white or a green smoothie on the way to work. You know who you are if this is your ideal way to begin the day – less not more. However, the night before you would have prepared well and come to work armed with the leftover of last night’s dinner, plus perhaps a hard-boiled egg and a small bag of raw mixed nuts! This will be brunch – any time between 10am and midday.
  • If this “fasting” morning is not appealing to the rest of you – be assured, it’s not for everyone. You will need a better breakfast option. But before you reach for the Nutrigrain – consider this: veggies for breakfast! YES! Think avocado and tomato on very-thin-sliced wholegrain; eggs-any-style with a side of salad from last night’s leftovers and some sauerkraut or kimchi. A smoothie with some kale or spinach; or some high quality nut and seed muesli with berries (not exactly a vegetable but still a high antioxidant food source). The message I’m trying to get across here is this – just eat real food. With more veggies in your day (beginning at breakfast or “brunch”) you will begin to feel happier, healthier and have energy to burn. 

Published by becsgoldie

Hi, I'm Becs - I'm a Personal Trainer with YEARS of experience (not telling how many); I have 2 kids and a husband and lots of clients who I look after. I've carved out my niche over the years into what I would now like to call wellness, although that's a very general term. I use a combination of nutritional advice, training expertise (resistance and cardiovascular), stretching and core activation techniques, ELDOA (google that) and some mindfulness to help enable people to get the most out of their life. Years ago I completed my Physical Education degree at Otago, and since then have done lots of great courses which have helped me to upskill. I've also had the privilege of working with a bunch of incredible trainers, massage therapists, doctors, physios, osteos and chiropractors over my career who have all added so much to what I know and how I practise.

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