The number one challenge for every client is MEAL PLANNING! This goes wrong because the resources we need for this process aren’t readily available to us if we have been eating out of boxes and bags. It’s easy to never need or have a plan when you can grab a bag from the store. BUT we need to eat real food that is nutrient dense, and this (due to our business lifestyles and schedules this day in age) requires a plan so we can take those items with us because they come from nature not a box.
So how do we do that? We need the recipe and meal planning center. Let’s get started!
Make Real Food Happen with a Plan!
The easiest way to make real food happen is with a plan. This is really the ONLY way to make it happen. You will do this by creating 1-3 go-to notebooks with your favorite recipes, as well as recipes to try.
What’s the point of this?
You are about to save yourself so much time and energy. No more wondering at 5 p.m. what you will be making for dinner, and then running to the store and then giving up on the way and getting take out! You will be ready and have something already prepared or cooked to warm, or have all the ingredients ready to go when you get home to cook!
This also saves you money! When you are cooking from a set plan of recipes you only go to the store and shop for ingredients you don’t have. No need to buy anything else at the store, because you don’t need it this week.
You are about to offer a variety of different whole foods at home! A plan helps you mix things up without it being overwhelming because you are already prepared. No more chicken only for a week because you had no plan and there is nothing left in the freezer.
Everyone is going to be happy with these awesome delicious meals, and more variety to their day! (Yes of course you might experience resistance to the new meals, but if you keep them similar to what you have been serving or eating, but homemade you will come across less resistance. Venture into the unknown later in the journey – stick to the known now!). This means you are going to look at what you eat now and convert it to real food cooking!
This is going to be less stressful for you! I mean it. Having a plan makes all meals a no brainer and no worries about money or where the food will come from. You already know, and everyone at home does too.
Where do we get started?
Materials you need:
● 1-3 three ring notebooks to insert recipes into (one larger notebook can hold them all but you might want to split the notebooks into types of foods with separators in them).
● Recipes on hand, Pinterest, cookbooks, handwritten cards and any other recipe resources you have online or in your home.
Step 1 – Gather Your Recipes and Print or Save them Electronically
You will need to print or save your recipes in the electronic organized way – in a folder. So you either re creating a notebook folder, or an electronic folder for reference.
OK this could take you 1-3 days (or you can power through in a few hours). Split it up over a few days if that fits your schedule better. The point of this is to get organized so meal planning takes just a few minutes a week. You want your finished notebooks to really represent things that are easy and you are capable of doing all week.
Step 2: Create Your Recipe Folders
Although these notebooks don’t need to be ENDLESS – there should be at least 14 meal ideas to choose from for dinner (and you can always add more but this gets you two weeks of different ideas to choose from), seven different breakfast ideas (you can repeat and reuse as needed), and the same for lunch (or just plan and stick to leftovers at lunch). The snacks and treats are things that I have made in the past that were great, or new things to try, or my go to recipes for our regular daily snacks. There aren’t a lot of recipes in these sections, just my favorite go-tos.
Your meal plan will be displayed in a common area of your kitchen so you remember to take meat out, or your partner/spouse can help on busy days or for you to remember to prep ahead for the week.
You can also create an index of these in the front if you would like. You can quick reference the meals inside the notebook by the list. I highly recommend pulling out all the recipes for the week and keeping them with your meal planner, it keeps you on track and no thinking involved.
Step 3: Create the Plan & Shop
OK so now you know how to put together your recipe center, so you are going to create this meal plan next, and a list and go shopping for your upcoming week!
Have your kids join in the process and/or your spouse to see what their favorites are so you can find the real food exchange for them and make it work! Remember to think about your weekly schedule in a general way – when we get to the actual plan you will use your calendar to help.
You want to take one day a week where you sit down with the calendar, a weekly planner, and your folders. You will pull out the recipes for the week and write down on the planner what days they will be done. These days can be more flexible if need be, especially if a schedule change happens. You can just swap one day for the other. This is where it’s nice to ask the kids and partner of the house. What would you all like this week? Then make sure you get something for everyone.
Once you have your recipes, you check your fridge and pantry, make your shopping list, and order your groceries or head to the store. Stay with the plan to save money and only buy things you need to make these meals happen each week.
Need more resources, recipes, help, and guidance as to WHAT food is best for you and your family? Let’s do a FREE consult.