Keeping things simple, streamlined and stress free allows you to concentrate on the important things. Simple organisation can ensure that you’re properly fuelled and functioning despite living life in the fast lane. We thought we’d share some of our meal planning and batch cooking tips with you.
Plan the planning
Eating and cooking is one of life’s pleasures, but we know that having to think about what to cook each night does take the joy out of it all. Therefore, we recommend taking the time to plan the weekday meals. This will give you the headspace to be free and creative in the weekend when you have time to peruse the farmers market, or see what the butcher has in. Meal planning helps in getting the shopping down to a fine art of efficiency too!
Batch cooking is a great way to organise the week, and by stocking up your freezer you can alternate between meals – or of course, choose a selection from Simple Foods’ Market page. Another way to approach easy cooking is to have a few one pot wonders up your sleeve. Diana Henry’s cookbooks are a wonderful inspiration for this style of cooking, in particular Simple: effortless food, big flavours and From the Oven to The Table.
Our Kits can help with planning too and have the benefit of being focused on specific goals. For a busy life, the Mind Kit focuses on brain health, wish dish combinations full of antioxidants and slow releasing energy foods, which will work for those weeks that feel full of deadlines.
But don’t forget breakfast!
We’re sure that you have heard how important breakfast is, and we also know how easy it is to forget to have breakfast. In the spirit of planning, breakfast is also a meal that can be easily managed with a great system in place.
Smoothies are a simple way to get in nutrients and fibre and you can have it on the go. Sip on a smoothie whilst taking the dog out for a walk, before work starts. You can portion up the fruit and veg ahead of time, so that all you need to do is throw them into a blender, with a tablespoon of Greek yogurt, half a banana, some coconut water and spoonful of oats and you’re ready to go! Great veggies to add in are spinach, kale, carrots and beetroot; if you have a sweeter palate then balance this out with fruits such as berries and pineapple.
Having moments in the day that you can walk away from your desk clears the head and keeps you invigorated. One of the things we recommend is to ensure that you have a routine so that you don’t forget to do this, which is easy to centre around eating (and why not, food is to be enjoyed!). With everyone working from home, and the possibility that this will be a key part to most people’s norm, it can be very easy to just keep working. Therefore, eating at the same time everyday sets up a rhythm to your day that can help you step away from the computer. This can be as simple as having a snack by a window, such as a handful of nuts, or an apple; of course, you can have pre-prepared your snacks too as part of your meal planning – plan, plan plan! But most importantly, at lunch move away from anything that looks like a desk with work on it. You don’t need to take long, but you do need to reset and refuel.
One small, but simple trick to keep life feeling fresh when you have little time to cook – be well stocked with seasonings and condiments! Ottolenghi’s Za’atar in a pasta or on a roast chicken; make up a jar of Zoe’s Ghana Kitchen’s Jollof Dry Spice Mix then throw it on to fish before grilling, or chicken skewers – and, both work perfectly with a simple poached egg and/or avocado on toast. If you have a desire for heat, look no further than Mei Mei’s vibrant chilli sauce or sambal paste – a little chilli with your eggs in the morning, or stirred through some noodles for a quick dinner makes all the different. One last trick – a teaspoon of white miso paste into a simple vinaigrette will liven up a healthy salad to feel like a lunchtime treat.