I am entering a four day stretch of giving lots of massages. I think most people understand that it’s a very physically demanding job. I want to give each and every client the best treatment possible; that means that I need to be especially on top of my self-care. I’m grateful for the exploration over the past few days with doing less, meditation, and yoga as these are all essential elements of my daily routine. Another element that is a priority for showing up as my best massage-therapist-self, is nutrition. I need to be well fueled to remain focused on my clients and not on my upcoming snack.
The way I accomplish this is a food plan. Not very mystical, I know! Yet it works wonders for me to have a general idea (I do like to leave room for flexibility) of the meals that will sustain me over the next several days. I keep it simple usually by preparing several servings of a whole grain that can be reheated each day for breakfast, prepping lots of veggies to throw together quick salads, and my favorite to-go lunch, green smoothies.
Making the food plan helps assure me that I have all the ingredients on hand that I will need for several days. I really don’t want to be bothered with a trip to the store for one item. Certainly not in this 98 degree weather! It also helps me remember when I need to defrost or soak anything overnight. It takes just a few minutes to put together and then forms the basis of a shopping list of necessary ingredients. This moment of foresight allows me to relax a bit more knowing I will have all the nutrients I need to perform well at work.
I divide my day planner into three columns for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Then I pencil (important as I change my mind frequently!) in abbreviations for the meals I have planned. I keep it as simple as possible. Millet/CB/MS/GB is my breakfast porridge with coconut butter, maple syrup, and goji berries. It’s easy to confirm that I have all those ingredients and to remember that I like to soak the millet overnight. If you’d like more structure, Kris Carr offers these detailed instructions and a downloadable planner here.
If you’re interested in avoiding energy crashes and urgent trips to the vending machines or fast food joints, this is a great tool. Planning meals might sound like a hassle, but for me it allows a loose structure that I can relax into. It’s comforting to know that I have everything I need for the next several days and that I won’t be getting hungry (or irritable!) at work. It’s a foundation that allows me to save money on impulse foods and helps me avoid unhealthy snacks. In my eyes it’s a win-win-win practice!