I want to share my real food meal planning using staple foods in 8 steps today.
Fact: Ryan didn’t marry me for my mad cooking and baking skills.
In fact, when we met, I barely knew how to throw together boxed Mac ‘n Cheese for myself. Subsequently, this is why my Colitis kept getting worse and worse.
The Colitis was a blessing in disguise, as twisted as that may sound.
I learned and perfected the art of cooking and baking, madly falling in love with them both and healing all along.
People assume that what I do is extremely complicated. They assume that I spend hours and hours and hours in the kitchen. And before her + him, I maybe did so. Not because it took that long, but more so because I was perfecting my art for me and for you.
Now I am a busy mama, I simply don’t have all the kitchen playing time available.
BUT….I do still have time to eat supremely and feed my family exceptionally.
How? Because I know how to meal plan, and meal planning is not as complicated as we all make it out to be.
Why? Because we are creatures of habit. There is no need to reinvent your own wheel if it’s already been invented by you – the Master. All too often, we tell ourselves that every single meal and snack must be different. This difference creates a sense of anxiety…..how am I going to figure out 5 different meals and snacks to eat in one day? Sound familiar? (pssst – also make note that if your gut is a mess and you are trying to heal it, eating a million different ingredients a day is a sure way to never figure out what’s bothering you.)
I now take a simplified, streamlined approach to meal planning.
(And for the record, this will actually save you money in the long run, which then allows you to purchase the highest-quality food possible!)
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Real Food Meal Planning Using Staple Foods in 8 Steps
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- Know how often you go to the grocery store (or Amazon!). My meal planning syncs up with the number of times per week I’m at the grocery store. These days, I go 1-2 times per week plus the farmers’ market on the weekend. Therefore, I’m on a 3-4-day meal planning schedule. A 3-day meal planning schedule works better for those who eat a ton of fresh fruits and vegetables, or for those who don’t eat that many fresh fruits and vegetables but like to buy them in larger bulk. 7 days can work as well, it’s just a little more difficult in my experience.
- Make a list of the foods you love/foods you eat a lot.
- Take the main foods from that list (i.e. eggs, a meat, fish, etc.) and craft your snacks and meals around it. In my case, I do this for the 3-4 day meal planning. If you aren’t creative, then find simple recipes online using those main ingredients. For example, say you love turkey and you need ideas of what to do with it. Go to your favorite recipe websites, find the search bar and type in said ingredient. For example, spaghetti squash. HERE are several ideas for turkey that pop up on my site. (Need to do this by dietary restriction? My site hosts Special Diets and/or the ability to drill down even further to entire categories like Gluten Free.)
- Once you find the simple recipes you like, jot down the other ingredients you’ll need to finish that recipe. For example, these Mushroom and Spinach Turkey Burgers. You’d add to your grocery shopping list: eggs, cilantro, jalapeños, parsley, chives, turmeric, mushrooms, cumin, and basil. (Don’t want all those ingredients? Cut the ones you don’t want to use, as long as they are not critical to the recipe.)
- Organize your week. Once your recipes have been crafted and grocery shopping list created, simply place each item next to the day/meal you want it for.
- Buy said groceries. (Many of your ingredients can be found at bulk stores like Costco, too, so pay attention to that when planning. A penny saved is a penny earned. So profound.)
- Make said meals.
- Rinse and repeat.
I enjoy this simple process. I know that not everyone does. But real food meal planning using staple foods has saved me time, energy, and money, and it has seen me to a whole new level of healing my gut.
And what do I do with that extra time, energy and money? Cuddle with/spend it on the babies, of course….and when they sleep, I create brand new stuff ’round here for you!
Questions? Ask away.
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