Meal planning - two words that can overwhelm even the most organised person! I know I was definitely one of those…meal planning sounded complicated, and I thought spreadsheets and a full project management team was needed (or perhaps this is just the IT system analyst left in me!)
This is also the first thing any of my clients ask for - and I think they are a little shocked when I actually pose a few questions back to them…but after they answer them they feel empowered knowing that they have come up with these answers and can now tackle this for their own household.
So when I started eating more unprocessed food and spending more time learning how to prepare and plan my meals - I found that these 3 tips really helped me so I hope they settle some of your nerves too:
1. When do you have most time to cook?
This may help you decide on how you choose to prepare for your meals. For example:
- do all meal preparation for the week ahead and freeze (and do you need a chest freezer)
- using a slow cooker or pressure-cooker on certain nights when you have other commitments
- to save time, chop enough vegetables for dinner and for lunch the next day etc.
2. Food substitutions
If you need to consider food sensitivities or preferences, you can either:
- substitute in a similar ingredient that can be tolerated. e.g. Coconut milk instead of cow’s milk, zucchini noodles instead of pasta, cauliflower rice instead of rice)
- remove and add more other ingredients. e.g. leave out pasta and simply add in more vegetables and meat.
3. Have a set of ‘base’ go-to meals that you can easily dress up
Using different proteins, herbs, spices, dressings, vegetables and cooking styles can easily create entirely different tasting meals without impacting the usual meal preparation. e.g. cook in bulk but only add the desired herbs and spices when you’re preparing the meal to eat on the night.
I hope these 3 short tips have given you some confidence too - and if you have any I’d love to hear them too :-)
If you’re still feeling overwhelmed, I would LOVE to support you! Please check out my available health coaching programs and contact me to get started.