27 Sep 5 Steps to Successful Meal Planning
By Mary Sheila Gonnella NC, BCHN
One thing I know for sure is that the follow-through of any goal is literally where the rubber meets the road. We always have good intentions, but sometimes it’s hard to follow through and actually do the thing and get the results. I’ve come to terms that this is part of the human experience.
This is why my signature program, Blood Sugar Reset, is not just for one month or 6 weeks, but 3 months, or 90 days. Enough time to stay committed, fall down, get back up, and experience a transformation.
In fact, I just met with a client who has had Type 2 diabetes for years and her A1C recently went from a 9 to a 6.4. The last time we met, my notes said “I’m so bored and I don’t like my restrictive diet, it’s really hard.” However today she said, “I feel great and my food is simple, but I’m really enjoying it, it’s working.”
It was fun to show her what I wrote down at our last meeting, even though she was surprised by what she had said back in March! (Happy Dance)
However, to get to that place, we have to have things in place that are consistent with what and when we eat. It may be that we bring a little food with us for a long day of work or errands, or cook more of our meals at home, which helps us to be more in control of the quality and quantity of what we are eating.
This brings me to meal planning. I have a friend (who I’m hoping to interview soon) who is a pro meal planner, which works well for her health and budget!
Today I’d like to share a few tips to get you started on dialing in your meal prep journey. And if you have some great ideas please share, I’d love to hear from you.
With any goal, and specifically Meal Planning, it’s important to do these five things:
1. Set Clear Goals
Identify your specific health and nutrition goals, such as weight loss, muscle gain, or improved energy levels. Having clear goals will motivate you to stay consistent with meal planning.
Take a moment to write down your own personal goals, and go deep. How do you want to feel, what are your goals, what are some things that are on your bucket list, that your vitality depends on? Dream big, every cell in your body wants to feel those goals.
2. Create a Weekly Schedule
Dedicate a specific time each week for meal planning. Consistency is key, so choose a day and time that works for you and stick to it.
For most of us, if it’s not on the calendar, it might not get done. Add meal prep to your calendar, even if it’s cooking dinner a few nights a week and making extras for the rest of the week. It’s okay to eat the same thing more than once till it’s gone. Think about our ancestors, when they hunted for game, or harvested crops, that’s what they ate!
3. Assess Your Current Habits
Take stock of your current eating habits and patterns. What are your typical meals and snacks? Understanding where you are starting from will help you make the necessary adjustments.
Take an inventory of your favorite meals, what foods work for you, and then take an inventory of your freezer, fridge, and cupboard. Start with what you’ve got! Defrost some protein or soak some beans, either way, you can get started sooner rather than later.
4. Build a Recipe Collection
Gather a collection of healthy and easy-to-prepare recipes that you enjoy. This will be the foundation of your meal planning.
Dust off your cookbooks, or Google for some good recipes. There’s not a shortage of recipes out there, but it helps to have some good ones at your fingertips.
5. Plan Your Meals:
Each week, sit down and plan your meals for the upcoming days. Use your recipe collection to select balanced options.
Get started this weekend, and take the above steps, then write down a menu for yourself or your family. And if it helps to just start with yourself, do that first! Even if you follow the plan loosely, you’ll be on a good path and feel successful.
And of course, it helps to have some skills in the kitchen, and do things like batch cooking, or simply cooking more so you have “planned-overs”.
Feeling comfortable and confident in your kitchen, and having foods prepped and ready to go is an essential part of reclaiming your vitality!
I invite you to join me and unlock the secrets to sustainable healthy eating in YOUR kitchen with the Vital YOU Virtual Cooking Sessions
Prioritize your health, learn new cooking skills, and reclaim your VITALITY.
To your vital life,
Mary Sheila Gonnella NC, BCHN
Founder, Occidental Nutrition
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