By Francesca Liparoti, Corporate Nutritionist
Prepping your food in advance is of course an ideal way to make sure you’re equipped with healthy balanced options that, will not only save you money, but keep you reaching for less ideal choices when you’re hungry and desperate! But, for people who don’t like to prep in advance there are some great options if you work in and around London, or another busy City or High Street, and Pret has to be one of my favourites. I used to think of Pret as nothing more than somewhere to get a sandwich or a croissant, but it really has stepped up its health game recently.
So, I’ve reviewed their menu for you and provided a breakdown of their best options. When I’m out and about I’m looking for meals or snacks that are rich in protein, healthy fats and slow-releasing, nutrient-rich carbohydrates. These 3 key components keep us feeling fuller for longer, with sustained energy throughout the day, plus its great for our metabolism and waistlines!
- Porridge with honey or other sweeteners
- Croissants, brioches, muffins, cereal bars, other so-called ‘healthy’ bars.
- White bread and baguettes
- Honey and compotes
- Five Grain Porridge – made with quinoa, amaranth, flax seeds, whole oats and organic coconut water. It’s naturally creamy (never gloopy), dairy-free and made with no gluten ingredients. We like this one! If you want to sweeten it up add your own raspberries, blueberries, or ¼ of a banana.
You could also go for on of the protein snack pots (see snack section below), who says breakfast has to be typical breakfast food?
Pret are now using ingredients like brown rice, quinoa, black rice and buckwheat, and kale, which is really great! The options I’ve listed here contain these types of slow releasing carbohydrates, rather than refined, quick releasing versions like white rice, pasta and bread.
- Wraps, baguettes, sandwiches, toasties.
- Salmon & avo superbowl
- Beets, squash & feta superbowl
- Chicken, pesto & buffalo mozzarella
- Chicken, peppers & feta superbowl
- Red tapenade & avo superbowl – but this one needs some extra protein added to it to add one of the snack pots below e.g. boiled egg.
- Red thai chicken curry quinoa rice pot
- Tuna nicoise salad
- Chef’s italian chicken salad
- Chicken, broccoli & brown rice soup
- Chicken, edamame & ginger soup
- Coconut chicken curry
- Lemon chicken
- Smoky chicken & bean
- Tuscan bean
- Asian Tofu SaladRoast
- Vegetable tagine
The salad dressings and their sugar content
The dressings are supplied on the side with the salads, in a small tub, some of them are higher on the sugar side than other and I’ve listed this below. So ideally take the salad back to the office and use your own extra virgin olive oil (and a small dash of balsamic vinegar if needed), but if you cant do that then just use ¼ of the pot of dressing if it’s a high sugar one.
How much sugar per 100g is ok?
Labels that show more than 10g of sugar per 100g are leaning towards the high side; ideally we want to see less than 5g per 100g.
The Dressings and sugar content
- Apple Balsamic Dressing – 8g = 2 teaspoons of sugar (25.2g per 100g) – high!
- Coconut and chilli dressing – 13.1g per 100g – high!
- Dijon dressing – 2.3g = ½ a teaspoon (5.1g per 100g) – good
- Lemon dressing – 0.4g = 10th of a teaspoon (1.4g per 100g) – great!
Some of Pret’s soups are full of slow releasing carbohydrates like buckwheat, beans, butternut squash and brown rice, with great vegetables choices like kale. Some are lower in protein that others and I have specified this below. For a main meal you ideally want about 25-30g of protein so these soups could make a lovely heart-warming side.
- Coconut chicken curry – 7.8g protein
- Lemon chicken – 14.1g protein
- Smoky chicken & bean – 15.2g protein
- Tuscan bean – 4.8g protein
- Vegetable tagine – 7.4g protein
Pret’s snack pots are great, as they are based on protein which is exactly what you want to be snacking on to keep your blood sugar levels stable, keep you feeling satisfied and fuller for longer. Many people are not eating enough protein throughout their day but the body and brain really needs it to function properly (and to keep your weight in check!)
- So-called ‘healthy’ bars, cereal bars, cakes, muffins, mousse, yoghurt and compote pots, croissants, bread, brownies etc.
- Egg & avocado protein pot
- Smoked salmon & egg protein pot
- Egg & spinach protein pot
- Chicken & edamame protein pot
- Crayfish and avocado no bread
- Edamame beans
- Miso soup
- Nuts (natural, not salted or roasted) and an apple
At SuperWellness we provide workshops and seminars that can help your employees make the best choices and fuel their bodies for improved energy, productivity and overall wellbeing. Why not book our ‘Sugar Freedom Plan’ seminar and workshop where we will discuss practical tips and advice for reducing sugar and feeling great. For more information on this seminar and the other services that we offer please get in touch today!
Francesca Liparoti, Associate and Registered Nutritional Therapist
Francesca runs a busy practice in Canary Wharf, where she specialises in helping her clients make healthier lifestyle choices one step at a time. She provides guidance and advice to busy professionals on how to enjoy great nutritious food without deprivation, helping them to gain control of their weight and health, as well as optimise their mental performance. She believes in making positive changes step by step in order to form life-long healthy habits.
Francesca is a member of the British Association for Applied Nutrition and Nutritional Therapy (BANT), which is the regulatory body for Nutritional Therapists and she is on the register of the Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council (CNHC).