3 ways to prepare nourishing meals when you lack inspiration

Here are a few easy (and relatively fast) nourishing meal ideas and preparation tips to make your life a little easier. 

I’ve been dating myself this week. It’s pretty enjoyable – roast chicken dinners, Sunday morning brunches… My partner has been away for the week and I find it is very easy, when living a single life (years of practice), to not make as much of an effort with my meals as I normally would.

Sharing a meal is one of the simple delights of life and is often a key determinant of health. When we eat with others we’re more likely to eat well. Preparing a meal for one can seem like a big task that’s not worth the effort. However, I also know when I set the table, pop some background music on, pour myself a glass of wine (yes), it follows that I’ll also prepare myself a nourishing meal. It’s also a barometer of my mental health. I know I’m in a good space mentally, when I’m by myself, yet still choose to prepare a nourishing meal.

Because many of us lead fast-paced lives, especially during the week days, it can be a struggle to find time and inspiration for nourishing meals mid-week. We’ve all found ourselves staring into the dark depths of the fridge at 6:00pm hoping some inspiration will jump out at us. By pre-planning a few snacks and meals during the weekend it will help you stay on track with your health goals. You’ll also find you’re less likely to reach for convenience foods.

Nourishing meal ideas and preparation tips

1. Visit your local farmers’ market or subscribe to a local organic delivery box:

  • Many of us love the idea of a backyard vegetable garden but time and space restraints limit us. However, by visiting your local farmers’ market during the weekend or subscribing to a weekly organic vegetable delivery box you’ll have plenty of fresh fruit, vegetables and eggs for the week ahead.

2. Pre-cook and chop:

  • Cook a batch of brown rice, buckwheat or quinoa. Store in the fridge and use as a base for a few lunches or dinners throughout the week.
  • Chop a tray of root vegetables such as carrot, kumara (sweet potato), beetroot and parsnip. Store in the fridge ready for roasting. Roast vegetables are great served with a handful of rocket, feta and toasted nuts and seeds.
  • Toast some nuts and seeds such as pumpkin, sunflower, cashews and walnuts. Add a drizzle of tamari then store in an airtight container. Sprinkle on salads and soups for a protein and healthy fat boost.    
  • Cook a big pot of soup, dahl, or slow cook a casserole. Divide into containers and store some in the freezer ready for nights when your time is limited. 
  • Make a batch of hummus or pesto.   
  • Make a batch of “super seeded crackers” . Super seeded crackers are very easy to make and a perfect after work snack. Serve with some hummus or pesto instead of a bag of chips. Let’s admit it, we’ve ALL devoured a bag of chips before dinner.
  • Hard boil half a dozen eggs or bake some chicken drum-sticks. Add some grated beetroot and carrot to a base of quinoa or brown rice. Then add a dollop of hummus, sauerkraut or sliced avocado plus a drizzle of olive oil and a squeeze of lemon juice for a quick lunch or dinner.

3. Overnight preparation:

  • Soak some oats and chia seeds overnight, divide into jars and top with fresh summer fruit (plums, peaches, nectarines or berries). Add a dollop of yoghurt and a sprinkle of cinnamon for a nourishing start to your day.
  • Make an overnight herbal infusion – oat straw, nettle or raspberry leaf are great sources of minerals and some of my favourites. Add 25 grams of your chosen herb to a one litre glass jar, add just boiled water. Allow to infuse over night. Sip throughout the day. This will provide you with a mineral rich way to keep hydrated.

Food is a key foundation of your health and some time taken on a Sunday afternoon preparing food sets you up well for the week ahead. Simple preparation also helps ensure you are supplying your body with essential nutrients such as zinc, iron, selenium, iodine, which are all essential for women’s health and healthy hormones.

Anna Jolly Natural Health About

Kia Ora, I’m Anna,

A holistic hormone and fertility naturopath and medical herbalist here to help women and non-binary people in each life stage flourish. From periods and hormones to fertility, preconception care and postpartum right through to peri-menopause and menopause, I offer holistic, expert care.

Harness your health potential and make your skin, periods, hormones, fertility or menopause transition better. Together, let’s transform your health.

You can learn more about how I can help you here.

3 Ways to Prepare Nourishing Meals When You Lack Inspiration

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