For those of you brave and committed souls (BIG UPS TO YOU!) that are a part of my 21 DSD group, here are my best suggestions for being successful while on the the 21DSD.
- Participate in the 21 DSD with a buddy. Spouse, parent, child, friend, or neighbor – it’ll be much easier than going it alone. BUT being a part of our group also provides that “buddy” support.
- Meal Plan. When you have planned your weekly meals ahead of time, success is much easier. We intentionally start the 21 DSD on a Monday so that you can go grocery shopping and do some meal prepping on the weekend beforehand.
- Meal prepping. All of my most successful “healthy food weeks” were successful because I spent time on the weekend cooking 1-2 meals, cutting veggies, reviewing recipes, etc. This is true for most people that I encounter.
- Try some recipes from the cookbook ahead of time. Find a few favorites and work out the kinks. This will help to ensure a smoother 21 DSD.
- Grocery Store Hacks. It’s no secret that grocery shopping on a Sunday is NUTS! But there are other great ways to save time buying groceries.
- Thrive Market. This is essentially the same as the pantry aisles at Whole Foods. You choose your groceries online and they are shipped right to your door. It takes about 3-5 days to arrive. Everything on Thrive is discounted from the typical Whole Foods prices. Register for a 30-day free trial – you get 15% off your first purchase. If you decide to becoming a paying member (like Costco) it is $59.95 per year. Free shipping for all orders over $49. This is a HUGE time saver for me. Here’s a referral code: http://thrv.me/iYVWfd
- Join a weekly CSA – have local fruits and veggies delivered to your door. This is another great option to help save time. This website is helpful for finding the right CSA for you. http://www.localharvest.org/csa/
- Saving time with these grocery shopping hacks will free up time for you to spend prepping and cooking meals. If you aren’t used to cooking most of your own meals, this step will be HUGE!
- Dining Out? If you’re dining out here are a few tips:
- Avoid being starving. I always have some snacks at my desk, in my car, or in my purse. This will keep you from being tempted to eat the free bread. Better yet – tell your server not to bring any bread to the table. [BTW – If you’re always starving, you may want to up your fat and starchy vegetable intake.]
- Look at the menu ahead of time. Have a game plan for a couple of options of what you can eat at that restaurant (and know what you’ll have to ask them to remove). I always ask for double veggies instead of rice. Don’t be afraid to ask for what you need. Servers are more than willing to be accommodating as long as you ask nicely!
- Avoid choosing the restaurant that serves your favorite [insert non-21 DSD food here]. If you love and cannot resist pasta, don’t go to Maggiano’s or The Spaghetti Factory. If you love and can’t resist fries and a milkshake, avoid going to The Counter.
- Stay tuned for my local dining out suggestions!
- If cooking and meal prepping are new to you or you’re just feeling BUSY and overwhelmed, here are a few hacks:
- Buy the pre-cut veggies at the store
- Buy a rotisserie chicken from Whole Foods
- Smoked Salmon (ready to eat from TJ’s or Whole foods)
- Buy the pre-washed lettuce and salad fixings for quick and easy salads
- Crockpot meals!!
- Pressure Cooker Meals (even more !!! than crockpot meals!)
- Use a food processor for quick chopping of a bunch of veggies
- Cook in bulk. I ALWAYS cook enough for leftovers. My bare minimum goal is four meals from every recipe (i.e. dinner and lunch the next day for both Jim and I). But usually I try for even more meals than four.
- Soups. They are relatively easy to make, they’re healthy, and they provide 6+ meals. You can also freeze extra soup!
- When I’m feeling overwhelmed with too much to cook and do in the evening, I choose the quickest dinner possible out of the available options and I get that chopped, prepared, and cooking. While tonight’s dinner is cooking, I ALWAYS do some additional food prep/cooking. [Just continue working in the kitchen until dinner is done cooking.] Whether it is just cutting up veggies for salads the next day or prepping my salmon to roast in the oven. [Side note: I’m ALWAYS listening to a Podcast or an Audible audiobook – just ask Jim. I feel much more productive if I’m chopping and “reading” or washing dishes and “reading”.]
- When you’re feeling like quitting, remember these two things:
- It’s only three weeks. You can literally do anything for three weeks. 🙂
- Don’t focus on the things that you are giving up. Instead, focus on what you gain: freedom body pains and problems, control over food, and health.
Don’t hesitate to reach out for help. You can do this!!!!
Hugs and Health <3,
DISCLAIMER: I am NOT a Registered Dietician or Medical Doctor. As such, I do NOT provide medical nutrition services, or diagnose and treat disease. Rather, I educate people on the benefits of a healthy lifestyle to improve their quality of life. I advise people with existing medical problems to consult with medical doctors. I shared evidence-based health information, whether to class participants, wellness counseling client sessions, or on this website.