Do you ever have those days where you feel like eating nothing you planned on or have in the house? No matter how many lists I make, or how delicious the meals seem when I plan them, there's still those nights I'm left wanting to ditch what's planned.
It's usually after a stressful day, or it's raining and chilly outside. Maybe I'm just sick of eating healthy or worked out harder and feel ravenous.
These nights, you might resort to take out, but for the sake of healthy eating, it's not ideal. During the week we choose to keep it healthy and have more freedom on the weekends, which makes it more fun and enjoyable. (If we had indulgent food all week it wouldn't seem as special on a Friday or Saturday)
So how do you ditch what's planned and still eat healthy?
- Identify what your body is actually wanting, is it more carbs, fat, satiety, emotional support?
There's usually a reason I'm not feeling the healthy dinner I planned. It helps to take a second and identify that reason before picking up the phone to order take out! Do you have less time than you thought? Are you stressed out and just want comfort food? Maybe you simply need something more filling than what you planned. If it's an emotional reason, than try to satisfy that in a non-food way, go for a walk and get fresh air, take a warm bath, do some yoga or call a friend. If you simply need a different dinner, than do that (but still make it healthy)! Your meal plan isn't a contract and deviating from it isn't failure.
- Keep certain staples on hand.
It's no surprise that I'm a planner, but to stick to healthy habits it's truly necessary! It's normal to not feel like eating healthy all the time, so planning ahead for those moments is helpful. You can do that by keeping certain foods on hand.
I encourage not striving for perfection, so if you don't feel like having the salad you planned, make something else you want more! By keeping certain things on hand, you'll settle on something that's quick, healthier than take out and satisfying.
My pantry staples are, our favorite whole grain pasta, arborio rice, whole wheat pizza dough (freezer), kale or spinach, garlic, onions and fresh mozzarella (freezer). There have been plenty of nights where I ditch the plan, and make a thin crust pizza with wilted kale, garlic and fresh mozzarella, sometimes with a runny egg on top. This way, I get a more satisfying dinner but still feel healthy and am happy with my food choices afterwards.
The staples I keep on hand are really versatile, so I have multiple choices when they're needed. Pasta and pizza covers it for most people, but if there are other dishes you'd crave, keep the ingredients on hand for them, and ensure there's added veggies.
- Plan more exciting meals. You might find yourself in a healthy food rut if you have many nights where you don't want to eat what you've planned. This happens to every healthy eater! To get out of a boring healthy eating routine, I turn to inspiring blogs/magazines for out-of-the-box ideas and ways to make vegetables delicious and exciting. Some of my personal favorites are Oh She Glows, Bon Appetit, Saveur Magazine, Cooking Light and just about anything by Ina Garten (but adapted to use less butter)!
Do you ever find yourself wanting to ditch your food plan or bored with your healthy routine? What are ways you stay on track?