It’s that unavoidable time of year: “New year, new me.” I say we all switch to: “New year, still me.” You are you: the exact, worthy, compassionate, capable person you were in December. How can you be more you this year instead of less? If doing so means aligning your diet with your internal compass and connecting to a lifestyle of intuitive eating: then take on that journey with the joy of knowing you aren’t abandoning the old you – you are embracing the you that is not yet exposed!
This is a very basic post with four tracks laid out based upon four general needs. The first: specific meals plan guidelines, the second: even more specific meal plan resources, the third: all-encompassing diet-change programs, and the very last: online recipe resources to fuel on-going inspiration. I’ve linked to online meal planning guides, programs, and resources that can help your journey. Here we go!
**Important disclaimer: I am NOT an expert! This is a short, simple compilation of ideas and resources that work for me. Do I eat this way every day or even every week? Heeckkkk no. Sometimes I eat cake for lunch, most times I eat some form of chocolate every day, and I am the biggest fan of wine. But I do believe in intuitive eating and finding the unique diet that best matches my unique body. This post is purely to share how I navigate that puzzle!
#1 Do you need specific meal plan guidelines?
Here is a 1-week breakdown that you can mold, modify, and make your own. I have given basic examples along with links from trusted and beloved Make Dinner Matter (+ a few friends’) recipes. These support appropriate portion sizes, diverse nutrient intake, and taste flippin’ great! If it’s not fun and I don’t want to cook it, it’s not on here.
How to read these breakdowns:
Meal: nutrition highlights
*Any special notes
Breakfast: Full warm 4-8 ounces of water/tea, complex carb, fat, low-no sugar
*Fruit at breakfast can kick-start day long sugar cravings. Noticing when and where habits start is an essential part of finding the “best” diet.
Warm water with 1/3 fresh lemon
Sprouted GF toast with nut cheese, ½ mashed avocado, sliced tomatoes, balsamic vinegar
Mixed baby greens, fried egg, shallot/red wine vinaigrette
Berry & beet smoothie (recipe to come!)
Lunch: Mainly vegetables, small protein, complex carb
*I feel most satiated when I add a few crackers, a few roasted potatoes, or some kind of legume to my mid-day eating, but this may cause others to feel weighed down and sluggish. Honor the time and careful observation it takes to find this out.
Roasted vegetables, sautéed kale, salmon filet (1/2 size of a deck of cards)
Vegetable soup, crackers
Snack: 6-8 ounces of water, protein, complex carb, low sugar, savor!
*Snacks are the best, snacks with sparkling water are the best of the best. Actually any special additions that encourage ritual and savoring can help dissuade overeating/overanalyzing.
Snap pea crisps
Crackers and *fancy* hummus
Dark chocolate kind bar, one of this can single handedly stop hanger in its tracks
Sliced apple with nut butter
Dinner: FUN, high flavor, mainly vegetables, protein, some kind of carb, fat
*What works for me is to have dinner as the most diverse meal of the day: covering all of my basic needs, including any on-a-whim preferences.
Gluten free pasta with squash puree and zesty vegetables
Dessert: Give your body some time to relax before you indulge your sweet tooth, often with a special cup of tea and a cozy chat or time with a book it may just disappear. Sometimes a cookie, few squares of dark chocolate, or a bowl of amazing vegan ice cream is absolutely necessary. But make the choice, don’t let it choose.
#2 Do you need even more specific plans and planning how-to?
First read this article.
Here is The Kitchn’s ENTIRE collection of plans! Includes shopping lists.
#3 Do you need to join a program with online support groups?
*Disclaimer: I am not a fan of diet rules, but that might be something you need. If it is, I encourage you to show yourself continuous compassion and choose whatever you need out of care.
21 Day Sugar Detox: This requires a sign up fee but it offers an essential support group and detailed resources, even down to shopping lists. I own the book and have used it often!
Whole30: You’ve heard the hype. I have used their meal planning strategy when I need to remove more choices from my diet and keep things simple.
#4 Are you looking for general inspiration to fuel your ongoing nutrition journey?
Whole30 Dinner Recipes: Whether you feel like a plateau is on the horizon or you just know there has to be another way to cook salmon, there is something on this list for you.
21 Freezer-friendly vegan meals from Oh She Glows
All of these items can be purchased at whole foods or a local grocer but if you’re interested in purchasing more in bulk or trying to re-do the entire pantry, a membership to a place like Costco or Thrive Market might be well served.
Sprouted for Life: 3 seed gluten free bread (they even make cinnamon raisin!)
If this was useful, please share! If you have a meal-planning strategy or go-to routine that wasn’t covered, please send that along as well. You can comment below, send me a message on Facebook or Instagram, or email me: email@example.com.
As always, Make Dinner Matter.