breakfast, lunch, and dinner on the go

Working a consulting job, I am constantly on the go. I mean, I can barely predict my schedule from one week to the next. In the past, whenever I was in a hurry or traveling for work, I’ve noticed that diet and exercise were the first things I would compromise. I would skip breakfast, grab takeout for lunch, and none of it ever made me feel good. Working long hours can sometimes mean not having the time to cook a nutritious meal with quality ingredients, and that can be stressful. We work so hard to build a balanced routine and good habits, but the “busyness” just seems to get in the way too often.

Well,  I‘m not getting any less busy any time soon, and you probably aren’t either, so the next best option is being adaptable. If you follow my Instagram, you probably know that I am all about creating meals that are easy to throw together, budget-friendly, and packed with flavor.

Here is an example of how I prepare my breakfast, lunch, and dinner on the go.

BREAKFAST

Like I said earlier, breakfast truly is the most important meal of the day. Having a quality breakfast sets the tone for the day and provides the energy necessary to maintain focus. Let’s not forget that when we sleep our bodies are considered to be “fasting.” Honor yourself with a meal you know will make you feel good throughout the day.

For me, overnight oats are one of the quickest ways to pack in quality ingredients and bring with me to eat on the way to work. I love to jazz up my oats with ingredients like collagen peptides, nut butter, fresh fruit—the options are endless.

Try my recipe for overnight chia oats that you can throw together in less than 5 minutes.

Overnight Chia Oats: 

In a mason jar, mix the following

  • 1/2 cup GF oats

  • 1 tsp of cinnamon

  • pinch of salt

  • 3 tsp chia seeds

  • 3/4 to 1 cup unsweetened almond milk 

  • 2 tsp maple syrup or honey

  • Store overnight in the fridge

  • Optional Toppings: Fresh fruit, granola, nut butter, protein bar, cacao nibs, goji berries

 

LUNCH

Admittedly, desk lunches get repetitive. I’m constantly tasked with the challenge of wanting to eat healthy without having to opt for a boring salad every day. I’ve learned that with a little bit of meal prep, lunches don’t have to be boring.  They can even be something you look forward to (crazy thought, I know).

Meal prep is something that has always been incredibly daunting to me, and so I made the personal choice to not put the pressure on myself to prepare a week’s worth of meals. I have, however, saved myself a lot of time during the week by preparing one or two staples in advance that I can quickly take with me for lunch. Try grilling up some lean protein and cooking a pot of your favorite grain (I love brown rice and quinoa), and you’ll see how quickly your lunches will come together. 

Another thing that I do to prevent boring lunches is to pick a cuisine and use that as the theme for my meals. I then build salads, grain bowls, wraps, and all different types of meals around that type of cuisine. Here is an example of a perfectly balanced and nutritious Mediterranean themed lunch that came together so quickly with the help of a little meal prep. 

Mediterranean Shawarma-spiced Chicken Grain Bowl

Shawarma Spiced Chicken:

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound chicken breast

  • ½ teaspoon coriander

  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon

  • ¼ teaspoon cumin

  • ¼ teaspoon cardamom

  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper

  • Pinch nutmeg

  • Pinch crushed red pepper

  • 2 teaspoons salt

  • 1 tbsp olive oil


Directions:
Preheat grill or grill pan to medium-high heat. Combine spice blend and season chicken. Coat grill with olive oil and cook chicken for 2-3 minutes per side until cooked through.

To build bowl:

Cook mixed grains to package instructions and use as the base for the bowl. Top with shawarma spiced chicken and your favorite veggies, a squeeze of lime, and some hummus.

 

DINNER

While dinner is the one meal I always try and cook at home (it’s how I relieve stress from the day), there are times when I am traveling or stuck in the office late and need to pack something with me. One of my favorite things to throw together is pan-seared salmon and roasted veggies. I discovered the beauty behind pan-searing fish while watching Gordon Ramsay on Masterchef (my favorite tv show), and I haven’t made mine any other way since. There’s just something about the crust that develops when pan searing fish that cannot be beaten. This is definitely a restaurant quality dish that comes together in 30 minutes or less.

Pan Seared Salmon and Roasted Veggies:

Ingredients:

  • 6 oz. wild caught salmon

  • Broccoli floret (buy pre-chopped to save time)

  • Baby Portobello mushrooms

  • Brown rice, cooked to package instructions

  • 2 tsp garlic powder

  • Salt and pepper to taste

  • 2 tbsp avocado oil (or any oil with a high smoke point)

  • Optional: Pesto for dipping (I save time by buying the Trader Joe’s Kale Cashew Pesto)


Directions:

Preheat oven to 425F. Place broccoli and mushrooms on a cookie sheet. Season veggies with 1 tbsp avocado oil, salt, pepper, and garlic powder and roast for about 20-25 minutes. Shut oven and allow to sit for an additional 5-10 minutes (this will make your veggies more crispy). Meanwhile, season salmon liberally with salt and pepper on both sides. heat a non-stick skillet to medium-high heat. Coat pan with 1 tbsp avocado oil and sear salmon for about 3-4 minutes per side, until cooked through.

 For more inspiring recipes, follow Seth on Instagram: @kalefornia_kitchen

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