100 recipes to improve your life

A good-quality breakfast, plenty of exercise, a homemade lunch and stress-free freshly cooked dinner are keys to a healthy life. No time? No problem. Empty wallet? We're on it.

Make quick homemade breakfasts

We spend, on average, just under 11 minutes eating breakfast every day. A bowl of cereal or slice of toast is super-speedy to prep, but you can rustle up and eat most of these breakfasts in a similar amount of time. Alternatively, make breakfast the night before so it's ready to eat before the kettle has boiled.

Adding fruit and veg is one way to make breakfast taste great without extra sugar – and it helps you get your five-a-day. You could save a pretty penny, decrease your sugar intake and up your fibre, protein and vitamins, keeping you fuller for longer.

Eggy bread
Banana cocoa crunch

Pack favourite meals with extra veg

One thing that's sure to improve your life is getting your five-a-day, every day. According to the National Diet and Nutrition Survey only 31% of adults and 8% of teenagers meet the five-a-day recommendation. Start by simply adding more veggies to your usual meals (you can even hide them), then add a couple of new dishes to your repertoire.

Fajitas with guacamole
Spag Bol with hidden veg

Fill up on gut-friendly fibre

Complex carbs are your friends and many everyday foods are packed with this vital nutrient: brown rice, wholemeal pasta, peas, beans, grains and pulses are loaded with it. If you don’t like wholemeal pasta and brown rice, just add lots of fibrous vegetables to the sauce. There are plenty of other high-fibre meals and snacks.

Italian veggie balls

Vegetarian

Chorizo and butterbean stew

Meaty options

Make your own lunch

Spend more time on your lunch break enjoying yourself rather than stood in a supermarket queue, make your meal the way you like it and save cash! Sandwiches, wraps and salads are easy to make and simple to transport in a lunch box.

Cheesy chicken quesadillas
Tuna rice salad

Try takeaway swaps

It's time to quit fast-food habits and make your own dinner. Whether you're partial to a Chinese or Indian takeaway, fish and chips or a kebab, we've got plenty of easy recipes.

Chicken and vegetable balti
Sweet and sticky pork
Doner kebab

Batch-cook favourites

There's no better feeling than a homemade meal you've stashed away in the freezer for after a long and tiring day. Live your best smug life by using your spare time to batch-cook meals for days when you need them most. Baking and slow-cooking make an easy job of prepping large meals.

Easy cottage pie
Slow-cooker vegan chilli

Eat more oily fish

Oily fish is a great source of protein. It is low in saturated fat and high in the essential fatty acid Omega 3, which is good for memory and brain function. Salmon is the most popular, but mackerel, trout and sardines are great sources too. Few of us eat the recommended one portion a week, so here are some easy recipes to help change that.

Pesto salmon parcels
Mackerel pilau rice

Be ready for last-minute dinners

Dinner doesn't have to involve loads of planning. These meals need a handful of ingredients and take almost no time to prep. Keep a small stack of shop-bought pasta, gnocchi, wraps, rice and noodles in your cupboard. You might have to pop to the shops for one or two fresh items, but a well-stocked cupboard should keep stress levels down.

Mushroom tagliatelle
One pot chorizo pasta

Eat well when you’re skint

Perhaps you’re waiting for your pay packet or saving up for the trip of a lifetime, but eating cheaply doesn't have to come at the cost of boring food. Tins, packets, cheaper cuts of meat and local produce bring the cost of your weekly shop down, without having to compromise on taste or size. Fill up on these wallet-concious meals.

Tuna fishcakes
Sausage and mash

Fuelling exercise

Exercise may make you feel tired in the short term, but getting fitter is likely to improve your energy and concentration.

Fuelling your body before a major workout will give you the energy to perform at your best. Many professionals advise you eat 45–60 minutes before the workout and within 45 minutes of finishing. Make sure you eat plenty of slow-release carbs such as oats, fruits and wholegrains.

After a tiring workout, your body rebuilds its glycogen stores to repair and grow your muscles. Eating a combination of carbs, fats and proteins helps with this and to avoid sore muscles.

Wholemeal banana muffins
Firecracker prawns