I was talking on the phone with a client the other day, and she posed what I thought was such a great question: how do you make meal prep feel more intuitive, less prescriptive?
I found it so insightful because sometimes meal prep CAN feel like something that takes us out of our bodies or inspires an unhealthy relationship with food. Becomes a way of eating merely for the calories, macros, or time-savings. Sucks all the joy out of eating, and relegates food to tupperware containers and measurements.
So let’s talk about one way to make meal prepping and meal planning a part of eating intuitively — instead of mutually exclusive options.
While there are thousands of meal plans, templates, and meal prep formulas out there, what I like to do at the start of each week is ask my body what it *feels* like eating. At first, it can feel a little strange because you’re not actually hearing anything verbally, but if you sit with it for a minute and practice it over time, your body usually does speak up. It has cravings. Things that just sound good for some reason. Pay attention to those little inklings — they are the language of your own body wisdom.
What I like about this simple step is:
1. It reconnects you to your body. It makes your own intuition the guide for your meal planning.
2. It leads you to meals you actually ENJOY eating. I am a firm believer that there is a nourishing, nutrient-dense, real-food way to make everything you crave, whether that’s pancakes, muffins or pasta. Starting with what you FEEL like eating empowers you to make a menu full of food you actually look forward to, so by the time lunch rolls around, you’re not staring back a bland bowl of chicken and broccoli, wishing you had anything else to eat, and fighting cravings later that afternoon.
3. It gets you the nutrients your body needs. Have you ever craved oranges right as a cold was coming on? Or chocolate right before your period? On some level, your body knew it needed an extra boost of vitamin C to fight off a cold, or magnesium to help with muscle contractions for your cycle. Getting in touch with what your body needs can help with nutrient deficiencies before they ever lead to a chronic issue.
So give it a shot — the next time you’re staring back an empty grocery list, wondering what to make, let your BODY in on the fun, just as much as your mind.
1. Ask it what it feels like eating.
2. Get still and wait to see which whispers, inklings, or cravings come up.
3. Find healthy, real-food ways to incorporate those into your meals for the week.
If you need help planning out your meals, check out this free meal planning template. It’ll help you map out breakfasts, lunches, dinners, and snacks in an organized way, and it’s completely editable from your computer so you don’t have to print it out unless you want to. Happy prepping, gorgeous!