THE MONDAY MEAL PLAN

1 Day Guide to Starting the Week with More Energy + Focus
PHOTO: LEAH VANDERVELDT

We’ve all been there: You’ve had a weekend filled with catch ups over lunch, dinner, and drinks, you slept in and stayed up late, binged on Netflix, and even managed to squeeze in a workout or two. But as soon as Monday rolls around, you’re depleted of the Friday energy you had diving into the weekend and now you feel like you need an extra day to get back to neutral.

If you want to get back on track and jump into the week with more energy and focus, here’s a meal plan that can help.

With this menu, we’re trying to re-alkalize our body with greens, citrus, and fibre; reinvigorate our good gut bacteria with some good probiotics and prebiotics; and support our natural detoxification processes to keep our liver functioning in tip-top shape.

We’ll focus on:

Healthy fats: From nuts, seeds, coconut milk, unrefined oils, avocados, and wild-caught fish.

Protein: Which are a main component in many of foods from above, along with legumes.

Fibre, vitamins, and antioxidants: From a variety of vegetables and fruits to nourish the body and brain and give us an extra boost of natural energy.

All of these elements together will keep you satisfied, fulfilled, and able to focus and function at your best.

Breakfast: Green Smoothie

The goal of a good breakfast smoothie is to fill you with lots of plant-based energy — from vitamins, minerals, and tons of fibre from vegetables and fruits, energy sustaining protein from almond butter, brain-healthy fats from coconut milk and flax seeds and matcha for that calm energy.

Ingredients

  • ½ cup coconut milk
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen spinach
  • ½ cup fresh or frozen courgette
  • ½ cup pineapple
  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1 tablespoon flax seeds
  • 1 teaspoon matcha
  • 1 teaspoon maca powder (optional)
  • Spoonful almond butter

Method

Combine the ingredients in a blender and process until smooth. If you’d prefer a smoothie bowl, omit the water and blend a few minutes more for a thicker mixture. Top with hemp seeds, toasted coconut, or slivered almonds.

Lunch: Healthy Gut Bowl

Get those probiotics and prebiotics to keep your digestive and immune systems in good working order. Keeping on top of your gut health will set you up to have a healthier and happier week. Get the recipe here!

Dinner: Salmon with Sweet Potato + Courgette Noodle Tangle

Salmon is full of omega-3 fatty acids, which are great for brain and skin health. Tahini, which is made of ground sesame seeds, is filled with magnesium (ideal for winding down in the evening), iron, and zinc. Together with vitamin A-packed sweet potato and vitamin C-filled courgette, this meal will fill you up while setting you up for another energized day tomorrow.

Ingredients

  • 1 200 g salmon fillet
  • Avocado oil
  • 1 small (or half a large) sweet potato, spiralized or peeled into noodles
  • 1 medium courgette, spiralized or peeled into noodles
  • Sea salt
  • 1 lime
  • White or black sesame seeds (optional)

Sauce

  • ¼ cup tahini (sesame paste)
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 tablespoon chopped ginger root
  • 1 garlic clove, roughly chopped
  • 1 tablespoons tamari (gluten-free soy sauce)
  • 1 teaspoon rice wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon honey (optional)

Method

Combine sauce ingredients and set aside.

Heat the oven grill/broiler to 230°C (450°F). Place salmon on a piece of parchment on a baking tray and brush both sides with oil and sprinkle with salt. Place skin side up on the baking tray and pop under the broiler for 4-6 minutes. Remove from oven and spritz with a little lime juice.

While that’s cooking lightly cook your sweet potato noodles in a large skillet or pan over a medium heat. Sprinkle with salt and a little water (a tablespoon at a time) and cover for 3-4 minutes, remove cover, and cook stirring for another minute. The liquid should be gone at this point. Stir in courgette noodles and remove from heat. Stir in a spoonful or two of the sauce to coat the noodles.

Transfer the noodles to a bowl (if you have leftovers set them aside for tomorrow) and top with salmon. Drizzle a little dressing on along with another spritz of lime and a sprinkle of sesame seeds if using. Enjoy.


Contributed by: Leah Vanderveldt

Leah is a writer, recipe developer, and cookbook author based in Brooklyn, NY. Trained in culinary nutrition, she’s all about making whole foods totally delicious and satisfying. Her first book, The New Nourishing, is available for pre-order now.

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