Global fitness pro, Rachael Newsham shares her own personal nutrition tips and some healthy lunch ideas you’ll love.

Rach's top tips for fueling your body in the middle of the day

  • Ditching carbs
    I try to steer clear of carbs at lunch time. I know that if I eat carbs for lunch a sweet craving swiftly follows, and then I have a terrible energy slump at around 2pm.
  • Cutting out the water
    I avoid filling up on water before I eat. I find that if I drink too much water prior to a meal it gives my stomach a false sense of satisfaction and as a result I can miss out on getting the full nutritional value of my food.
  • Working out and eating up
    If I work out in the middle of the day I am often not particularly hungry straight afterwards, but I still force myself to eat. I know that the 20 – 30 minutes after a workout (called a glycaemic window), is when my muscles are like sponges and soak up everything, so it’s the best time to eat.

Rach’s favorite quick and healthy lunch options

I love the smoked salmon fillets that come pre packed in a vacuum sealed pack. I team a smoked salmon fillet with a simple salad made of lettuce, avocado, grated carrot, grated beetroot and top the meal off with a balsamic dressing, black pepper and chilli flakes. When I fancy a change I swap the salmon for smoked mackeral.

What’s so good about this meal?
Smoked oily fish is a great way to get high-quality protein along with a variety of vitamins and minerals, including a good dose of omega-3 fatty acids, which are great for brain function. Given your brain is 60 per cent fat it makes sense that consuming the fatty, omega-3 rich fish would benefit your brain! Including avocado in my salad makes it more creamy and indulgent and I like how the addition of beetroot makes the meal more colorful – it’s also been linked to helping improve athleticism, lower blood pressure and increase blood flow.

Charred broccoli, kale and spinach is a great combo and when you add things like radishes, almonds and spring onion it gets even better. I pair this delicious salad with 100gms of chicken or a small tin of tuna (I used to opt for tuna in springwater but now I choose tuna in oil as it helps make the meal a little less dry).

What’s so good about this meal?
I’ve fallen for kale in a big way, and not just because it’s packed with nutrients and vitamins like folate and magnesium. Kale has real staying power, its shelf life makes it the soldier of greens. What’s more, kale demands more concentrated chewing than most greens and because of this you are less likely to wolf it down and disrupt your sense of satisfaction. Add chicken or tuna to the meal for a naturally low fat, low calorie way to enjoy the benefits of protein.

When I’m feeling super hungry I can’t go past a large protein-packed serving of chicken or turkey mince. I simply mix chicken or turkey mince with coriander, garlic, red and white onion, chilli and salt and pepper. Once it’s all cooked I pour it over a bed of baby kale or baby spinach.

What’s so good about this meal?
Once again this meal makes the most of my kale fanaticism (see above). It also provides me with a fantastic protein hit. While chicken is certainly a healthy option, turkey is even healthier – it’s leaner, with less fat, more protein and higher calcium.

Whenever I need to satisfy my sweet cravings coconut yogurt is my go to. I have it on its own as a small snack, or for a full on lunch I mix coconut yogurt with blueberries and nutritious granola.

What’s so good about this meal?
I am a massive fan of yogurt and I’m currently hooked on coconut yogurt. It is delicious, dairy free, packed with key vitamins and minerals and it also provides many of the live and active cultures you get from milk-based yogurts. Not only do the blueberries add to the taste, they are very low in calories, and among the most nutrient dense berries you can get.

Rachael Newsham is the Program Director for Les Mills’ BODYCOMBAT™ and SH’BAM™. She stars in numerous LES MILLS™ workouts and travels the world training Les Mills instructors and presenting at massive global fitness events. You can learn more about Rachael Newsham here.

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