Let's talk meal plans...
Updated: Dec 2, 2020
Ok, let’s talk about meal plans. I hate them. I hate making them, I hate following them, I hate the structure, the fact that they all include fish (yuck) and make you eat kale. Seriously, is it required to eat kale as a dietitian? Cause if so, I fail. Oh! And when was the last time you saw a meal plan that included ice cream or brownie fudge cupcakes- OR BEER!
Ok, so admittedly those last things are “sometimes foods” and probably shouldn’t be your everyday defaults but come on- sometimes you need some sugar and a glass of wine.
So how come I have a half-page dedicated to meal plans? Because I understand the value of them. It can be very helpful to have a concrete plan that includes all the nutrients you should be trying to include while showing you how to actually stack up your day. Sometimes you just can’t possibly think about food, food prep, groceries, or figuring out how to make it all work.
Life has gotten easier since I was a baby-dietitian (and by that, I mean newbie- not toddler wearing a romper). Back in the day I had to calculate out all the macronutrients- conveniently now referred to as “macros” figure out what freaking foods had said macros, and then spend hours calculating like some food version of sudoku. Now there are computer analytics that do the whole thing for you- some even backed by dietitians! After trying out a number of said programs I have found (finally) the one that I like the best- it’s not complicated, reasonably priced, and includes real food people actually eat. You can find the link on my website, and you can even start with a 3-day trial- free!
Let’s talk about who might benefit from a meal plan. If any of the following fit the bill it might be you:
- You want to change some bad habits you have picked up
- You have a life outside of the kitchen
- You are bored with your current foods
- You have a bit of Type A personality
- You have a bit of a lazy streak around 5pm
- You just want someone to fix it for you
- You want to make positive changes
- You want to be able to someday not have to always think about food like its work
Meal plans are a great bridge between where you are and where you want to be. I love to look at the plans and pick through the well-balanced meals and create my own little plans, but admittedly I am a bit of a nut. It can be a great way to discover new ways of putting together healthy meals without all of the trial and error that can come with starting a new plan.
I decided to go with Living Plate ® for a number of reasons- mostly because they are affordable, realistic, and created by dietitians – dietitians that aren’t me. And yes, if you sign up through my affiliate links I do get a cut- I have little doggie bellies to support!
So, how can it work for you? It’s easy! Any of the plans that I have chosen to offer will work for general health and wellness, but I am particularly fond of the anti-inflammatory plan. You can use the meal suggestions for the backbone of your meals- I wouldn’t do more than 5 days a week, let a few days be unregimented. Use the meals as a guide- use the shopping list and have the recipes handy. Use your mindful eating techniques along with well balanced meals and notice how amazing it feels! You have the freedom to go out for a meal if that serves you, have the same meal 4 times in 1 week, or skip an entire week. It’s a guide, so go ahead and try it- what do you have to lose?
I would love your feedback- I spent a lot of time on researching and trying out different meal plan services and I would love to hear how it works for you.