People who are healthy for life and perpetually thin have one thing in common…they take time to prepare meals for themselves. Meal planning is an act of love for both yourself and your family. It’s a statement to everyone that you’re health is worth it, and that you’re worth it. As they say, what gets planned gets done and what gets done is what changes us.
A study by Cambridge University found that people who cooked at home five times per week or more were 47% more likely to add 10 years to their life. There was a great article by Dr. Mark Hyman, “How Eating at Home Can Save Your Life,” that shares some incredibly strong evidence about fixing and eating your own food rather than food prepared by others. Dr. Mark Hyman says, “Kid’s who have meals from home better in every way, from better grades, to healthier relationships, to staying out of trouble.”
To help you get started, let me share with you 7 Ways you can be more successful at meal planning so you can eat healthier…every day…
- Set a Realistic Goal…When someone who has never run a marathon starts training for a marathon, they do not start running 13 miles their first day. They start with proper form, stretching, walking, jogging, and then they run a mile. After a mile, they work their way up to 2 and 3 and end up running 13 miles. Start with one meal, 3 days a week, and increase to 5 after a solid month of practice.
- Hunt for Recipes…All animals hunt for their food. Big cats like a cougar will observe their pray for hours before springing into action. Get in touch with your inner animal and hunt for new recipes and ways to play in the kitchen…then spring into action!
- Set a day where you’ll Habitually make Food…For the average person, it takes 66 days for changes to become a habit. When you have reached this point there is less effort needed to maintain a specific behavior. Choose a day when you can get into the habit of making food.
- Plan for the Unexpected…As you upgrade your lifestyle with meal planning, plan for those times when you know meal planning will be more difficult…such as travel and holidays. A large percentage of people’s lifetime weight gain can be explained by the 6 week holiday period. So make sure to get used to giving you and your family more love with homemade snacks and meals on the go and during the holidays.
- Make Cooking a Beautiful Experience…As with all aspects of lifelong optimal health, the key to success is to make it fun and pleasurable and something you look forward to doing. In the word’s of the great Sufi mystic, “Go in the direction of what you truly love” –Rumi
- Play music or an audiobook (in my case, any fantastic fiction or teen romance will do. Twilight included, no lies here.)
- Host an Iron Chef meal prep day with your friends
- Upgrade your dishes or get a new kitchen gadget
- Practice mindfulness...Both Thich Nahn Hahn, author of Savor, and Dilia Suriel, author of Thin Woman’s Brain, see mindfulness as the way to end overeating. Mindfulness is being present to sensations in your body and what’s happening in your environment.
- Mindfulness practice: Pay attention to the way your hands are on the knife, chopping the tomato. Watch as the tomato oozes, notice the bright red color, notice your feet on the ground, and notice your breath as you chop.
- Minimum effort and Maximum efficiency in the kitchen
- Chop a bunch of stuff and mix as you go
- Connect the dots of what you’re cooking
- Cook once, eat twice
Coach Kimberly’s favorite meal prep foods
- Superfood granola
- Thai Suace
- Peanut Sauce
- Egg Souffles
- Baked eggs
- Salad Jars
Do you have any other great ways you have found to make meal planning easy and successful? Share them in the comments…we can all learn from each other!