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Strategies to simplify and empower mealtime.

I’m sure we all share this experience: It’s been a long day. You’ve either spent it in the air, in a high energy conference, meeting with teams on-site, speaking to large groups, or working through a heavy agenda in the boardroom. Most days, more than one of these activities occurs. There are decisions to be made and in-depth conversations to be had. You are maxed out from optimizing every articulation and interaction. And then you get home or to a restaurant or to a deli, and all of a sudden your mind fails you on what to eat for dinner.

After this happened one too many times for my liking, I realized that I had to change my approach to how and when I was getting fuel throughout the day. While needs may differ for everyone with regards to nutritional requirements and such, I have some strategies in my arsenal to meal-planning effectively whether at home or on-the-road.

Top 5 Favorite Meal Planning Strategies:

  1. Assess nutritional needs at the beginning of the week. Food is medicine and self-care. This is your opportunity to give yourself what you need to succeed at the foundational level. Play a proactive role in making sure you have the items and ingredients in your refrigerator and pantry that can be readily available for quick and delicious meals.
  2. Factor in schedule and anticipate fueling obstacles. Know what’s going on in your schedule — if you’re traveling or dining out, check menus in advance. If you’re going to be on a plane, anticipate how and when you can access nutrition. Don’t depend on in-flight meals!
  3. Build meals around carbs, protein, and fat. These building blocks function as components in better energy and long-lasting satiation. Figure out what your basics are and keep them stocked and available. Great plant-based sources for protein include lentils, beans, hemp hearts, chia seeds, edamame, green peas, quinoa, natural peanut butter, and almonds.
  4. Add four to six servings of vegetables each day. Vegetables contain very little to no natural sugar and offer up essential vitamins and minerals as well as exceptional flavor.
  5. The blender = best friend in a pinch. Spinach and kale shakes are one of my favorite speedy fuel-up hacks. Using plant-based milk and throwing in vegetables, berries, honey and chia seeds, is a great method for fast meals. It’s also fail-proof!

By employing these easy and adaptable methods, I have experienced far greater success with meal planning and energy reserves for a demanding schedule. It’s not impossible, and there are a lot of resources out there that can help you plan your way to success.