3 Easy Steps to Meal Planning

The WellNow Co Meal Planning

By Suzanne Leyden

As a skill meal planning may not be regarded as sexy. But it has incredible qualities that shine through and make it very desirable. What other activity can offer a combination of improving your time management, reducing stress, improving nutritional intake, cost effectiveness and is sustainable too? I mean come on, surely we should all give it a try.

The problem so many people have is that they are short on time in the first place. When it comes to meal planning people sometimes think they want to be handed a finished meal plan and that’s the extent of it. For guaranteed success, however, the reality is different. There is a bit of work involved up front but the pay-off, already outlined, is well worth it.

It really is the starting point of taking control of your health, your way, entirely on your terms. It has the best chance of succeeding this way. If it doesn’t work for you straight away, you’ve invested in it personally so you know how to go about tweaking it so that you can revise it to work for you.

The three things you need to approach meal planning for success are:

The WellNow Co Meal Planning
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THE WHY

Set the right goals so that you stay motivated and on-track. Being clear of your objective in terms of meal planning is the recipe to success. Is there an underlying reason you want to get meal planning from a nutrition perspective? Maybe you want to eat more healthily, become more sustainable by incorporating in-season ingredients into your daily meals or you might simply want to improve the habits of your family. It could be that you want to manage your weight better, increase your energy or reduce your household costs. Knowing your why is critical to your success. It’s important to spend a bit of time asking yourself ‘why meal planning?’ because it’s when things start to falter you can remind yourself of this and get motivated to stick with it.

The WellNow Co Meal Planning
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THE WHAT

Once you understand the outcome you want to achieve then you can have this as a focus when you are choosing your meals. Get informed as much as you can in terms of nutritional needs for your circumstances. Learning more about reading food labels may be something to consider. There will undoubtedly be taste considerations that need to be addressed also. Decide how you want to address these. You may want to push the introduction of a wider variety of vegetables into your weekly diet, or your children’s diet. This can be incorporated into your plan. You are in control.

THE HOW

Having the most appropriate tools for you is key. An approach or template or format that you can relate to and can make work for you is the first step. Then you need to make the plan work for your schedule and circumstances. Knowing the limitations and boundaries to your schedule and the people who will be impacted by your meal plan will allow you to tailor and tweak the plan to optimize success. Don’t plan to overhaul your entire diet in one go. Take on small changes and allow yourself time to bed them down and succeed at them before moving on to the next. Start with X number of dinners a week, or choose which meal to address so that it suits your needs right now. Your shopping then can become streamlined to avoid waste and maximize nutrition, maybe even taking into account what’s in season.

SOLUTION FOR YOU

To really get you in gear and help you bed down meal planning into your weekly routine then this online programme is for you. ‘3-Steps to Meal Planning for Health’ is The WellNow Co.’s video led online programme full of tools and information to get you meal planning like a pro. Check it out now, you won’t regret it.

THE WELLNOW CO 3 STEPS TO MEAL PLANNING FOR HEALTH
The WellNow Co’s ‘3-Steps to Meal Planning for Health

Featured Photo by Ella Olsson on Unsplash

7-Steps to Success: Goal Setting

The WellNow Co Goal Setting

By Suzanne Leyden, Nutrition Health & Wellness Coach and Owner of The WellNow Co

New Year’s resolutions – you either love them or hate them. Either way, 80% of of people fail to stick with their planned changes. But it doesn’t have to be the case if you approach the changes you want to make in a smart way. With these 7-steps to success, goal setting can really help to set you up for creating the change you want and experiencing the wellness transformation you are looking for. In fact it’s a perfect example of proper self-care.

1. EXPLORE

Self-exploration is fundamental to setting goals and achieving a successful outcome. Consider every aspect of your life from health, career, finances, relationships and social or fun time! Is there an area that stands out to you as needing some attention? If so, then this is where your focus should be initially. 

2. PERSONALISE

It’s also important to be true to yourself when setting goals and make sure that whatever you are setting out to do is personal to you and is in line with your values. Figuring out your ‘Why?’ will help you with always working with your purpose and core values at the heart of it. 

Warning: Don’t look to social media and set goals you think you should be doing, do what you want to be doing for you.

3. VISUALISE

How would you like to be living so that you are really thriving in all aspects of your life, rather than just surviving? Take time to really think about this and etch that vision into your mind. Now look at what your life is currently like today compared to the vision you have just set. Look at where you want to get to and what you might need to change in order to get there.

4. FOCUS

Once you’ve identified the areas to focus on, you can start setting small, achievable goals that are going to help move you from where you are today to where you want to be. It’s a case of taking brand areas of focus and chunking them down to attainable changes.

5. READINESS FOR CHANGE

Observing your readiness for change in any of the focus areas, and also the smaller, more specific changes, is key to success. Take the low hanging fruit, the easy wins. This will set you up for success. And we know success breeds success. There’s no point in starting with the most challenging change. Once you have a few wins under your belt, your confidence will be up and you will find more change possible.

6. S.M.A.R.T

How many people decide on January 1st that they are ‘going to get fit this year!’? This is a well-intended goal for many people but it’s too broad and without structure, making it easy to fob off or push out to ‘next week’. So if we took the goal of ‘getting fit this year’ and put it through the S.M.A.R.T (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time Bound) test it might change to something like ‘I’m going to run 5km every Monday and Thursday evening and sign up to a 10km race in June this year.’

7. SUPPORT & ACCOUNTABILITY

Making any change is hard, even if you know it’s leading to a positive outcome. Going for a run every Monday and Thursday evening can be very difficult in the winter months, after a long day at work, refereeing kids at bath time and Netflix calling, but if you have a friend to run with or a partner encouraging you to go, you’re much more likely to succeed. It might be that you find an accountability buddy, or group, it may depend on what the task at hand is. But we know for sure, that together is better.

Everyone’s individuality should be catered for. Making changes right now may not be right for you. Although, one small change now that brings you closer to your overall goal is a great start. Just remember that one step at a time is all you need.

Suzanne Leyden Health Coach Contact

Featured image: Photo by Meritt Thomas on Unsplash

Starting your successful wellness transformation: Self-Exploration

The WellNow Co Self Exploration

By Suzanne Leyden, Nutrition Health & Wellness Coach and Owner of The WellNow Co

Health and Wellness is a hot topic at the moment. Many of us are trying to improve our health in some way, whether it’s to have more energy, manage weight, improve our sleep or bring more balance into our work and home lives. But where and how do we start our journey to better health? With so much advice being bombarded at us about the latest health trends, it can be confusing to know what is actually right for us. Eating kale and quinoa night and day is hardly inspiring or necessary for most of us! Starting your wellness transformation with self-exploration is a solid start to achieving your ultimate health goals.

HOLISTIC APPROACH

The first step, before making any changes to your diet or lifestyle, is to take a step back and look at your life in a holistic way. This is what we call self-exploration and is fundamental to setting goals and achieving a successful outcome. 

Consider every aspect of your life from health, career, finances, relationships and social or fun time! Is there an area that stands out to you as needing some attention? If so, then this is where your focus should be initially. 

Photo by Austin Chan on Unsplash

SELF-AWARENESS

Very often I see clients who have a goal to lose weight but with a bit of questioning and digging, they are actually very stressed at work or not spending enough time doing what they love. Once these issues have been addressed, their lives are more in balance and weight becomes naturally easier to manage. This is a very effective self-awareness tool but just the beginning of the process, really.

VISUALISATION

Next is to create a vision of your ideal life. How would you like to be living so that you are really thriving in all aspects of your life, rather than just surviving? Give yourself some time to really think about this and etch that vision into your mind. Now look at what your life is currently like today compared to the vision you have just set. You might find you are closer than you think to your vision or there might be big strides to be made in order to start living your best life. Either way, there are bound to be things that you will need to change or improve to bring about a positive shift. 

Photo by Matthew Sleeper from Unsplash

SMALL STEPS

Once you’ve identified the areas to focus on, you can start setting small and achievable goals that are going to help move you along the scale from where you are today to where you want to be. It might very well be to include more kale and quinoa into your diet but at least you know the reason you’re doing this…it’s to help you achieve a specific health goal for you.

HEALTH COACHING

This is just a flavour for some of the coaching tools and techniques I use when working with my health coaching clients and will hopefully help you to get some clarity on where to begin when considering your own health and wellness. It can be daunting working through this process alone and a little bit of guidance and support can make a huge difference when it comes to achieving success so if you would like to find out more about our online programmes or our one-to-one coaching services, get in touch today.

Suzanne Leyden Health Coach Contact

Featured image credit: Photo by Kelli McClintock on Unsplash

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