How many times have you got home from the supermarket with several bags of shopping but nothing to really healthy to eat?
I used to do it all the time. I’d head to the supermarket chucking random things into the trolley and end up having oatcakes for dinner!
It was purely down to lack of organisation.
You know you wouldn’t set up a business meeting without being clear on the agenda, venue and attendees, so in the same way you should never go shopping without a list. And don’t make a list until you’ve got a meal plan.
It’s a good idea to create a meal plan for, say, the next three days and then write your shopping list based around your meal plan. Then and only then is it time to go to the supermarket. If time is an issue, you could get into the habit of ordering online and setting up a standard list.
So what does this have to do with eating during menopause?
As we go through perimenopause – the time leading up to menopause – our bodies start to change. It’s important to eat the right nutrients at this time to keep your health in tip-top condition, including good fats, oily fish, nuts and seeds, as well as plenty of fruit and veg.
Here’s an example of my smart menopause meal plan for one day:
- First thing: hot water with freshly squeezed lemon
- Breakfast: green smoothie
- Lunch: homemade veg soup with fried halloumi
- Dinner: salmon with steamed veg and sweet potato
- Snacks: almonds and coconut flakes, carrots and houmous
So if my cupboards were bare, my shopping list would be:
- First thing: fresh lemons
- Breakfast: frozen berries, kale, spinach, almond milk, flax seed, spirulina
- Lunch: leeks, celery, carrots, cauliflower, courgette, bouillon powder, halloumi, coconut oil
- Dinner: salmon, green beans, broccoli, sweet potato
- Snacks: almonds, coconut flakes, houmous
Simple! Plus with a list that’s directly related to what you’re actually going to eat your supermarket experience will be smooth, efficient and stress free. And if you plan for a few days, it makes sense to choose meals that can use some of the same ingredients.
Getting organised in the kitchen
So that’s the supermarket. Now on to preparing the food. Schedule time in your diary for batch cooking meals such as soups, Bolognese or chillis, and freeze them. That way next time you’re in a rush, tired or just can’t be bothered you’ll have a good meal choice to hand.
If you physically write the time in your diary for batch cooking as you would with any other important appointment you’re much more likely to get it done.
Creating a clutter-free environment can also help – a clear cooking area will help to motivate you. Invest in some cool storage jars or boxes – just make sure they’re BPA free.
And why not treat yourself to a little upgrade? It doesn’t have to be an expensive flashy gadget – although I’d definitely recommend a smart kettle if you want to splash some cash. Or you could buy a fresh basil or chilli plant to brighten up the area. A little planning and organisation goes a long way and meal planning and batch cooking is essential to staying on track with the eating choices that will keep your flushes, mood swings and brain fog at bay.