After a long day of work, coming home to delicious meal, ready and waiting is pure bliss. The only problem is, this doesn’t happen very often and so, the struggle begins.

Hands up if by this time, you’re tired, you’re lacking inspiration, and while you want to be healthy, you also want something quick and easy. Worse yet, while you spend time contemplating your next move, that all-too-familiar feeling starts to overcome you, hanger. Eek!

Unfortunately, when we’re tired and hungry we often vie for calorie-laden takeaway, refined sugar filled ‘ready’ meals or old faithful (who is unfortunately, completely lacking in nutrition), the cheese toasty. How does a hard-working woman combat the “to cook or to takeaway” conundrum? These healthy eating life hacks will ensure that staying on track with virtuous and nutritious meals during the working week isn’t an uphill battle.

Get preppin’

While this might sound like a total “gym junkie” move to some, meal prep is the perfect way to avoid a Chinese food mid-weeker. Block out an hour or two at the start of the week (we like Sunday afternoons) and prep some of the basics to make your week easier.

Simple tasks like boiling eggs, roasting vegetables (sweet potatoes, egg plant, tomatoes, capsicum and zucchini), preparing a guacamole, baking chicken breasts, salmon fillets or pork chops and preparing quinoa or a veggie mash will ensure that you have all the basics ready to put together a tasty meal.

Alternatively, prepare a meal that will see you through a portion of the week. Some of our favourite meals to prepare on a Sunday night are not just healthy and convenient, but they’re also super yummy. Prepare a delicious seasoned black bean mixture to serve with rice, try overnight oats topped with low fat, high protein dairy such as yogurt or cottage cheese, prepare a creamy risotto (minus the cream), or a big batch of cauliflower fried rice. Divy out portions into air tight containers and simply heat in a bowl before serving.

Get insta-spired

Resorting to greasy, unnutritious food during the week can often come down to a lack of inspiration. You don’t have to spend hours flicking through recipe books, with a vast number of food blogs and Instagram accounts offering quick and simple recipes, your dinner inspo is just a click away.

Here are some of our Insta favs for delicious dishes:

@foodfitandrepeat @wholesomecook @jshealth @flourishinghealth @minimalistbaker @cafedelites

@vanillacrunnch @papaya_sunshine @themerrymakersisters

There’s an app for that

There are a whole heap of handy apps to help you answer the question, “what’s for dinner tonight?” One of the best is called ‘Munchies’. This app asks you what ingredients you have in your pantry and will generate a recipe for you based on the food you have on hand. Genius, or what?

Time constraints

Setting time aside at the beginning of the week might sound time consuming but it’s guaranteed to make life easier. Here are just some of the benefits of getting prepared before the week begins:

  • Extra sleep in the morning (no brainer, any extra time under the covers is a win)
  • More time for a morning workout, or less stress after an evening workout rushing to get a meal together
  • Cure 3pm-itis with pre-packed snacks.
  • A bowl of food (like a warm hug) waiting upon your arrival home. Simply heat and serve.
  • Less time worrying, more time just enjoying. That’s what food is for after all.

Tag us in your food prep pics on Instagram #WFloves so we can share in the deliciousness.

Natalie Shaw is a Creative Director and Blogger, Food and Fashion Fanatic, Recipe Developer and Social Media Queen. Find me at www.wereallmadhere.com.au and @natalieshaw_xo