Outside Online - Meal Planning with Maggie Battista
Cookbook author Maggie Battista didn’t always have a healthy relationship with food. Growing up, she was teased about her weight and developed habits like binge eating during stressful or emotional periods. After a lifetime of shameful feelings and physical pain related to her diet, she decided it was finally time for a change. “I had a lot of reckoning to do,” says the Boston-based food maven behind the Eat Boutique blog. In her recently published book, A New Way to Food: A Cookbook Inspired by How I Learned to Love Me, At Last ($29.95, Roost Books), Battista confronts her harmful history with food and shares what she learned on her own journey.
Removing obstacles, especially the little ones, has been critical during Battista’s quest for better health. For example, she usually sits down on Sundays to plan out dinners for most of the week—maybe a pickled cherry and black rice salad or tomatoes, crispy shallots, and vegan crème fraîche on toast—and sometimes breakfast, too (often oats or hard-boiled eggs). The process mitigates decision fatigue throughout the workweek and doubles as a compassionate approach to wellness. “Sometimes I don’t make the best choices in the moment,” Battista says. “Meal planning is one tool you can use to be kind to yourself.”
(Courtesy Roost Books)
The idea of meal planning can seem time consuming, but Battista says it’s important to make the distinction between planning for meals and actually making them all ahead of time. “Instagram can be scary,” Battista says, referring to the daunting images of color-coded, perfectly portioned Tupperware containers that abound on social media. (“If you can do that, I think that’s wonderful,” she says.) But simply setting aside some time each weekend to figure out what you’re going to make will help you meet your dietary goals. “Taking a few minutes to come up with a list on the weekend enables you to eat consistently with your values during the week.”