Having recently started full time employment (kill me, mill me now) I have become far more organised with my food prep. I will never be one of those people that preps the entire weeks food on a Sunday and eats the same thing day in day out, I respect food to much to do that. I love cooking and being creative in what I put together, so I will never have the same meal two days in a row. What you eat shouldn’t just be healthy, it shouldn’t just fill you up. It’s a celebration flavour, of the ingredients you have at your disposal and your creativity in putting them together.
That said there are of course days when even I am so short on time that I can’t prep a lunch for the following day. So in those moments we are all dependant on the options available to us in supermarkets and high street food chains. Some come to our rescue, Farmacy, The Good Life Eatery, Vital Ingredient, Pure, Daylesford Organics and The Mae Deli are some of the devoted few that offer busy consumers a healthy alternative to greasy, nutritionally void & heavily processed food. But their weird & wonderful ingredients – and premium branding – come at a cost. I don’t know about you but I don’t fancy dishing out £12 for lunch, only to scoff it down and run back to the office.
The slightly more mainstream chains are starting to come to grips with the idea of the health conscious consumer and what we are looking for. The likes of Pret A Manger, Eat & Itsu are now offering porridge for breakfast and wraps/stews/salad pots etc. for lunch instead of croissants & muffins. They are putting a greater focus on the ingredients, making sure each meal has enough protein, carbs and fats, but they still have a little way to come.
Enter the super market. From my perspective the best place to get a healthy lunch at the lowest cost, if you know where to look. Stay out of the chocolate aisle you and head for the refrigerated section. There you will find a selection of pre-made meals – some healthy, some not so healthy – the trick is finding the good ones. For this my number one tip is ignore the entire front cover of the packaging, by pass any opportunity the producer had to market to you and go straight to the facts, the ingredients.
If it has a never ending list of ingredients it is probably not good for you.
If it contains any refined sugars or high GI carbohydrates put it down!
One I tried recently was Fit Kitchen. A new range of healthy readymade meals available in Sainsbury’s & Waitrose. They contain nothing but wholesome natural ingredients, i.e. nothing that wasn’t once alive (plants and meat). Their meals are strangely close to what I would make at home for myself during the summer. The reason I say summer is because all their meals are low in carbs, just lots of raw cut up veg and some sliced up meat (with a few fancy toppings of course).
And when I say a lot of cut up veg I mean it, they really cram as much into that container as they can, which of course I love! If there is one thing we cannot stand its a tiny portion, am I right? But you will love this to, because every single ingredients is good for you all of their meals are under 300 calories.
My favourite is the Pad Thai Chicken with Zesty Sauce.
P.S. they are all designed to be heated. Oblivious to this fact I ate one raw last week and it was still pretty good.