Ever had one of those days where you’re hungry but you want food now and you forgot to meal plan and technically you have food but it just doesn’t look very good but you don’t want to go out and get something but that would technically be the quickest and you convince yourself it would be the cheapest and you end up getting Chick-fil-A?
Meal planning has always been daunting to me. I always thought that I had to sit down and decide exactly what we’re going to eat for every single meal for the entire week or two weeks until I went shopping again. I thought I had to have perfectly measured nutrients and calories to make it healthy. Wasn’t that the right way to do it?
Not so. It’s just not true! There are so many ways to meal plan and you don’t even have to if you don’t want to. If your family works better by just scrounging when you’re hungry and eating whatever is in the house, go for it!
I’m sharing my method of meal planning to help you decide what works best for your family.
LIke my goal-setting method, my meal planning method is quite simple. I’m a simple woman and proud of it — why complicate my life in places where I don’t need to?
There are a few basic “rules” that I follow but they are very general and can easily be molded to fit you and your family.
#1: Only buy food that is healthy for you.
I know this one is obvious. But it doesn’t mean the same thing for everyone. For me, at this point in my life, I have a lot of things to consider when I’m asking if a food is healthy or not. I am trying to clear a yeast infection, a toxic liver and heal a sugar addiction (to keep it brief). I also know for a fact that there is not a single grain that exists on this earth that my body can process in any sense of the word. So, grain isn’t healthy for me. It might be perfectly fine for you!
So, when you’re starting to meal plan, first decide what is “healthy” for you?
#2: Think about what you can eat more than what you can’t.
If you are on a journey to help and are being forced to face the fact that you simply cannot continue your same eating lifestyle, join the club, been there, am there. I get it. But, you know, the biggest thing that I have learned in that part of my mindset changes is that if you focus on what you can’t eat, you will hate it. You will spend every day angry, resentful, and you will fail. You will only be thinking about what you wish you could taste and it will be absolutely miserable.
But if you focus on what you can eat, and learn to enjoy and experiment with those foods, you will have fun eating and knowing that you’ll feel good afterwards. You’ll get excited to meal plan and cook and share your new favorite recipes with your family and friends.
At the end of the day, the choice is either to eat whatever you want and feel disgusting or to eat what your body wants and feel amazing.
#3: Know what you like.
The key to quick and easy meal planning is to know what you like beforehand. If you don’t, that’s great! You get to experiment with anything that catches your eye until you find what you truly love. Enjoy that process.
But, if you do, that means that if you don’t have time to sit down and find recipes to experiment with, you can still go grocery shopping. You can just pick up what you usually get and be basic that week. Or you can plan one or two new meals that week and keep the rest normal. Knowing what you like and knowing what you and your family will always eat gives you the freedom to have fun with it and enjoy the process of food without it controlling you.
With those in mind, let’s get to meal planning!
I’ve got one word for you.
When used in conjunction with the rules I’ve outlined above, I’ve found that using Pinterest is the best way to find new recipes that suit your way of eating. You essentially have a never-ending repertoire of exciting new recipes! The wonderful thing about Pinterest is that, although it is just a visual search engine, it is far easier to use than a Google search and having to track through all those links. You can streamline your searching and your diet requirements on Pinterest much better than on Google.
So how do you do that?
Well, the first thing you’re going to do is start a new board. Name it something fun! Meal planning doesn’t have to be a chore.
Then, what you’re going to do is create sections. Trust me when I say that leaving a Pinterest board unorganized equals it not being useful at all and this is meant to be extremely useful. Create as many sections as you need. These are going to be designed about what your family needs. If you want some ideas on what to call them, watch the video below! I walk you through this entire process.
After you’ve created your sections, this is where the fun begins! Now you get to pin all those pretty pictures and delicious recipes. Pin whatever you like. Anything that looks good, pin it. Pin as much as you want. This is a growing list, so you can come back to it whenever you like.
When you’re finished pinning for now, go back and add one more section. Name it “Meals to Try” or something similar. Now, I want you to go through your sections and choose any recipes that really catch your eye, make your mouth water, and add them to this section.
Next time you’re planning another grocery shopping trip, all you have to to do is grab a recipe or two from your brand-new board!
And that’s it. I told you it was simple.
The reason I do my meal planning this way is that it is a growing list of creativity. I never have to sit on my computer or searching through a cookbook (although I do really enjoy a good cookbook) because all I have to do is scroll through a board, choose a meal that catches my eye, bring my phone to the store with me. I have everything I need in my hand — I don’t need a separate list. Quick. Easy. Efficient.
I wanna know your favorite recipes! Share them below — I love trying new recipes!