Meal Planning 101 – Part 1 “The secret is make your own rules!”

When each of us started on the path of eating real food, it took a long time to figure out how to successfully meal plan for each of our families. Jordan has three to plan for – including a toddler. Paulina has four, with two boys, six years apart. And Michelle has herself and husband. We all tried different meal planning systems – trying and failing. All of our families have different needs. But one thing that is in common is that we are all busy … meal planning should be easy right? Why wasn’t it working? What were we doing wrong?!

Find the joy in cooking

We have all used various books with meal plans, apps to help meal plan, and have used websites. After a while, we have all gotten bored and frustrated trying to follow their rules. Ultimately, we all agree that it was easy to lose all the joy that comes with cooking and eating nutritious food. What happened to meal planning making your life better, right?!

What does better mean to you?

Well, better means different things for different people. For you, better may mean less time cooking, or less time shopping and more time cooking. Maybe you’re tired of wasting fresh veggies. We were. Many times, one of us would be standing in the kitchen at dinner time wondering how we could turn a pile of wilty swiss chard and semi-mushy zucchini into dinner. Yuck. It was often easier to compost it or give it to the chickens if you were at Jordan’s or Michelle’s house. It was NOT working.

Find your own rules to meal planning

Meal planning IS the answer but everyone meal plans differently. We all have diet restrictions, but not everyone in each of our families has the same ones. Trying to make someone else’s meal plan fit our needs was a recipe for failure. Meal planning only started working when we figured out which rules fit our life. Then we threw the rest away.

One secret to successful meal planning:

Throw away the rules (not the fresh veggies)!

In upcoming posts, we’ll tell you how we meal plan. We’ll also give you tips to help you figure out how YOU can meal plan. In the meantime, check out these meal planning resources.

Just remember: Keep what works, throw the rest away.

  1. Real Everything

  2. Danielle Walker on how she Meal Plans

  3. 100 days of Real Food

  4. EMeals has some sample plans, otherwise it’s a paid service.

  5. Our favorite meal planning service online is Real Plans. You can pay $6/month with an annual subscription. They allow you to enter any restrictions you might have and they help you out with recipes. This one is especially great if you are on gut healing protocol and removing food sensitivity items.

Written in partnership with Shannon Demers

#healthyeating #localfood #mealplanning

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