So I have a confession to make. For the last couple of weeks or so I have been in a bit of a food rut. I have been packing and eating a lot of the same foods over and over again, and while they have been tasting good and have been good for me, I haven’t been enjoying them as much as usual. As a result, I also have not been feeling very satisfied with any of my meals, and I have been resorting to some not so healthy habits. Some habits I tend to develop which cue me in to the fact that I am most likely in a food rut include:
- eating my meals and finishing them without feeling like I ate at all (probably due to the fact that I am not really paying attention when eating)
- becoming really snacky and never feeling fully satisfied… (probably due related to the bullet above)
- craving a lot of “junk”-type foods that I usually don’t normally crave
- feeling out of control and in regard to eating in general
I don’t always experience all of these things at once, and while they can occur because of a “food rut,” they can also be caused by multiple other factors as well (stress, eating our of boredom/habit, getting stuck in a routine in regard to food, etc). I don’t want to say that I am only snacky and/or crave copius amounts of chocolate during these times(because I KNOW that this isn’t the case), but I find when I continuoulsy feel this way and am engaging in the above habits often, a boredeom with my food choices is usually a major culprit.
I have also begun to identify when these moods tend to strike:
- when the end of a season is near (I tend to eat the same things during certain seasons….)
- when I am really busy and don’t have a lot of time to devote to food/meal prep.
As both of these situations appear to be releveant here, I have decided that there must be something I can do to end the cycle. The crazy thing I have come to learn about food ruts is that they are so easy to fix. Once I recognize that it is the problem, all it takes is a few tweaks in my diet to make my food seem “fresh” and “new” and “exciting” again. Now, if I could only remind myself of this sooner instead of waiting three weeks to come to this conclusion….
Does anyone get in these type of ruts?
To end this cycle and to get excited about eating again, I decided to spruce things up this week and do what I could to make my meals exciting again.
Some tips/tactics I use to get out of a food rut:
1.I buy something new at the grocery store to spruce up my meals
This week I got a little excited and purchased….
A few new salad toppers and/or snack mix ingredients:
A few new granola bars to eat as snacks (Courtney inspired the SoyJoy purchase…):
- A new type of vegetable and/or fruit to throw into salads/sandwiches/stir fries or veggie bags
- A new type of cereal to enjoy for breakfast or in a baggie for a snack (add some nuts for more staying power!)
- fun toppers or add-ins to throw into snack mixes, on top of salads or meals (any type of seed or nut, dried fruit…)
- A new flavor of yogurt (for breakfast or as a snack)
- A new type of cheese to use as a salad topper, in sandwiches, sprinkled on top of meals…. (goat, feta, parmesan, cheddar, gouda…..)
- Granola bars or snack bars (Kashi makes a lot of fun flavors of granola bars… and they don’t contain a lot of additives or unnecessary ingredients) – I also love Clif Z bars, Larabars and KIND bars
- A new grain to enjoy with lunch or dinner (there are so many like barley, quinoa, different types of whole grain pasta, brown rice, bulgar wheat…. you can find most of these in the bulk bins at Whole Foods)
- A new condiment to use as a dressing, marinade or sandwich spread…. (I love condiments!)
- A new seasoning/spice to add to meals (I love Spike!)
2. I make a new recipe or search through cooking magazines or cookbooks for cooking and/or meal packing inspiration
I made a new soup yesterday (another one from Natural Health Magazine) to eat for dinner and/or pack for lunches… Red Kidney Bean Curry Soup (yum).
I actually ate this for dinner last night on top of some kale (mine was more like stew because I let it simmer too long), and it was delicious (and so simple to make too!). I am looking forward to eating it again….
So lets hope my food rut ends this week. I am already excited to dig into my new trail mix concoction later and to eat my minnelo!
How do you deal with food ruts and/or keeping meals exciting? Do you have any other tips to share (I am always open to advice on this!)?