Q&A with Sally O'Neil aka @thefitfoodie

 

Save time and effort while never having to eat the same meal twice! Sally O’Neil shares her valuable hacks that’ll make prepping your meals for the week easier, healthier and more diverse than ever before!

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Whether you’re a meal prep beginner still learning the ropes of the craft, or an experienced meal planner whose fallen into the food fatigue of eating the same thing three days in a row, these meal prep hacks are just what you need for a change of taste and routine!

Healthy meals should always be accessible and easy to make in order to sustain a balanced and nutritious diet. In The Fit Foodie Meal Prep Plan, once you have the cooking basics covered, you can indulge in a variety of delicious meal combinations, from Courgette fritters with Satay tofu crumble to Apple + goat's cheese + sage quiche and Smoky chocolate cereal bars. 

We spoke to Sally about her new book, taking food shortcuts, and achieving the ultimate balanced meal...

1. Hi Sally, firstly congratulations on the publication of The Fit Foodie Meal Prep Plan, and its translation into three different languages! You’ve branded yourself as ‘The Fit Foodie’ on you Instagram and blog. Can you explain what this means and how your journey as The Fit Foodie all started?

At aged 24 I left the UK to travel the world for 12 months. I had zero cooking skills, ate most food from a packet and was a little overweight. My mum sent me basic recipes on email that had surprising ingredients in (like jam in her Bolognese to ‘bring out the sweetness of the meat’). I found myself swapping out some of her ingredients or skipping them altogether. I would save the recipes online so I could easily find them. The blog became popular and I began to add photos and gave the site a name and logo. After 9 months of using fresh produce, ‘healthifying’ mums recipes and skipping the processed food, I lost 14kg. I was finding I had more energy than ever and loved to exercise, so The Fit Foodie seemed to be the perfect name!


2. You talk about how meal-prepping with wholefoods became tiresome and difficult to do consistently – so you decided to create quicker and more practical alternatives. How would you say your DIY food assembly strategy is different to any other regular meal prep plan?

Most meal prep focuses on creating the same meals in bulk. My approach is to prepare individual components of meals so that it is simple to assemble different, exciting meals throughout the week and ensure you’re taking in a wide range of nutrients. I’m all about prepping ingredients perfectly, to use in a variety of meals.


3. In your book, you mention the perfect criteria for the ‘Boss Meal’ – the ultimate balanced meal. Can you give us an example of your ideal Boss Meal?

It changes every day depending on what training I’ve done and what’s readily available at the farmers market. For the cooler months, it's usually roasted seasonal root vegetables in delicious herbs and spices, lean protein (milk poached chicken or beautifully prepped Barramundi), and some avocado, sprinkled nuts or homemade dressing for healthy fats.

4. You’re a big fan of creating your own DIY ingredients, from hummus dips to muesli, but you also condone the use of certain shortcut ingredients for people who may not have the time. What are some of your essential shortcut ingredients that you turn to during your busy weeks?

Absolutely. We shouldn’t feel guilty for making the best of what supermarkets are offering by the way of healthy conveniences if we’re short on time. I often buy pre-spiralised vegetables or vegetable rice to save time on weeknights. I can throw my Satay Tofu or a few poached eggs on top with some hummus and I’ve got a super-speedy meal! Pre-pickled eggs are a great protein shortcut (just check they’re not from caged hens), and I always keep tinned beans in the pantry instead of having to pre-soak my own. Canned fish and seafood (just be sure to check the label for anything other than brine or olive oil) can also be a nutritious life saver!


5. Your book features over 75 amazing combos with at least three different options for each combo. Whether you combine your poached eggs with a simple paleo bread and yoghurt, or opt for a filling brown rice, spicy mince and salad greens combo instead, you guarantee you’ll never have to eat the same meal twice! If you could choose one from your entire book, which would you say is your ultimate go-to combo and why?

I think it would have to be the homemade salmon gravlax and pea fritters. It feels like an indulgent cafe breakfast, but its incredibly healthy and is so fast to throw together once you’ve prepped the salmon. If I’m in a pinch, I’ll buy smoked salmon instead. The fritters save in the freezer, so I’m never without! I just have to pop them in the toaster or under the grill and I’m good to go. Its sweet, fresh, creamy, salty and everything inbetween.

Click here to check out Jennifer's gorgeous food styling and her recipes from 'My Asian Kitchen'