Hi Georgie, hope you don’t mind me contacting you, I’m after some help/advice. I’m PN certified and offer all my clients nutrition advice and coaching. I’m looking for several meal plans to offer to some clients. I realize it’s not as easy as just giving a meal plan but some of my clients really struggle with knowing/finding meals to prepare. If I could offer them more options it would really help them. Do you offer this option? Can you suggest anything else? Thanks Georgie any suggestions you have would be greatly received! -A
Of course I don’t mind! I’d love to help you out.
I can tell you want to help your clients as best you can, and that you’ve listened closely to assess their challenges. You’re caring. Feeling like they don’t know what to eat sure can be confusing, but you don’t have to help them through that overwhelm or uncertainty with a meal plan. I would consider letting them know whatever they are eating now is a fine start, that they can choose what to eat as capable adults (just like they have been doing up until now), and you’ll help them improve upon it step by step.
If they need recipes because they want to eat at home more, I send people to the Racing Weight Cookbook.
(FYI quick Google search turns up PLENTY of meal plans. Here’s a list of ten I won’t ever follow, and odds are your clients won’t either. No one follows meals plans for long. Why? We want to eat what we like, adjust our food intake to our hunger level, and not everyone likes brown rice or wants a smoothie for a meal.)
You can also give them helpful parameters such as filling half their plate of veggies, allocating a quarter to starch and a quarter to protein and not to worry about which veggies or which meat they choose. That’s enough for a start.
(You don’t have to fix every problem for them in one session).
But in my experience people who THINK they want a meal plan just need reassurance that they aren’t going to do it “wrong”, they they can really pick their meals themselves. Hearing you saying that they can do this goes a long to believing it themselves.
It’s not like their success hinges upon choosing broccoli over green beans or getting the “right” number of chicken dinners vs fish dinner per week. Their success hinges upon forming habits, so the details of what they eat are far less important than why they eat and how much.
If having the plan on paper saves them mental work or facilitates grocery shopping, then I do “meal planning” with them during our session. And they do most of the decision making; I take the notes. It sounds like this:
“Okay, so let’s start with proteins, do you eat chicken, beef, turkey and fish (or not all those?) If so, let’s plug in one for each dinner. Great. Now let’s pick sides to go with them. What veggies do you like… broccoli with the chicken, green beans with the beef, salad with the salmon, great…. and then starches or fruit. Rice with the chicken? Great. Fruit salad with the beef? Sweet potato with the turkey? Great.”
Now, make extra portions every dinner so you have some for lunches the next day.
Breakfast, most people don’t mind eating the same one or two things, so pick a protein (eggs or Greek yogurt are most common with my clients), add some fruit or veggies that go well with it, and a whole grain like oats or toast and you’re set.
You can do this. I am reassuring you that you can show your clients that they don’t actually need you to pick out their menus. (Or outfits). Empower them; that is way more valuable.