Like many of us gradually returning to the office, the thought of meal prepping, batch cooking and preparing healthy meals often feels one step too far after a tumultuous 18 months. When returning to a semi-regular nine-to-five feels like a daunting prospect in itself, it can be easy to excuse yourself from the additional prep work that will complement your progress in the gym. But it needn’t be that way. By arming yourself with the right nutritional know-how and gastronomic expertise, you can make light work of healthy office meals and make strides towards your fitness goals. Here’s how.
If prepping five days worth of healthy food seems unrealistic, try this: look at your week at a glance, and bookmark two to three days where your schedule allows you to bring in a healthy, pre-made meal from home. By starting slow, you can build valuable momentum without committing to a full working week of meal prep and, crucially, won’t have to bring in a plastic container to the company pub lunch.
Avoid Stress Eating
Looming deadlines, overbearing colleagues and difficult projects are enough to make anyone feel a little stressed. But don’t let these mental challenges let you reach for the refrigerator and start comforting eating. Instead, try a few hacks to take your mind off things. For example, take a quick walk for some fresh air, have a drink of water or make a hot drink. Similarly, if you’re feeling hungry, you could be dehydrated.
Healthy Food, Delivered To You
Ready to commit to healthy eating, but don’t fancy the time spent in the kitchen? Natural Fitness Food brings nutritious meals, snacks and shakes straight to your home or your office. Each menu is designed by a nutrition expert and can work towards any fitness goal, whether you need more energy or prefer a leaner or plant-based meal. Each is packed with flavour so you’ll never get bored. Handily, NFF also delivers to offices for team meetings and working lunches to help keep your team fuelled.
Take on a Programme
Alternatively, Natural Fitness Food’s 8-week nutrition programme is designed to help you take control and achieve lasting results with a bespoke plan. You’ll work with a NFF nutritions and learn how to eat to reach your goals based on your training and lifestyle. “Our aim is to empower you to take control of your nutrition choices, to care for your body and achieve lasting results,” says Natural Fitness Food Head of Nutrition Rachel Butcher. “We are passionate about educating people to use nutrition strategies to improve their quality of life. There is no one size fits all when it comes to our health and fitness goals, the same applies to our nutrition requirements – we all have slightly different needs.”
Try These Healthy Meals and Snacks
Don’t want to mastermind five days of healthy recipes? No sweat. Below, we’ve got some recipes that lend themselves perfectly to healthy meal prep.
Coconut Protein Pancake (Serves: 2, 298kcal, C: 16g, P: 22g, F: 15g)
- ¼ cup coconut flour
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 scoop NFF coconut whey protein powder
- 2 tbsp nut butter
- 2 eggs, slightly beaten
- ½ tbsp maple syrup
- ½ banana, mashed
- ¼ cup unsweetened almond/coconut milk
- In large bowl whisk together coconut flour and baking soda; set aside.
- In a separate bowl, beat nut butter, eggs, honey, banana and almond milk together until smooth and well combined.
- Add wet ingredients to flour mixture and mix together. Note: If you find that the batter is too thick (almost paste like), you can add in a teaspoon or two of milk until it is smooth, but still thick.
- Lightly coat a large non-stick skillet or griddle with butter or coconut oil and place over medium low heat (coconut flour is sensitive to burning so medium-low heat is best).
- Drop about 3 tablespoons of the batter onto the skillet; you may need to use a spoon to spread out the batter just a little. It’s important not to place more than 3 tablespoons of batter at a time; the pancakes can be hard to flip if they are too large, so smaller pancakes are best. It’s very important to cook until bubbles appear on top and the edges are well cooked. Flip cakes and cook until golden brown on underside, 2 minutes. Wipe skillet clean and repeat with remaining batter.
- Serve with your desired toppings – we love Greek yoghurt and warmed berries.
Miso Chicken With Sesame Greens
(Serves: 4, 347kcal, C: 13.3g, Protein: 48.5g, Fat: 11g)
- 4 chicken breast (4x200g)
- 50g sweet white miso
- 2 spring onions
- 1 tbsp. maple syrup
- 1 tbsp. low sodium soy sauce or tamari
- 1 tbsp. harissa paste
- 1 tsp. garlic puree
- ½ tsp. ginger
- 1 medium head broccoli
- 1 medium head cauliflower
- 1 red onion
- 2 tsp. white sesame seeds toasted
- 2 tsp. black onion seeds
- 1 tsp. sesame oil
- Salt and black pepper
- Finely chop your spring onions & ginger, and then mix all chicken marinade ingredients together. Place your chicken breast into an ovenproof dish and then cover the chicken breasts in the marinade and leave for at least 2 hours.
- Pre-heat your oven to 220 degrees C.
- Place your chicken breasts in the oven and roast for 18-20 min.
- Peel and thinly slice the red onion. Wash and cut broccoli into florets, then place on a baking tray with the onion and season with salt, black pepper and sesame oil, then roast in the oven for 10-14 min.
- Wash and cut cauliflower into florets, then place on a baking tray. Season with salt, black pepper and sesame oil and turmeric, then roast in the oven for 10-14 min.
- Mix roasted broccoli with toasted white sesame seeds and black onion seeds.
- Serve up.
Tuna Nicoise Salad
- 400g tuna fillet
- Sea salt
- Black pepper
- Olive oil
- 1 tin of tuna in brine or sunflower oil
- 4 tbsp Greek yogurt
- Juice of 1/2 lemon
- Salt and pepper
- Ingredients for salad:
- 400 baby potatoes
- 250g green beans
- 250g cherry tomatoes
- 100g black pitted olives
- 1 large yellow pepper
- 1 small bunch oregano
- 1 small bunch coriander
- 1 small bunch parsley
- 100g olive oil
- 3-4 garlic cloves
- 3-4 pieces of spring onion
- 2 red chillies
- 2 tbsp sherry vinegar
- 4 tbsp water
- 1 tsp sea salt
- Open and drain a tin of tuna.
- Add lemon juice and Greek yogurt.
- Season to taste with salt black pepper, and then set aside.
- Blend all chimichurri dressing ingredients together and set aside.
- Season tender stem broccoli with salt & pepper, add 1 tsp. olive oil and grill for 5-8 minutes.
- Boil baby potatoes in salted water, chill and cut in half or quarter. Then add to a large mixing bowl.
- Cut green beans in half and blanch in salted water for 3 min, place green beans in ice-cold water after cooking. Add to large bowl with potatoes.
- Cut cherry tomatoes in half or quarter and add to potatoes.
- Slice marinated black olives and yellow pepper, and then add to the bowl and mix.
- Serve salad onto plates and top with tinned tuna mix.
- Season tuna fillets with sea salt and crack black pepper.
- Heat non-stick pan with some oil and sear each site for 30-60 sec.
- Slice and serve on top of the salad and dress with chimichurri dressing.