One of the biggest challenges to maintaining a healthy diet comes when you are busy, stressed and unprepared. Even the most iron willed of us often make poor dietary decisions when we are struggling for time and feeling overrun.

Often we justify to ourselves the decision to buy something we know is not going to benefit us, with stories like; it’s a one off, I need some instant energy & I’ll eat better tomorrow.

Of course this is fine if it is occasionally, but for most of us it probably happens more often than we’d like.

How can we overcome this? The key is planning.

On a Sunday write down a plan weekly snacks and lunches and do your weekly supermarket shop. Stock your fridge with essentials to make big batches of the foods that will be the basis of your lunch boxes for the week. You can choose your favourite grains or legumes e.g. couscous, brown rice, lentils, black beans or quinoa, mix some nuts and seeds in there along with plenty of fresh herbs and roast lots of colourful vegetables. Finally choose an unprocessed source of protein such as chicken, beef or fish. Pre-cook this, so it’s ready to throw in a salad. Make your favourite dressing and keep it a big bottle in the fridge and simply choose a different mix of vegetables, grains and protein every day f or an instant healthy lunch. You could extend this to healthy suppers so that dinner can be pulled together in a few minutes when you get in from work instead of grabbing a ready meal on the way home.

If you are someone who is constantly snacking make sure you have healthy snacks on hand; such as nuts, fruit, seeds and hummus. Keep them in your bag, car and workspace so you always have a healthy option. Here’s a sample prep list for your Sunday.

Cook the following:


Simply simmer in water or veg stock until cooked.

300 g of Quinoa

200 g of Brown Rice

200 g of Lentils


Roast in the oven at 180C with some olive oil until tender.

Butternut squash chopped

Red onions sliced

Green beans

Cauliflower florets


Roast in the oven at 180C until cooked with some olive oil and herbs or spices of your choice. For example.

3 Chicken breasts rubbed with paprika.

300g Minced beef with 1 tsp cumin & 1 tsp of turmeric

2 Salmon fillets with thyme

Example Lunch recipe

Quinoa, hazelnut, butternut squash and paprika chicken salad.

1 cup of cooked Quinoa

1 small handful of hazelnuts

1/4 cup of roasted squash

1/2 cup of sliced paprika chicken

1/2 cup baby spinach leaves

2 tsp of olive oil

squeeze of lemon juice

Simply mix it all together in your lunchbox. If you don’t have time to prepare your healthy lunch call into Filmore and Union and choose from our range of takeout options.