DIY nourish bowl recipe

When busy at work, maintaining a well-balanced and nutritious diet can be difficult. But what we choose to consume during our working hours plays a pivotal part in not only our physical health, but also our cognitive function and overall productivity.


The food choices we make during our time working have a direct impact on our energy levels, concentration, and our ability to navigate the challenges of our environment. Making sure we eat well isn’t just about keeping hunger pangs at bay (though this is important) – the right foods can help to enhance mental clarity, sustain energy levels and promote long-term well-being.

So, what should we be eating at work? Here is my favourite lunch recipe to help you feel your best all afternoon. To save on time and waste, you could make multiple servings at once. Simply store in jars or lunchboxes in the fridge for a quick and easy yet nourishing lunchtime meal. Enjoy.

Make your own nourish bowl

Serves 1

Pick one item from each section:

Choose your protein

  • 100g wild mackerel 
  • 100g wild salmon or tuna (canned/fresh) 
  • 150g chicken or turkey breast
  • 2 hard-boiled free-range eggs 
  • 60g cooked puy lentils 
  • 100g hummus 
  • 200g chickpeas/mixed beans 

Choose your leaves

A large handful of:

  • rocket 
  • watercress 
  • spinach 
  • romaine 
  • mixed leaves 

Choose your vegetables

Add as many as you like (approx 80g each):

  • onion
  • spring onion 
  • cucumber 
  • tomatoes
  • cooked/raw broccoli 
  • radish 
  • celery 
  • raw cauliflower 

Choose your carbohydrate

  • 75g roasted sweet potato 
  • 75g roasted butternut squash 
  • 75g roasted carrot/parsnip 
  • 75g roasted beetroot 
  • 75g cooked quinoa 

Choose your fats

  • 10 fresh olives 
  • half an avocado 
  • 1 tbsp of sesame/sunflower/pumpkin seeds 

Choose your fermented foods

  • 1 tbsp sauerkraut 
  • 1 tbsp fermented vegetables, e.g. pickled beetroot/carrots/purple cabbage 
  • 1 tbsp kimchi

Choose your dressing

  • French dressing: Combine 1 tsp Dijon mustard with 2 tbsp white wine vinegar, 6 tsp Extra Virgin olive oil, and salt and pepper.
  • Honey and mustard: Combine 2 tsp wholegrain mustard with 2 tsp honey, the juice of 1 lemon, 6 tsp Extra Virgin olive oil, and salt and pepper.
  • Ginger and wasabi: Grate a thumb-sized piece of ginger. In a jar, add the ginger and 2 tsp wasabi paste, 6 tsp Extra Virgin olive oil and 1 tbsp rice wine vinegar. Mix.
  • Tahini dressing: Combine 2 tbsp tahini with the juice of 1 lemon, 6 tbsp water, salt and pepper.
  • Balsamic dressing: Combine 2 tsp balsamic vinegar with 4 tsp Extra Virgin olive oil.

Keep any remaining dressing in the fridge for up to three days.

The healthy bit

This may seem like a lot, but I promise you it’s worth it. Not only do the categories combine well to make a delicious lunch, but each one is designed to keep you nourished all afternoon.

Protein is an essential macronutrient, important for several bodily functions. Including a generous portion of lean protein in your meal not only helps to repair and build tissues but also keeps you feeling fuller for longer – helping to combat any mid-afternoon cravings!

No lunch is truly complete without a selection of vegetables. Packed with essential vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, vegetables contribute to our overall well-being and immune function. Vegetables are also a great source of fibre, essential in keeping your gut microbes happy.

Carbohydrates are the body’s primary source of energy, so choosing the right kind is key to maintaining vitality. Opt for complex carbohydrates to provide a steady release of energy. These foods also contain fibre, promoting digestive health and keeping you satisfied until dinnertime.

Healthy fats, such as those in nuts, avocados and olive oil, are crucial for brain function and hormone regulation. Including these fats in your recipes is a great way to support cognitive function – helping you to stay sharp and focused during any afternoon meetings. 

Finally, integrating fermented foods into your lunch is a proactive step in supporting gut health. The live cultures in these foods aid digestion, enhance nutrient absorption and contribute to a well-balanced gut microbiome. A happy gut translates to improved immunity and overall vitality.

This article was published in Happiful Magazine (Issue 83). You can order print copies online, or read the e-magazine for free on the Happiful app

Looking for more inspiration? Visit our Recipe hub.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author. All articles published on Nutritionist Resource are reviewed by our editorial team.

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Bristol, Gloucestershire, BS35
Written by Jo Kelly, BSc(Hons) dip ION mBANT CNHC
Bristol, Gloucestershire, BS35

Jo Kelly is a registered nutritional therapist and wellness coach who works with busy people looking to rebalance their energy level, manage stress and get back to the person they deserve to be.

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