Guest: Louise D’Allura
Guest Bio: Louise D’Allura, growing up in an Italian Family where food and vegetable patches are an essential part of life, Louise started her career at Nutrition Australia, then worked in corporate health wellness and later in occupational health. Louise now runs the business Meal Planning Your Way.
Louise is here to talk to us about Meal Planning for low additive eating.
Health Professional Radio
Katherine Lodge: Thank you for listening to Health Professional Radio. I’m Katherine and today our guest is Louise D’Allura. Louise started her career at Nutrition Australia, then worked in corporate health and wellness and later in occupational health. In 2009, Louise started her own business as a consulting home economist and also an accredited expert professional organizer behind the business “Meal Planning Your Way.” Louise joins us today to talk about “Meal planning personalities.” Welcome to our show.
Louise D’Allura: Hi Katherine. Thank you so much for having me here.
K: No, thank you for coming on. We’re so curious, and before we start with the four main food personalities that people may fall into, why is it that we need to identify these personalities?
L: Well, I think one of the things that people struggle with just so much is that never ending question of “What’s for dinner.” You know is the question that plagues us and no matter whether, I’ve been a home economist or since 1997, and I think over those years there’s is really been some things that I’ve noticed that people either I think very organized, very systematic, you know where they say, “Okay, I can tell you what I’m going to eat.” And they’re very comfortable with it where the vast majority of people are really stressed about it. So…
K: Yeah, you’re right. You know it’s a cause for stress for everyone. Well not everyone, certain people. Every week, they’re standing in the supermarket or wherever they go for shopping and they just at a lost as to what to make that week.
L: Exactly. And I think that was one of the biggest things that we’ve noticed especially you know if people’s budget get tighter and you know we have you know a little bit les disposable income. The things that we noticed is that we do spend a lot of money on those incidental food purchases.
L: So it then becomes part of the escalating issue that families are facing to go you know there’s potential health issues, there’s financial issues, there’s just general issues and it’s oh such a ….
K: Yeah, I’d certainly know you know your intention is to go out and grab some milk. One hundred dollars later, you know, “Oh this is on sale and oh I want to try this.” Oh I’m showing something about my personal, my secrets now … (chuckles) How about you tell us about the first one, the Intuitive shopper or the intuitive planner?
L: Yes. So the “intuitive” is one of the personalities that I guess is the one that doesn’t know what they’re going to eat, really till about for 4 o’clock in the afternoon. Now I guess that the reason that it’s very particular for those intuitive it’s really about they can’t plan ahead because they truly need to tap into work out what is their body telling them or what do they feel like?
L: Either that they actually intuitively following the need to eat, want to eat. So for these guys, it’s you know just as much as you know what’s happening in the external world that plays a role so does their stomach. So they have to, it’s all about the feel, because it would be for them huge amounts of food waste if they even attempted to be very systematic in you know, “Today we’re going to have oysters days okay. Next week on Thursday we’re going to have chicken.” When they get to Thursday, the language they would be saying is, “I just don’t feel like chicken.” So then it’s wasted, so that for those guys, it’s a really big issue.
K: Yup. Well in a way it’s a good thing because then there maybe possibly less waste. Do you know what I mean, they just kind of buy what they need. So maybe that…
L: Yeah. There’s some strategies I guess around so when people are an intuitive personality, and I can talk through some of those strategies now. I guess you know as an intuitive, actually we all do. It’s all going through all the four and then go back and have some little strategies for each…
L: There’s a kind of maybe thinking, “Oh do I sound like this or do I sound like that?” Because I might get a little side tracked to go, “Oh where do I fit in?”
K: Yeah, exactly. So maybe we’ll go through maybe the next one as well so the “Architect…”
L: Yeah. So the architect is the polar opposite. So these guys that want that will be able to tell you Thursday next week what they’re having. And so then that is like the, so architects are the very much the traditional meal planning system we’re familiar with. And for them, it is really about giving them confidence and comfort to know in their life doesn’t matter what’s happening. There is one thing that they can control that they know come hell or high water, we have got the meals sorted. So for them, it gives them a huge amount of confidence to go, “Oh that’s fine” You know so…
K: Yeah. Sounds good. And what about the “Supermarket Strategist?”
L: Well for these guys, you will know them instinctively. The moment that you hear them saying “You know you can get this at Coles for 499.” “But if you get ALDI you can get that for 399. And you know last week I saw Woolworths have that for the price of X.” These are the guys that know catalogs inside out. They can hunt at a bargain, no dramas at all. So they’re great fun when you hear them talking, if you could imagine.
K: I wish I was more like this. I think there’s already apps for this these days.
L: Oh it’s such good fun. And I think, you know they’re all about the best deal and you know they love supermarkets and you know it’s the thrill of the chase. They get really excited so if that sounds like you, then you know “It’s dinner, go past Go, do not collect $200 …”
K: Yeah. You’re saying to me that this type of shoppers, they will buy whatever is a bargain or a really great deal and that dictates what they eat, is that what you’re trying to say?
L: Absolutely, yup.
K: Oh okay, so whatever’s on sale.
L: Right. Yeah, so that’s very much how they meal plan so there are little strategies we’ll talk about you know a little bit later which they need to watch out for.
L: Because that’s where it’s a beautiful skill and it’s a beautiful strategy for them and is very instinctive to them. So that’s where I get some meal planning personality, you know profile do really keeps in because it was trying to recognize we all think about this differently. So you know it’s just recognizing that so that’s the “supermarket strategist.”
K: Right and last but not the least, the “Enthusiast?”
L: Oh I love the enthusiast. Honestly Katherine, they are some of the most fun people you will ever come across. And for these guys, they really and truly want to be like the “architect,” that’s what they dream about. And for them they will go to elaborate meal planning, they do not do things by how to start doing, you know a 7 day meal plan and they’ll have “Oh we’re going to do 3 course meals” or you know they will go to elaborate length. What they find is life happens, so all of their planning, gets a bit side tracked because there is something far too exciting happening, and their ear is always ground. So you know if there is something as I mentioned some exciting happen then it will be “Oh my gosh, no we’re not gonna do this. Or we don’t have time to eat at home now, because we need to go and do you know we need to go to that show or you know there is amazing thing that just come up and it sounds great.” So these guys, they also have a huge amount of food waste because they plan far too much.
K: Well funny you said that, because I did the quiz that’s on your site which everyone’s welcome to do, I’ll put a link up in the show notes. And I fall into the ‘Enthusiast’ and I totally get that because you’ve got your meal plan.
K: That we aspire to be those organized people. When you’ve got your meal planned and yeah all of a sudden your friends are in town and they want to you know go to a restaurant or your meal planned already and then “I’m not gonna go home now, I’ll just check the new restaurant in town” and then yeah…
K: Luckily for those of us that are also Enthusiasts that are listening, we have the trusty freezer so we don’t waste too much food when we’ll be out we’ll just pop it in the freezer and defrost it next week or whatever that we’re home and yeah we have to do a problem because when you are home unexpectedly you can’t have what’s in the freezer because you need to defrost it. But then anyway, that’s another problem but…
L: You know funny you say that because for the enthusiast and definitely perfect time to you know start with the enthusiast to look at the strategy.
K: I was gonna say. Yes, strategy.
L: Yeah. So with the enthusiast, one of the most important things that I would say to you and I love my fellow enthusiasts is “Plan less.”
K: Oh okay.
L: Yes. Isn’t that an oxymoron to go, “What do you mean plan less?” So really what I’m saying here and it’s really about looking at doing a few creative cooking shortcuts. So we’ll probably chat a little bit more about this in you know upcoming episodes or is really about looking at how to make your meal work better for you. So that might be something as simple as you know doing some cook ahead meals and so really planning less that you cook one night and then maybe have some other meals out of that.
K: Right, I see.
L: It’s a really simple immediate, you know, implementable strategy.
K: Good advice.
L: And I think definitely for the enthusiast you know really making use of the likes of the pantry, fridge, and definitely freezer. But especially the you know pantry to be able to have some pull together meals, you do find that you know your plan will do get way laid because there’s nothing what’s when going “Oh I have this plan but then it didn’t happen.” So you know really making sure you’ve got a list of those pull together you know recipes that you can just go, “Oh fantastic, that’s … solved.”
K: Right, all alright sounds good because I know sometimes, my family complain and they say, “What’s for dinner?” I said, “We’re having roast tonight.” “Oh it’s too hot for roast. I don’t want to have a roast.” I say “Well bad luck we’re having roast chicken. (Chuckles) That’s all we have in the fridge.”
L: (Chuckles) Exactly.
K: How about the intuitive shopper, how can they?
L: Well as an intuitive. So I’m the intuitive, I’m the one that doesn’t like to plan, isn’t that hilarious? I’m a home economist and professional organization and I hate to plan. I hope that brings away people, isn’t it? (chuckles) So I guess some of the main strategies for intuitive, really center around making sure that you’ve got flexibility with your food supply. So as an intuitive, you can get into a bit of rush of only remembering what you carry in your head to go, “Oh well you know this might be some of the recipe that I will make.” So getting stuff out of your head on a list, on the fridge and then being able to go what things I might seeing here. So you’re looking for common ingredients, that way then the moment that you do feel like something “Oh I feel like chicken.” In your fingertips you’ve got all of the possible chicken options, that way then you don’t get stuck in that kind of rather going “Yeah, I feel like chicken but I can’t remember what else I want.” So that’s really a key for those guys. And same for the architect, I would probably recommend that they really watch out for those multi-buys so… Oh hang on, I mean for the supermarket strategist I mean.
K: Okay, that’s okay.
L: Sorry about that. So the supermarket strategist really what’s with the multi-buys.
K: Yup, I see.
L: Because those guys that really do get seduces in the supermarket by, you know the excitement of you know what they’re seeing, so…
K: Right, half the price or what have you…
L: Yeah, exactly. So that’s where it’s really important to be thinking about shopping for meals and not necessarily just foods. So it’s going, “Okay well you know this could be the sorts of things that I’m gonna make.” And then really investing in the concept of you know bulk cook ahead meals because that’s when if they’re buying you know kilo’s worth of meat, full big trays, they’re looking at strategies around okay well they might you know freeze them, cutlets or something like that, they put them in a marinade so that way then they go, “Yes I’ve got a bit of variety happening as well.”
L: For architects really does nothing more to say other than you know the one piece of advice that I would suggest to architects is watch out for getting into a rot. So really looking at the seasonal variations so that way that we can always be looking at not just what they always have but go “Okay so now we’re entering into you know winter, what would be the vegetables and beautiful things that this time of year that you can showcase.”
K: Right, great advice. Well lots of foods for thought. And for those of you that are interested I will be putting the link up on the quiz. It is possible to have a bit of a split personality, isn’t it?
L: Oh definitely. Yes and I think it would be important to say that you’ve got to go with your initial gut instinct. So there are certain elements that you can say, “Oh there will be some components that I like from that particular one.” An Enthusiast could say, “Yeah I do tend to choose what I want to eat by what I feel.” And that’s perfectly okay but you just gonna make sure when you’re stressed, which personality do you instinctively go back to and that’s where we go. However you are, in the way you setup your kitchen, pantry, fridge, freezer, all your systems to help make that less stressful.
K: Right and what about before we go, what would you say would be the most common type of personality?
L: I guess the thing is I would say probably about 20-30% of people are Architects. And then there would be the one that I tend to see more I guess would be Enthusiasts. So enthusiast is one…
K: Because we need the most help. (Laughing)
L: Yeah. Well just because of that one thing. God loves you, beating yourselves up because you’re not the architect and that’s like well it’s okay not to be the architect, just embrace.
K: Well I was gonna ask you before you said 20-30% of you know people are. I want to ask you are these architect mythical creatures or something like this because I hear about them but I never met one, but I think they’re…
L: Yeah I met a few and you know they are sometimes rare. But I think the reason I get to create the meal planning personalities was that just to say you don’t have to fight who you are, it’s okay to be who you are. We just need systems to support who we are when we’re stressed because there are ways around it.
K: Right. And there’s nothing worse when shopping when you’re stressed because you buy everything else but you come home without the thing you went out to buy in the first place.
L: Yup, exactly.
K: Thanks so much for your time today. And thanks again hope you can join as again soon.
L: I would love to, thanks Katherine.