Eating Simple and Healthy: How I turned meal planning from tears to cheers.
Does the thought of making 21 healthy meals a week plus snacks make you want to hide under the covers and cry? Creating a grocery list each week produced feelings of dread and anxiety and yes, sometimes, tears. Many times the ingredients I purchased for my healthy meals turned into a unidentifiable lump of mold hidden in the back of the refrigerator because life got busy and McDonald’s trumped that fabulous Pinterest recipe I was going to try. Some days I would forget to thaw something out and then, well, Honey Nut Cheerios was the only thing left. I also tried the meal kits that are delivered to your door and that didn’t work for me either. It was a lot of work, nothing my family would eat, and there was a lot of trash from the packing materials.
The chaos was killing me and the fast food probably was too!
I wasn’t looking to cook gourmet meals or start drinking kale smoothies, but I wanted to make a change and start forming good habits that would be lasting and manageable and not overwhelming, something that would not only benefit me but my family as well.
I started searching for a way to make this task easier, and unlike my solution for getting through laundry and dishes, a simple playlist wouldn’t help me cook healthy meals, I needed a professional.
I sought the expertise of Catherine Kruppa, a registered, licensed dietitian, and wellness coach in Houston, Texas. I signed up for the 4 session Lifestyle Change Program. This included reviewing what I was currently eating and developing a personalized nutrition plan. Catherine tracked my eating habits using the My Fitness Pal app and together we tweaked my plan.
Hiring a professional was worth every cent! Catherine took the time to listen to what I wanted, gave me healthy alternatives to the bad stuff I was eating and we worked together to come up with a plan that was personalized for me and my goals and I can tell you, it has totally changed my mindset about food. I never thought I could eat oatmeal that wasn’t swimming in butter and sugar, pass up cookies in the lounge, or stop craving soda. I didn’t think I would ever stop wasting so much food or actually enjoy cooking a meal the way I have in the last couple of weeks. When I am at work, I’ve been either taking a lunch or taking advantage of the fresh fruits and vegetables in the cafeteria and I also started eating with people instead of my computer. I can say, overall, I am feeling happier and healthier. I still have progress to make but it’s a good start.
During my healthy eating journey, I stumbled across The Lazy Genius Collective and its guide simply called The Meal Plan. Y’all, when I put The Meal Plan together with my nutrition plan……I heard angels singing!
This plan is, well….genius! After cleaning out your kitchen and generating your Battle Cry, you establish a list of “brainless crowd pleasers,” a “meal matrix” and more ideas to create limits and make fewer decisions about meals. It might sound complicated, but its really not and the end result is cheers and not tears!
You can learn more about The Meal Plan and how to become a “rockstar meal planner” by checking out the Lazy Genius Collective on Facebook or on Instagram. You can listen to the podcast here and even sign up for the free mini-course called How to Cook Without Hating It.
Here are 11 things that have happened since I started using a professionally developed nutrition plan and The Meal Plan from The Lazy Genius Collective:
- Increased awareness of the quality or lack of quality of foods I eat.
- Food is becoming a source of energy and pleasure, not a coping mechanism for stress or boredom.
- Decreased waste in the kitchen. I now have a plan for all my food. No impulse purchases and no more frightening finds in the back of the fridge.
- I feel more confident about what I feed my family. If I can conquer meal planning, I can take on the world!!
- I am trying new menu items and finding them to be delicious.
- My cravings for soda and other sweets have not disappeared but have decreased significantly.
- I get full faster and therefore, eat less.
- My clothes are fitting better.
- I have more energy and generally feel better.
- I drink more water.
- I spend less time I the grocery store.
With these tools I have been able to say no to mindless eating and yes to simple intentionally planned meals that are both nutritious and delicious. No more tears for me!
Until next time……Be Well!