The Plan to Eat Podcast

#11: Our Meal Planning and Food Journeys

March 09, 2022 Plan to Eat Season 1 Episode 11
The Plan to Eat Podcast
#11: Our Meal Planning and Food Journeys
Show Notes Transcript

Roni and Riley get personal this week and share their experiences with food and meal planning. This episode covers everything from how they ate as kids, when they learned to cook, to their current relationships with food. We hope this episode inspires you to reflect on your own journey with food, what has worked and what hasn't, and how that affects your meal planning. Thanks for listening!

Find the recipes Riley and Roni talk about in this episode:
Creamy Sun-Dried Tomato Chicken Pasta
Riley's Elk Sliders

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[00:00:00] 

I'm Riley and I'm Roni. And this is the plan to eat podcast, where we have conversations about meal planning, food, and wellness. To help you answer the question what's for dinner. 

Riley: Hello, beautiful podcast listeners. Today, Roni and I are talking about our personal food journeys. We recorded this episode and then in chatting about it, we decided that it would probably be beneficial to tell you why we're even talking about this today. We're talking about our food journeys, because we think it's important, to give you context for who we are as meal planners, um, who we are as recipe sharers, and as podcast interviewers, because this will be, um, it'll play into our perspective when we're talking to people on the podcast. 

Roni: So basically how we started from, you know, like what our families did when we were younger, how we both have evolved, you know, through college and into adulthood. Um, not only with meal planning, but also with eating and different diets [00:01:00] that we've tried.

And just how all of it has kind of affected who we are now and what we do currently. So we hope that you enjoy it. And we hope that you can kind of reflect on your own journey maybe, and see where you have come from and where you are now. 

Riley: Yep. We're all on a food journey. So please know that we're not promoting or encouraging you to follow a certain or specific diet type, or eating habits. Um, these are just our personal journeys. So enjoy the show.

Hello and welcome to the Plan to Eat podcast with Riley and Roni. We are excited to chat today about our personal food journeys. How we grew up, the kind of families we grew up in the kind of food that we ate, and then kind of follow that all the way through to learn about. How we both became meal planners, and what we do to build out our meal plans now to feed our families,

uh, I think Roni, I think you should go first. So I'd just love to hear a background of where you came from. What was your childhood like? 

Roni: Thanks Riley. I grew up in a family [00:02:00] where my mom was a stay-at-home mom. So we ate a lot of home cooked meals. I won't say that they were extravagant home cooked meals all the time. You know, my mom three kids, so we ate casseroles and crockpot meals and, um, things that were definitely a little easier.

Even though she was a stay-at-home mom trying to take care of three kids. She had her hands completely full. I definitely grew up in a household that I think prioritized making food by hand because, we didn't really have the money to be able to go out, to eat, like going out to eat with something that was really special.

I definitely. Gravitate as an adult, more towards home cooked meals. And I think that's part of that reason is just, it's kind of a comforting thing almost. Um, because it was the family in the household that I grew up in was eating home cooked meals and sitting around a dinner table together. Even if like the dinner table, wasn't like the place where we all gathered to like have super interesting conversations. I still remember, [00:03:00] we all ate dinner every single night at the dinner table. together.

Riley: Awesome. That's amazing. That's a big deal. Not everyone can say that. 

Roni: Yeah. And I'm sure that that was just like probably the households that my parents grew up in too. So it was just a value that they carried into our family. And then I would say when I got into college, things were kind of similar. My mom had taught me a lot about cooking, growing up, and I feel really fortunate for that.

She always wanted to include me and my brothers in the kitchen. Uh, I think I took more of a natural liking to it than my brothers did. Maybe I just liked spending time with my mom. And so, you know, she taught me some basic things I was. Not really an adventurous eater as a kid. I was like, Ooh, I don't like onions.

And I don't even like black pepper because it's too spicy. But I did enjoy cooking. And so when I got into college, when I got into college, that was like the late two thousands, 2008, 2009 was my first year of college. And so that was a big. At time for [00:04:00] blogs. So like that was like hot time for recipe blogs. Right? So I got into a lot of different recipe blogs. I got into a lot of fitness related blogs. And so the food that I started to eat was a lot. More geared towards, um, like a fitness mentality and maybe like changing the way that my body looked through the things that I was eating, rather than just like cooking and eating and, you know, not really even thinking about anything related to my body when I was eating food.

That was a, probably a big change that happened for me in college. And it was definitely influenced by a lot of different fitness bloggers and, just people that I thought that I admired at the time. I got really into exercise at that point in time, too. So I got into the gym and started working out a lot, as a result of those things as well.

Riley: Really interesting to note,, like this transition in your, uh, cooking and eating habits. Because I, you know, when you said that it made me think about when [00:05:00] things kind of transitioned for me, because I think as a kid, consider that food is, nutrition. You know, like you don't necessarily consider that is fuel or that food is nutrition.

You just like, I'm hungry. This is what my mom made. So at some point in your life, it does transition into foods are good or foods are bad for you. And then kind of like, almost like taking control of the things that you eat. I think a lot of people have this like apifany moment in their life. And then there's this transition that happens, whether or not you stick to it long-term or.

You know, it kind of varies, but feel like that's like a, this, the shift happened in the way that you ate and like the choices that you made about your food. I think if we all thought about it, we probably all have that 

Roni: Yeah, I would guess so. I would guess pretty much everybody has this moment where you go from just like a different level of awareness. Like as a kid, I don't think that very many kids are aware. Of like things like food and what it means to eat certain things. Like you just eat food based off of whether you like it or not. I definitely would say that at that point [00:06:00] in time in my life, I was really defining foods as like, quote unquote, good quote, unquote bad. 

I didn't realize it at the time, but that was probably when I first started to meal plan because I was tracking my macros and I was writing down all of the foods that I ate because I was trying to, you know, like have certain like physical goals and everything related to my workouts and my eating. Um, and so get, without even realizing it, I was creating meal plans and often like copying people's meal plans because I was just trying to achieve the same goals that they had already achieved or something.

and so then actually during my junior year of college, I studied abroad in Spain. And I think I've talked about this before on the podcast, but study abroad in Spain. as far as like exercises and stuff went, like I stopped exercising quite like the amount that I exercised, decreased quite a bit because, um, like the big commercial gyms and stuff are not really as popular, at least not in the city that I was in, not really popular.

And I. My approach to food was much different as far as like [00:07:00] I wasn't macro counting or anything anymore. Like I was just trying to enjoy as much food in a different country as possible, like eat all of the different things that we, that I've not experienced here in the United States or that they just do differently over there.

and I had this group of friends, they were four of us. We were all, we're all American. And we all met at our language school that we were going to, and we would get together. We did everything together, but every Thursday night we would get together and we'd all take turns, cooking dinner for the whole group.

And, I remember talking to my mom over Skype at one point in time and being like, I've run out of recipes to make. did you decide, how do you decide, like what recipes you're going to make for dinner every single night? And so it was like, that was almost my, like my first like meal planning, epiphany of 

Riley: Yeah. 

Roni: do people, how do people decide what they're going to eat for dinner every single night? And I only had to do a once a week.

Riley: yeah, Because it becomes really difficult. I find it. I mean, I still find it occasionally difficult to like, oh, what are [00:08:00] we going to eat? Like, I need some ideas. Um, so it's funny that your first intro to it was just once a week, I guess, not even once a week, because y'all were alternating who was cooking. 

Roni: yeah, exactly. It was like once a month, I had to figure out, but that was the thing is I want it to be like a special, unique recipe. Cause we were all making like our favorite recipes for our best friends. And so then I came, I came back from Spain and I had one more year of college. And after I graduated from college, actually my plan was to compete in like a figure competition.

for those who don't know, you basically like get up on stage and high heels and a bikini and show off your muscles.

Um, I didn't end, I didn't end up actually doing that, but I did go through a pretty serious dieting phase where I was trying really hard to cut fat and, get really lean so that I could do something like that. Um, I never ended up happening because I actually started to just kind of feel.

Deleterious mental effects of being [00:09:00] in a diet for so long. I just started to, you know, not really feel happy with, you know, the things that I was eating. It was really hard to constantly be judging myself based off of what I was eating and how my body looked and all that kind of stuff. Um, which, I mean, you know, we all do.

On a regular basis, like for better or for worse, but when you're going into it with the, with the mindset of like, I have to be on stage in front of a whole crowd of people, I think that it's even more intensified that like amount of judgment that you have for yourself.

Riley: Every person who participates in those kinds of competitions. I think there's some aspect of it that really hard on them mentally or depending on how they get there. But, um, it is pretty amazing how different every person responds to things like that. Because not every person feels that, so weightly in their mind.

Um, so I mean, actually it's like kudos to you for like, noticing that and then not just powering through, and like harming your mind, even if it wasn't physical. I mean those, I think those [00:10:00] competitions are fun and I've had a lot of friends who've done them and have been successful at them, but it is also really hard to do it hard to get there. 

Roni: Absolutely. It's super hard. and there, there are people who it doesn't bother them, you know, and they just, it's just a cycle phase that they. When it's really not that big of a deal. But for me, that really wasn't the case. So,, I stopped, I stopped that. I was like in my early twenties and I kind of just stopped doing that kind of a thing.

And I still was working out. I was honestly still tracking my macros and trying to eat really like quote unquote, clean, Because it was something that just, it, uh, it was a part of the community that I was in, you know, like it was a part of my gym community and the people I surrounded myself with.

And, um, then a few years, couple of years after that, I actually got trained, trained as a personal trainer, got certified as a personal trainer and, um, Through that process actually really changed the way that I viewed food. The, you know, the program actually had nothing to do with nutrition, but it was just the more that I got involved in the fitness space, [00:11:00] the more that I realized that there can be a lot of harm that's caused from this like constant emphasis on you have to be little, you have to be smaller, you know, for women in particular, you have to like eat a ridiculously small amount of food in order to get that way.

And so I started to really change my mindset around food and the food that I was consuming. And I stopped counting macros just as a personal decision I would say in general, that kind of takes me to like where I am now, as far as how I eat, I really don't, pay that much attention to like specifics of how I eat.

It's more like broad generalizations of like, am I eating vegetables? Am I getting enough protein? Do I drink enough water? And something that I've gotten into a little bit more recently in the last like year and a half is doing some like intermittent fasting every once in awhile. Not necessarily for any sort of, you know, physique benefits, but because it, through lots of different like books and podcasts and stuff, just learned about the [00:12:00] myriad effects that it can have that are all positive for your body and your mind and everything.

Riley: Do you have any resources for people? If intermittent fasting is something that they would be interested in starting. 

Roni: So a podcast that I think you and I both like and listen to is Cynthia Thurlow podcast. Um, she talks quite a bit about intermittent fasting. Um, Dave Asprey, he's the pioneer of like the Bulletproof diet. He's a pretty good resource for that kind of a thing. I think some people think he's kind of like a controversial dude.

But I actually think he, um, takes a really moderate approach to fasting because of his like Bulletproof method, where he's like, there's actually ways to make fasting. So it's easier, which is like consuming fat and like keeping your body in like a pseudo fasted state. I'm not going to go into the science because I am not a scientist about it.

But anyways, and so then, you know, in that process, I, uh, I worked at a restaurant for a really long time after I got out of college. And then , about four years ago, I started working for plan to eat, [00:13:00] which was really when I actually started to meal plan in the way that I meal plan now. Because once I start.

Uh, stopped counting macros. I didn't really meal plan at all anymore because there was no reason for me to like, write down what I was eating or anything because I wasn't counting anything. So I kind of stopped doing any sort of meal planning for a while. And then when I started working for plan to eat, um, started meal planning again with plan to eat, of course, and.

I don't think now that I could actually eat dinner every night without meal planning. 

Because of like what we were talking about before, you know, the, the, think there really is a lot of constant pressure decide, you know, like what you're going to eat and isn't going to taste good. And how many ingredients do you need?

And do we have those ingredients that do have to go to the grocery store every single night of the week? That was definitely my biggest problem. Before I started meal planning for us or working for plan to eat and started meal planning regularly. My biggest problem was I was at the grocery store every other [00:14:00] night and just me and my husband.

We don't cook for anybody else. And I was spending like $800 a month at the grocery store because I was going every other night. And of course I'm not just buying the five things that I need for that one recipe I'm peruse and every single aisle. so like every other night of the week, I'm spending $50 at the grocery store.

Right. It was horrendous, honestly. so I would definitely say that, that it has been one of the most major changes that we've made. It's just like, we have food on hand now and it's great and we don't have to think about it anymore. And, you know, I get to choose the recipes that work with my schedule.

So like I, I really, I still really love to cook. So, you know, I. I'll choose Crock-Pot meals and stuff on days when, you know, life is a little bit busier, but in general, like when I have the time, I really do like to cook probably a little bit, you know, like maybe some people would consider them a little more extravagant meals, like definitely different from the meals that my mom cooked when I was a kid. because the amount of [00:15:00] time that I have is much greater than hers was, But I really, I really like the process of cooking. I like, tweaking recipes a little bit and kind of like finding like a fun, new twist on something that I previously, you know, liked it originally. But then maybe think like, Ooh, maybe like a little bit of lemon zest in here, what I really like spice up this flavor or whatever. 

Riley: Yeah. it sounds like that food has become like this almost a creative outlet. you're, you're not just making it because you have to eat. It's like, you're making it because you enjoy it. And, you get to like add your creativity to it. And so you're so comfortable with cooking at this point that you can make those adjustments and have a little bit of the flexibility and time to do it.

Roni: That's actually probably the biggest difference that's happened in the last like 10 years of my life is that food previously was on, was like when I was macro counting and being really serious about it, it felt like an obligation because it was. You can only oatmeal at 8:00 AM in the morning, and then you can only eat your rice and your broccoli at noon.[00:16:00] 

And it was, it, food was really not fun when I looked at it that way. And so you're right, that it really has become more of a creative outlet in my life. And it's something. It's fun for me. And it's something that I enjoy. And not that you like, you can see, you can be somebody who counts macros. Like you can still get fun and enjoyment from your food. But the way that I was viewing food previously, I think was really the way that was detrimental to my enjoyment of it.

Riley: I think cooking for someone else like your spouse. it personally has changed things for me because in the past it's like I'm a little bit more okay. With just, okay, here's the food because I'm hungry and I need to eat.

So here's something I'm just gonna eat it. And so now cooking for someone else all the time, it makes me want to have really creative and yummy meals, because I am cooking for somebody else. And like, while my husband is not super judgmental, he definitely likes to eat good food. And so that does put an added layer of pressure on that element. But, I also think there's a lot of freedom and just being able to, you know, cook outside of a [00:17:00] specific diet or like macro counting, because it's like, well, this is the food we're going to get to enjoy it. And I think that the mental aspect of eating, is pretty important. It's pretty important too. I don't know if you have any thoughts on that, but. 

Roni: No, definitely. I think there's multiple aspects of it that are important. And one of them is the stress that's related to, like you're saying like, Finding new and creative things to eat all the time and both you and I can attest that we don't eat new and creative things all the time. We definitely get in, you know, ruts where we eat the exact same meals for like three months before we decide to switch things up.

Um, but, but even still, like there is there's that mental stress of particularly when you're not meal planning of being. What the heck are we going to eat tonight or even like, we know what we're eating tonight, but I don't know what were eating tomorrow. And you know, my husband, takes leftovers a lot for his lunches the next day.

And if we, if I make a meal and it doesn't have enough leftovers, like then I'm like, oh my gosh, I feel so bad. Like, I don't know what he's going to eat for lunch tomorrow. You know, it's like, it's really not my [00:18:00] problem, but I'm still concerned about.

Riley: Yeah. Yeah.

It makes me chuckle a little bit because the other day I sent you that photo, um, I stumbled across this photo on social media it's a, it says who knew that the hardest part of being an adult. What to cook for dinner every single night for the rest of your life until you die. And I sent that to Roni and my comment was.

That's hilarious, but actually this doesn't have to be the way it feels if you use a program like plan to eat, because, it allows you to kind of be more creative and then even plan for having leftovers for your husband. But, also it allows you to like create this schedule and then get it out of your mind.

So you're not having to figure out what to eat every night. So I mean, it sounds like planting has been super helpful in that way for you because it does free you up from the stress of having to figure out. Oh, gosh, like what are we going to have? Because at one point in your week, you already went ahead and made the plan, whether for that whole week or for two weeks, and then you've got it figured out and then it just alleviates that much stress, and then you can enjoy other things in your life. [00:19:00] 

Roni: Yeah. Which is kind of a whole point. And I would say that it has been like the number one helpful thing. And particularly because it's not because it's, it's still my choice, the recipes that we get to have on our meal plan. And to me, that's really important because I want to try and, you know, like expand my cooking skills or like, I just want to, I want to try like new flavors, you know? 

Related to this, I think, you know, mental side effect that I think food has on us is that we have to eat multiple times every day. And so it's really easy to make it something that overwhelmed. Your brain for multiple levels, not only from the planning aspect of it, but because we do get all of these different conflicting messages of like, this thing is good, and this thing is bad and you have to eat this thing or you can't eat this thing.

And this thing as a super food, and this thing is the worst thing you've ever had in your life. So, so I just think that, it feels nice to be at a place in my life where I'm more focused on the fun and creativity around food and less on the, [00:20:00] this food is good and this food is bad and I can't eat this, but I can only eat these other things.

Riley: I think, if that is the place where you can be, I think that that lifts a huge burden. You know, I'm thinking about my own food journey and just like knowing that, like, that's not always the case for me and for other people who like, Have to consider a food allergy or have to consider like someone in their family's dietary needs it might be.

And so I think if you can kind of lean in to this, like food is freedom for you, and you get to be creative and it's just something you get to enjoy. I think that's a really cool place to be. And then using a program, like plan to eat to even lift the burden further. I think that it sounds like. Like, I think that sounds like something from it should want or like strive for.

And I was like, food becomes this place of just like enjoyment and freedom instead of like stress and burden. Um, and I mean, I think that's what we're trying to do over here, so 

Roni: Yeah. I'm probably pretty lucky in the fact that I've reached that point where it feels like a happy place.

Riley: Yeah, that's, that's great. I applaud you and I know that there are people listening who [00:21:00] feel that way too. And so it probably feels good to hear someone's story who they can relate to in that way. 

Roni: Well, let's over to you. Why don't you get us started and tell us about your food journey.

Riley: Yeah. In a lot of ways. I think that my food journey. is fairly similar to yours as far as my childhood goes. And I'm not sure. You know, we grew up in different places. I grew up in the south. You grew up in, in Colorado, so in the west. And, I think certainly the way people eat in different states is pretty dramatic.

I would say that. But it's probably still pretty similar in that my mom was a stay at home mom and, uh, she homeschooled all of us and I have three siblings, so there's four of us. And so, she did have time to cook, but it was still something that was, you know, cook to feed the family. And so my mom's an amazing cook, so we had a lot of amazing meals.

I mean, she really, truly is an amazing cook and she was always so good about having us help in the kitchen. And you know, like you might, my siblings, like some of them were interested in some of them weren't, you know, we, I think about my childhood and like, I think about my siblings [00:22:00] and my older brother's thing was always like, making chocolate chip cookies. Like, I'm pretty sure. That I don't remember him making anything else as a kid that was like his favorite thing to make and his go-to, I'm sure there were other things he made.

And so if you're listening to this, just know, I know there were probably other things, but that's what you're known for in my mind, as far as I childhood goes. And then my younger two siblings, they, I don't remember them cooking a ton. And maybe it's just because I was older and then my life progressed and I didn't look back on them.

And if they were cooking or not, my mom was always really encouraging of us to be in the kitchen and learning how to cook and, whether or not she did that intentionally, I actually couldn't say, but I think food is a big deal for her.

She loves to cook. She likes to eat yummy food. And so, it just transferred to us as children to like, want to do the same thing. I actually was very overweight in high school. And so dieting kind of became something that I did in high school and later on, in a lot of really bad ways. And so were a lot of reasons for it [00:23:00] reasons I know now, and like hormonal reasons that I know now for why those things happened.

But at the same time I was handling it in a very. I handled it in a very unresearched way or like an, it was just like, I heard this thing, I should do this thing. And I clung to these diets and, some of them worked and some of them didn't and like, you know, crash course crash dieting or whatever people call it.

Um, and so then I went to college. And my roommates, man, they probably think back on that time in a funny way, because I, I like you started reading a lot of blogs and reading a lot of information about good and bad foods. I think I already had a mentality around good and bad food. But it became much more.

Highlighted. It was much more highlighted in my time in college. And that's when I started really getting into exercise and things like that. And like, it really sent me on this track towards health in a really positive way. Because I just knew more, I started learning a lot more about the body and, You know, all the aspect, like what food is for, you know, like how it, and how it affects our [00:24:00] bodies.

And so like, while that time was, uh, tumultuous in a lot of ways in my eating, because it was college and I had no money and, or whatever, you know, like there's just foods that you eat in those situations that I look back on now. And I'm like, wow, that was like not great. I liked it, but I, it was not great for my body or my mind. Um, anyways,

Roni: did you watch those like YouTube videos and stuff that were like how to eat clean with $20? Cause I was all into those.

Riley: Yeah, I definitely did that. I did. I felt like I was fighting against things like school, cafeteria, food, um, and like making that healthy. And then when I cooked at home and like what I chose to eat, like, that's why I'm thinking about my roommates thought of me because they probably thought I was like the weirdest eater in the world.

And it was really just because I was on this journey towards figuring out for myself, what food was for. Foods helped me in what foods hurt me. And yeah, and like the way that exercise and caring for my body played into that and what I ate. 

After college, I moved to Colorado [00:25:00] and, um, when probably my desire for fitness and like, Healthy, physically like in the gym and that kind of thing really kicked in. I started running, I ran half marathons, also was diagnosed with Hashimoto's. And so, you know, that just, it's an F it's a factor as far as like food and health and all of that thing, all of that goes.

A lot of my food journey along with Hashimoto's it really has become this like researching experiment of like, because there's a lot of things out there for people with, like an immune condition like that.

A lot of different diet types to like heal them or fix them or resolve them or help your numbers look better. And I've tried a lot of them and some of them really helped me and some of them really hurt me. And so it's kind of become this experiment of like, what is beneficial and what isn't, for me personally, and I think that that's something that I would say.

It's been really profound in my food journey is recognizing that what works for one person's body doesn't work for another person's body. And like what food, like, I mean, not in a food way, [00:26:00] like what foods are helpful for someone versus what foods don't affect somebody else or affect me. it's very different.

And so just kind of like focusing on my own body and not necessarily clinging to what other people say is good. That's been really important for me because I think it's been so easy for me to follow. Like something so religiously, like this diet, I'm going to do this thing. And then when it doesn't work, there's this element of like, I just, I should have tried harder 

Roni: Mm. 

Riley: and it's not that I should've tried harder it's that my body did not respond well to that type of eating or whatever.

Roni: Well, yeah, in case, somebody who's listening doesn't know what Hashimoto's is. Could you give us like a real quick brief overview of what it is and why it would affect what you eat?

Riley: Yeah, Um, Ooh, well, one, I'm not a doctor, so like anything I say here, like, please don't take this part. But it's just a thyroid condition. It's where, You're thyroid, we just doesn't function properly. And so while there are a lot of medications that can help resolve that, a lot of people find resolution through there [00:27:00] through changes in their diet.

Like one thing for me that I found to be super helpful is that I wouldn't, gluten-free about , I guess over three years ago now. And that has allowed, um, my medication to actually work in my body. So my numbers have never been as stable as they are since I've been gluten-free. And while I wouldn't say I'm like healed, by being gluten-free, it works in conjunction with my medicine to like allow me to, just feel a lot better.

And so that's something for me that took a lot of trial and error. I've tried a lot of different things, like I said, um, auto immune protocols and, food elimination, diets, and, things along those lines. And I think there's a lot. Uh, we talked about this a bit with your food journey. There's just a lot of stress in that.

Particularly for someone who's eating a very mainstream diet and, and I wouldn't say I was eating like a strictly mainstream American diet, but I was to a certain extent. And so for people who are given this, like, okay, you've got this thing, it can be resolved through the way that you eat or helped through the way that you eat.[00:28:00] 

It can feel very stressful. And so I think that's where, Where meal planning really steps in for me is because, I know there are these, like, these recipes are gluten-free or these recipes are paleo or whatever, the thing I've made, I've tried a lot of different things. And just being able to say, okay, here's my meal plan. I know what I'm cooking. And that alleviate a huge portion of the like having to change your diet then. Cause you know what you're eating. I think that's the biggest hurdle for people when they're given a diagnosis or given, um, or they switched to a new diet. 

A lot of my friends, you know, have done like a whole 30 and it's like, it's so hard because they're hungry because they don't know what to eat. And so that's where meal planning really steps in is like, if you know what, you're eating a huge hurdle in changing your diet is eliminated. and then it makes it much more accessible.

And then once you get into this habit, like, then it just becomes easy. It just over time, the process becomes a lot easier. But knowing what you eat is like the biggest thing in that. Um, right. I mean, cause if you're starving and you can't make a decisions, cause you're starving, then you're going to [00:29:00] choose the thing that's not good.

Or the thing that you're trying to avoid or whatever it is, because you're just hungry and you just want to eat, uh, eat something. And so just kind of like knowing what you eat or going to eat. I can't say this highly, like more strongly, but like if you're in the middle of having to change your diet, Get a meal plan set up.

There's tons of resources out there. Like if you literally Google, like okay. Gluten-free or Google, paleo, or whole 30 or whatever it might be, and then get those recipes saved and a plan to eat, um, highly recommend it, and then get those recipes on the meal planner. The shopping list is made for you automatically go to the grocery store, buy those things, and then it's taken care of for you. And then, you know what you're going to eat. 

Roni: So then you were diagnosed with Hashimoto's when you were in your younger twenties, how has that led you up to nowadays?

Riley: So after the Hashimoto's diagnosis, I really went on and I never have alluded to this in some of the things I've already said, but I really went on this journey to healing. Right. Um, like what kind of diet can I [00:30:00] follow? That will resolve this, because I didn't want to be on medicine for the rest of my life.

And so I w I really just have struck out to find the thing that works for me, that can help me either resolve symptoms that I have, or maybe even heal myself altogether. And I've tried a lot of different diets, to that end, like to that end of like not having to be on medicine for it. Cause that's a really pretty high priority item for me.

And so I've done a vitamin auto-immune protocol. There's a doctor named Amy Myers and I followed her protocol. I've done paleo. Uh, I've done gluten-free and dairy-free simultaneously. And then I ended up, I've just kind of landed on being gluten-free. And then within that, We, you know, at our house, I do cook for my husband and my daughter.

And so, so honestly changing diets all the time is really difficult with the family setting. Because either you're bringing those people along for the ride, when they may or may not want to, or. Um, you're cooking more than one meal, every meal, which is for me [00:31:00] just really not accessible. I can't do that.

I don't have time for that. Landing in the place of being gluten-free has been the healthiest for my family and for me, because it's something that's really manageable. And my family has just grown to enjoy gluten-free foods and, And my husband, I think, I think he thought it was going to be bad, like tastes bad.

And like, I know I said that he's not picky and he isn't, but he does like to eat good food. And so I think it's been really fun for me to watch him kind of come around and realize. He actually likes a lot of the foods we eat now better than the other version, or he doesn't notice at all that they're gluten-free.

That's just been a place of growth though. That's been over time that we've gotten to this place. And I've certainly spent times in different diets where the food that we ate was really not. And boring because I, I was stuck in the, I don't know what to make phase. And so we were eating a lot of chicken and vegetables and that's all, and that gets really old, you know, like after a while.

And like, while I don't mind eating the same thing all the time, my family does [00:32:00] not feel the same way. And so, um, striking that balance of like, finding foods. Okay. Really yummy and, diverse, while also following a gluten-free diet. I like you, I find it very fun to be creative in the kitchen.

And so, it's not a hindrance anymore. It's really just something where it's like, well, I. I just like, I can swap a regular recipe to be gluten-free and I don't feel like I served the recipe, in a way that wasn't tasty. I just swapped out things.

So, yeah. So where I've landed now, I, I have also tried a lot of things. I've done macro counting I've I do intermittent fast, periodically, um, I think one thing for me just to know on intermittent fasting is, it's really important as a woman, and a woman who has a health condition. Be aware of your body and listen to people or, or look at research from women who fast.

Because the one, the female body is very different from, a male body. And the way that we respond to fasting is different. so, know that you mentioned [00:33:00] Cynthia, Thurlow, she's a great resource. I also really like Stephanie Estima, but just listening to a woman, talk about it because our bodies are different in the way that we were like, you know, it can actually be detrimental to fast as a woman.

If you're not more cautious, so that's just my little plug for that. But, I think the thing that I like about intermittent fasting is just. It actually alleviates some stress around meal planning because you're not eating as much. And it's also made me less hungry. When I've done macro counting before, uh, I was feeling like I was eating all the time to like meet my goals.

And so intermittent fasting kind of alleviates that a little bit because I've, I've become like, I trained myself to be hungrier through macro counting. And then now I'm training myself to, be less hungry and eating like one or two larger meals a day. And then just feeling full or longer. And I think there's actually a real benefit to that. Um, as for like, that's something that I've found to be helpful through fasting. 

Roni: I would actually say that one of the things that I really like about intermittent fasting is it's, it kind of empowers you to be like, it's okay. If like, if you don't have time to eat, [00:34:00] better sometimes to just like skip the junk food to just like, wait a little bit longer. And that's been a really empowering feeling for me, because if you do come from.

Like both of us have come from a more like fitness motivated. They tell you to eat six to eight times a day, you have to be constantly eating to rev up your metabolism. know, if you're coming from that mindset you know, you get like a little like, Ooh, I might be feeling just a little bit hungry, but like the only thing that's available right now is the drive-through.

It's empowering to remember that. It's okay. My body is going to survive you know, eating every two hours and I'm going to be just fine. And it's better to just wait until I get home and can have the option that's going to serve my body better.

Riley: Yeah, it's a real mindset shift. But I like you have found it to be very helpful. and I think, you know, in the research that I've done, which I don't have any stats or research to speak out Right. now, but like the research that I've done shows. Eating less is really good for you. It's good for your brain.

It's good for your cells. [00:35:00] And, I think that I was also like you conditioned to eat a lot more of small things. And so just kind of shifting my mindset and realizing like, this is actually helpful, to shift and. To eat a little less. I think it's really good. Yeah. So now, I mean, I, I use plan to eat to meal plan, and like you, I started using it when I got hired, to work for plan to eat.

Um, so I've worked for plan to eat for seven years. So I've been meal planning with plenty for quite a long time. And I'll be honest, like I'll still get off track and not meal plan sometimes. And I. Every time. I hate not knowing what's to, for dinner. Particularly if I have a stressful day at work or a long day of busy appointments or whatever it is.

Um, and then going and being like, oh, I've got to feed these people. just like removing that stressor from my life, is super helpful and super beneficial. And so that's why I regret it when I don't is because I go into the kitchen and I'm like, gosh, like what are we going to have? Cause I didn't think about it or I haven't made it to the grocery store yet or [00:36:00] whatever it is.

And so we live too far away from town to actually eat takeout very often. And so that actually does force us to like be creative in the kitchen when we haven't meal planned. But I do prefer to have a plan and know what we're having. Most of the nights of the week, Yeah. So just a little bit on that, I suppose.

We tend to eat protein, heavier meals, and I tend to plan our food around the protein. Cause I think that that's important for our family. I will make a meal plan of like three to four dinners per night, and one, at least one that can be frozen if I don't make it. So that like the other night I was gonna make pulled pork and, this week just got a little bit hectic.

And so I'm actually not going to have time to make that, so I can throw that pork in the, uh, in the freezer. That's just like something I do is at least one of my meals can be put back in the freezer and there's no harm. Cause I certainly hate to waste food and throw it away. And so at least one of my meals usually is something that I can easily put away.

Whether it's like something that's partnering with like a canned good, like, um, like a soup or something like that, or, um, that pork, all of those sides, like I [00:37:00] didn't have to prep them or make them so until the night of, so, it's easy to just throw it all in the freezer. 

Um, yeah, I feel like I could talk about this for hours because every person in mine, every person's journey, including mine is very nuanced. There's a lot of aspects to the way that we, our food choices have evolved in our lives. And I don't expect my food choices to like stay this way forever.

I think there'll be things that continue to evolve in the way in my choices, in my food. The way that I meal plan, all of those things. 

Roni: And before Riley and I started recording this podcast, like we acknowledged that food is plentiful for us, which is not the same in other places. And a definitely a very, you know, like privileged problem to have to worry about diets. And so. That's just, it's just part of our stories.

It's a part of we as people and where we grew up. And it, you know, it might resonate with you and it might not, but, uh, we just kind of wanted to share, know, like where we came from and where we are now. Um, because we think that. You know, just food in general is really [00:38:00] important. And acknowledging that, you know, that the things that you did when you were younger, don't have to follow you through to when you're older. can constantly be evolving and making changes that are for ourselves and our families and our bodies and all of those things. So let's into talking about our favorite recipes for the week so that we can give everybody just the last, last little bit of recipe inspo, before we leave today. 

Riley: Okay. Roni, what's your, uh, what's your favorite recipe from the week? 

Roni: Well, I actually shared this recipe with you the same night that I made it 

Riley: Yeah. 

Roni: bomb.com. is from it's from half baked harvest. It's a creamy sun dried tomato chicken pasta. Super yummy. It's kind of has like a yummy garlicky sauce. It's a one-pot meal, so can all appreciate that. And you know, like the sun tried sun dried the sun, dried tomato like a nice kind of almost like citrusy flavor to it to kind of really like. Get your taste buds going? Um, we really enjoyed it. [00:39:00] My husband devoured it. It had planned to have leftovers and we had very little leftovers the next day. So definitely try it out. It's amazing.

Riley: So funny that you say that because that's what we're having tonight for dinner. 

Roni: nice.

Riley: Yep. Put it on the meal plan. As soon as you told me it was amazing. Um, I probably one of my favorite things about me and Roni's friendship is that we share recipes all the time. It find yourself a meal planning, buddy, because that'll help you stay out of ruts. Um, 

Roni: your, what's your favorite 

Riley: Yeah. So we have this go-to recipe for elk burgers. My husband hunts, and, so a few years ago he got an elk and that has fed our family for a long time, which is such a gift. So we, I have just created this recipe for elk burgers. It's got green chilies in it and, um, spices and, I there's like a sweet and spicy kind of sauce that I put on the outside.

Um, we eat them on these little almond flour buns and they are so good. They're so good. But cause I'm saying this on the podcast, that means I'm going to have to [00:40:00] actually write the recipe down, which I will do and add to my plan to eat account, to share with all of you, lovely people. You could easily sub in ground beef or ground Turkey or ground chicken, whichever.

Yeah, they're really yummy. I've actually fed them to you Roni. So you could actually speak to if you like them or not.

Roni: I was going to testify that they are also very delicious and I have asked you for the recipe. So I'm excited that you're finally going to write it down.

Riley: I'm going to do it. I'm going to do it. I've got it. I got, I've got accountability now. So. 

Roni: Well, thank you all for listening to another episode of the Plan to eat podcast. If you are not already, please subscribe to our podcast. It helps us appear in front of more people on their podcast apps. So we also appreciate any ratings and reviews that we get, and we will see you guys next time.