Meal Planning & Intuitive Eating

Meal planning can seem like a simple task, but when your in a chaotic place with food even the most basic decisions around food can feel taxing. Typically, I’m working with clients to move away from rigidity with foods, decrease structure & increase permission-and for most, the thought of meal planning can feel depriving, and “diety” all over again. At the same time, we need food options available consistently and regularly to help heal deprivation and provide nutritious options that are satisfying. 

I’ve heard:

“I try to meal prep before the week but by the time wednesday rolls around I am SO DONE eating another tupperware container of chicken/broccoli/rice”

“I get overwhelmed with thinking of all my meals for the week, but then when I’m ready for a meal, I don’t have what I need and end up choosing something sub par {which may be unsatisfying and lead to more food deprivation}”

“Meal planning feels like another set of rules I have to follow, I prep all kinds of “healthy” food but don’t end up eating any of it then end up feeling even more guilty”

Contray to the portrayals on instagram's #mealprep trend, meal planning doesn’t have to be overly rigid or complex, and you do not need to spend hours in the kitchen Sunday baking pounds of chicken and broccoli to eat the same meal all.week.long. We can find ways to prioritize self care in the form of planning and preparing for meals for the week without being overly rigid. Here’s 3 steps I share with clients:

1. Loose Meal Planning

Typically, I will do this on a weekend day and plan 2-3 dinner meals for the week (I only like to grocery shop once a week!). I do not assign them a specific night so I have flexibility to choose what sounds good through the week. 2-3 meals works for my family, 2 people, 1 small one, because it gives us enough leftovers to make meals with & gives us some room for a meal out  (we usually do this once a week) without food waste or overspending (two things in alignment with my values).

2. Revamp Leftovers

From the 2-3 meals I can usually pull another meal from it. For example, if I plan to make baked chicken with a veggie and rice one night, I can then pull some of the chicken to make a chicken salad or chicken enchiladas. Planning these out can help to know if you need some other ingredients on hand as well (tortillas for the enchiladas, lettuce for the salad)

3. Nutrition 911 Meals

Cooking/preparing meals will always feel chaotic if we don’t at least have some basics on hand to build meals with. Having a well stocked pantry (more on how to do this in another post!) can help you in a pinch. Have a list of meals that you can always pull from pantry staples ex; canned tuna for tuna salad, sandwiches, canned soups you can pair with bread, a frozen meal/entree, etc. Check this stock weekly and see if you need to replenish anything on hand.

Do you need support in making decisions around food to support your recovery or journey towards intuitive eating? Send me an email to schedule so we can chat at: