Nicky is a registered Nutritional Therapist and coach, she’s a wife, a Mum, a blogger at ‘Nicky For Life’ and she also has a corporate job too! With so many roles she understands how tricky it is to fit it all in and how becoming a Mum can change everything. Nicky works with clients teaching them how to look after themselves to regain their energy, become less stressed and can take control of their busy lives and their health.




Lunch Ideas for Busy Mums

Nicky Duffell




Before you grab a bit of toast, or a cheese sandwich stop for a moment…
You’re a busy working Mum, you need proper fuel and those all important nutrients that help you function. A doctor in the states has coined the term ‘post-natal depletion’ because he suggests it can take years for us to recover our nutritional status after having a baby. And if you’resitting there thinking, this doesn’t apply to me because your little one is now suddenly 6 years old, it can. He suggests in can take anything between a year and seven years to get back to where we were! So eating well is really important. We need nutrients for every single bodily process. So with all that in mind here are some quick nutritious lunches to help you on your way.

Eggs are really versatile, super quick and really nutritious. Scrambled eggs with loads of veggies chucked in (you can find my veggie eggs recipe here), an omelette, frittata or evena simple eggs on toast with avocado and tomato. Try and get about 2-3 portions of veggies in there.

Sweet potato jacket
Sweet potatoes are more nutritious that your average potato, so pop one in the oven whilst you’re working. Just simply prick the potato on the outside and cook for around 45 minutes, you can tell when it’s cooked as it’ll be soft and usually some of the sweetness is oozing out of the skin! Just add a big dollop of humous or some goats cheese, along with avocado, tomatoes or even some sautéed spinach.

Fish is always quicker than you think, 15 minutes in the oven whilst you get on with other things or making something to go with it. So a piece of salmon with a side salad and some brown rice (for super speed opt for some microwave rice but use the wholegrain variety). I
also always have tinned mackerel or sardines in my cupboard, I chop up some spring onions, avocado, tomatoes mix it in with the fish and have with a packet of oatcakes – you may need a bit more to fill you up but it’s a good start.

Soups and a bit about batch cooking
OK a soup can take a bit longer but I think the best way to stay healthy during the week when you’re busy is to do a bit of prep on a Sunday, so cook up a big vat of soup and pop it in the freezer in portions so it’s ready to go when you need it – my favourite soup at the
moment is sweet potato and coriander. I also cook up a bit batch of roasted veg for the fridge (and I’ll add it to fish above!) and I also precook quinoa and pop it in the freezer, that way you always have something to go to.

Pasta has got quite a bad reputation lately, I enjoy pasta for it’s ease but like anything it’s about balance. Always choose wholegrain varieties and vary the type of pasta you use so give brown rice, quinoa, chickpea pasta a try (you can get these in most supermarkets
now or at a health food store). Variety is what’s important. Add a nice homemade tomato sauce and then add some pine nuts, prawns or some mozzarella cheese for protein (you want to aim to have protein at lunch as this fills you up for longer and gives you more energy). Add a side salad and you’re good to go.

Here’s another trick to keep you on track during the week, whatever you’re making for dinner, make more and have it for lunch the next day.

A packed lunch
If you’re on the go, take something with you if you know you’re not going to be around anything healthy. Boiled eggs and avocados are great travel companions! You can also make up a big salad as well. The salad rules are; make sure you have a variety, don’t stick to the same combination of lettuce, tomato and cucumber. Add chickpeas, beetroot, rocket, spring onions, apple and cabbage to really mix it up. Make sure you have some protein so nuts, beans, eggs, fish, chicken etc. and stick to a homemade dressing, even just a simple olive oil.

And my last word on lunch is to stop and eat. You won’t get any of the nutritional benefit if you’re eating at your desk or on the run – I know it’s hard and I do it sometimes but try and make a conscious effort to slow down, I promise you’ll feel better for it.

Nicky x