Eating the same food every week is a recipe for disaster - and believe it or not, but having a varied diet doesn’t actually require hours spent in the kitchen.
If you’re struggling for inspiration when it comes to breakfast, lunch and dinner, we caught up with online coach and AYBL Athlete Silvia Perez for her top healthy meal prep ideas.
So, grab an apron and let’s get straight to it!
HEY SILVIA! TELL US, WHAT DO YOU TYPICALLY EAT IN A DAY?
I usually have three main meals and two snacks. I follow the 80/20 rule, which means that 80% of the food I eat in a day is nutritious and healthy, then for the other 20%, I have a little treat.
For me, it’s really important to have a high protein diet. Protein has the highest thermogenic effect (AKA fat-burning) out of any macronutrients and it also helps to build and retain muscle.
I tend to start the day with a sweet breakfast like a smoothie bowl (see my recipe below), oats or protein pancakes.
For lunch, I usually ‘meal prep’, as I tend to have a really busy schedule during the day. It saves me so much time and money to prepare my meals for the next few days ahead of time. I usually choose a source of protein, carbs and fat and put it all together. Currently, my go-to is a chicken, rice and avocado bowl or a king prawn teriyaki bowl, which you can make using my recipe below.
Dinner is my favourite meal to cook. I recently got an air fryer for my birthday and I’m obsessed! I love trying new recipes and spending more time cooking at night. One of my go-to dinners at the moment is crispy air-fried chicken wings, which I’ve shared the recipe for below.
Now for the cooking…
BREAKFAST: PROTEIN SMOOTHIE BOWL
- 1 scoop protein powder
- 150ml almond milk
- 128g frozen blueberries
- 3 tbsp vanilla Greek yoghurt
- ½ banana
Choice of toppings:
- Peanut butter
- Chia seeds
- Add all of the main ingredients into a blender and blend well.
- Serve in a bowl and add desired toppings. I’ve chosen peanut butter, chia seeds, banana, blueberries and some granola.
I’ve lost 20kg over the years and this is one of my go-to breakfast recipes. It’s easy to make and it keeps me full for hours.
LUNCH: KING PRAWN TERIYAKI BOWL
- 8 king prawns
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 120g cooked basmati rice
- 1 garlic clove (optional)
- 4 tenderstem broccoli
- 1 egg
- ½ chilli, finely chopped
- ½ onion, finely chopped
- Salt and pepper to season
- 2 spring onions, finely chopped, to serve
- Mayonnaise to serve
For the teriyaki sauce:
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 2 tsp rice vinegar
- 1 tsp ginger powder
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp corn flour
- Follow the packet instructions to cook rice or cook in a rice cooker and add water, salt and pepper, 1 garlic clove and cook for approximately 15 minutes.
- While the rice cooks, make the teriyaki sauce by pouring the soy sauce, rice vinegar, ginger and garlic powders and corn flour in a saucepan and cook until it becomes sticky.
- Season your king prawns with salt and pepper, chilli, onion and garlic powder. Pour the olive oil in a pan and fry the king prawns on a medium heat until they look crispy, then add the teriyaki sauce.
- Once the rice is cooked, transfer into a pan and add an egg and mix for 2 minutes over a high heat to create egg fried rice.
- Boil the broccoli until soft (approximately 5 minutes).
- Serve on a plate along with the chopped spring onions and a drizzle of teriyaki sauce and mayonnaise.
DINNER: SILVIA’S AIR FRYER CHICKEN WINGS
- 6 chicken wings
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp cajun powder
- 1 tsp paprika
- Handful of rocket
- Greek yoghurt to serve
- Place 6 chicken wings in a bowl and add the olive oil, paprika, garlic powder, salt and pepper and cajun seasoning. Mix together and marinade for 2 hours.
- Once they’re marinated, put them in an air fryer for 20 minutes, then turn them around and cook for a further 20 minutes.
- Once cooked, serve on a plate. I like to serve with a side salad, using rocket and a Greek yoghurt dressing, but you can swap for sweet potato or garlic bread.
WHAT DOES YOUR TYPICAL WEEKLY WORKOUT SCHEDULE LOOK LIKE?
My current workout split is two lower body workouts, one back and biceps, one chest and shoulders and one day focused on cardio and abs.
I stick to the same workout programme for eight weeks, focusing on form and progressive overload.
WHY IS IT IMPORTANT TO MAINTAIN A HEALTHY, BALANCED DIET, PARTICULARLY IF YOU LIKE TO WORK OUT A LOT?
Maintaining a healthy diet is so important when you work out a lot. For one, it helps to improve your performance in the gym. But it’s not just important for your body, it’s important for your mind too. A balanced diet is rich in vitamins, minerals and nutrients, which help to boost mood and increase energy levels.
Meal prep needn’t be boring, girls! Get creative and make cooking something you actually enjoy.
Here are some more healthy meal recipe ideas we think you’ll love: