Good day to you. Many of us live fast-paced lives which causes us to put an important part of our lives, eating, on the back burner of priorities. This causes a lot of us to purchase the same food items week-to-week and not exploit the many nutritional food choices out there. For celiac disease survivors this can be especially problematic as nutrition is more important due to eating gluten prior to diagnosis causing malabsorption issues.
So how do you raise the priority of creating nutritional meals with variety without compromising any other aspect of your life? In my experience, I think you can accomplish this in many ways. Initially, however, I feel you should outline a plan for yourself on paper by answering these questions:
- How often do I want or need to go to the various food markets I shop at?
- Do I shop for food items based upon sales advertisements?
- Do I shop for food items based upon coupons I’ve collected?
- How many specialized diets (i.e. gluten-free, non-dairy, vegetarian, etc.) am I shopping for?
- Do I have specific food item cravings often?
- How much time can I dedicate to cooking each meal?
There may be additional questions you may need to ask yourself depending on your personal and family lifestyle. Feel free to write those down with corresponding responses as well.
Now, what do you do with this information? The information you gathered may be used in several ways. I would start by setting up your grocery shopping to be the same day every week or however often you need to go to the markets. Pick the day when your grocer has published new sales advertisements, for example. By going the same day you are establishing a routine. This routine will ultimately allow you to “schedule” yourself time to create the grocery lists of food items you need the day before.
Why do I mention scheduling time for yourself to create your grocery lists on the day before you do your food shopping? So you can make a food plan, or create a menu, for the coming week or other time duration until the next grocery shopping day. Remember the questions you answered above? Based upon those responses, you can make outlines of what you’ll need to purchase on grocery shopping day.
Now here’s the bonus, positive part of creating a menu for yourself and your family. This is the part where you can pull yourself out of your “menu food rut!” Remember I recommended you “schedule” the day before grocery shopping to create your grocery lists? Well, if you are creating a menu, then you can find new and interesting foods and recipes to try so you are not purchasing the same foods over and over! If you are a celiac survivor, you can also take this time to confirm ”new to you” food items needed are gluten-free. When you have planned your menu, guess what? You now have a stress-free grocery list with no forgotten items!
By creating menu plans and then grocery lists, you are guaranteeing yourself and your family variety, nutrition, and health.
Research, educate, and advocate all celiac and gluten-free.
Peace be with you.