If someone asks you what restaurant you want to visit for a meal, you may feel overwhelmed by the choices available to you. Similarly, I have found that many people are often overwhelmed by the process of creating a healthy meal plan for the week. If I ask a question like whether chicken is healthier than steak, they can answer that straightforward question, but crafting a complex (and delicious) variety of meals can be a real challenge. We often choose food without much rationality. What sounds good often depends on our emotional state, as well as the level of convenience.
Here are just a few of the factors I consider when I create your personalized healthy meal plan*:
- Nutrition: Every person’s dietary needs are slightly different, but the goal is generally to balance elements from the different food groups. Considerations must be made for calories, nutrients and fibre content.
- Taste (including personal preferences): A variety of colours, shapes, flavours and textures is always the goal because it makes eating fun and interesting. But if you don’t like something and don’t want to eat it, you probably won’t, no matter how “good” it is for you.
- Budget: Relying on plant-derived food for the majority of your meals and adding a moderate amount of lean protein usually helps reduce your overall food cost, but other considerations may include the addition of seasonal or local ingredients.
- Time: Convenience is a major factor in many people’s food choices, and I always try to respect your time when designing a healthy meal plan.
By setting small goals like reducing sweets or increasing water intake, you are more likely to reach your goals over time than if we try to drastically change your eating habits all at once.
*Individual results will vary.