Hello! This week on the podcast I have Talia Koren, the founder of Work Week Lunch. Talia talks about intuitive eating and meal planning. Talia writes a blog and has a digital meal plan subscription that helps thousands of women master meal prep. Everything she does is intuitive eating aligned.
I hope this episode gets you excited about health without obsession, up-leveling self-care, and focusing on “bigger fish to fry”.
Introducing Talia Koren
Talia Koren is the founder of Workweek Lunch, a blog and digital meal plan subscription that helps thousands of people master meal prep. Talia is a self-taught home cook and she started WWL in 2016 to teach her peers how to cook easy, balanced meals to save time and money through her Instagram, which has now grown to over 495k followers. Before WWL, Talia was a staff writer at Elite Daily. She worked in the entertainment industry after graduating from Ithaca College in 2014. When she’s not developing new recipes for the WWL Meal Prep Program, Talia loves to travel, snowboard, binge-watch TV and explore her new home, Seattle.
Intuitive Eating and Meal Planning
I was really excited when a client of mine introduced me to Talia. In the interview, I ask Talia how she discovered intuitive eating and what her relationship with food was like.
In college, she was your “classic dieter”. She felt really affected by the pressure to be the smallest version of herself at all times. By the time she graduated, she was working in a job in the entertainment industry where looks were really important. Everyone around her always seemed to look “shiny and nice”. She felt pressure to show up in the same way.
Talia finally hit a point where she realized that restricting her food had no place in the life she WANTED to live. She wanted to EAT and move on. She set out to drop the obsession, and eat what made her feel good without restriction (or counting calories). At this point, she didn’t even know about “intuitive eating”.
In early 2018 she started researching intuitive eating and vowed to continue her meal prep program in a way that was intuitive eating aligned. This would mean she would not focus on weight-loss, even though that’s “what did well on Instagram”.
Why Is Intuitive Eating Important?
Talia shared that she really believes that we have “bigger fish to fry”. That obsessing over our weight and restriction is not important and takes away from more meaningful things in life.
She loves that intuitive eating calls us through a process of learning to trust ourselves. We talked about how when you start trusting yourself around food, you begin to trust yourself in other areas of your life as well.
When you go through each day questioning your decisions around food it definitely bleeds into other areas. Not questioning these areas strengthens your self-trust.
How Do You Balance Meal Planning and Intuitive Eating?
If Talia could add a principle to intuitive eating she’d add accessibility. What meal prep does is it makes the food you WANT to eat more accessible in that moment. You know you’re going to have to eat multiple times everyday. Meal prep is the utility meal that helps you get through each day. We may as well make it something we’re going to enjoy and will leave us feeling good. Not every meal has to be “the most memorable”.
Start by focusing on your struggle meal. What is the meal that you struggle with the most? Are you spending a lot of money at lunch on takeout? Are you eating peanut butter and crackers at night instead of enjoying a nice dinner? Choose the meal you have the hardest time with and start prepping something for yourself for that meal.
Don’t go overboard. Ease into meal prep. Instead of cooking a full week of meals on a Sunday, try cooking just a few dinners at once.
How To Decide What to Prep?
Brainstorm foods that leave you feeling good and/or think of the things you love to order when you get takeout. What foods sound good to you? Which foods would leave you feeling good?
I, Paige, know this can be tough to figure out if you’ve been dieting for a while, so have lots of grace with yourself. Lead from a place of exploration and curiosity. You do not need to get this 100% right. Experiment.
Let go of the idea that you have to only meal prep chicken, rice, and broccoli. Talia proves that meal prep can be interesting on her Instagram and in her weekly meal plan subscription.
Make it a project to decide what you want to cook at home. What meals have you seen scrolling on Instagram that you’ve always wanted to make? Start experimenting.
How is Meal Planning Self-Care?
I asked Talia how meal planning is self-care for her. She said “For me, it’s just that feeling of having it together so that I can get the rest of my life together every single week. It gives me one less thing to worry about, and I already have a lot to worry about, such as my business, my staff, my friends. I want to be worrying about those things, and not my next meal.”
Talia started meal prepping because she wanted to save money and free it up for travel. By meal prepping each week, she is able to save a significant amount for travel, experiences, and gifts for her friends.
I’m New to Intuitive Eating – How Do I Start?
I asked Talia what women who are new to intuitive eating should consider.
She shared that the hardest thing for women who are new to intuitive eating and meal prep is knowing how much food to put in your container. Here’s her recommendation: every-time you eat ask yourself “Was this enough? Was this not enough?” Each time, remember if you put too much in your container, you can save some for the next day. There’s no shame in composting, tossing it, or saving it. The other thing is if you don’t have enough, have a snack. She says, be really forgiving with yourself as you learn what works for you.
If you’d like to explore Talia’s weekly meal planning subscription you can do so here.
Listen to the Episode
If you want to listen to the episode with Talia, click here and choose the platform you love to listen most.