Eating Simple and Healthy: How I turned meal planning from tears to cheers.

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 PlanY’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:

  1. Increased awareness of the quality or lack of quality of foods I eat.
  2. Food is becoming a source of energy and pleasure, not a coping mechanism for stress or boredom.
  3. 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.
  4. I feel more confident about what I feed my family. If I can conquer meal planning, I can take on the world!!
  5. I am trying new menu items and finding them to be delicious.
  6. My cravings for soda and other sweets have not disappeared but have decreased significantly.
  7. I get full faster and therefore, eat less.
  8. My clothes are fitting better.
  9. I have more energy and generally feel better.
  10. I drink more water.
  11. 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!

Lori

 

Hello, Fall!

Hello, Fall!

I know Fall is coming when I start hearing acorns drop from the trees and tumble down our tin roof. It is a very comforting sound that brings with it visions of flannel shirts, jackets, boots, hot chocolate and curling up on the couch with a good book and the sound of  football in the background…all the cozy comforts of being at home on a cool, crisp day. It’s always a welcomed change after what seems like an eternity of 90 plus degrees with humidity you can cut with a knife.

I can’t believe September has come and gone so quickly. I gave myself quite a number of goals to work on and all in all, I think I did pretty well. It wasn’t perfect, but its progress. I also discovered some things about myself along the way.

September goal wrap up: What worked, what didn’t. (For details about goals, you can check out this post and this post.)

  • Controlling my Anger: The thought of hammering a nail in my fence worked. No mommy temper tantrums. Now that is not to say I was Mary Poppins, all smiles and songs. I did raise my voice a couple of times and toss a utensil in the sink with a little extra force, but no melt-downs!  
  • 52 Weeks of Thanks: I mailed out 2 cards this month and have a third one ready to go out tomorrow. 
  • Water: I’m up to 20 oz a day working on 30. I know this is not great but its a start.
  • Taking a Lunch to Work: I got off to a bad start. I forgot my lunch at home several times but ordered a cute new bag for less than $10 that sits next to my purse reminding me to get my lunch out of the fridge. Since then I’ve done well. I’ve also completed my 3rd consultation with a nutritionist helping me establish some healthy eating habits. This is the cookbook she recommended for me. I have done pretty well, but still have days I fall off the wagon and eat a bunch of junk, like a child running loose in Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory. I also ordered The Meal Plan from the Lazy Genius to help simplify the bottomless pit of meal planning. It was only offered for a limited time but if you listen to her podcasts or read her blog she tells you how its done, and I think its….well….genius! I’m working on a post about nutrition to share with you what I have learned. That should be up later in October after my last consultation.
  • Blog Posts: My goal was 2 posts a month and this will be my 3rd because I AM LOVING WRITING!!! I am so thankful for No Sidebar and The Houston Flood Project for my very first publications and thankful for all of you who have visited my site, read my posts, liked or commented and have started following. I hope to find out more about you as I continue this journey.
  • Road Trip: No road trip this month. We had a short one planned but the rain kept us home. I have a couple ideas for next month. My goal is to put them in my calendar and do them!!
  • Read the Bible: I missed the first 4 days in Sept but caught up quickly. I’m using the Read the Bible in a Year reading plan that is in my Bible. Sometimes I miss on the weekends but I make them up on Monday. 
  • Time: I have done pretty well not wasting time. The Moment app has helped but some days I am just dog tired and don’t want to do anything but waste time. The newest update on my iPhone included an app called Screen Time. I’m liking that as well.
  • Money: I have not tracked my spending at all this month so I don’t have a good measure. I can say; however, that my when I have made purchases other than necessities, its been for experiences or something needed to achieve a goal and not for useless stuff or impulse purchases. I’ll make October my baseline.
  • Trash: I haven’t counted how many bags of trash I have produced each day, but I did forget to take the container out to the curb one week on trash day (We have pick up once a week.) and was able to fit 2 weeks of trash in the container that used to fit only one. I also bought a water filter and while it takes a little effort to refill, I haven’t minded because I know it’s worth it.
  • List of 10 Things I Want To Do: I have my list written – I have not completed anything on the list but have started to make progress toward some of those things. I’ll be sharing that later as well and really want to know what is on your list.

What I have planned for October….

In addition to continuing my current goal list, I’m wanting to try some new templates and jazz up my site a bit. It’s starting to feel a little like home and I want to decorate! I’m also itching to add my own photos to blog posts like the one on this post. I was a very active and successful amateur photographer for about 20 years and then after I got pregnant and had my son, I simply lost interest and sold all my outdated camera equipment. I’m going to purchase some basic equipment and I’m hoping to get that feeling of flow I used to get when shooting, the same one I now get when I’m writing. I’m also looking to re-open my Etsy shop.

I’d love to know about your goals and if you are making progress toward achieving them.

Until next time, Be Well!

Lori