At the end of last year I decided to start making and selling Whole30 meals to help people who wanted to complete the program with less stress around meal planning and prep. I was so fortunate to garner immediate interest from my friend Amy (a Whole30 veteran) and her friend Nikki (a novice), and Amy’s husband who was basically forced to come along for the ride!
For nearly six weeks I planned and prepared two meals daily for these three, delivering in batches containing four days worth of food. It got to be very stressful but I didn’t realize how overwhelmed I was until I was forced to take a break when our family came down with the stomach bug and them my grandmother passed. The forced hiatus allowed me to see a couple of things: 1) I don’t want to be a personal chef! I have never in my life dreamed of cooking for other people. 2) I love Whole30 and I believe it can change an individual’s relationship with food. And THAT is what I want to share with people.
I came to realize that my initial approach was actually doing a disservice for my clients. And then when I hit them with the news that I could no longer sustain that level of production, they were essentially left high and dry. I hadn’t helped them build skills for sustaining and maintaining a healthy way of eating.
So now I’m taking a new approach. My current client, Hannah, signed up for 30 days worth of meals with me. She has been my only client for the last month, during which I provided her with two meals per day for the first thirty days. During that time we rotated which meals she was responsible for. One week she had to do breakfasts while I did lunches and dinners. The next week she did lunches while I did breakfasts and dinners. And so on. Frankly, I consider the lunches and dinners pretty interchangeable. Now that Hannah has completed a Whole30, she’s opted to go for sixty days total but I’m providing only one meal daily. We both love this approach because she’s easing into the meal planning and prep that comes with eating real, whole foods as a part of a lifestyle. This has really tapped into my knowledge as an occupational therapist, because I’m helping Hannah build her own skills and a sense of self efficacy. By the end I want her to be able to say “I can do this on my own”. After all, independence is always an OT’s primary goal! She’ll have a tool box of recipes, strategies, and resources to keep her on track.
I’m looking forward to evolving as a coach and incorporating this unique element of preparing meals for clients into the coaching experience. I intend to start coaching more remote clients as well, while sticking to only one local meal client at a time. If anyone has any ideas or suggestions, please share!
Erin’s Whole Plate is going to be the name I use for the coaching and meal preparation business. Erin’s Whole Life will continue to be my blog name as well as my Instagram username as I intend to share more than what’s on my plate!