Any meal plan for a ‘health kick’ or simply to fuel your brain and training schedule starts with planning your shopping. For a busy woman this often means scheduling it in but in addition to that I always request my clients to schedule a primary shop and then a secondary ‘top up’ shop to stock up on additional fresh food items that run out first.
Number one. Schedule your shopping in weekly.
Corporate workers are very similar to athletes when it comes to planning their meals for the week, because they too will have multiple nights when they arrive home late or nights that they know they are exhausted, so they need something quick for dinner.
Number two: What nights do you need a quick dinner?
Once you have figured out the above you can then start to plan your dinners. Often people like to use leftovers for lunch, but I much prefer to use them for a quick dinner. You will never regret walking in the door exhausted at 8pm and remembering you have leftovers to simply heat-up.
Another go-to quick dinner is eggs! Have them on toast, or as an omelette; they’re the perfect food to eat at any time.
Similarly, we often associate wraps with lunch, but for a quick dinner, throw either some frozen fish fillets or chicken thighs in the oven to bake, jump through the shower then make wraps on mountain bread with whatever salad items you have lying around. I think too often we think dinner needs to be a full meal or from a recipe to be nutritious and it just is not the case.
Number three. Have your go-to quick dinner meal options sorted
Moving on from dinners because in my fifteen years of experience, most people and families planned dinners outside of these time-poor evenings are healthy and also what they are comfortable with, so they rarely change.
Where busy people struggle is lunch and snacks. So, when it comes to lunches, do not be scared of the frozen aisle. The odd frozen healthy meal or frozen vegetables that you add tinned tuna or salmon to make for great variety from your workplace café, they are very nutrient dense and quick to prep at work.
Number four. Take advantage of healthy frozen options for lunches
Lastly, but possibly the most important is your snack choices. They are essential to tie you over to your meals when meetings run late or more importantly fuel your brain to power through your afternoon of work, your body through its gym class before you walk in the door to your second job.
Where people go wrong with their snacks is A) they haven’t purchased enough at the shops to last the week (see point number one) and B) they are scared to eat enough at snack times and convince themselves that one biscuit from the biscuit jar is enough to get them through.
Women are scared to snack and I have no idea why? So be organised but be generous with your snack draw. Stock it full of cruskets, nuts, healthy dips, chopped vegetables, fruit (yes fruit is allowed), yoghurt, boiled eggs, homemade slices, homemade protein balls and the odd milky coffee of course.
Number five. Do not be afraid to snack until you are satiated!
I hope these five tips help you prioritise and simplify your meal planning during those big work weeks but most importantly provide some ideas that work with your lifestyle so they can be implemented and maintained.