Getting Ahead

So the weekend is over and it’s back to the proverbial daily grind. Eating healthy is tough, especially when you work in the City Centre and there are lots of others around you, tempting you to stray…

I bring my lunch from home for two reasons, the first being it’s way more cost effective (I have a budget of £40 a week to feed two of us, breakfast, lunch and dinner) and also it’s easier to make the ‘right’ choice,  when there’s already a healthy lunch sitting in your bag, as opposed to the sad looking 310kcal tuna and cucumber sandwich with a few bland apple slices in the meal deal.

I actually tend to steer clear of cold lunches, sandwiches, salads etc, as it’s really easy to eat them when you get that 10:30/11am twinge that tells you “I could be hungry” when most of the time if you’re like me, you’re probably in need of a big drink of water. Generally I eat quite a high carb – low fat diet, not everyone approves of this but it works for me, I have a guideline for myself of 1200-1400 calories a day (don’t get me wrong, there are days I do go over) so breakfast, lunch and dinner are set at 400Kcals, and I want to feel full!

Sunday is my prep day normally, I used to make my lunch the night before, however I got pretty lazy and everyday was chicken, rice and cabbage – so I decided to spend an hour or so each Sunday making a few different dishes and freezing them for the week to come.

I do have a few certain meals that I know freeze pretty well, take little effort to prepare and so I tend to make them on a rotation, with the occasional inspiration or whim leading me to add something to the menu.

This week will be quite standard for me, I did see some Peri-Peri Chicken Sausages during my weekly shop and decided to give them a try as they are about 90Kcals each which is not too shabby so they haven’t usually been in the line-up, but maybe they’ll become a regular feature.

So first up to prepare was Bulgar Wheat with said Sausages and Roast Vegetables (in this case peppers, courgettes and aubergine) a bit of tomato, chilli, and seasoning and we are good to go on that one.

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Next is Pasta with Spinach ‘Pesto’, Chicken and Green Veg – this does pretty much exactly what it says on the tin, I wilt the spinach with some garlic, salt and pepper, add a little milk and whizz it up to the high heavens, cook my pasta, blanch a few peas, broccoli and leeks, toss it all togetherand there you have it, a vibrant green and filling lunch.

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Fried-Rice this one is an all-time easy and I have been eating this one since, well forever,

photo 5I get some peas, carrots, sweetcorn, diced chicken (or actually turkey breast in this instance) in the non-stick frying pan with some soy sauce and fish sauce, add some cooked rice (day old rice, if you haven’t heard already, is ideal) stir it up and voila!

My last dish this Sunday was pasta again, for those of you who may have noticed that only adds up to four I did double up the rice to allow for two days (my excuse is that I didn’t get home ’til 8:30pm and I just couldn’t get my brain to stretch that far) so it was Pasta with Spicy Sausage and Tomato Sauce. I do like to save time, so as you can see this was was easy after the others. Sausages? Already cooked. Pasta? Already cooked. Vegetables? You guessed it, I threw in the same mediterranean vibe that I roasted up for the bulgar, so all I had to do was simmer a little sauce while everything else was cooking, some tomatoes, chillies, salt, pepper, sugar, what ever my little hands could reach and then stir it through for the grand finale.photo 4g

Maximum time from opening the fridge to completion – probably an hour and a half. Time saved from stressing throughout the week, immeasurable!

Let me know how it compares to your lunch time habits – what do you do to stay happy and healthy for lunch?

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