I knowwww what you may be thinking. My life is busy – as in, the back-to-school craziness has begun, and I am lucky to squeeze in a trip to Target and/or grab a banana on the way out the door. Now you want me to schedule – my food?

I get it. I used to be the same way. I thought that by pushing eating to the back burner (my daily meals were given about the same amount of thought as the bag of stale Twizzlers I kept in my desk drawer for snacks and/or lunch emergencies), this made me efficient. It made me responsible, proactive, selfless. I mean, think of how many more things I could accomplish
without having to take time to adequately feed myself?

The funny thing about that is- Jesus talks a lot about how we treat ourselves and other people in the Bible. In fact, when the crowds came to Him, he was so concerned about their well-being that he openly expressed His concern that unless He fed them, they would faint on their way back home. Of all the miracles He could have chosen to show His love- as in, He could have said, “Suck it up and be spiritual people! Who cares if you are hungry! No time for eating NOW!”
He chose to take a little boy’s lunch and feed the five thousand.

Jesus understood that a full belly meant a loved soul, and an open mind to what He had to say.

I feel that same holiness about nourishing meals. Galatians 5:14 says that “For the whole law can be summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Love your neighbor as you love yourself. I am convinced that there is such a beautiful, and sacred, rhythm to cooking and eating. That the act of cooking is actually vital to our well-being; it is the ultimate form of both self-care and self-sacrifice to feed the ones we love. If we don’t eat well, we can’t do the rest of our life well – which includes being productive, proactive, and, that’s right, selfless.

So in the spirit of nourishing both ourselves and in turn our relationship with Jesus (and the transition into basketball practice, work projects and everything in between) I’m suggesting to you the beauty – and peace – that a food schedule can bring to your life – both physically and spiritually.

1. Plan breakfast.

Can you imagine how lovely it would be if your life was like a BBC sitcom, and your butler would wake you, fluff your pillow, and bring you a hot coffee and scone every morning? Though my life is 100% sans butler, planning breakfast makes me feel pampered. It gives my soul space and clarity to think about Jesus as I begin my day. There are lots of ways you can do this; make smoothie bags ahead of time to store in the freezer, prep egg cups (sourdough bread slices squished into muffin tins and topped with a cracked egg, cheese, veggies and baked), or crack eggs into a bowl the night before to scramble in the morning. Set your coffee maker to have coffee ready at a certain time- or assemble your to-go mug with a tea bag already inside and picked out.

2. Plan four hours to meal prep.

I loooove a good meal prep day. For me- this actually happens on Saturdays because my husband and I have a CSA we pick up. I am 1,000% more likely to eat vegetables if I have them clean and in my fridge, and I’ve found this ritual theraputic. I turn on a podcast, or music, and clean and chop everything up, look at the recipes I want to try, and plan out my trip to the grocery store. I also plan on a good return for my investment of time. I love to prep a large amount of protein (cook meat or beans in a slow cooker), veggies (lettuce, chopped whole veggies), and a variation of starches (quinoa, rice, purchase sprouted bread, sweet potatoes). Then you can do sooo many things with those elements- Add the veggies to a salad, or roast them in the oven. Layer the meat and quinoa and beans in a burrito bowl. Use the lettuce and meat to make lettuce wraps.

Slow Cooker BBQ Chicken is a perfect example of easy meal prep. It’s one of my go-tos! I teach you how to make it in this short video.

3. Plan who you will be eating with.

One of the BEST things about cooking is who you get to share the delicious food with! If you are taking the time to think about what you are cooking, also think about who you want to enjoy it. And it doesn’t have to always be dinner- could you share breakfast bowls with your co-worker? Surprise your daughter with a lunch date at school? Send your spouse with a smoothie before his or her hectic work day? It’s those small moments to connect with people via food that often end up meaning the most.

4. Plan time to savor the moment.

Mindfulness is a practice I think all of us could embrace a bit more. An amazing thing about eating is that it allows us the chance to sit down and relax. To think about something other than email, or to-do’s, or our child’s orthodontic schedule. We get to smell, and taste, and sip, and appreciate and feel grateful for the moment. Plan to enjoy the fruits of your food!

5. Plan NOT to plan.

One of the many benefits of a food schedule is the freedom NOT to plan. As in, you’ve cooked dinner every night this week. Your budget thanks you- so make Saturday night pizza night! Or Chinese! Whatever feels like a reward for your
intentionality.

And one last thing – plan to feel a sacredness in it all. I’ve learned that in the seasons when I am intentional, and think through my kitchen routines a bit more- I’m often left amazed, a bit humbled, and in awe at all of the special things, and moments, that happened when I did.

Want to work on your attitude toward food in general? Read Callie’s post about how to find freedom in your relationship with food!

How to Find Freedom in Your Relationship with Food!

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Callie Blount

Callie Blount

Callie Blount absolutely loves freedom and food, and is a bit obsessed with sharing it with people. Raised by a very Southern mama in a BBQ-obsessed small town in Alabama, the resounding message of her life seemed to be that the best way to love people was to love them with food. In her day job as a food stylist, she has worked with clients and products ranging from protein powder ice cream and grass-fed butter to Trisha Yearwood's slow cooker recipes. Her true passion lies in showing people how to keep food simple, tasty and fun on her family-friendly YouTube channel (Luv Cooks) and also loves creating food photos and videos for various clients with her amazing musician and photographer husband, Jacob Blount.When she is not capturing food, talking about food or posting about food on her Instagram feed, she is more than likely drinking an iced Americano, walking her crazy dog Bigsby or watching Somebody Feed Phil on Netflix.
Callie Blount

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