The success or failure of any nutritional program is largely dependent on two things: the quality of the food you eat and how well you follow the plan. First, let’s talk about what we eat.
In my Balanced Healthy Living Program, I talk a lot about the importance of eating “real food” (nutrient-dense foods) and getting rid of the 3P’s – packaged, processed and prepared foods.
Removing specific foods that are causing inflammation is necessary, as well as increasing the overall nutrient density of your diet in order to be healthy. We all need a nutritional upgrade, and that’s hard when we are used to eating out a lot and eating prepared, processed, and packaged food.
Eating this way and cooking at home will never be as easy as eating a Standard American Diet. It takes a lot of discipline, energy, and time to successfully make the switch to eating nutrient-dense, whole foods. Even after the transition is made, there will still be an unusual amount of planning and organization required to keep your kitchen stocked with healing, nutrient- dense foods at all times.
Once you get into a routine, though, tasks like meal planning, shopping, and prep days get easier and easier. Someday…you might even like cooking home cooked meals more than going out to eat. When you can really start putting together the connection between how badly you feel after eating out versus having more energy and the desire to keep fueling your body with the best possible food – that’s when you may desire to eat at home more than going out.
"Real food doesn’t have ingredients. Real food is ingredients." – Jamie Oliver
Variety is the Spice of Life. It’s possible to eat varied, flavorful, and interesting meals while on a nutritional balancing program, even if some of the most common and convenient foods are removed, but lots of people struggle because they aren’t sure what to eat when it comes to variety, or how to cook it.
While in the beginning, you may need to follow a strict plan and write everything down, you might be surprised when you no longer have to obsess over those details. Meal plans and shopping lists can help keep you on track to eat good food, but you need variety too so you don’t get bored.
One of the things I hear a lot is “I’m bored with what I’m eating.” People struggle when some of the main things they used to eat are no longer recommended. You don’t have to settle for bland food….you don’t need to miss out on flavor, you just need good recipes and ideas. I’ve never really been a recipe kinda girl, but I do understand that clients need more direction. They want a meal plan and recipes. I’ve found it easier to be a simple, one-pan-meal kind of person, and I love leftovers and things that I can throw together quickly, but I understand not everyone is like that.
As I work with more and more clients, I do notice that they do better when there is a plan. It takes the guesswork out of what to eat and helps them plan for the week ahead, a strategy that can be essential for success.
Eating the most nutrient dense foods that are available to you, such as grass-fed, pasture-raised meats, organic veggies, and healthy fats will do wonders for the way you feel, not to mention the benefits to your body. Eliminating refined sugars and wheat (gluten) products, plus processed and convenience foods that are common to the American diet and avoiding GMO foods will further help you achieve optimal health. (Click the link for a handy list of Non-GMO Shopping Guides.)
Eating is a major part of our daily activities, but it can sometimes be challenging to come up with meals that are healthy and provide a variety of foods. If you have food intolerances or autoimmune conditions, that can further restrict the foods that you eat on a regular basis. Plus, if you have recently started trying to eat healthier, you may not be familiar with different ways of preparing all the wonderful nutrient-dense, whole foods that are so good for you.
I direct clients to my Pinterest recipe board for recipes that I gather from others to give them ideas of where to get started, but recipes are just not my strong point. Meal planning and recipes haven’t really been my thing, and I feel that some of my clients need more, so that is why I’m so excited to have found this….
I recently found this wonderful membership program called Real Plans that I am recommending to clients. In it, you choose the type of diet you prefer: Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Dairy and Gluten Free, and others. Once you have selected one of these options, you can then manipulate the diet all you want. With almost 50 different food groups, the options are endless. The Real Plans Smart Engine will then look at your choices and create a meal plan perfectly tailored to your specific dietary needs. You can also exclude specific ingredients, and it is super easy to customize the meal plans to your oxidation (metabolism) rate.
This is an excellent program for managing meals, especially when other family members may have different requirements or preferences. The meal plans can be emailed to you, or you can log in and check the menu for the week.
- Have food sensitivities or foods your family won’t eat? Just add them on the settings page and you’ll never see recipes with those ingredients again!
- Don’t like something on the menu? No worries, you can customize with a drag and drop feature in no time at all.
- Have a favorite recipe you already use? No problem, just add it to the database and it will be included in meal plans.
- Having guests for dinner one night? That’s not a problem either, just change the number of servings needed for that meal.
Based on the settings you choose, the program provides you with a shopping list and the quantity needed to prepare the meals. If you know you already have specific items on hand, check them off before going to the store, so you only buy exactly what you need. Plus, you can define which store you want to purchase each ingredient at, and even add a photo of the specific item (in case you send your significant other to the store to pick it up!)
You can choose to cook meals daily, every couple of days or batch cook several meals at once. The shopping list can be printed out or use the free Android or iPhone app, so you have it with you whenever it is convenient for you to shop. With three different payment options and a 30-day money back guarantee, I encourage you to give it a try. This program could very well save you time, money and make your meal planning much easier!
You have to get into the kitchen and prepare real food from scratch. You really can’t live your healthiest if you aren’t cooking at home; and since you have to do that you can at least try and minimize the stress of figuring out what to cook and how to cook with Real Plans. Watch a video about how the plan works.
The other part of your success in eating healthy is how well you stick to the program. This requires advance planning on your part to make sure you have the right foods available and prepared, so you aren’t tempted to take the easy way out. When you have veggies already cut up and waiting in the fridge, you will be more likely to grab them than if you had to prepare them every time you want a snack or to start preparing a meal. The easiest way to do this is to set aside a couple of hours once a week to clean, chop and store items that you can use quickly. This makes packing lunches much easier as well.
"Want to be healthy? Cook. The food industry has done a great job of convincing eaters that corporations can cook better than we can. The problem is, it’s not true." – Michael Pollan
One of the biggest ways to make a new nutritional plan to go more smoothly is to incorporate weekly batch cooking. We all seem to be so busy during the work week, and because nutritional balancing excludes all processed foods, everything really should be cooked from scratch. This can be extremely problematic for someone who works full-time and may not be feeling their best at the beginning of this new journey.
We need to plan ahead and make sure that we always have nutrient-dense meal components ready to go, which is easy to do with Real Plans.
"No one is born a great cook, one learns by doing." – Julia Child
So, I encourage you to check out Real Plans, even if you aren’t a client and you don’t yet know the foods that work best for your bio-individuality. You may find that it will help you to just start eating more REAL food and to cook at home!!!
If you want better health, you have to know that you’ll have to reduce the number of meals that are eaten out. If you would like to learn more about how eating nutrient-dense, whole foods can improve your health; I would love to talk to you. Please schedule a complimentary call.
Disclaimer: The information contained herein is not to be construed as medical advice and is not intended to diagnose, treat, or cure any medical condition. These statements made have not been approved by the FDA, nor should they be taken as a substitute for medical advice from a licensed physician.
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