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Meal Planning Made Easy
Far too often, when I start coaching a client on improving their food choices, they will say to me, “Just tell me what to eat.”
Let me be clear, I don’t ever tell clients exactly what they should eat on any given day. That is not what I do, that is what diets do.
I don’t do diets and neither should you. (More on that in a later post)
The work I do teaches you how to nourish your best life and, of course, what you are fueling your life with has a profound effect on the “quality” of your life.
I educate you about food: what is in your food, how your body responds to food, and how to improve your food choices. What I don’t do is choose your food for you, ever. Why not? Because, ultimately, it disempowers you, and greatly reduces your chance of success in the long run.
Besides, the things that I like to eat may not be the things that make your taste buds do their happy dance.
That being said, we all have days that we get bored with our food and we just wish someone would give us an idea or ten about how to shake things up.
In light of this, I have some ideas for you to make tomorrow a little easier.
Before we go there, let’s agree on a few BASIC TENANTS OF HEALTHY EATING:
1. Eat nourishing foods often and much.
Your car can only go so far without being refueled, the fire can only burn for so long without being “fed”, and YOU, my friend, can only expect your body to perform optimally for a short while before your cells need to be restocked with all of the goodness that makes them do their magic! Your ability to go 8 hours without eating is not something to be proud of, it is a sign of metabolic decline. A healthy body is hungry OFTEN.
2. Be mindful when you eat.
Eating at your computer, in your car, or as you dash out of the house crushes your awareness of what and how much you are actually eating. Give your meals your full attention. You will digest better, eat more of the good stuff and, most likely, less of the bad. Eating is a primary instinct but should not be a mindless one!
3. Be Grateful
This is so easy to do, that is it really, really easy not to do. Taking time before a meal to just recognize that:
A. You have a CHOICE with what you feed your body (a choice that is denied to far to many people in other parts of the world)
B. The food you are about to eat (assuming it is a nourishing food) is going to infuse so much brilliance into your body and allow you to do so many things you just might for granted (move, think, breath, detoxify, feel, express, etc).
4. Add Protein at Every Meal
In all of the years I have coached women to embed healthier eating practices into their life, I have NEVER had a client seek me out and see that she was eating too much protein. Nope. It is the overabundance of starchy and/or processed carbs, and unhealthy fats that I see time and time again (among a host of other poor lifestyle habits).
Protein does a body good in SO MANY ways: it builds and repairs tissue, makes enzymes, hormones and other vital chemicals, and it is an incredibly important building block of most of your anatomy. If that doesn’t inspire you to eat more protein, hear this: protein keeps you fuller, longer, which ultimately helps you control blood sugar and make better food choices more often.
5. Go Crazy on the Veggies
If you don’t like veggies…too bad. You MUST learn to LOVE them if you want to maximize your heath. Vegetables contain micronutrients, as in vitamins and minerals that support our body in so many incredible ways. Veggies also contain the powerful benefits of phytonutrients (which help to reduce the risk of disease) and antioxidants (which protect us from free radical damage); they aid in alkalinizing our system, reduce our risk of osteoporosis, improve blood sugar control and help us maintain stellar digestive health. What’s not to like, really??!!
Now with that in mind, here are a few ideas to help you with that damn “how to do better” part:
Ways to Jump Start Your Day:
- Nuts and Berries/Veggies – raw nuts are best and make sure your berries are organic. ¼ cup of nuts and a cup of berries is an awesome start to your day
- Veggie Scramble – cut up a cup or two of your favorite veggies, add a few eggs on top, and season to your liking (low or no sodium is ideal)
- Oatmeal Pancake – ¼ cup of oatmeal, 3 eggs, ½ cup blueberries, cinnamon and nutmeg. Grill in a little coconut oil. Yum!
- Kitchen Sink – bring on the dinner leftovers. Steak, turkey, and chicken all mix well with eggs and veggies.
“Take Anywhere” Snack Ideas:
- Hard Boiled Eggs
- Raw Nuts
- Cut up Veggies (always)
- High Quality (no fillers or additives) Protein Powder
- High Quality Beef Jerkey – try making your own (check out this easy breezy recipe)
- Smoothies (to which you can add protein powder, veggies, nuts or a little fruit)
Prep Meals in 15 minutes or less:
- Roasted Chicken
- Turkey Muffins (ground turkey, tons of chopped veggies, bake in a muffin tin at 350 for 30 min)
- Ground Beef, Turkey or Chicken, Mushrooms, Onions and Tomatoes Over Spaghetti Squash
- Grilled Salmon and Veggies
- Baked Yam with Black Beans, Avocado and Salsa
- Stir-fry – Any and all veggies with a protein source.
A Few Pointers:
- Cook A LOT at dinnertime so you have extra for lunch (or a kitchen sink breakfast) the next few days.
- Prep the next days food while you are prepping dinner (cut veggies, hard boil eggs, bag your nuts and other goods)
- Take food with you everywhere you go. Every night restock your purse with some protein powder (mason jars work well for this), nuts and a piece of fruit. You are MOST likely to make bad choices when you are hungry and tired, so have something on hand to tide you over at all times.
RIGHT NOW… do yourself a favor. Write down two food items you are committing to carrying with you at all times, and then go put those things in your purse, gym bag or car so you always have a healthy “go-to” snack. I assure you they won’t last long.
That’s how change happens…one small committed step at a time.
Now, share this email with a woman you know who could use a little help with the “doing better” part of taking care of herself.