Y’all. That game on Sunday was crazy! I really wasn’t rooting for anyone. Ok, that’s really not true. I’m not a Brady fan. I’m not a Bilichick fan. So, though I’m a Cowboys fan and don’t like the Eagles, I was very much ok with them winning the game. But let’s be real, I was excited for the halftime show, commercials, and food.
We went over to a friend’s house for their Super Bowl party and of course had a blast. Naturally, the guys were glued to the screen while all the girls chatted in the background. At one point, the conversation took a turn to food, different diets, weight loss, and all that jazz. It was really interesting to just sit back and listen. They talked about how much better they had felt going gluten-free for a week and all of the amazing results they saw in their body. In the same sentence they said that just get so busy and can’t even find time to prep and to shop and they just end up with fast food.
What got me at that moment was – this is the story of my life. There isn’t ever enough time. I’m always cooking. If I haven’t planned adequately, then I’m scrounging and cooking on the fly. I do the best I can, though at times it’s not very glamorous. But I don’t have a choice. I take that back, I always have a choice. But I choose not to put certain foods into my body that will act against me and end in a painful reaction. I also see it as voting with my fork – I purposely decide where and who to shop from based on their beliefs and standards of food. But that’s a whole other post that I might venture into in the future.
Ultimately the conversation had me thinking – how have I managed to do it? We’ve had times where our budget is pretty tight. We’ve had times where we both worked insane hours and opposite schedules. There have been times it seemed the odds were stacked against us, and yet we’ve made it work – completely gluten-free. But how did we do it? Here’s what I came to:
1. Stock your pantry – consider your pantry to be your own at home grocery store. I almost always have diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, coconut milk, brown rice, brown rice pasta, bone broth, and onions and garlic. This is the place for your staple foods. If I need dinner on the table in 30, I’ll whip up pasta with a tomato/cream sauce with various aromatics and greens. I’ll also add here that it helps to have the right tools. My absolute favorite appliances in my kitchen are my VitaMix and Instant Pot. They make life so much easier. You can throw ingredients for soup in the Instant Pot, set it to 20 minutes, and you’ll have an amazing dish that tastes like it was cooking all day long.
2. Research recipes, get familiar with what you like and what is easy – I can’t stress this enough. I’m definitely a recipe person. Not to say that I won’t eventually make it my own, but I need the bone structure of a recipe. What ratio of spices/what flavor combinations are they using? The more you research, the more you can take and adapt to what works for you and your family. I make broccoli cheese soup almost weekly because a) I feel good about eating it b) it’s super quick to put together c) it’s so easy. The more you make a recipe, the easier it will be to throw together.
3. Meal plan, meal plan, meal plan – I used to sit down weekly with a notebook and all of my twenty million cookbooks on the floor for an hour minimum (These are great meal planning paleo cookbooks, FYI: Easy Paleo Meals, Against All Grain: Meals Made Simple). At one point, I had meals planned out for 2-3 weeks ahead. Once I started yoga training, that all flew out the window. We ate an awful lot of rice for those 6 months. Though 2-3 weeks of meal plans might be a little too intense, it seriously helps to have a game plan for the upcoming week. You can take into consideration what your week will look like and what/when would be best to cook. It also helps to have a specific list when you head to the store.
4. Stick to the list – This one can be so tricky especially when you go to the store hungry. Everything manages to make its way into your cart. When your blood sugar is low, you crave sugar. Naturally, everything that ends up in the cart has some form of sugar – even if it’s salty and starchy, it’s your body craving simple fuel.
5. Meal prep – This part might be the trickiest for me, but when I manage to meal prep, it’s amazing. Having meat ready to go, rice cooked and stored in the fridge, sauces pre-made, and veggies prepped and chopped for your recipe makes the process that much easier.
By no means is this easy. But this is something that can be so incredibly helpful when trying to stick to a specific way of eating. My goal in sharing this is to give you the tools to restore your health, one bite at a time. Take it a step at a time. Maybe you were able to meal plan/prep for one day this week – great! Everyone has their own way of doing things – make this your own. Still feel confused or overwhelmed? Set up a free consulation with me. I would love to help you reach your goals!