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Q&A Archive

What do you typically eat in a day, different from your spouse?

--------------------------------- Ooh, fun question! My husband and I eat a lot of the same things, but there are many areas we differ in too. The main area we differ in is the flour department. I prefer my diet to be very low in flour (breads, pasta, chips, etc) which is not the case for him. Here's an example: When we make spaghetti for dinner, I will have Zoodles and he will have pasta.

How many of your meals do you plan?

--------------------------------- Currently I plan breakfast, lunch, and dinner. As a solo business owner who does a lot of planning, critical thinking, and decision making every day, it's CRITICAL to reserve my brain power for those tasks instead. Planning everything ahead of time allows me to work hard and then just enjoy my meals and give my brain a break! Thanks for your question!

I struggle with eating healthy and cooking as a single person

--------------------------------- If we were in a session together, I would first get super curious with you to find out what exactly you mean when you say you struggle to eat healthy and cooking as a single person. This way, we could get really clear on the facts vs your interpretation of the facts. For example, one person might say that eating one Oreo a month means they struggle and another person might say not eating at least X-amount of fiber every day means they struggle. Write down all the reasons you believe your statement is true and then go back and sort out facts vs opinions/interpretations of those facts. Then, once we got super clear on the facts vs your thoughts, we would then examine how your beliefs and thought patterns are affecting your eating and cooking habits and then create a plan of how to get you to where you want to be with your health and cooking goals. Managing your mind is always the most important, but I would also recommend having an efficient and reliable meal planning system in place to take the guesswork out of what to make. When we don't have a plan in place, it is much easier to reach for the foods we don't actually want for our long-term wellbeing. Having a plan, an efficient system in place, ingredients on hand, and a managed mind is the recipe (no pun intended) for meal planning success! Thank you for your question, and reach out to me if you need more help!

I still have trouble viewing food as fuel vs pleasure. Any advice?

--------------------------------- Great question! There is SO much I could say on this topic, but I will condense it down. What is the reason you don't want to view food as pleasure? If it is because you are overeating (feel free to message me if I miss the mark here), ask yourself: "what do I believe about food that is causing me to over-eat?" Some examples (fill inthe blank with your foods)

  • _____ makes movies 10x better.
  • I had a hard day, I deserve _____.
  • The best way to celebrate is with ___.
  • Life is short not to eat ____.
We can see how these thoughts can create an urge to overeat right? But before we try to go changing your beliefs, first question your current thoughts. Great questions can help set loose old thoguhts and beliefs as well as direct the mind to think new ones. Here are some examples to get you started:
  • Why do I believe this?
  • How is this belief not true?
  • What could someone else believe about this?
  • How is it true that I have access to an abundance of pleaseure from sources other than food?
  • How could the belief "food is entertainment" be false?
  • How can food be both pleasurable and a fuel source?
Start there & follow up if you'd like to dive deeper into this!

How to resist placing your expectations on your partner, especially as it regards to food?

--------------------------------- We LOVE our partner/spouse etc, don't we. But it would be so much easier to love him/her if they complied with all of our requests right? 😆 I think everyone can relate to this! This doesn't apply to just partrners, but all humans. First have grace with yourself. The reason you want your partner to change is so you can feel better. So it makes sense you want your partner to change. We think that if only they would change, it would solve the problem. But, that creates a problem because then you have to rely on your partner's compliance with your requests in order to feel better. We know we can't control our partner/spouse because s/he has free will. Maybe we've tried through telling them to change, making passive aggressive remarks, getting upset etc. We then have to ask ourself if we want to be showing up in our relationship like that...and usually we do not. So what do we do if we want ot feel better and we know we can't (and don't want to) control how they behave? 1. Ask yourself what exactly would you want him/her to change in a perfect world. Allow yourself to be as outrageous as ou want and get it ALL out. Then ask yourself what would you be thinking and feeling if s/he were doing all those things perfectly. Then, show yourself how you can be thinking and feeling that way right now without him/her changing ANYTHING. 2. Get super CURIOUS about your partner and why they are behaving the way they are. Get curious about the "math". Example:
Your math is....
Partner is doing or not doing the thing ⬇️ You believe s/he should be acting different or that s/he is causing a problem. ⬇️ So then you feel annoyed/frustrated/ or some other negative emotion. ⬇️ Then you in turn end up acting in ways you don't want to in your relationship based on that negative emotion. ⬇️ As a result, you end up adding a problem into your relationship. So what's his/her math?🤔 Get curious like a zoologist studying monkeys or a scientist observing an experiment. ------------------------ Lastly, Remember, we can makes requests of other people OF COURSE. We just shouldn't tie our emotional state on whether they comply or not. If this topic leans into the subject about boundaries (something you will or will not allow in your life), that is a separate topic for another day.

Do you have any advice for eating leftover chicken? It's always so dry and gross.

Yes, I just use melted butter! I warm it up in a glass container in the microwave with melted butter and it tastes DELICIOUS. Don't forget to cover it with a damp paper towel or microwave cover.
You can also just add the chicken to soup or mix it in with another dish like casserole.

Can't eat it before it goes bad? Just freeze it and then try the above two ideas when you are ready to use it.

Tips on dealing with the feeling of anxiety....

Anxiety is just a feeling. It's a vibration in your body caused by our thoughts. Normally we react to anxiety by either acting it out, trying to numb it out, or trying to ignore that it's there, but this doesn't do us much good and just makes the situation worse. So once you've recognized it and named it as anxiety, here are three ways to allow the feeling to process through you: 1: Get it all down on paper

  • Dump everything in your head down onto a piece of paper.
  • Go through and separate the facts from your thoughts about the facts. Facts are something that everyone in the world could agree on. It's not an opinion or judgement. Thoughts are your interpretation of the facts.
  • Describe the feeling of anxiety like you would to an alien who had never experienced anxiety. Be very specific. What does it look like? What shape is it? What color? Is it fast or slow? Hard or soft? Open or closed? Notice how the emotion changes the longer you observe it. Get curious of the emotion and how it resonates in your body.
2. "Play" with the emotion
  • See if you can increase the anxiety and then decrease it. Seeing that you are 100% in control of your emotion is an empowering thing. You can also delegate a period of time where you will allow the feeling of anxiety. You allow it the space and the time but on your terms.
3. Breathing Practice belly beathing. Not from the inhale, but from the exhale. Slow, steady breath ALL the way out. Remember, the goal isn't to get rid of anxiety or make it go away. The goal is to alllow the emotion. Not with judgement but with curiosity and compassion for yourself.

How should I prepare for a coaching session?

Great question! Here are some tips on how to prepare for coaching to get the most out of it: * Come with a beginner's mind (open-minded and eager to learn) * Ask yourself how your best self would show up (on time, note taking supplies ready, distraction-free, stable internet connection etc). * Be willing to feel any emotion and be vulnerable. * Go ALL in- the more you put into it, the more you get out. * Post session- Implement! Results come from doing not consuming! Also, don't worry if you don't have a topic in mind for a session. I am always prepared to guide our conversation, so there's never any pressure for you to know what to talk about ahead of time. However, if you do have a topic you would like coaching on, it can be helpful to write it down ahead of time!

I'm trying to build healthy habits, but it feels like there's too many to prioritize! Any advice?

The thought "there are too many healthy habits to prioritize"- how does that feel? Overwhelming? Discouraging? Frustrating? When we are feeling overwhelmed or discouraged, it usually leads to inaction such as procrastinating, buffering (Netflixing, eating, scrolling, etc), and thus we do not take the required action to reach the goal of building the habits we want to create. It can be helpful to constrain your focus, meaning choosing one thing to zero-in on. This limits the number of decisions you need to make and have more disciplined thinking and action towards that goal.

You've got this! ❤️

How many days/meals do you plan for at once? I struggle to do more than 5-7...

We plan for an entire month, once a month which takes us only about 5-10 minutes.

Then, each week, we double check with our calendar and make changes if needed. As an example, sometimes we will have a social event that pops up and we decide that we will be going out to eat instead of eating at home.
If your goal is to plan for more than 5-7 days at once, but you're struggling to achieve that, it is because of either (or both) of these:
1. Your thoughts are preventing you from reaching your goal. Ask yourself, "what would I need to be thinking and feeling in order to do the required actions to be planning X amount of meals at one time?". 2. You are currently lacking an effective system.
You can TOTALLY plan more than 5-7 meals in advance. It is 100% possible for you! 😊

If you'd like, you can send me a message and I can do some mini coaching to help you further.

What do you do when you plan and get to that meal and just don't feel like eating that meal?

I know SO many can relate to this one! You're not alone. 😊 We don't personally struggle with that now because of the system we have in place (join Meal Planner Academy to make that your reality too!). Here are some tips you can try: Think of your home like a restaurant. In your restaurant you have a menu. This menu is a list of all the things that you could eat. Are your options something you look forward to picking from? Or, is your situation more like "Well that's the only thing I know how to make, so I guess I'll plan that".

If you often don't like the meals you plan, I'm guessings it is a "menu" issue. So, take a look and see if you need to add or remove any meals from your "menu". You can also try tweaking a recipe just a bit to add some new flavor. For example, if you normally season chicken with just salt and pepper, maybe try seasoning with chipolte seasoning. Or, pair it with a different side dish! If it's only an issue here and there or even a rare occurance, maybe nothing has gone wrong. Life is 50/50. Half of our experience is going to be pretty great and the other pretty crappy. Meal planning is like that too. Sometimes you will look forward to the meal and sometimes you will feel "meh". Now, if you are having to basically force feed yourself what you planned, go back to the drawing board why that is and if you need to take that meal out. Lasty, check out this Instagram post I did on "Oh Sh*t Solutions". I think you'll enjoy those tips!

Any tips for overwhelm?

We often blame our circumstances for the way that we feel.

We blame our to-do list, the number of hours in a day, our employer, the projects we've taken on etc as the reason we feel overwhelm.
But the truth is (and this is VERY important), that our overwhelm is caused by our thoughts. Our thoughts might be:

  • I don't have enough time.
  • There's too much to do.
  • I won't be able to figure this out.
  • Everything is out of control.
  • I'll never be able to get this all done.
  • I don't even know where to start.
  • Etc..
The unfortunate and ironic part of thinking these thoughts causing overwhelm is this: They don't actually resolve anything. Usually what happens is when your brain goes into overwhelm, you shut down, buffer your emotion (like scrolling, eating, doing other work that is not the priority), or just spin in that emotion....causing nothing to get done. 1. So here is my first tip: Ask yourself: "What thoughts am I currently having that are causing me to feel overwhelm?". Acknowledge that these are thoughts, not facts. 2. Then, find a new thought that will help you calm down and get out of overwhelm so that you can better make a plan to deal with your to-do list effectively. It has to be believable, or it won't work. Here are some examples of ones I use.
  • Right now, I am safe.
  • I don't HAVE to do anything. (I'm not a victim of my to-do list, I choose to do them).
  • Once I have given myself a chance to calm down, I will be able to see the solution more clearly.
  • I always have been able to figure it out.
  • I always have my back, no matter what happens.
  • I just need to break it down into baby steps and it'll all get done in no time.
  • The worst thing that would happen if I didn't get it all done is _______. (Often it's not as bad as I was making it out to be).
3. Lastly, make a plan. If a task seems to big of a project or too vague, divide it down again and again until it is more manageable for your brain to digest. Sometimes, if I'm having a particularly hard time, I will literally make steps like "sit down at desk, turn on computer, open up email, open the first email etc". Once you start getting these small wins down then you pick up momentum and before you know it you are off to the races. Reach out if you need more help with this! Thanks for your question ♥️

What is the difference between meal planning vs meal prepping? I've heard both but I don't really understand the difference.

Meal Planning is deciding what you're going to eat ahead of time. Meal Prep is preparing for the meals you have planned. You'll see people talking about meal prepping most often when they are batch cooking (cooking multiple meals/servings at once and often freezing them), or preparing ingredients for the week ahead to make the process smoother and faster. Here's an example: We meal plan once a month, revise once a week. This way, we know what we are cooking and when, and know exactly what ingredients we need on hand. We get to "cruise" through the week because we know we have everything we need.

We meal prep on occasion. This is usually when we are chopping up veggies ahead of time so that we don't have to do it on the day of. We might also measure out the spices ahead of time so we can just dump them in as we are cooking. Sometimes we may prep extra batches of one part of the meal to save time in the future. One example is our stir fry meal. We will make four times what we need in sauce and then the next four times we have it, we just take one out of the freezer to use. Batch cooking/freezing is not something I endorse as the solution to meal planning. Personally, I've tried it and did not find it to be worth the front-end effort. I was cooking for more than half the day on a Sunday just so I could have reheated frozen leftovers for the rest of the week/month. I don't think it's necessary in order to have ease and flow for dinnertime meals, but I know some swear by it!

My challenge is to find really good casserole recipes...tasty, healthy ones that both my husband and kid will like. Casseroles are practical, one dish and everything goes into the oven. If I have good recipes, I am more motivated to plan meals.

I love one-dish meals like casseroles! And, the best part is that there is no one "right" way to make them because the possibilities are endless! First, I would get curious and very factual about ingredients each member of your family prefers. Ask them to get involved in the process of planning too. Maybe your child said they didn't like brussel sprouts last week, but since then they have changed their mind. Or maybe your spouse was loving chicken, but is starting to grow tired of it. Second, get really specific about what you want to define healthy as. Remember, the term "healthy" is a thought. We get to decide what is healthy or not. Also, you get to change the definition of healthy at any time. Third, I would get all of this information down on paper or somewhere you can reference back to and revise later. Getting really specific about the facts really gets us clarity in these situations. Fourth, I would get curious on why you believe you need "good recipes" to plan meals. If we were in a coaching session together, I would help you question that thought and your reasonings for believing that. This is because this thought is most likely blocking your ability to make the progress and find the solutions you are searching for (no matter how long you search or recipes you find). No matter what, you will need to eventually make the decision to believe that you now have "good recipes" and can end your search. Otherwise, you could easily lead yourself to a never-ending game of hide and seek! 😘 Lastly, here are some ideas that may be helpful in your quest to find your new favorite recipe:

  1. Supercook- You can list the ingredients and type of cusine you are looking for and it will go to work in finding a recipe matching those criteria.
  2. Now that you have your ingredients narrowed down by following the steps above, you search in Google "Casserole with (ingredient), (ingredient), (ingredient)" and see what you find!
  3. Instead of searching for the recipe (and scrolling for hours), try searching for custom casserole recipes. These are ones that give you basic framework where you get to choose the vegetables and sauce etc. I found here you can check out and get expirimenting (report back and tell me how it goes!).
  4. Join a free meal planning Facebook group like the Meal Planner Hub. List what you are looking for and use the other members' widsom to inspire you!
  5. Look into other variations of "one dish meals". Casseroles aren't the only players here! You can try sheet pan meals, stir-frys, soups, crock pot meals, buddah bowls, and more!

    Thanks for your question and have fun experimenting and finding your new favorite meal.

My biggest struggle with meal planning right now is pure exhaustion and then having that on top of it!

What are you asking yourself?
One thing I would get curious with you about is what questions you might be asking yourself to find a solution.

If we ask our brain a negative question, we will get a negative answer.
"Why does meal planning have to be so tiring?"
"I'm already exhausted, how can I possibly meal plan?"
These kinds of questions are assume that the premise of your question is true.
When you ask "Why does meal planning have to be so tiring?", you are really stating in your mind that you believe meal planning is tiring.
When you ask "I'm already exhausted, how can I possibly meal plan?", you are really telling yourself that it is a fact you cannot meal plan when you feel tired.
So, when you believe these to be facts (when they are really just your thoughts), you get stuck in negativity and can never find a solution.
On TOP of this, because you can't find an answer, your brain doesn't like this and continues to play that question on repeat over and over again.
What could you try asking yourself instead? A powerful question to ask yourself has a positive or at least neutral assumption inside. It will propel you to take more productive action instead of spinning in negativity.
Try some of these and see how they feel to you:
"How can both love and take care of myself while make meal planning even easier?"

"What is the solution to this situation?"

"What is one small baby step I can take to get closer to where I want to be?"
Final Thoughts:
Your brain loves to answer questions, so make sure you are feeding it questions that will help you find the solution instead of keeping you stuck. And as always, please reach out if you want more help with your specific situation! ❤️

I'm tired of playing the "how many bites until I can have dessert" game with my son. He complains about EVERY dinner I provide...he eats then says he's done and is hungry an hour later. I'm so over it and frustrated. What is your advice?

Right now, you are feeling frustrated because you believe dinnertime should be a certain way.

You believe that dinnertime should look like...

  • Your child not asking how many bites until dessert
  • Your child not complaining about the food you provide
  • Your child not being hungry an hour later after dinner
Then, because you think it should be different, you feel frustrated and probably do a lot of things to change his behavior so you can feel better and enjoy dinnertime with him.

This is a totally normal response, however it completely takes your power away and you end up not showing up as the mom you want for yourself and for him, you dread mealtimes with him, and then don't enjoy the time with him during mealtime. So, what is the solution here? Well...perhaps there isn't a problem.

What if dinnertime for you and your child is not supposed to look the way you've imagined it to be? What if right now, it is supposed to look exactly how it is?

Consider this...if it was supposed to look different right now, it would.

Your child behaving how he is at dinner is a neutral circumstance. We know this, because there are some people in the world who would feel indifferent about that behavior, think that's completely normal, or even find it humorous.

So, the question here remains....

How do you want to think and feel about your child's behavior when it comes to mealtime? 👉 What kind of parent would you be if you thought and felt like that about your son when it comes to mealtime? 👉 What do you want your experience to be with your son who may or may not change his behavior (even despite consequences or your efforts to change his behavior)? 👉 Then, ask yourself how would you show up as his mom from this thinking and feeling and would that create the dinnertime environment you want for yourself.
You've got this momma! Write back in if you want more coaching with this! 💕

When meal planning what day do you plan on and why?

Our planning (and grocery ordering) day is typically Saturday mornings.

There's usually not a lot going on then, so it works well.

This way, we can use our Sunday to have groceries delievered, chop veggies, and get all organized before the work week begins on Monday.

Just choose whatever day makes the most sense to you, don't be afraid to tweak it here and there, and don't feel like you need to limit your options to the weekend either. 😊

You can get a sneak peak into our meal planning routine in the video below!👇

This Week's Q's

I'm trying to give up sugar, but no matter what I do, I can't stay away from it. HELP.

Part of my training as a coach included weight loss and urges, so you're in luck!

Sugar and flour are concentrated sources of dopamine for our brain.

Humans made something naturally occurring (sugar in fruit for example) and concentrated it down and multiplied it exponentially.

Your brain believes that this concentrated product is VERY important for survival because that is how it's wired (sugar in fruit= good for you, eat more as an example).
It taps into the oldest part of our brain, the primitive brain. That's why it feels you have no willpower and are acting against your will. Then you add all the social conditioning on top of it and it becomes this big mess. This is why simply willpower will never work. You have to decondition your brain and practicing processing urges and allowing negative emotion which is a skill that requires a lot of practice. A lot of people go through a withdrawal period of 1-3 weeks when they quit flour/sugar which is the worst phase, but then it gets easier. After that, you need to decrease your desire for sugar and know how to manage your brain's response for what follows. Also, once you eliminate the extra sugar in your diet, your sensitivity to sugar will adjust too and your dopamine receptors will heal. It's like people who drink black coffee only and are handed a sugary drink from Starbucks. They aren't used to that intensity of sugar and will hate the taste. You will start appreciating and being more satisfied with the naturally sweetness in things like fruits and vegetables more. I'm here if you need more help! 💕

I never liked vegetables, my husband insists on a green vegetable at every evening meal and he is also a foodie, which I am not. I NEED help with salad and vegetable rotations that are Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Nut Free and Egg Free.

Here are some ideas for your salad that are allergin free.

  • For toppings, try fruits, spiralized greens, onions, herbs, and non-lettuce type veggies (like carrots, chopped peppers, cherry tomatoes, peas, beans, quinoa etc).
  • Mix up the flavor by using seasonings and different dressings/oils.
  • Google, "allergy-free salads" and you will find several results there too!
  • Use a recipe generator like this one to find recipes based on your chosen ingredients.
  • Also, I found this article that lists a BUNCH of different vegetables. Perhaps make a checklist of vegetables and start seeing what ones you like and don't like. Also keep in mind, there are MANY different ways to prepare and flavor vegetables.

Bonus: I wasn't sure by your question if you think it's a problem that your husband eats vegetables and you don't. If that's the case, here are some questions that you can get curious about.
  • Why is it a problem that you don't like vegetables and your husband does?
  • How is it possible that you actually do like some vegetables?
  • Why do you believe you need to eat vegetables if your husband does?
  • How is it possible that you will like vegetables in the future?
Lastly, if you struggle with dietary differences in your household, you would LOVE my Dinner Drama Masterclass" it is a bonus you get when you sign up for Meal Planner Academy this month! More details at the bottom of this page here.