I’m doing a series on the 7 fears that hold people back from getting started with AIP. Today we are talking about:
Fear #6: I don’t have the energy to get started…
“The thought of spending all day in the kitchen whipping up a week’s worth of meals brings me to tears.”
“I’m so tired that cooking one meal is totally draining, much less trying to find new recipes and learn how to prepare new foods.”
“How am I supposed to do make everything homemade when I’m dealing with extreme fatigue and serious brain fog, plus all my other symptoms and health problems?”
I felt exactly the same way in the beginning, and I still do some days. This change to Daylight Savings Time is really kicking my butt this week!
Brain fog wasn’t a term that I knew before I started doing research on autoimmune diseases, but I related to it immediately. Without knowing the correct terminology, the only way I knew how to describe the extreme fatigue and brain fog that I was experiencing was that I felt like I was “sleepwalking through life”, and on the really bad days I felt like I was doing that sleepwalking under water. Trying to figure out a recipe to cook for dinner, much less a weekly meal plan, was seriously overwhelming. You might as well have told me that I needed to climb Mt. Everest. I bought some pretty AIP cookbooks, but a lot of the special ingredients were foreign to me and I had no idea where to get them.
So, what have I done to make things a little easier?
“Lazy” Batch Cooking. The thought of spending my entire Sunday in the kitchen whipping up a week’s worth of meals made me want to bury myself under the covers and stay in bed all day. I just couldn’t imagine the pain I would feel the next day after being on my feet for hours, and Sunday is the only day that I have a chance to rest and rejuvenate—and for me, cooking is not relaxing!
But the thought of having extra meals stocked in the fridge was so appealing, I figured out a compromise. Instead of all in one day, I do a little “mini” batch cook each time I’m in the kitchen. For example, I will chop up enough veggies to throw in a large salad bowl, I’ll roast twice as much chicken as my family will eat for dinner, or I’ll double whatever recipe I’m making. It usually takes very little extra effort to cook twice as much when you’re already doing it, and that’s one or two less meals that I have to cook that week.
Eat Leftovers. Before AIP I wasn’t that great at eating leftovers, but now that I cook almost every meal at home it’s a really big deal when I can just warm something up rather than cooking from scratch! I also mix up how I use the leftovers to keep things interesting and appetizing. For example, leftover shrimp might be eaten as a salad on top of greens one day, and inside of a coconut wrap with spinach, mushrooms, cucumber, avocado, and nutritional yeast the next day.
One of my favorite leftover ideas is to heat up some coconut oil in a pan with ground pork and whatever veggies I have left in the fridge and sprinkle with Primal Palate Breakfast Blend (or other seasonings).This Breakfast Hash can be eaten at any time of the day and can use any leftover protein or veggies as well.It
’s an easy way to make a meal without a recipe and clean out the fridge at the same time!
“Lazy” Meal Planning. It’s so easy to think that the answer to sticking with AIP is having a shelf full of compliant cookbooks! Not only can this get expensive, but I finally realized…I only had a handful of recipes that I cooked before AIP, why am I trying to be a gourmet chef now? Now I generally cook just a few recipes and switch up a few elements to keep them fun. For instance, my family loves Taco Tuesdays, so I keep the basic theme but some weeks I use a coconut wrap, sometimes a taco salad, and sometimes I even put all of my toppings on plantain chips for AIP Nachos!
Grocery pickup or delivery. This is one of my favorite energy-saving strategies. My local grocery store has an app that saves all of my favorites, so I can literally order my groceries from my phone in about 5 minutes. Then all I have to do is pull up to the store and they load my groceries into the trunk for me. Score! There is a small fee, but I have found that I generally save money because I’m not making any impulse purchases.
Keep it simple! I really can’t stress this enough. This includes recipes, schedules, and life in general. I can get so caught up with trying to make everything perfect and doing all the things, but I have realized that I just have to let go sometimes.
Get more sleep. Ok, I’ll admit that this one seems really obvious, but I’m the worst at it! I will stay up late to get work done or to watch an episode of Game of Thrones, but I usually regret it the next day. I’m slowly learning that I feel so much better and am so much more productive if I get a solid night of sleep, so I’m working on making it a priority! (Keep me accountable, will you?)
Still feel like you don’t have the energy to give AIP a go?
Do you wish that you had someone to just tell you what to do and what to eat? Someone who knows AIP really well and could make a meal plan and shopping list for you? And answer all your questions and encourage you along the way?
That’s exactly what I longed for when I get started! And guess what…you’re luckier than I am because you there is someone who can do that for you…ME!!!