Some days it can be enough to get through training, work, and family commitments. We may all be aiming to eat a nutritious diet to make sure we are hitting peak performance. However, come 5pm you might find yourself in a mad rush through the supermarket it can be hard to be inspired, let alone healthy. Meal planning and some prep work can go a long way to avoiding this trap, and it doesn’t need to be complicated, insta-worthy or even take a lot of time. Here are our best tips for meal planning to make sure you have nutritious meals ready to go in a flash.
1. Take 10 minutes to plan out your week
OK, this sounds simple, but it can be a game changer. In our house, it is as simple as a whiteboard on the fridge, and we choose meals that suits our sport and activities for each day. To keep it simple, we keep a theme for most days of the week, eg Friday nights are home-made pizzas, whereas Mondays are eggs (think zucchini slice + salad) and Thursdays are fish (oven-baked salmon + roast & steamed veg)
2. Check your pantry and make a list
Click and collect is my BEST friend when it comes to meal planning. Quickly check what is in the pantry and add items straight into the shopping app on your phone. I don’t like paying delivery fees, and so I use click and collect, saving a huge amount of time in the shops and removal the potential for impulse buys. This is a great way to stick to your meal plan for the week.
3. Prep the basics
We all need a snack now and then; however, it doesn’t need to be complicated and take make time.
Making school lunches? On Monday morning cut enough celery, carrot and capsicum sticks for packed lunches as well as for your morning snack. Wrap them in a damp tea towel in a container in the fridge and they will stay fresh for days. Have a tub of hummus on hand and you are good to go.
Boiled eggs are also simple to have on hand and can be used for lunches or snacks too.
4. Prep Breakfast
I am a massive fan of having breakfast prepped to speed things up in the morning, especially if you’re training early. Overnight oats can be soaked in jars and can last a few days in the fridge, so it is simple as adding some fruit when you are ready to eat and run. Try our Overnight Oats with protein recipe here.
5. Dinner Prep
Having some very simple, high rotation meals that you can prep on a Sunday will make all the difference to your weekdays. Here are some easy favourites:
- Zucchini Slice: great for lunch, dinner or the freezer.
- Boiled eggs
- Salad jars for lunch: prep a few of these for quick and healthy lunches
- Chilli Beans
- Steamed Brown Rice – get the rice cooker going while you are cooking the main dishes.
- Roast Veg – clean out your fridge and roast a range of veg for carbs (potato, sweet potato, pumpkin) or extra veg (cauliflower, beetroot, brussel sprouts).
- Steamed Veg – pretty simple, have them lightly steamed and read to eat or snack on!
- Minestrone Soup – this can be a meal in itself; try lentils/beans rather than pasta and pack it with veggies.
When planning your meals, remember to think about a serve of protein (this can be easily added to many of the meals above), a serve of carbohydrates (go for the rice on heavier training days, and carb-rich veg on lighter days) and plenty of veg for all the nutrients and fibre you will need.
Remember, meal planning and prepping doesn’t need to be complicated, but it can be a game changer when it comes to your nutrition and therefore your peak performance!