Struggling with your meal prep? We asked nutritionist Kim Pearson to find us the best packaged foods in the supermarket and show us how to turn them into healthy, tasty meals.
Breakfast for runners
When it comes to breakfast, look to include a mix of protein, healthy fats and slow-release carbs into your meal to help you to stay full till lunch. Here’s how a nutritionist would start the day:
The breakfast taco
Here's everything you need to make your breakfast taco:
These eggs, from free-range chickens, are a good source of choline (to keep your brain sharp). Eggs are one of the few natural food sources of vitamin D.
This veggie, quinoa and bean Mexican mix adds nine grams of fibre and two portions of veg to your scramble. Also a delicious omelette filling.
A combo of antioxidant-rich tomatillos and jalapenos that is free of added sugars. It’s a perfect topping for eggs, meats and salads.
Made with organic corn flour, these small, authentic-tasting tortilla make portion control easy on taco night.
The super bowl
Here's everything you need to make your super bowl:
These heart healthy, gluten-free oats are high in fibre and perfect for when you’re in a rush.
Toss a handful of antioxidant-rich berries onto cereal and yogurt, or blend into smoothies.
Research shows that organic milk from pasture fed cows is higher in omega-3 fats—good news for your heart!
Studies show nut eaters tend to live longer. Toss these almonds onto your cereal for a vitamin E boost.
The healthiest fry ups for runners
The healthiest ingredients for this weekend's stir fry:
Grill up these tasty sausages - a great source of lean protein with around half the calories of standard pork sausages.
Buffalo is a great source of B vitamins which are essential for energy production. It’s very high in protein.
Rich-tasting butter from naturally reared cows that graze clover rich organic grass. Alternatively, try Rachel’s Organic Butter.
The runner’s protein shake
What to include in the perfect protein shake:
Your muscles and mid-morning hunger pangs will appreciate the 6.4 grams of protein in each 60g serving.
This organic cultured milk adds protein, calcium and probiotics for a happy gut. Stick with plain kefir products to keep your sugar intake in check.
Each serving adds 19 grams of high-quality protein to smoothies from organic pasture-fed cows.
Made from only Californian roasted almonds and a sprinkle of sea salt, this almond butter will add a serving of healthy fat to your smoothie.
The best toast for runners
Chuck these in your toaster, and you're off to a good start:
Made with 100% spelt flour. Free from preservatives and additives used in many commercercially produced bread products.
These contain pumpkin seeds, which are high in protein and Omega 3, as well as iron.
The best cereal for runners
This wholesome, gluten free cereal contains significantly less sugar compared with many other cereals.
This blend of nutritional powerhouses includes buckwheat, chia and flax seeds, dried mango, lacuma and baobab powders. It has ten grams of sugar per serving so use it as a post run refuel.
Chocolatey, yes, but not a sugar bomb. This grain-free granola provides far less carbohydrates and more protein than most cereals.
This moo-free milk is made with just three natural ingredients and no added sugar.
The best pancakes for runners
This gluten-free mix uses organic coconut and brown rice flours, as well as containing antioxidant-rich baobab powder.
What runners should eat for lunch
Whilst grabbing lunch on-the-go can be handy, it’s not often the most nutritional choice. Making your lunch at home gives you much more nuturional bang for your buck, and here’s what a nutritionist would pack:
The runner’s club sandwich
This wheat-free bread is made with wholemeal rye. Perfect post-run topped with peanut butter and a sliced banana.
These cheddar slices, made from organic milk sourced from UK farms, are bold and creamy for your best cheese toastie.
Protein-packed organic turkey slices help your muscles recover. Not only is organic meat free from routine antibiotic use, it also demands higher animal welfare standards.
Mix this creamy, egg-free mayo with tuna and a squeeze of lemon juice for the perfect protein-packed salad topping.
Fill a spelt pitta with mashed avocado, grilled tomato slices and two rashers of bacon for a twist on the classic BLT.
The runner’s salmon salad
Here's what to buy to make the perfecr salmon salad:
Made with cold pressed rapeseed oil, this zesty salad dressing provides healthy fats and contains only natural ingredients.
Puffed chickpeas are basically croutons with runner-friendly nutrients like fiber.
Jazz up your salad with these vitamin C rich peppers. Use their olive oil to make a home made dressing.
Up your salad’s nutrition with protein, vitamin D, and omega-3 fats.
A vitamin-packed, colourful blend of watercress, red cos and chard.
The runner’s chicken salad
Here's all you need for the perfect nutritional runner's chicken salad:
A bright and crunchy salad bowl. Eat a rainbow with greens leaves, red peppers, beetroot and butternut.
Top your salad with this high-quality protein (without weird ingredients). Also good for when you need a filling snack.
You won’t find many balsamic dressings that are this low in sugar. This is one of the good ones.
A handy bag of pumpkin seeds containing protein, beneficial fats, iron, and immunity-boosting zinc. Sprinkle them on salads and soups.
The best ready-meals to heat in the office microwave:
This veg-heavy chili will help you avoid afternoon vending machine temptation with its satisfying chunky texture and eight grams of fiber.
An Asian-inspired veg and chicken curry over kelp noodles. Provides equal amounts of protein, fats and carbs for a well balanced meal in one pot.
A tasty blend of sweet vegetables and zingy ginger. Carrots and butternut provide beta carotene which has been shown to help protect the skin from sun damage.
Chickpeas and red lentils team up to give each half can serving nearly 12 grams of fiber, keeping post lunch hunger at bay.
The best other sandwich-fillers for runners:
A wholesome, gluten-free bread made from organic ingredients. Pumpkin and sunflower seeds add a nice texture.
These organic slices are rich in protein and iron, and contain very little fat.
At just 12 calories in each tablespoon, you can spread this low sugar mustard generously on your bread to spice things up.
These yeast-free tortillas are a good source of fibre (thanks to sprouted grains)
Add tang to salads and keep your gut healthy with probiotic-rich “kimchikraut”.
This high-quality, sustainably caught canned tuna packs in 10 grams of protein per serving.
The best snacks for runners
If you’re a grazer, Pearson has hand-selected these nutiritonally-rich snacks to stash in your desk drawer. That said, her top tip is to ensure your snacking is really based on hunger, not boredom.
Squeeze a packet of no-sugar-added nut butter on slices of apple for a satisfying snack.
This tasty nutrient-dense snack is vegan, gluten free and organic. It contains nearly five grams of fiber and just four grams sugar per bar. Yes, please!
Load up on this nutrient dense combination of nuts and seeds. Almonds, cashews and pumpkin seeds provide good-for-you fat.
A naturally high protein, zero sugar snack.
This Instagram-worthy snack combines a tasty mix of cherries, pecans and dark chocolate buttons.
Elderflower makes this a light and refreshing green tea. And studies show that matcha may help with weight loss.
Live cultures support digestive health and this kombucha contains just four grams of sugar per serving.
This vegan-friendly yoghurt may be dairy-free but it’s no less rich and creamy. It cotains no added sugar or artificial additives.
Perk up with these cacao bean and butter based bars made with freshly roasted Peruvian coffee.
Proper shuteye is an important part of exercise recovery. This tea before bed will help you to wind down.
Beetroot juice is a natural source of nitrates, with proposed beneficial effects of reducing blood pressure and boost exercise performance.
Coconut water contains electrolytes making it a perfect rehydrating base for your post-run smoothie.
A fizzy, fruity drink without the sugary calories. (Even better in post-race celebratory cocktails.)
Skewer this calcium-packed cheese with cherry tomatoes and basil leaves for an on-the-go Caprese salad.
These marinated olives are very moorish! With just 46 calories per serving, go ahead and eat the whole pack.
Seaweed has more vitamin C than an orange and is high in iodine, for a healthy thyroid. Beach not included.
Serve with veggie crudites for a healthy fat hit. Free from artificial additives.
This organic corn-based chips are made to a traditional recipe - blue corn, water, oil, salt - and absolutely nothing else.
One serving of this simply salted snack has just 83 calories.
Pistachios provide fat, protein and fiber. Shelling nuts will slow down your eating and help avoid mindless eating.
Jerky is a runner favorite: It’s an excellent source of lean protein and iron. This one contains organic beef and spices.
The best dinner's for runners
When it comes to preparing your dinner, it’s a good idea to factor in your bedtime. According to Pearson, it’s a good idea to eat dinner two or three hours before going to bed.
The runner’s pesto chicken pasta:
Here's everything you need to buy or the perfect pesto chicken pasta:
Pasta made with 100% whole wheat has more fiber and essential nutrients compared with its counterparts.
This pouch of peas, broccoli and spinach will also boost the nutritional clout of soups, chilis, and smoothies.
A great protein source to ensure healthy muscle function and recovery.
Combining a coriander and basil base with cashew and hazelnuts gives a flavour twist to this vegan pesto.
The best ready-made pizza for runners:
This tasty and convenient freezer pizza delivers a vegetable boost. Save it for a Friday night treat.
The best meat choices for runners:
Convenient frozen fillets taste just as good as fresh fish. Protein rich with bonus points for responsible sourcing.
Use this high-protein organic grass fed beef in pasta sauces and tacos.
The best vegetarian choices for runners:
Olive oil provides a host of health benefits, particularly for the heart. When buying oils, always choose those in glass bottles, not plastic.
Beetroot provides performance-boosting and blood pressure–lowering nitrates.
This mix of beetroot, carrots and parsnips is a flavourful addition to any meal.
Italian sun-ripened tomatoes are a rich source of antioxidants, especially lycopene which research shows may help to protect against cancer.
The best quick-meals for runners:
This handy frozen steam bag combines edamame and green beans with baby corn, providing eight grams of vegetable protein per bag.
This nuke-ready veggie burrito, stuffed with pinto beans and brown rice, provides a good source of complex carbohydrates making it ideal for an easy post run meal.
Wholesome carbohydrates like black rice, sweet potato are topped with a blend of kale and mushrooms and an anti inflammatory turmeric dressing. Yum!
A half pack serving (seared or served cold) contains 30g of vegan-friendly protein.
A blend of chickpeas, aubergines, butternut squash, courgettes and apricots. A convenient, nutrient packed meal in a pot.
This fresh, fragrant Thai dish provides complex carbohydrates and antioxidant rich vegetables making it perfect for after a run.
The best grains and sides for runners:
Sweet potato is a good source of betacarotene, a powerful cell-protecting antioxidant.
Quinoa is a complete protein – one of few plant sources. This mix of red and white quinoa is a great alternative to traditional white rice.
These buckwheat and sweet potato noodles are a nutritious, low glycaemic alternative to traditional white wheat noodles.
Made with Italian, sun ripened tomatoes that taste like they were just pulled from the vine. This all natural, no-added-sugar sauce wins on both the taste and nutrition front.
Precooked brown rice, rye, quinoa and barley make for a quick and easy, fiber-rich side dish.
Spelt is one of the world’s oldest cultivated grains. It is a good source of fibre and has a higher protein and vitamin content compared with wheat.