It’s the end of financial year and many Canberrans are pushed at work to balance the books and get business sorted before June 30. At this time of year many people find that they are swinging past the local café for a latte and a banana bread for breakfast, digging in the bottom of their desk drawer for lunch and buying Chinese takeaway on the way home from the office.

If you’re one of those people who barely has time to cook than you need to read this. Let me help you get some more nourishing food on the table in less than 10 minutes.

Break the fast!

Many experts agree that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It helps get the body firing after a long period without any fuel. Here are some fast choices to get your body off to the right start. After all, that café banana bread you’ve been scoffing is actually CAKE… and cake isn’t breakfast.

• Untoasted muesli, skim milk, berries and 2TBS natural yoghurt.

• 1 thick slice of raisin toast with sliced banana and ricotta.

• 1 tub of yoghurt, a piece of fruit and a handful of almonds.

• 2 scrambled eggs (whisked with a little milk and microwaved for 2 minutes) with a slice of grainy bread and sliced tomato.

• Banana smoothie – blitz 1 banana, skim milk, 1tsp chia seeds, 2TBS natural yoghurt, cinnamon and 1/3 cup of oats. Sweeten with a little honey if required.

The lunch rush

It’s important that you consume a little more at lunchtime than a chocolate bar and a coffee. A poor lunch will inevitably lead to late afternoon ‘hangries’. That lunch will also fuel your brain, so refuel at lunch the right way!

• Make a wholegrain sandwich with pre-washed salad mix, ready sliced lean ham or turkey, sliced tomato and avocado.

• Microwave a shop bought soup (e.g. LaZuppa Soups contain all natural ingredients) with a slice of wholegrain toast spread with some ricotta.

• Make a salad using pre-washed salad mix, toss through some drained 4 Bean Mix, sliced tomato, some lean meat and a sprinkle of feta.

• Make a fast rice salad using a 30-second microwave pack of brown rice, stir through a tin of flavoured tuna and a handful of pre-washed baby spinach, a diced cucumber and some olives.

Dinner winners

Grabbing a take-away meal once a week isn’t an issue, but when it becomes a daily affair, you’ve got to realise it’s not always good for the waistline. So here are some ideas for some fast meals you can whip up after work.

• Shop bought chicken (skin off) and a pre-washed salad mix or a steam fresh pack of microwave vegetables.

• An omelette – whisk 2 eggs, add some mushrooms, baby spinach, tomato and a little feta. Serve with a slice of wholegrain toast.

• A stir-fry using pre-chopped ‘Asian stir fry vegetable mix’ (found in the vegetable section of the supermarket) with some pre-cut or minced lean meat. Flavour with some soy, chilli, coriander or herbs/spices of choice.

• Healthy steak sandwich – Pan fry or grill a lean ‘minute steak’, add some pre-washed salad mix, some tomato, cucumber, avocado and add some spicy salsa. Pack it all on a wholegrain roll or warm grainy toast.

Fab fast snacks

Yoghurt, nuts, fruit and vege sticks with hummus.

Lastly, I recommend every now and again doing a weekend cook-up. Meals that can be frozen and taken to work for lunch, or heated up quickly after work in the evenings are great to have on hand!

The bottom line is, meals don’t have to take hours to prepare. Having some healthy fast meal ideas at the ready is perfect for those times when you have no time.

Until next time…
Be well, live well!
3/4 Kennedy St, Kingston