Although I love brainstorming about the future, this doesn't always translate into making concrete plans.
A lack of planning really brings me undone with eating. I'm not talking diets. I'm talking plain ol' eating.
Think getting hangry, eating whatever is closest, eating what makes me feel crappy but is easy, eating out more than I wanted.
You know, where you eat so many cheese and crackers or [insert your snack of choice] that you don’t even feel like dinner?!
Self-care through food planning and regular meals
No matter how (dis)interested you are in food or cooking, the fact is that food is our fuel and has a significant affect on how our bodies run.
For me, good food is not only about energy but also about how I feel emotionally.
Our guts have 80% of our serotonin stores and the nerve running from the gut to the brain controls the passage of these precious happy and soothing brain chemicals.
Unhappy tummies and intestines really affect our emotional health.
Eating well and regularly is not just about getting hangry but also the mood/energy swings of blood sugar highs and lows that stress our body (and sometimes our relationships!), our productivity at work, zap our creativity and sabotage our inner peace.
For those of us with tricky diets due to food intolerances and allergies, food takes on another level of complication and eating food that causes pain, discomfort or other unpleasant symptoms can throw off a whole day.
Given all the benefits of eating food that loves us, how many of us care for ourselves by meal planning?
Maybe you are too tired to think of planning, or you’ve tried a little and stopped for some reason. Maybe people in your household have different eating requirements or preferences, which can take cooking to the next level of complication.
There are a handful of reasons not to plan but many more to bite the bullet and dive into planning.
So I propose something radical to be more peaceful, efficient and to nourish yourself with food.
Plan every single meal, each week, in one go.
I know, I know, seems over the top, a pain in the bum, boring and so the list goes on.
Why would I bother, you ask?
- Shopping once, instead of more frequently saves time and money.
- Planning meals means less slip-ups with intolerances/allergies or nourishing eating intentions.
- More mental space for creativity, efficiency, joy and productivity.
- More time in your day and week e.g. time for a walk at lunch beyond going to the local café, no more multiple trips to the supermarket.
- Reduce food waste.
- Feeling better: more relaxed, better blood sugar regulation and smoother emotional wellbeing.
I like using a paper tool such as this weekly planner from Kikki K (on sale). Then I can keep each week and jog my memory about different meals. You’d be surprised how little time it takes to plan your weekly meals.
With all that time and mental space you’ve cleared up, you’ll be surprised and delighted by what joys start to emerge in your life.
So go on, plan one week and see how it feels?
One less thing to think about three times a day = a lot more energy for what you want to do.
Hi, I'm Dr Lara Corr, life coach and researcher in work and wellbeing. I coach successful 30 and 40 somethings who want more fulfilling or bigger careers but doubt themselves and their options. I help them get out of their own way, find direction and go for what they really want.