Are you determined to find the perfect meal plan that supports your health goals? If so, you could be looking in the wrong place!
You buy fresh, organic, locally raised, non-GMO groceries from Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s. Then, you spend all day on Saturday and Sunday lovingly preparing a week’s worth of healthy meals from new recipes you found on Pinterest for your entire family.
Then, you scrub all of those pots, pans, and baking sheets and spend another hour or so cleaning up the kitchen. That’s AFTER you spend 15-20 minutes digging in your disorganized kitchen cupboards to find the right lid for that BPA-free container.
It almost makes you cry as the pathetic failure of a domestic goddess you never wanted to be. Not only do you struggle with organization, persistence, and time, but you don’t have alot of money to burn at the moment…
It’s no wonder that “Meal Planning on a Budget” is one of the most searched phrases on Pinterest. Or, that moms like you struggle to keep up with this overwhelming prep fest.
If this sounds like you, keep reading!
- Do you feel it’s useless to spend 4 hours cooking and prepping food that your family will stop eating by Tuesday.
- Or, you don’t have the time or energy to shop and prepare food your kids will openly reject.
- Or, you don’t have the money to sacrifice for the most labeled foods (or non-labels) that everyone says is healthier for you.
I googled “Meal Planning for Health” and found over 5.6 million hits. Being the big Pinterest-lover I am, I realized that half of my favorite pins involve some form of meal planning. I also created a super-affordable Meal Planning Mastery product for sale to DIY-ers who aren’t ready to jump into working privately with me.
What’s the deal with Meal Planning? Why do all new health advocates (and some veterans) think that spending oodles of time making a whole week’s worth of food will somehow force you to lose weight?
Here is what I know about meal planning:
- It takes time.
- It takes organization.
- It takes skill.
- It takes persistence.
- It takes creativity.
Meal planning wasn’t always so complicated. At least, not in the way I understand it. Let me explain.
My mom was an unemployed mother of 4 young children under the age of 5. She couponed and budgeted to feed her family of 6, and planned all her meals to be quick and as effortless as possible. She never cared for cooking or cleaning as a child. So, she bought a lot of boxed meals.
I can hardly fault her for this. After all, did you notice that most coupons are for boxed and manufactured products? You know, the kind with low price tags and high lists of ingredients that you can’t pronounce? That wasn’t a big deal back in the 80’s because EVERYONE was doing it. Plus, she got tired of bringing fruit and vegetables home that none of us ate and ended up in the garbage after rotting to ether.
By the way, she was only unemployed long enough to see her last kid (yours truly) into Kindergarten, and then she somehow had to come home around 4, cook a meal for 6 hungry humans by 5, clean up afterwards, and maybe get 15 minutes on the couch for reading time before bed.
It’s not that mom never took time to meal plan- yet she took a different perspective on meal planning than we do today. She didn’t print out revolving grocery lists and chart out templates with the whole week of meals all nicely laid out. Sure, she had a grocery list, and made sure her coupons could be used. She really excelled at organization.
Yet, I know for a fact that she did not know to the detail what would happen every single week. Except for our Friday pizza nights, when she took the night off!
Maybe the idea of cooking a bunch of whole foods from scratch is not just a trend for Generation X. Here’s the interesting thing. More and more millennials are turning to meal delivery services to avoid the pain of meal planning. This shows that we have several gaps, and a battle that we are ill-equipped to win.
At a basic level, the rush for meal delivery services boils down to lack of time (and relative affordability). Yet, our parents and grandparents had the same amount of time as we (or less) and most had more kids than us.
The saddest gap is we don’t have the skill or creativity to come up with our own tasty meals. So, we reach out to our friends and Facebook to get their ideas on food that we can enjoy eating. Except, they usually are eating things we don’t like, or won’t buy! (I’m looking at you, quinoa….)
Worse yet, we don’t even know what the ingredients are, and are too embarrassed to ask our friends.
Here’s the scoop.There is only one #skill you need to finally drop the pounds and feel amazing in your own skin. Click To Tweet
This skill is cooking.
Don’t like to cook? Too bad! Do you like brushing your teeth twice a day, going to the bathroom when you really have to finish an urgent project, or mowing your lawn after it rains?
Yet, there are plenty of ready-made meal plans that are designed to seduce you into thinking you don’t need to cook. No-bake balls, 5 minute dinners, and fix-and-forget. I’m not arguing that there are plenty of healthy recipes that don’t take time to put together, yet I still believe that you need to figure out how to cultivate basic cooking skills in order to maintain a healthy weight. Just ask Grandma.
On the other side is a lack of skill is a total lack of creativity. Your best friend shares her favorite family recipe for mac and cheese casserole. You love mac and cheese. But, you don’t eat gluten, and your husband is going vegan, and your kids hate the smallest hint of coconut oil you use. So, you ditch the recipe and keep searching.
Stop right there!
Any recipe (with NO exceptions!) can be made into a healthier version. While you admit that you pick recipes to death for various dietary restrictions, there is another person in your house with no inhibitions what-soever.
Kids who still like to create spawned a whole generation of Little Chefs, Rachael Ray’s Kids Cook-Off, Masterchef Junior and the like, where our crunchy children are cooking masterpieces while us parents order out or close the kitchen. Did I mention that there are little kids who are YouTube sensations earning more money than many college graduates? Like this amazing 9 year old from CharlisCraftyKitchen.
Now, you understand the basic fundamental idea of meal planning is misguided today. What happens next? Do you succumb to the incredible temptation of carside-to-go, meal delivery services, or even just smoothie your way to body bliss?
No, you grab a FREE recording of my Meal Planning Made Easy training. This training re-imagines the entire idea of meal planning into a set of guidelines that you can customize to your own family preferences. It also helps you understand the basic principles of macronutrients for health.
Bottom line: You gain back your time, skill, and creativity. Because you make it your own, using strengths that you already have. As for organization and persistence, I will also send you a copy of my Breakfast Blueprint, which gives you some accessible options for a better breakfast.