Quick and Easy Meal Solutions for an Active Life

March 12, 2014
Quick Meals for an Active Life

It's an all-too common trip for women with a busy, vibrant lifestyle - the more active you become, the more your eating habits can suffer. Too often there is an inverse relationship between the number of occupied squares on your calendar and the number of healthy meals you eat each week. But it doesn't have to be that way, and nutrition is too important to leave to chance before, during and after your menopause years. So how to eat well in the midst of an active schedule? These recipes were selected for their ease of preparation and their reliance on healthy ingredients.

Fantastic Dinners, At Home or On-The-Go

A host of convenience foods make healthy eating on the run much more feasible, and one staple is a pack of pre-cooked chicken strips or a rotisserie chicken from your grocery's deli department. With that chicken ready to go, you can create a delicious Greek chicken pita – chicken strips, yogurt dressing (quick mixture of plain Greek yogurt, cucumber and mint), tomatoes, lettuce and feta cheese. Add some sliced cantaloupe and orzo tossed with lemon juice and basil and you have an easy, balanced and delicious meal.

If you have dietary restrictions or convictions, quick and healthy is still within reach for you as well. A fantastic vegetarian dinner from Cooking Light features poached eggs on a bed of spinach, walnuts and mushrooms with added flavor from gruyere cheese – it is quick, tasty and packed with protein and vitamins.

For those on a gluten-free diet, try a simple curry rice dish with shrimp. Season your rice with curry powder, garlic and onion and add shrimp and fresh basil. Frozen precooked shrimp thaw in just minutes and can be a lifesaver on a busy evening. A fresh salad or edamame finishes off the meal.

When Your Day Threatens to Consume Your Lunch

Sometimes when the demands of the day accelerate, lunch is the meal that suffers the most. It is all-too tempting to run through yet another fast-food drive through, but with a little bit of planning you can have a grab-and-go lunch that will taste great and actually fuel the rest of your day.

Try desk tacos, which requires only a couple of flour tortillas and a plastic container of several goodies from your refrigerator – salsa, black beans, chopped avocado, grated cheese, jalapenos and corn are a few choice ideas. Mix the ‘filling' ingredients together at home, squeeze some lime juice on top and bring it all to work or wherever you have to be at lunchtime. All you have to do when hunger strikes take out your tortillas and spoon in the filling.

For vegetarians, a wonderfully satisfying lunch – which can be made ahead and heated up in seconds – is Martha Stewart's eggplant and mozzarella melt, which can be made with traditional or gluten-free bread. Precooked brown rice, which can be heated in the microwave, can be the base for more simple vegetarian lunches – just throw some white beans, chopped tomatoes herbs and spices in when you leave the house in the morning, and it's ready to heat and eat when lunchtime comes.

On The Sweet Side

An active lifestyle should never be an excuse to miss out on the sweeter things in life, and some decadent and delicious desserts can truly be assembled in under 15 minutes. One mouth-watering example is Nutella and caramelized banana crepes from Oprah.com, which is fancy enough for a dinner party but fast enough to satisfy a typical weeknight sugar craving. For an unusual twist on a classic, mix instant coffee into vanilla pudding, then top with whipped cream blended with cinnamon for a coffeehouse parfait.

And for a tasty dessert featuring a healthy fruit as its centerpiece, try this stuffed pears recipe from Karen Giblin and Dr. Mache Seibel that was featured in My Menopause Magazine:


  • ½ cup sliced almonds, toasted and finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon confectioner's sugar
  • 2 large ripe pears, halved and cored
  • 3 tablespoons dry marsala wine


Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly grease a baking dish with a small amount of butter. Combine the almonds and sugar into a small bowl and mix well. Place each pear half in the greased baking dish so that they fit snugly together. Stuff each pear half with the sugar-nut mixture, and then pour a little of the marsala on top of each pear. Bake uncovered for 10 minutes. Serve warm.

What's your go-to healthy easy recipe? Please share with us in the comments.

Vibrant Voice Ambassador at Replens
The Vibrant Voice Ambassador’s mission is to collect interesting stories and useful articles that are relevant for mature women.  Our goal is to help you maintain an active lifestyle - to Fifty and Beyond!
Chat with us on Facebook, Twitter and Google+