Planning your meals can be a powerful tool in transitioning your diet and in establishing healthier eating habits.
Do you plan your meals? Weekly, day by day, not at all?
Read here, how i do it. Why i do it. And how planning your meals can help you transitioning to a healthier, more conscious way of eating.
How much and how accurate i plan my meals differs a lot, depending upon my current situation. If travelling, staying, the possibilities of getting my food and so on.
Note: Of course you don’t necessarily need to plan your meals to succeed and thrive living on a raw diet! It CAN be a great tool for transitioning. And, for regaining your balance if necessary.
Me, i did not do any meal planning when going raw so many years ago. I simply enjoyed this newly discovered abundance. And most of the time, i still live and eat like this. Just in times, like now, i plan my meals. Why, how, and how meal planning might be helpful for you too – this is what this article is about.
Currently i do my main shopping at the farmers’ market on saturday. And visit the health store to shop some more lettuce in the middle of the week. As this means driving almost one hour (one way), i don’t want to go more often. I don’t have a fridge or other cool storage, so i cannot keep greens for longer than two or three days.
Besides, i enjoy preparing new recipes and my head is producing new ideas every day, so i want to try them all and try to integrate them in my daily meals.
I live in one room, using one part of it as “kitchen” – i. e., there is not too much room to store everything, let alone clearly arranged. So i’d better track my pantry to not forget things in the back of my veggie box.
Layout of my meal planner
I’m doing my meal plan for one week, planning on sundays (after the farmers’ market).
Elements in it currently are:
- a pantry list with all fresh food, to not miss out on something. same for the dry stuff like seeds, nuts, nutbutter etc.
- sometimes another small list for special ingredients i feel my body needs to remember.
- lists with ideas for dishes for the week – for breakfasts, dinners, and “more”. Here, i note my ideas for the meals of the week to come. Recipes i want to try out. Combination i love, based on the food i have. Foodstyling ideas.
- And finally the plan for each day of the week. I use to eat two meals a day, so there are two entries each day. Not really fixed, as fruit tends to ripen in it’s own time. Lettuce sometimes rottens faster than expected. Or i am not so hungry, or have leftovers from the day before. Or simply don’t feel like eating what i planned.
So i use postits for this part of the plan. That way, i can easily change them, keeping the page nice and clear.
After having finished my meal, i remove the postit and make a small sketch of what i had. This does not have a deeper meaning; it’s just for the fun of it.
Why planning your meals?
– To get the most out of your fresh food stocks and not having to dispose decomposed fruit and veggies all the time. Better for you, better for the world, avoiding to produce too much waste.
– Same for the dry stuff in your pantry. Seeds, spices, nuts etc. Especially if you store a lot, it’s too easy to forget what is hiding in the back of your cupboard.
– When transitioning to a new diet, trying to establish healthier habits, or getting back on track after challenging times with too little self care, meal planning (as well as planning times to workout, rest, spend times outdoor and so on) is a powerful tool to support you!
I know what i am talking about – eating raw was always easy for me, i simply loved it right from the beginning. But talking about eating enough, not too much, not too late, not too mixed … and lots of other “balance” issues i have to keep an eye on this more or less all the time. My ayurvedic dosha is Vata, and (re-)balancing myself means continuous work for me. It’s part of my spiritual challenge in this life, i guess. 😉
Meal planning when transitioning your eating habits
Until you will have got used to your new diet, and will naturally choose only what is good for you, it is really helpful, to know exactly what you will eat each day. To arrange recipes, and to make sure you have everything you need for them.
Otherwise chances are, that you are hungry but overwhelmed and helpless with all this new and unknown food in your kitchen – and will fall back to something familiar yet less optimal.
And really: it does not take much time to plan your meals. As soon as you are used to it, it will actually save you time and money. It can be fun, too (Me, i really enjoy it 🙂 ). And remember: the time you invest in your diet, including planning your meals, is time you invest in yourself. Your health, your body, your wellbeing.