Meal planning makes our lives easier. Let's just lay that out there right now. But, how does it fit in when you want to have no food rules? Can it really be done? Today I am going to answer just that and tell you how to meal plan for intuitive eating!
How To Meal Plan
The first thing that you need to do when looking into how to meal plan is to ask yourself what foods you LIKE. If you're coming from a period of dieting and feel like you don't even know what foods you legit like, because you've just been TELLING yourself what to eat, do some experimenting. Try out some different foods and assess if you like them. Make a list.
Once you have some foods you enjoy eating, now think about foods that satisfy you. This is key. For instance, we all know how I feel about carbs (LOVE 'EM! Carbs are good!) because our bodies need and want them. When we skimp on the carbs we're so insanely likely to wind up in the pantry after dinner shoving all of the Trader Joe's Joe Joe's in our mouths. So, think about those foods that satisfy your bod, make it feel good, and keep you full. Make a list.
Now that you have these two lists make some combos! For me, and a lot of the population to be honest, having carb (think potatoes, rice, pasta, bread, etc.), protein (fish, chicken, beed, turkey, tofu, eggs, etc), and veggies/fruit (self explanatory...) at meal times if a good bet for satisfaction from a nutritional perspective. So take out those lists, pull some of those from each category that you wrote down, get creative, and mix and match!
Meal Planning Ideas For Intuitive Eating
Now, you might be thinking "Well, Colleen... HOW is that intuitive when you're legit telling yourself what you're going to eat?!" Good question. There are a couple key points to consider when learning how to meal plan for intuitive eating:
- Be practical
- Be flexible
- Give yourself options
What I mean by be practical is that sometimes we WILL need to eat foods that aren't mind blowing-ly delicious. Foods that we have on hand, at the ready, because we intuitively know our bodies need food. It can be a bummer when a meal kinda sucks, but think about it this way: You have SO many other meals where you're going to have more time to put into making a drool-worthy dish. Now everything has to be a Pinterest worthy dinner, that's just not reality.
Being flexible means creating a meal idea for each day of the week, but knowing that if the day comes and you want to have something else- say you really want pasta instead of rice- freaking do it! But also keep that practical piece in mind: Is it feasible to swap something out? Do you have time to do that? If not, can you plan that dish you want next week so you don't feel deprived, you'll know it's coming?
Giving yourself options when you can allows for that intuitive piece to come into play. For instance, I usually have about 2-3 breakfast and lunch ideas each week. I'll pick which one I want either that day or the night before. This helps to add some "spice" and variety, making it way more exciting!
Easy Meal Planning Ideas
Need a little inspo? Here are a few of my fave thing to meal plan!
- Breakfast: smoothies (here are 8 amazing smoothie flavor ideas!), cauliflower oatmeal, greek yogurt and granola + fruit, protein bar + fruit (I'm obsessed with these Kirkland protein bars which pack tons of protein and fiber to keep me FULL!)
- Lunch: Easy avocado egg salad sandwich + fruit, cranberry pistachio tuna salad with cracker + carrots; or a big ol' crockpot of some pumpkin turkey chili, also... lunch dessert is a THING! I usually have some chocolate
- Dinner: Tacos, BBQ chicken and baked potatoes, salad kit + rice + any protein, I always add a bag of frozen, microwaveable veggies, too.. they're a LIFESAVER! So easy
- Snacks: yogurt+ cinnamon pretzel granola, 2 ingredient cherry cashew bites, toast + cottage cheese
- Dessert: I've always got a family sized tub of ice cream in my house and usually some sort of baked good!
Meal planning is part of what I teach you how to do inside my No Food Rules membership, the SociEATy. Each month you'll get 25 meal and snack ideas plus a template for the month so you can mix, match, and make a plan that fits for YOU! If you're reading this blog post when it's being published enrollment is OPEN for the SociEATy- however it's closing in just a few days! Be sure to check that out if you're looking to make a life of no food rules your reality. One where you can eat intuitively AND honor your health and wellbeing.
Leave a comment with one idea you have for your next round of meal planning! Share ideas in the comments, goodness knows the possibilities are ENDLESS!
Happy food rule breaking,
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