|Have you ever found yourself scrolling on Instagram through pictures of gorgeous salads, acai bowls and beautifully prepared meals – only to open your fridge 5 minutes later and settle for leftover cold pizza for lunch?|
You love the idea of eating beautiful, delicious, nutrient-rich meals, but making that happen when you’ve got 900 things on your to-do list feels impossible.
Instead, you grab what you can, when you can (a protein bar here, a couple of chicken nuggets off your kid’s plate there) as you fly through your week.
What if building healthy meals into your week didn’t have to be a pipe dream? What if it didn’t require tons more work, time and energy than you have to spare?
The truth is, a habit of eating healthy meals each week is just that – a habit. It’s a practice that requires some strategy and planning at first, but once you get into a routine, it becomes a part of your week like anything else you regularly get done.
There are two caveats to this —
It has to be important to you. You have to decide that healthy eating, and all the benefits that come along with it – increased energy, balanced weight, improved longevity – are worth making some changes in order to achieve.
Secondly, you need a system that works for YOU.
When it comes to any aspect of wellness – diet, exercise, meditation, stress management – you are one of a kind.
Your schedule, preferences, stress levels, age, moods, what works well for your body – they are all unique to you.
So many diets fail because they require people to force themselves into prescribed, one-size-fits-all rules – instead of tailoring the plan to the person.
That’s exactly why I support clients in determining the strategy for healthy eating (and exercise, mindfulness, sleep, etc.) that works for their unique body and life.
Today, I thought I’d share with you three steps I use with clients to start creating a customized food plan, so that you can try them out for yourself:
1. Assess where you’re currently at. The first step is always getting a clear picture of what’s happening in your day-to-day life right now:
– What are your current habits, routines and pitfalls around food?
– What are you doing well, and where are things going off the rails?
– How does this correlate with everything else in your life – work stress, family, socializing?
– How are exercise and sleep impacting your appetite and energy levels (and thereby, your food choices)?
2. Focus on one meal. Rather than a complete overhaul of your diet, I advise clients to start by picking one meal to focus on and improve.
Usually you’ll have a sense for which meal most needs support – maybe you never eat a healthy breakfast, or maybe you’re great at breakfast and lunch but you’re leaning on unhealthy takeout options for dinner.
Tackle that problem meal first.
3. Build your healthy repertoire one step at a time. The goal is to get to a place where healthy eating/cooking is something you don’t have to think twice about; it’s just a part of your life.
The best way to do this is to build out your go-to recipes, meal prep hacks or healthy snack options one at a time, so that you master one and then stack on another – like finding a lunch salad recipe that you love and can make this week; and then next week upping your game by prepping veggies and making the dressing on Sunday to save time.
Taking these 3 steps can help you create a foundation for healthy eating that is uniquely tailored to you and your life – which makes it 100x easier to execute on (and stick with!) in real life.