Rachel Eagleton, Clinical Nutritionist
A healthy eating program can get quickly derailed at lunchtime by a visit to the food court. Most food court lunches contain about 30 per cent more calories than most of us need, plus they tend to be high in saturated fat and salt.
Take a bit of time on a Sunday to plan out some lunches for the week. Here are five of my favourites:
My number one tip is to cook extra protein the night before. For example, cook an extra chicken breast, hamburger patty, eggs or a substantial salad. The next day (or that evening), add to a salad bowl, or make a delicious wrap or sandwich with plenty of salad and a little relish. I also add a container of cherry tomatoes, baby cucumbers and carrots for some crunch, or as afternoon tea with some hummus.
Here are some favourite recipes for leftovers:
• chicken fajitas
• Mexican quinoa and black bean bowl
Portion out your lunch for the next day when you are serving up dinner – this will remove the temptation to go back for seconds.
2. John West tuna and beans
A shelf staple, tasty, plenty of fibre – what’s not to love? I like to combine with a steamed brown rice pot and add extra crunchy veggies on the side.
3. Edgell’s bean salads
This is a great vegetarian option with loads of fibre. If you don’t get many legumes in your regular diet these make a great addition.
Cook up a big pot at night or on the weekend, so that you have enough for leftovers. Here is a recipe for my Italian country soup which is really filling and gets you well on the way to hitting your veggie and fibre targets.
If you’re stocking up at the supermarket the La Zuppa pouch range is good – I like the Kale, Quinoa and Vegetable or the Italian minestrone. The Campbell’s Simply Soup Healthy Greens is 68 per cent vegetables and quite tasty. I usually need to add a hard-boiled egg and a slice of grainy bread to the store-bought options to fill me up.
5. Meal prep Sunday
Spending a bit of time on a Sunday roasting some veggies, boiling some eggs, making some salad dressing or cooking some quinoa makes you feel like a rock star on Monday when you have lunch sorted. Simple combinations that I like are:
• roast sweet potatoes with Mexican spiced black beans (just saute up some tinned black beans with a tin of chopped tomatoes and some Mexican spice mix) topped with Greek yoghurt
• niçoise salad – prep the eggs, veggies and dressing on Sunday then just add tuna at your desk
• drain, rinse and pat dry a tin of chickpeas, toss with a mix of cumin, ground coriander, paprika, some chilli flakes and 1 tablespoon of EVOO and roast at 220°C for about 20 minutes. A great protein addition to salads.
Need help sticking to your healthy eating goals? Let Rachel help you. Rachel is a university qualified nutritionist based in Balmain. She is also a busy working mum of two teenagers, so is practical and realistic with her advice. Find out more about Rachel at: