4 Tips For Preparing Meals In Recovery
Preparing meals while you are in recovery can be daunting.
There can be an overwhelming amount of factors that make it incredibly difficult.
Here are 4 hot tips to make preparing and eating meals in recovery successful:
Hot Tip #1
Plan your meals in advance
Flexibility is ok but if your car has a flat battery, you finish work late or traffic is bad...you will have something to fall back on.
Kristie: In the early stages of recovery something that really helped me was advance planning my lunches and dinners for the week. I had take-out and eat in options that met my meal plan and I would tick each meal as it was completed. I had the plan taped to my fridge and it helped me be accountable but also gave me a safety net.
The schedule was flexible, if I was invited to a friends place for dinner I would do that instead...but it meant I could never use the excuse of ‘I didn’t have food in my house’ or ‘I panicked and couldn’t settle on a place to eat out at’ – because I had a list taped to my fridge that reminded me of all my options. I used this tool for a long time in recovery, because it worked.
Hot Tip #2
Connect with others
Eating disorders thrive in isolation but they shrink in the company of others.
Kristie: In my eating disorder I had been completely unable to have food at home. If I had of brought food home, I would have had no idea what to do with it! At 28 years old I began to invite people to my house for meals once a week. It was the beginning of glimpsing ‘recovery gold’ – I began to feel the benefits of embracing recovery. Rather than meals being about the food, they became about the connection and fun that comes with deep relationships.
Hot Tip #3
Make yourself accountable to your meal plan
Set yourself up for success. Does someone know your meal plan? Who can you can text/email for accountability?
Kristie: When times were tough and I was skimping on portioning or skipping meals, my eating disorder would whisper ‘this isn’t a slip, it doesn’t matter...you can do it properly tomorrow’. The truth was I did slip and it did matter. In those times, an accountability buddy was super useful.
If emailing or texting weren’t enough, I would get online and find a friend to video call with so we could prepare, portion and eat together. Use someone to be accountable to, until you can be accountable to yourself.
Hot Tip #4
Make food enjoyable
What can you do to make meals more fun? Would music help? Company? Distraction? Find the strategies that work for you, and against your eating disorder.
Kristie: At first, getting better felt bad. Preparing and eating meals was hard to do on my own and I had to find way to make it more fun. I would play good music, invite people over, or work hard to eat something I wanted rather than what my eating disorder wanted. Sometimes i would play board games afterwards or watch a movie. These were some of my favorite things to help get me through a meal.
If you are finding it difficult to meet your meal plan check out our meal support options to see how we can help.