I once again greeted early wake-ups with not so open arms; I went back to school this month. My long long summer was over and I had to dramatically re-think how I could carry on my vegan diet while I’m barely at home. This academic year is my first as a vegan, and my college offers an extensive range of fried everything and so few vegetables it’s easy to forget what vegetables even are. So it was time to plan!
The key to healthy vegan eating while out of the house more than 12 hours a day? Organisation! Each night I’ve learnt to prepare my lunch for the next day, storing it in the fridge overnight so I can grab and go in the morning. My lunches have been so tasty! Here’s some things I’ve been having, to give you inspiration for your own quick lunches:
- I cook pasta and then just stir through some olive tapenade or vegan pesto, some salad leaves and fresh tomatoes
- Couscous or quinoa with hummus, falafels (which I made in a big batch and froze, so I can just get 2/3 out the night before to defrost), and salad. Whenever I have squash for dinner, I cook more than I need so I can have extra for salads like this, or sandwich fillings
- Yummy sandwich fillings include avocado and tomato, smoked tofu and tahini, basil tofu and salad, tahini and squash, and avocado and squash. (If you have any delicious filling combinations I would love some more inspiration!)
I always need to pack at least a morning and an afternoon snack, because when I’m working hard my energy dips really fast. The key is not having anything with refined sugar in because that will just bring my energy down even faster later in the day. I love to pack little boxes of mixed nuts and dried fruit, and I usually have a Graze box which are amazing! In the summer I also made a large batch of Ella’s granola bars and froze them, so every other day I get one out to defrost overnight.
So after spending just 10 minutes the night before prepping my lunch, the next thing I usually do is prepare my breakfast! Yes, I know it sounds like a LOT of prepping but it really only takes 5-10 minutes and it makes such a difference the next day. I have to get up at 6am in the morning so I really don’t want to be spending ages making my breakfast, and no way am I skipping breakfast! I usually have porridge, so it’s super easy to just put some oats with flavourings (like cinnamon, coconut etc) to soak and cover and leave in the fridge overnight. I will also add any toppings such as granola, nuts, seeds or berries into a separate dish so I can throw it all on, instead of having to individually pick it all out in the morning. All I then have to do when I wake up is heat the oats with a little more milk or water and then scatter on my toppings! And my lunch and snacks are all prepared and ready to go! It makes my mornings so easy and chilled and really gives me a happy start to the day. And porridge keeps me fuller for a lot longer than other breakfasts such as toast (although I occasionally indulge in a toasted slice of my chocolate bread with nut butter and bananas!). Some of my easiest and yummiest porridges include Coconut and Pistachio and Pear and Honey, and I love to cook down a handful of blueberries in a tiny bit of water at the same time as heating my porridge as this makes a really lovely compote to drizzle over it! Watch out this Saturday for my latest recipe for Winter Spiced Orange Porridge!
Ok, enough about porridge for today. I hope I’ve given you some inspiration for how to manage your busy morning schedule or simply just some nice healthy lunch ideas to take to work instead of buying something pre-packaged! See you here again in a month for my next instalment of my vegan journey!
P.S. I sincerely apologise in advance for the declining regularity of posts from now on, as I said I am back at school with 14 hour days and I have so much coursework for my A2 course, so I really won’t be able to find much time to blog. I promise I will try my best and aim for 1 post a week, on Saturdays. I hope you can understand.