There are a few things that you can do to start your plan well. So we've rounded up a few simple steps for you to think about as you get prepared for week 1. Keep in mind that not every approach or tip is going to work for every individual. At ZOE we don't believe in a one-size-fits-all approach. So feel free to choose what works for you.
Simple steps to plan ahead:
1. Get familiar with your 50+ foods.
The first week of your plan is all about discovering and learning the best foods for your biology. Browse through the different food categories, and mark some as your Favorites ♥, in the app so you access them easily when building meals. Embrace your sense of curiosity and adventure! Are there any foods you haven't tried before that you'd like to incorporate?
2. Stock up your kitchen with your 50+ foods.
When it comes to food, we can definitely be products of our environment. The more high scoring foods in your kitchen, the more likely you are to eat them. Take a scan of your fridge, freezer, cupboards, and countertops.
3. Consider where foods are placed around your kitchen.
While you restock your kitchen with high scoring ingredients, take note of where you store them. Displaying high scoring foods on your countertop or in cupboards at eye level can help to keep them top of mind. Are there foods that you feel would be better off "out of sight, out of mind" for the time being? You may find that simply placing them on higher shelves or in your storage pantry allows you more focus on incorporating new foods that are better for your biology.
4. Prepare some staples.
When it comes to meal prepping, a little goes a long way! Just a little bit of cooking in large batches over the weekend can pay dividends throughout the week. It's a great strategy to help you reduce cooking time. Meal prepping does not have to involve preparing entire breakfasts, lunches, and dinners for the week. You may want to approach it by prepping a few separate ingredients and have them on hand in storage containers ready to use when you need them.
Here are some examples of how you can prepare foods to store in your fridge:
- Cut fruit or vegetables for easy to grab snacks.
- Prepare one or two big trays of roast vegetables to bulk up your meals.
- Cook a couple of staple starches, such as bulgur or quinoa, in larger quantities, to simply add to your meals.
- Cook beans or legumes to throw into your salads or stews.
5. Identify local restaurants in your area.
It is easier to stick to your plan when you eat in. But we all have to (and love to) eat out and order in every now and then. If you need to eat out, rather be prepared - identify 2-3 restaurants that have plan-friendly food in your area.
6. Formulate "if-then" plans
When we make lifestyle changes, challenges are inevitable. When going through your plan you'll likely encounter obstacles, and to help you through them, ask yourself now, "what will I do when I encounter <insert said challenge>?" "If-then" planning is an excellent way to preempt obstacles and solve problems early on before you encounter them.
Here are some examples of what this might look like:
- If I get busy and realize I haven't eaten in hours and now I'm starving, then I will make sure to have some healthy, satisfying snacks available to keep me sustained and focused until I have time to get a meal together.
- If I'm feeling stressed or overwhelmed, then I will go for a quick walk to clear my head before opening the fridge for comfort.