The Meal-Maker Series - Mealtime Made Simple

Tools, tips and resources designed to save time, simplify meals and eat well out of habit.

Wouldn't it be great if modern superwomen had a toolbelt like Batman, but instead of grappling hooks, it was equipped with special tools for urban life? For example, I would love a mini espresso machine with milk frother built right into my travel mug. That would be nice. I don't know if that´s a thing, but I do know a few tricks for your superwomen toolbelt to reduce the heavy lifting of the mealtime workload.

Let´s be real, the meal planning and prep of modern life are stressful, time-consuming, chaotic and a bit messy. It can feel like there are about 101 obstacles between you and that deliciously gorgeous recipe tucked away in your Pinterest account. I understand how you intend to eat fabulous, homemade meals at your table, yet feel overwhelmed with the details of making that happen consistently. Don't sweat it. That's life—messy, not perfect.

WORK THE SYSTEM

Living in Spain, I admire how the community, environment, policy, schools, and families all play a role in supporting a healthy lifestyle and diet. There is less highly processed food, less fast food, less food marketing, less supersizing, and no one would be caught dead walking down the street with a slice of pizza in hand. It just doesn't happen. Getting good food to the table here is slightly easier than back home in the U.S. since the lifestyle and tradition support health.

For example, just this week I made the mistake of ordering my veggie delivery from the farmers´ market on a Monday—the only day they don't have delivery service! I didn't realize that until the produce purveyor, himself ran it up here on his motorbike and delivered it to my doorstep, still wearing his helmet. Another one of my cringe-worthy moments living abroad. Aside from my embarrassment, it reminded me of how the system here is stacked in my favor, and how my community supports me when I need them and when I am not perfect

Fortunately for everyone living outside the Mediterranean, you can absolutely set up your home system and home community to work for you and your health in just the same way. You can reduce the hurdles, move the barricades and clear the obstacles that prevent you from moving forward towards health one step at a time.

You can efficientize health.

Eating well and living healthy is a result from minimizing the obstacles that repeatedly stand in your way.

A frequent concern raised by my students and clients is that eating well now and then is doable, but eating well consistently is difficult, frustrating and time-consuming. Since there are so many obstacles that get in the way, most people choose the path of least resistance, which is often not the same one aligned with health.

Mealtime Deal-Breakers

First, let's talk about those tiny hurdles standing between you and your table, I call them deal-breakers. These deal-breakers happen almost subconsciously and in the blink of an eye when planning or preparing meals, yet they wield great power over our lives and our health. One of the biggest deal-breakers for eating well is the false notion of perfection. We see images of perfect kitchens, perfect meals, perfect foods, perfect people eating those perfect foods, perfect diets, perfect bodies, etc., etc. Yet, real life and real food are a lot messier than that, and your style of eating doesn't have to fit neatly into predetermined parameters.

The formal definition of deal-breaker is “a factor or issue that, if unresolved during negotiations, would cause one party to withdraw from a deal.” As an over-thinker, over-doer and over-achiever yourself, that phrase probably sounds very similar to the pre-mealtime negotiations going on in your head. For example, your inner monolog starts the negotiations with the wise proposal to eat some of those slightly wilted veggies in your fridge, suggesting how you might feel guilty if you had to throw them away—again. Next, you grapple with a few questions regarding the time required to prepare the veggies, how to cook them, how to pair them with something else in your pantry, and how delicious they might be, considering you are not an Iron Chef. If any of these questions remain unresolved, that confusion becomes a deal-breaker.

A confused mind will always say no. If you are uncertain or don’t have enough information to make a decision about what’s for dinner—that´s a deal-breaker, further reinforcing unhealthy habits.

Being a superwoman, you understand just how delicate these complex internal negotiations can be. Women over-analyze everything. To the point that one small detail or one unresolved issue can initiate a complex cascade of events drastic enough to back away from the table of negotiation. What's even worse is that sometimes we are looking for ways to back out of a deal if we're not totally convinced the offer is appealing. Like if your intention is to eat those beets aging in your fridge, yet have no idea how to prepare them. Pizza in 30 minutes or less never sounded so good.  

 

Turn Breakers Into Makers

It´s worth emphasizing that deal-breakers have nothing to do with willpower, guilt, deprivation or laziness. Deal-breakers occur when we don't have the information we need to make a healthy choice, or the system is stacked against us in creating more work and less reward. Thankfully, there are several solutions to minimize mealtime deal-breakers by relying less on consistently making good choices and more on eating wholesome foods as a habit.  

The first step, which I´ve already shared in a previous blog post, is to stock the basics at home so that your fridge, pantry, and freezer are working for you, rather than against you. Download the free Ultimate & Delicious Pantry List to get you started. From here, the next steps in efficientizing your health are the Meal-Makers. These have been designed as a result of many conversations with clients, students, friends, mothers—and yes, superwomen—about how to get better at eating well and living healthy.


Introducing The Ultimate Grain Master!

MY Meal-Maker Guides are simple tools to
streamline mealtime and
efficientize health

THE ULTIMATE GRAIN MASTER

Download The Ultimate Grain Master so that the deal-breaker questions of “how do I cook that grain and what do I pair it with?” don't get between you and your Rooted and Rustic table.

This 2 page, step-by-step chart details exactly what you need to know about each grain, how to cook it, how to flavor it, how to enjoy it and recommended portions. Gluten-free, high-protein and whole grains are also indicated. This is not in an infographic of color images. Instead, this tool has been designed to print and hang in your kitchen or pantry as a reference to streamline mealtime, eat well more often, and live Healthy Out of Habit.

BONUS: As a bonus I´ve added How to Create a Meal Using Whole Grains, so you know exactly how to pair whole grains with any food!!

Do not bury this information deep in your hard drive files, never to be seen again.
Print it, hang it up at home, snap a photo of your Meal-Maker in action and tag me
on Facebook or Twitter!


Turn mealtime deal-breakers into simple Meal-Makers.


Leave a comment below about how you are using this new tool in your superhero toolbelt, and let me know if there is something you would like to add!