March 21, 2021

Meal Plans: 1 Big Reason We Don’t Do Them

Our Stance: Food is very personal

There is no one size fits all. No perfect diet. No perfect meal. This is why here at Nutriving, we do not hand out meal plans. Never have, never will. There are countless reasons for this, but it comes down to the fact that food is very personal. I mean we are talking about what we put INTO our bodies. How much more personal could it get?!

 

So Many Factors!

Think about all the things that affect what we might be eating or drinking. Food access and food security. Budget. Culture. Cooking abilities. Preference for sugar, salt, bitter flavors. Schedules and obligations. Time of day. Stress. Exercise. Illness. Life stage. Hormonal shifts. What you ate earlier in the day. Social or work events. The list could go on and on.

Let’s Play a Scenario Out

You are given a meal plan that dictates you should eat a piece of fish, rice and a big, beautiful bowl of roasted broccoli, and then you have A DAY. That could be in the negative sense, as in a lot of work stress, or maybe in a positive sense like something great happened in your life and you are ready to celebrate!

You get home and nothing about that planned meal appeals to you. Maybe you only want a bowl of cereal. Maybe you want pizza. Maybe you want a smoothie. Maybe you want champagne, cheese and crackers. There are so many things that might serve you better in that moment than the meal planned meal. Then you think “ohhhh I told my dietitian I would eat this.” So you trudge through it, mindlessly eat the planned meal and do not enjoy a moment of it. You are not only robbing yourself of pleasure, but you are not listening to your body. You are letting a meal plan override allllll the factors I listed above.

The Nutriving Approach

Instead of meal plans, our approach here at Nutriving is to provide roadmaps and help you tune in to your body. Let your body speak to you. This takes time, practice and consistency. When you work with us, you will learn roadmaps for building complete and balanced meals, but with flexibility in mind as we think about all the factors that go into our food choices.

Often, we help clients learn to meal plan for themselves using our roadmap and goals we create together. We take our roadmap and recommendations, and apply it to each individual’s lifestyle, schedule, preferences and so on.

For some people, this may look like planning out a few dinners per week. For others, it’s preparing a batch of roasted vegetables, a delicious dressing, and a batch of grains to keep on hand throughout the week. There are truly endless ways ways to meal plan. Different things work for different people, and at different times of life! This is why we do not hand out set meal plans, rather we work with you to teach you how to make your life easier when it comes to food.

When you have a balanced diet most of the time, there is wiggle room for when life does not go as planned. And in those moments, there is no reason to feel guilty! When you learn to give your body permission to speak to you and you can truly listen, we can build a healthy relationship with food. That foundation is key in nourishing our bodies with a balance of indulgences, vegetables, proteins, fats, grains, fruits, and yes, even champagne. If this sounds good to you, click that Schedule a Consultation button so we can hop on the All Foods Are Accepted train together!

No Meal Plans Here! Instead, have a seat with us on the All Foods Are Accepted Train

 

 

 

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About the Author: Kelly Wagner, MS, RD, LDN

I'm a Registered Dietitian (RD) based in Chicago, IL. I have worked in both inpatient and outpatient settings, including dialysis, ICU, as well as one-on-one nutrition counseling and groups.