What to Eat? The Eternal Question!
I love my meal planning tablet (pictured here). At the top it
reads, "What to Eat" and in small print at the bottom it proclaims, "The Eternal Question!" Kind of funny, perhaps? Webster's Dictionary defines eternal as "existing at all times or seeming to last forever." And for many, the question of "what to eat" may start to feel like an eternal question. Why does this happen and how do we make a shift so we don't have to worry so much about what to eat? I love the title of a book by bestselling author, Geneen Roth, "When you eat at the refrigerator, pull up a chair!" Isn't this the truth? Whether its because you end up grazing when you simply are unprepared for your next meal or you secretly sabotage your efforts because of overwhelming thoughts about what you "should" or "should not" eat, this dilemma with food and eating is common for many people. This month, I want to equip you with a critical strategy so you KNOW what to eat!
Having a plan for meals and snacks is a critical step in making sure your chair stays at the kitchen table and not at the refrigerator! Yet, taking the time to plan meals and get to the grocery store is often difficult for individuals to do consistently. Using a resource like the meal planning sheet and grocery list pictured illustrate a great starting point. For me, Sunday is the day I think through the week, making a specific plan for each night's dinner meal (based on that week's activities), along with basic ideas for breakfast, lunch and snacks for my family. Then, I check the refrigerator and pantry as I compile my grocery list for the week, and finish with a trip to the grocery store to stock up. I realize that this process may be easier said than done.
Besides being overly busy, a common obstacle I hear from clients is the frustration of not knowing what to plan for a meal, maybe because someone in their family is a picky eater. Maybe its the worry of not being able to stick to the plan and food goes to waste - so why even make a plan? For some, its just a struggle going to the grocery store because they fear they might buy something that is a trigger for overeating. There are many reasons I hear from individuals about why this process is so difficult. And, I assure you I have been there and can relate to many of these obstacles. I also know first hand that it is possible to figure out a system and a plan that works for you! And, I assure
you the benefit is not only decreasing your stress each week when you know what to eat, but also achieving consistency with your plan for eating well consistently.
Val Schonberg is a Registered, Licensed Dietitian who specializes in weight management, sports nutrition, disease