I get asked alllllll the time about meal planning/meal prep and do I partake in such activities. The answer is NO! Its not for me, at all. In my previous life, yes indeed, I had to. Riffling through cookbooks, making lists of ingredients and spending hours in the kitchen. Not today, I gave all that up about 4 years ago and here’s why.
Meal Planning & Meal Prep Ain’t for Me!
This can be a touchy subject as so many people are passionate about meal planning & meal prep. I am not one of those people. I have tried it, numerous times, and find it too time and cost consuming. Not to mention it never satisfies me emotionally or physically. I follow my gut when it comes to eating and healing, I simply cannot predict this in advance. It really is that simple. What sounds good today may sound terrible tomorrow. Our bodies are so freaking smart, if we listen, they tell us what they need nutritionally. This is why I think “diets” in general are bad news for anyone. Who says eating chic peas are bad for everyone? Or meat? Or nightshades? Your body is different than mine, and when we let go of this preconceived idea that there is this perfect go-to diet for optimal weight and health, we become winners! Let’s talk about the emotional aspect for a minute, shall we? I like choosing, handling, touching and prepping my food right before I eat it. It is a type of meditation and signal to my body that good things are coming its way. The body reacts and receives nutrition so differently when it knows its coming. The age-old saying “we eat with our eyes first” goes way beyond just beautiful food arranged just so on a plate. It begins with our hands and the actual preparation of it. Yes, if you meal prep ahead, you may still get some of this, but not to the same degree as in the moment. the act of mindfully choosing your food at the moment and being present in the preparation. Again, probably not making everyone happy here with these statements, but they are my feelings and beliefs, and it works for me. If meal planning & meal prep is your thing and its working for you, by all means, keep up the good work! Its as simple as throwing out the idea that meal prepping & meal planning is necessary for success, unlike much of social media will have you believe.
Here is a great post I did on my social media sites about meal planning & prep gone wrong but looked beautiful:) But as you read my experience, you can see I did not even enjoy the experience from start to finish. So I really doubt my body received the nutrition in its optimal state.
Previous Social Media Post
Not every day is perfect…..??♀️
COUCH din Din last night because I was EXHAUSTED ? and this plate was way too over ambitious for such a night.
Can I just be the ONLY one who freaking hates meal planning?!???!! SERIOUSLY. HATE IT. Screws me up every time. I like to stock my fridge with fresh real food twice a week and just pull from it daily to create what my body tells me to.
When I plan a meal I feel obligated and pressure to make it even when I’m not feeling it. This meal was that. NOT feeling it. Took way to much time and effort AND didn’t even turn out right. Stupid.
I should have just assembled one of my signature bowls and called it a day.
My brainstorm was to make paleo pancake battered shrimp with a mango salsa. So, after 6 shrimp battered and cooked it was too time-consuming so I proceeded to dump the entire bowl into the pan?Yeah that happened.
I like to eat a lot of raw veg, not one on my plate…WTF?! Completely off my game here.
My mango wasn’t ripe so I used pineapple, this salsa was the bomb! And if I had made the shrimp with any kind of patience I probably would feel better about the entire dish? I used @birchbenders paleo pancake mix for the batter and of course it was YUM! Y’all have seen me do this batter with cod and it’s amazing.
Some butternut squash noodles, meh.
Garlic sautéed bok choy, eh.
Roasted purple potato, dry and flavorless.
I choked down my meds, called it a day and was in bed by 5:38 pm. True Story.
Today is a NEW DAY☺ back to winging it?
So What Do I Do?
I have a standard grocery list of staples I pull from every week and keep my house stocked with. If I cant make something from these ingredients, I may as well hang it up now. Now, having said that, I am always thinking about food! I LOVE food. Everything about it. So, I think about it all the time in one form or another. My mind will search the fridge even while I am working, dreaming of things it can make with the ingredients it is storing for me. So from the time I wake up, I allow my gut and mind to work together and I listen, I mean I really listen. When allowed to work together they come up with the best food for me that day. Does that mean every meal is a rockstar? Oh hell no. It does mean that I am completely satisfied emotionally and physically though, which in turn heals me from the inside out.
Let’s talk about “listening” to your body for a sec. Until you reset your body to its natural state with real, whole, clean food, you will get mixed messages, which will do you no good. When you embark on the journey of clean eating, think of it as hitting the Reset button on your cells, it will take you taking control of those messages at first. Choosing foods you know are clean and whole that will nourish you on a cellular level. This is where reading the Wahls book was a great start for me. Gave me a very specific plan of action on specific foods, amounts, and frequency. It only took a few months before my own body kicked in and starting asking for what it needed. After 1 year I was flying solo and my body was perfectly capable of caring for itself once again. I didn’t need to wonder if I was “doing it right” my body was functioning at such a high level and I felt better than I had in YEARS! It’s like stepping on a scale to see if you are at the right weight, you don’t need a scale to tell you how you feel, you know.
So let’s wrap this up. Don’t feel guilty if you don’t meal prep & meal plan, it ain’t for everyone. And if you do meal prep & meal plan, go you. I hope I was able to open a window of thinking differently about food and how we interact with it is all part of our healthcare.
Love & Be Well,