Welcome to part 7 of our 7 part series exploring “healthy eating” issues. In case you missed it:
Part 1: Getting Started
Part 2: Eating Healthy When You Never Learned How to Cook
Part 3: Eating Healthy When Limited by Time
Part 4: Eating Healthy When Limited by Money
Part 5: Eating Healthy When Limited by Allergies
Part 6: Eating Healthy When Limited by Picky Eaters
Part 7: Eating Healthy When There Are Multiple Limits to Overcome
What a great job! You have learned a lot, and worked hard to overcome the toughest limits to healthy eating. Let’s tie it all together. What if you have multiple limits to overcome? Sure, one is easy, but what if you are facing several?
We families are facing many, if not all of these limits to healthy eating. My hope with this series was that by separating these limits into manageable pieces, you have found helpful ways to overcome the specific limits your family faces. But how do you take it to the next level, and address multiple ones at a time? Let’s look beyond the limits of experience, time, money, allergies and picky eaters, and discover how…
…you can become a Beyond Limits Master!
Most of these suggestions you have seen before. But many of them overlap categories. I want to point these out to you, because it is with the mastery of these techniques that you can become a Beyond Limits Master!
Buy in bulk
When you buy in bulk you are saving money, as well as time spent shopping. You are more likely to afford nutrient-dense foods, which will satisfy you more. Buying in bulk forces you to do something with all the food you bought! You are less likely to put off preparation if you know the food you just bought will go bad if left unattended. Bulk is also a more efficient way to acquire specialty foods as needed for allergies, including a higher quality.
Cook in bulk and freeze meals
Speaking of cooking in bulk… when you cook in bulk you are saving time and emotional energy. There will be fewer dishes to wash, and fewer days wondering what in the world you will make for dinner. Frozen meals are a lifesaver during a busy week, or hard day. You will always be glad you have them! This is also helpful if you have one family member with food allergies. While I don’t recommend this for the norm, it is nice to have some individual meals frozen for travel, school field trips, or in case the dinner for the night is not something they can eat.
This refers both to planning your meals and shopping list out ahead of time, and having meals on-hand for those times that you need something quick and easy. When you have a plan, you will use less time and emotional energy in deciding what to do, and you will be less likely to yield to the temptation of convenience or fast food.
Put your favorite (adjusted) recipes somewhere that you can find them
We have talked about this already, but I cannot emphasize this enough. Your mental and emotional energy is precious. Don’t use it up on things that could have been easily avoided by taking a few minutes to physically change the recipe you used. It doesn’t matter if you are changing it for allergies, food preferences, to hide a nutrient-dense food like liver, or it’s simply a recipe your family loves. Just do it!
Plan to Eat is a great place to store your recipes and the “Duplicate” button allows you to save multiple versions of the same recipe as you experiment.
Make simple meals with real food ingredients
When I changed my diet, one of my favorite things was the simplicity. Instead of feeling the pressure to find unique (and often complicated) recipes every day, I started thinking differently. For many of my meals I choose a type of meat and a vegetable or two. Then I decide how I want to spice or flavor them, and which way I want to prepare them. When I need inspiration, I look up recipes and use the herbs or spices that they combine. Sometimes I prepare a carb like rice or winter squash. Desserts can be simple, like baked or dried fruit with butter or homemade ice cream. When I do prepare a dessert recipe, it is a delicious and welcomed treat.
When you are eating nutrient-dense foods that have been prepared without chemical sauces and dressings, you begin to appreciate the food for it’s own unique taste. And you find out that real food is delicious!
Make food a priority
Eating is, I believe, the most important thing we can do for our bodies. Eating well affects our physical health, improves our quality of life, supports our emotional well-being, increases mental clarity, reduces our stress, improves work productivity, and contributes to the enjoyment of everyday life. Even with the impressive resume, we don’t take the time to eat well.
Give yourself permission to make food a priority. Take the time, spend the money, and prepare it with love. Your return will be worth it!
We reached out to Amy to put together this series of blog posts that we are calling Beyond Limits to provide a little encouragement, and a lot of wisdom, for those of us going through a massive transition with food.
If you are struggling with food allergies, eating more healthfully, or a new way of eating that has been “forced” upon you, please join us:
Join us in Plan to Eat
Amy has put together 15 recipes that are available to you through your Plan to Eat account. Many of these recipes promote healing, some are designed to help avoid common allergens, and some of them are simply to get us in the kitchen cooking real food instead of pulling something out of a box.
All of these recipes are available through the desktop version of your Plan to Eat account by clicking on the Challenges tab and selecting “Beyond Limits” in the dropdown menu.
Join our Facebook group
Do you have a question for Amy? Or maybe you want to connect with others who are going through something similar to you? Our Beyond Limits Facebook Group is a great place to connect with others!
Hint: This is a great place to use the Friends feature to share recipes with other Plan to Eat users!