Food prepping for better lunches

I wrote a short post on Facebook about food prep and how it is changing my mornings (and evenings) for the better, as well as my whole week. When you are organised in one aspect you can concentrate on others, and slowly you are organised in enough areas that the rest just falls into place. I’m staring with my food prep and the balancing act of getting all the essentials in place.

I am usually pretty organised, but that lazy after dinner time, and the rush first thing in the morning often means the important things are left to chance or the wallet. And that’s before you even think about adding little people in, (which in my case is null and void as they are all big) and you are left with most likely bad choices and/or the same same every day. Not good for you or your wallet – depending where you work and what the options are.  I’m usually up and showered by 5.45 and making my coffee. I don’t want to be rushing through emails and social media because I have to organise lunch and cutting up salads or boiling eggs. Or vice versa. I like that little time to myself to enjoy my coffee, before I head out the door.

I decided two weeks ago to give food prepping a go and see how it fared. It went ok, there were a few things I changed for the second week, mostly that my salads were a little boring and predictable, and one I have to revamp of get rid of completely. I discovered a couple of rules that I want to follow for my own peace of mind, wellbeing, enjoyment of lunches.

First up, one fish meal and two vegetarian. I don’t eat as much fish as I should so if I can get one a week at lunch then I’ll be happy.  A meat free day or two is not going to hurt either. We eat red or white meat pretty well every night, so meat free with eggs as my protein will not pose a problem. I’m not a legume person so beans won’t be in the equation, or lentils. Couscous and quinoa will be occasionally.

The second rule is to have things that I can eat over a longer period – my half hour lunch break sometimes takes an hour to finish depending on how busy we are and if I get interrupted. Hot foods will not always survive the break., and they usually end up being the overly filling sort of meal that I prefer to not have at lunch time – now that I’ve written it, they may be better then, than at night, but I like to feed my body well at night and do more grazing during the day, feeding when I can. Work can get busy so healthy snack are also needed. Grapes, blueberries, mandarin segments.

I’ve already decided my original tuna salad isn’t going to cut it so have to find something else – plenty of ideas are out there, and I don’t have to use tuna – mackerel, sardines, salmon.. The easy option is tuna rice which will get a tasting this week.

My other small problem is by the end of the week, the lettuce has browned a little and some things are a bit soggy and ick. The point is to have easy healthy meals, not a salad that will make me sick.
Note to self: more little containers for wet ingredients and not chop my cherry tomatoes til I go to eat.

Preparing my meals ahead of time has been fantastic, I can’t believe it’s taken this long to realise how good it is. The night before is one thing, but not having to worry at all each day is even better. My other issue, which is pretty small in the big scheme, is that I get bored easily, so I want to have at least 10 options available to choose from. No, I’m not making 10 lunches, just choosing from the short list. Each week becomes a multitude of choices, essentially I’ll never have to eat the same week twice.

My go to’s will definitely be my version of Fatoush with either chicken or bacon if I want meat and a basic pasta salad I found the other day – bacon, peas and onion (with long or broad beans if I fancy) and I added balsamic and garlic olive oil  dressing.  I use Praise dressings for all my salads as I find them tasty and you don’t need much to get a good coating without drowning the ingredients.

This week coming I will be testing out a few Bruschetta variations as well as Ryvita options.

Edit: After researching my options (I didn’t want the same boring salad every day) and making a short list of tasty, easy choices, I spent around two hours on Sunday afternoon making them up.

What do you do for work lunches?
Do you lunch prep, or keep putting it off?
What are your go to lunches for healthy eating.

Healthy eating and good training = strong body.


And so the training begins

It’s been a while since I’ve posted here and so much has happened. Let me tell you the short version …

My physio has been an enormous help with some very good exercises – changing things slightly so I am comfortable with the action and seeing the desired good form and result. My squats have improved out of sight with her new technique. I’ve just seen her our third visit and she is pretty happy with me. There are still things to work on,  and I have a new exercise to do which is fine. After all these years of bad habits, they aren’t going to fix themselves overnight.  I know I am seeing results and feeling the difference all over, not just in my knee, after only six weeks.  To be running again this close after seeing her I am incredibly happy, with no pain now outside of the usual running ache I get (a completely different pain to that of the ITB).

Hubby comes home one day and says ‘..I’m doing the city to casino..I have to get my fitness back up and this is a good way to start…and I can help you with marathon training…’ Woohoo! Love him to bits ❤️.  The (marathon) training plan is ready to go and we can follow it through to race day – which is a planned 10k run 🏃- with runs that will ease us both into the distance.   I know hubby will be able to do it, he’s pretty fit – he can put me to shame with his 5k pace and with a little practice he’ll whip my butt. We’ve agreed that on the day it will be a run at our own pace with the aim to finish. If he gets into the zone and wants to surge ahead then he can go, I don’t want to feel like I am holding him back, and vice versa, I would like to look at a PB. I am so happy that he wants to do this (for both of us) and no matter what I am incredibly proud of him getting out there.

Between the first two physio visits I took the two weeks off running completely.  Tried a small one two days post visit and it hurt like the bejeezers so took the rest of the time off. My second visit gave me new exercises and the permission to walk if I need to during a run.  In this last few weeks I’ve done several runs, two stair climbs and continued my strength and stretches. I feel good, albeit somewhat unfit. I will improve over the next few weeks. Speaking of improvement, my diet needs serious work.  I haven’t been as disciplined with this like I should be, between not running and eating larger portions (plus a bit too much chocolate) it’s not good for the waistline. I will work on it, I have to if I’m going to be in peak (ish, for me) condition and be able to improve on my current results. The books will come out and a healthier plan put into place that the whole family can eat also. There is no reason for hubby and I to eat too much differently to the kids. Breakfast is my main issue, I am up early and don’t like to eat too much at 6am, I then do a full-on 2+ hours of work and by the time I’m finished with that I am starving. Two small breakfasts would be ideal, I just have to find the right combination so I’m not eating too much.

As mentioned above, the marathon training plan is in place. It started on Tuesday with a 5k jog which was perfect for post physio. I have written it up onto the white board so everyone knows what’s happening. If hubby is on nights and there is a run he will be able to do his bit during the day (if he so wishes) while I’m at work.  My long Sunday runs will need to be changed around from the last plan as hubby’s roster is different. Some weeks will be morning runs, others will be afternoon ones. Be organised is the key for this one.


My strength and stretching routine this fortnight has been a little hit and miss though one thing I’m really embracing (and it seems to be working) is my foam roller. Doing the sides and fronts of my legs hurts yet feels so good afterwards. I’m concentrating on form over repetitions for strength movements and this is working. My push-ups are also becoming easier. Real push ups people, not the knee version.

Til next time, train strong and stay safe, jennifer



(bad) Food! and exercise

I have a really good appetite.  I love food. Good food, Bad food.  Pretty much all food. I’m not overly fussy when it comes to eating. Give me a super sized steak and I’ll demolish it in no time. Complete with lashings of hot mustard.  I like desserts, but it’s not a sweet tooth I have but rather a salty one.  It’s the savoury (usually bad) stuff that rocks my boat. Tacos and nachos.  A bag of spicy crisps and a tub of sour cream..oh, I’m sorry, did you want me to share? Chips and dip full stop.  A decent pizza.  A block or two (who am I kidding, the whole platter please) of cheese and a bottle of wine and I’m a happy girl.

Back in the day I could eat what I wanted and it was no issue. Now, 20 years and 3 kids into the future, my metabolism has changed. I do still try though sometimes.

This is partly why I am doing Weight Watchers. Again. I need to lose weight. To change my eating habits. To kick-start the self-control, the discipline.  The good thing (for the most part) is that once I have a thought in my head of what I want to do, I can just get on and do it. I want to lose weight and get fit. Consider it sorted.
In 10 weeks I’ve lost a dress size and if I’m being honest but not modest, am looking pretty damned good. I still have a few more kilos to go, and am working hard to get there with no more gains, no matter how small the loss may be.
Reading this back and seeing the list of food up there ^, you could be forgiven for thinking I was a junk food fanatic that has had to undergo a huge change. Not so much. I love those foods, but know how to do the whole moderation thing. I just reach for those before a chocolate tis all. I love my veges and a good salad. Fruit and yoghurt.  Water is a hard thing for me to drink. I always have one or two after my runs, but have trouble outside of that.
For most of us, especially for those  who eat well generally, the problem lies with portion size. A little more of this, a little more of that. What doesn’t look too much in the spoon becomes a whole lot on the plate. And then we feel compelled to eat it all. And before we know it we have put on a few kilos, or a lot.
It’s really not that hard to control this. More veges and lean meats, less of the carbs. Grain bread, and things like cheese and chocolates in moderation. I find it easy enough, like I said, once I get it in my head, consider it done.
I was grumbling about my knee last night and having to go back to the chiropractor to get my ankle looked at (long story, but I’ll tell it another day. Just understand the knee problem is actually the ankle) and hubby said maybe I should stop running if I can’t do a 5 or 10k without the pain.
He said with all my exercises on the wall and a good diet, I should be able to keep trim. And that is true.
I said I wanted more than just losing weight and being slim. And I love the running. The endorphins. The accomplishment. The hard work and pain that comes with it.

                                                       I wanted to be fit and strong. Lean and healthy.

Not just lean, muscly and healthy.

So I continue on. I eat properly. I exercise regularly. And enjoy feeling my body getting stronger, fitter, healthier.
Tonight is weigh in and I will update my progress page with the details.