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Plant-Based and Overwhelmed? Lighten Your Cognitive Load

 

If you're feeling overwhelmed at home... you're not alone. 

 

As moms, we want so badly to spend time with our kids, but it can be stressful when doing so means juggling a massive to-to list while keeping everyone happy, safe, entertained and fed.

Amidst the chaos, mealtimes can add a major cognitive burden to our plate. Pun intended!

Whether you're balancing work, childcare, or other responsibilities, feeding your family can feel like a daunting daily task.

If you've ever wondered "Why does dinner have to happen EVERY. SINGLE. NIGHT!??" I'm here to help you.

From planning meals to grocery shopping, to preparing and serving dinner, there's a mental effort that doesn't often get talked about.  

For those of us who are driven, career focused and care deeply about the health of our kids, the daily shuffle can be a source of stress, frustration and mental fatigue.  

Plus, even if you already know WHAT you should be feeding your family for optimal nutrition, actually GETTING them to eat can be an entirely different story. 

I'm here to tell you that I completely understand.

The good news is... you actually CAN maintain your sanity while nourishing your plant-based family, you just need a strategic approach.

 

Here are my top tips for staying sane AND sticking to your plant-based lifestyle.

 

1. Just say no.

If you're like me and find it easier to say YES than it is to say NO... listen up.

I've learned that the word "No," is my friend, and I try to say it often. Not to my kids, but to the commitments that fill up our schedule and complicate life.  This doesn't come naturally to me, and I'd say its still a work in progress.. but when I say no to the hustle, I am actually saying yes to my family and our time together, and I never regret it.  I realized that when I'm rushed and overwhelmed, so are my kids.

The first step to making mealtime (and being a mom!) less hectic is realizing that it's okay to set limits. Give yourself permission to say no, and you'll have more time and energy for what really matters.

 

2. Simplify at all times.

Keep meals simple and focus on whole, minimally processed foods. You don't need to reinvent the wheel with elaborate recipes every night. Stick to familiar favorites and rotate them throughout the week. One-pot meals, stir-fries, and grain bowls are all excellent options for quick and nutritious plant-based dinners. If you need some inspiration, grab my 21 Day eBook here.

 

3. Embrace Imperfection.

Maintaining a plant-based household isn't about being perfect—it's about creating an environment for your kids that makes healthy food "normal." This happens through tiny decisions we make every day... not through getting it 100% right every single time. There will be days when things don't go according to plan, and that's okay. Embrace imperfection, and approach mealtime with grace, you deserve it!

 

4. Treat meal planning as a form of self-care.

Think of planning ahead as an exercise in self care. When you do it consistently, you are gifting yourself a smoother weeknight routine, with better food and less stress.  Start by creating a weekly meal plan. Dedicate some time each week to sit down and sort it out. This helps streamline the grocery shopping process and ensures you have everything you need on hand. Get the whole family involved in the planning process to share the load and foster excitement about the meals ahead.  If you need a step-by-step plan for getting this process going, grab my Meal Planning Guide here.

 

5. Efficiency is Key.

I personally aim to spend less than 30 minutes a day cooking. There are just NOT enough hours in the day to dedicate more right now. Embrace the power of batch cooking, one-pot meals in the pressure cooker, and (yep... I'll say it), convenience foods. Whatever you make, try and cook enough that you'll have leftovers to use over the next few days. 

While whole foods should form the foundation of your family's diet, don't hesitate to lean into convenience foods when needed. Frozen fruits and vegetables, canned beans, and pre-cut produce save you time, and make cleanup easier. The occasional box of vegan mac & cheese can be a lifesaver on busy days! Just mix in some frozen veggies and you're set!

 

Conclusion:

Navigating the cognitive load of feeding your plant-based family can feel overwhelming at times, but with a bit of planning, organization, and self-compassion, it's manageable AND more fun. By implementing these strategies, you can maintain your sanity while nourishing your loved ones with delicious, nutritious plant-based meals. So take a deep breath, roll up your sleeves, and embrace the joy of feeding your family well. You've got this!

 

 

Ready to join a powerful community of plant-based parents? Click here to learn more about Leafy Littles Online Course.

Ready to plan an entire week of plant based meals your kids will actually eat?

Check out my Meal Planning Guide!

Let's go!