My house is so quiet! The children are back at school and nursery today after a week of mid term break. I feel I finally have enough breathing room to sit down and get organised. The break in routine was lovely and we all thoroughly enjoyed the lie ins, the pottering around the house and the special family time. However, I feel ready to get cracking with the rest of 2015! I’m in the process of doing some planning for the year and I’m excited about what the it holds for MS Diet for Women. I have a few sneaky surprises up my sleeve. Firstly, I would like to start doing a regular podcast. I’ll be interviewing health professionals and people who are effectively managing their MS. It will also be an opportunity for me to just chat about specific topics pertaining to the MS diet lifestyle. I won’t bore you, I promise! See my first recording at the end of this post.
Planning Is Key
In this post, I’d like to explore why planning will make sticking to your MS diet, a whole lot easier. Some people are natural planners. They find being organised easy and just keep up to date with admin as a matter of course. For others, like myself, planning doesn’t come quite so naturally. Planning and organisation often require hard work, concentration and a good dose of self discipline. However, I have learnt (the hard way albeit) that a little forethought goes a long way towards having a happy and fulfilled life. Let’s explore some of the benefits of planning:
- Many of you will know that life runs that extra bit more smoothly when you have a plan!
- Planning puts you ahead of the game and gives you a sense of control.
- You are more efficient with your time and resources.
- Your natural creativity and innovation have a chance to flourish because you don’t need to use any mind space to think about the basics.
- The chances of reaching your goals are far more likely.
Planning your MS Diet Meals
I highly recommend putting a little time and effort into planning your weekly meals. I always find that just the task of thinking about what to make for dinner is half the work! Once I know what I’m doing, the rest is easy. So, imagine if you had all your meals planned out in advance so that you didn’t have to expend that precious brain power each day – thinking of which dish to make. This would also mean that you shopped for all the ingredients in advance so you have everything you need to make that particular meal. There would be no stressing about what to cook at 6pm or rushing out to the grocery store to get an essential, missing ingredient! This is extra stress that you just don’t need in your day, especially if you are making a slightly different meal for your family than you are making for yourself.
Tools for Meal Planning
There are a four practical things to consider before embarking on the meal planning journey.
Firstly, you need a meal plan template. This can just be a something you quickly compose in Word or draw by hand. Make sure there is space to plan for every day of the week. You can include, breakfast and lunch if you would like but dinners are probably your main priority – unless you have your main meal during the day. Print out a few copies so that you have a good supply for future weeks and then start to pencil in which meals you plan to make on which nights. Make sure it’s a varied menu.
Secondly, you need a specific time slot for planning. This should, preferably, be before you do your shop for the week so that you actually have all the ingredients for the meals you have planned! I order my food online on a Sunday and it comes every Monday so, I usually do my meal plan for the week on Friday or Saturday. It should only take 15-20minutes to pencil in your meals for the week. This includes time to search for new recipes. I recommend trying at least one new recipe a week so that you keep adding variety and different sources of nutrients to your MS diet. Keeping things fresh and exciting is important for your motivation and ‘stickability’ – love that word!
Thirdly, stick the meal plan on the fridge or a prominent place in your kitchen so that it doesn’t get lost, you can see it easily and are reminded each morning of what you are going to make that evening. Every time you look at it, you will feel that marvellous sense that you have everything under control. This is important for those with MS as we already have to deal with the unpredictability of our illness. This might seem obvious but some people don’t see the need to do this and the beautiful meal plan gets shoved around the house and eventually lost.
Lastly, use meal plans that have already been planned for you. I have actually designed twenty-four weeks of MS diet meal plans to help you get started on this process. Each week includes a specific grocery list and the recipes for each meal. If you are interested, have a look at the resources page.
My Meal Planning Interview
I was recently interviewed by Life Coach, Richard Cox on the subject of meal planning. He has found that many of his clients fall short in this area and need a little practical help to get this area of their lives under control. I was happy to share some meal planning tips with him and his readers. It’s around 25 minutes in length and if you listen to the end there is a special coaching offer. You can listen to the interview by pressing play below!
Summing It Up
I’m sure many of you know the saying: ‘If we fail to plan, we plan to fail’. This is a little harsh but, to a certain extent it is true. We want be able to live the best life we can live and meal planning will help us achieve that. Food and meals are a major part of our lives, especially if we are eating for healing. The sooner we get this area under control, the better for us and our families. So, with that in mind, let’s start as soon as possible. Work backwards. Plan when you are going to shop for food or when it will be delivered, then get down to the lovely task of planning those delicious meals that are going to make your mouth water and your tummy rumble. Planning is also a great way to revive your excitement about food where it has started to wane. I would love to hear your planning success stories so drop me a line when you have a minute!
Love & Nutrients!