If you get overwhelmed with meal planning, this article is for you! Read more below to learn our top tips for making a new diet plan fun and easy!
Starting a new diet plan with success
At Starting Point Acupuncture in Bothell, we often help people start a new diet plan incorporating anti-inflammatory living. This includes going gluten-free and becoming a meal planning master! With any new changes there is often overwhelm.
Not sure what to eat…
or how to make meals…
or even how to integrate the new changes into your established routine.
I get it!
I went from really just eating the “Standard American Diet” to being diagnosed with food allergies which, luckily for me, included avoiding gluten, dairy, and eggs!
These tips discussed in this blog are just the starting point but can apply to any new dietary change.
To take it a step further, we highly recommend you check out our online course, The Kickstart Guide to Anti-inflammatory Living, as it contains the basics, a 7-day meal plan with recipes, AND a grocery store tour (filmed with permission at a local Seattle natural market). It really is like Shopping with the Doc. Check it out here.
Top 3 Tips to Starting a New Diet with Success:
Tip #1: Have a game plan
Going into any new change blindly often leads to confusion, overwhelm, and not following through. Being prepared is key! Soon it will become second nature but at first this skill of preparing meals and grocery shopping will take some getting used to. The key is to have a general idea of the meals you need to make for the week which typically includes lunches to take to work (5 lunches) and dinners (2-3 different options). There are so many ways to do this either by just preparing 2 meats and preparing 2-3 veggies/salads/side dishes and mixing it every night. But writing it down so you know what to shop for and what to make is key because…it leads to Tip #2.
Tip #2: Create bulk meals and have meals for the week
This relies on Tip #1. You need to always be prepared and the key to success is to plan. Yes, it will take some effort but your health is worth it! After creating your game plan and meals you would like for the week. Create 2-3 bulk meals and make them on the weekend. Put them in containers and store to “grab-and-go” during the week!
Tip #3: Make Cooking More Fun
If you don’t love cooking, maybe I can help to make it more fun for you? I know that sometimes I don’t find cooking to be all that fun. I can get into a rut just like everyone else.
So that’s why I’ve listed my best “fun” cooking tips for you.
Fun Cooking Tip #1
Check out new recipes. Sometimes just seeing the beautiful food photos and reading the recipe can spark some inspiration and fun in your kitchen. Maybe do a quick search on Google or Pinterest to see thousands of new ideas. Here are some of my go-to books here:
Pro Tip: Searching through recipes can be so fun and inspiring, and EASY. Like think efficient. What can all be washed, cut, and baked? That way you can make multiple meals or sides the same way! Example: Baked Zucchini and Baked/roasted root veggies, all washed, cut, sprinkled with salt and olive oil and baked = 2-3 days worth of veggies!
Fun Cooking Tip #2
Make grocery shopping fun and inspiring. We go over this a lot in the Kickstart Guide to Anti-inflammatory Living.
When you’re at the grocery store, try something that you haven’t had in a while. Is there a seasonal fruit or vegetable you haven’t had for months? Or, browse around the store looking for something you haven’t had before; something that is completely new to you. Be adventurous and fun. Then you can go to tip #1 to find new and inspiring recipes when you get home.
Fun Cooking Tip #3
Keep it simple!
Sometimes when I see a great food picture, I immediately get inspired to make it. But if I look at the ingredients or instructions and they’re too long, I stop. While there are times when I’m inspired and dive into a new great recipe; when I’m not all that inspired, I need to keep things simple.
A few ways to keep things simple when you start a new diet plan are to:
- Search for recipes with 10 or fewer ingredients, and five or fewer instructions;
- Search for recipes that can be made in one pot or pan or cooked the same way (see Tip #1)
- Buy ingredients that are ready to cook with (pre-washed salad greens, diced squashes, frozen vegetables, etc.)
The keys and top tips to start a new diet plan is making it fun and easy! You know that cooking is key to healthy eating. And, yes, it does get boring from time to time. Try one (or all) of my fun cooking tips to inspire you to get over to your kitchen and cook yourself some great dishes. You already know your health will thank you.
Need help to start a new diet plan? Give our office a call today, (425) 686-4498 to set an initial consult with Dr. Heintze.
Schedule online here:
Dr. Ellie Heintze, ND, LAc, is a naturopathic doctor and acupuncturist in Bothell, WA at her practice Starting Point Acupuncture. She is a pain specialist, seeing people who suffer from chronic pain, migraines, as well as digestive issues. Offering pain relief injections, acupuncture, facial rejuvenation, and nutrition consults. Most insurances accepted. Dr. Ellie Heintze is also the author of the book, A Starting Point Guide to Going Gluten-Free on Amazon.
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Dr. Ellie Heintze, ND, LAc
- Master’s Degree in Acupuncture
- Doctorate in Naturopathic Medicine
- Master’s Degree in Chemistry
Northern Arizona University
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