The importance of playing with your food

Eat With Zest Nutrition | The Importance of Playing with Your Food

Hi there!

As we head into Week 3 of Nutrition Bootcamp it is time to start talking about what the heck happens when the meal plans stop. As is true with all learning, the textbook can only get you so far. It is when you apply the textbook knowledge, out on your own, when the real learning begins. 

Do you remember the first time you ever went on a big trip? How much thought went into the preparation? How much time did you spend packing? You might have made a list, so as not to forget anything. How early did you arrive to the airport? You likely got there with more than enough time to spare, building in wiggle room for unexpected events. Remember how you felt? Maybe unsure and a bit out of your comfort zone.

Now think about the most recent trip you've taken? If you are a frequent traveler, you likely threw your bag together at the last minute, got to the airport with just enough time to get through security, boarded the plane with ease and enjoyed your travel without too much extra time or preparation outside of your daily routine. 

Get where I am going with this?

The same thing is true in the kitchen!

The first week of Nutrition Bootcamp, you might have spent lots of time pushing your cart up and down the aisles, looking for your ingredients. You probably spent several hours prepping on Sunday. You might have opened and re-opened your Meal Plan several times per day to make sure you were doing it "right" and staying on track. 

Week two is getting a bit easier and you are starting to get the hang of it. You might even be straying a bit from the plan as you figure out what you like best and what you don't enjoy as much. You are starting to learn from experience!

So what happens when there is no meal plan at all?

I got the inspiration to write this post after a recent experience of my own. Over the holidays, spent with my family, we had delicious meals all planned and devoured through Christmas day. However, the holiday pre-planning did not reach into December 26th. With new twins in the family (proud Aunt over here), staying in for dinner seemed like the easier option than going out, so I started snooping around the kitchen for items on hand. 

Soon I had out: chicken broth, avocado, frozen spinach, frozen corn, canned beans, lemons, garlic, an onion, cilantro and cayenne. My family looked at me like, there is no way you are going to make something out of that, but before long I had a piping hot, delicious & nourishing green soup, enough to keep all 9 of us well fed.

Believe me, several years ago, I would have just ordered takeout. But, I have spent lots of time getting creative in the kitchen, going out on culinary limbs and PLAYING WITH MY FOOD! I'll be honest, it doesn't always turn out the way I plan, but each creation provides more insight to what works and what doesn't. 

This week I challenge you to call a few audibles in the Nutrition Bootcamp Meal Plan. Throw in your own unique flair. Try swapping out a few ingredients to suite your personal palate. Get creative and get excited about the endless possibilities when you venture away from recipes, and just start to cook in accordance with exactly what works for you!

Make something you are particularly proud of? Please share! Tag @eatwithzest // #28DaysofZest or comment below!

Have fun!!

Love & Zest,

Megan