The Key to Making Real Food a Reality

Have you made changes towards eating a healthy real food diet but have trouble making it work all the time? As a busy mom, you are probably overwhelmed trying to figure it out on your own. We all want to get through the week without being forced to grab the processed convenience foods.

Well, I can relate to what it’s like to feel overwhelmed and tired of trying to make it work. There were many years in my life that I often felt it was impossible to make a real food lifestyle work all the time. Today, however, my life is a lot different. I figured out what I needed to do to make lasting and positive changes in my life and my diet in a way that I enjoyed and didn’t feel overwhelmed….And that’s exactly what I am going to teach you in my Online Meal Planning Workshop so that you can have the same results.

The reason why meal planning is the key to making real food a reality is because when you have no plan it’s impossible to create healthy meals and snacks without making yourself crazy. Taking a short amount of time each week to pick out recipes, make a plan, and put together a shopping list is how it’s done. You won’t believe the amount of stress having a meal plan will relieve. When you have a meal plan to follow just as you would follow a calendar it makes meal times much less hectic and provides you with the foundation to be able to provide a healthy meal for your family without being stuck in overwhelm mode. The reason why we end up using convenience products or take out is only because there is no other option at that moment and everyone wants to eat right away. In those situations there is no time to go to the store and then cook so the unhealthy food becomes the only choice. When you put some time and energy into planning these situations won’t occur.

Are you ready to…

  • Feel like you have more control over the meals you and your family eat?
  • Understand a simple process to make the whole lifestyle work on a regular basis
  • Have more energy for things other then figuring out what’s for dinner?
This is your opportunity to finally get a handle on the real food lifestyle, let go of overwhelm  and have the confidence that you are feeding your family healthy food. This course with permanently change how you feel about meal planning. In this course you will learn a simple process that will take away all the stress around meal times.

When you join this program you will receive…

  • A online webinar presentation that you can watch on your time – as many times as you want! ($97 value)
  • A meal planning binder with dividers and folders for organization – sent to you in the mail ($29 value)
  • Printed meal planning worksheets
  • A weekly schedule planning worksheet
  • Two sample meal plans – a Winter menu and a Spring menu – from the Real Food Challenges I’ve hosted ($38 value)
  • Sample Recipes
  • Helpful tip sheets
  • Membership to our private Real Food Facebook group for help and support (Priceless!!)

Join me in this home study online workshop for only $89.

This includes all of the supplies that get sent to you in the mail

Only $89

Do you have questions about this workshop? Please feel free to reach out to me using my contact form here.

 

Keeping a Household Calendar

Calendar

photo by ebelien

Keeping things together in a household of two entrepreneurs and a little one can get a little challenging. The schedules are not always the same from day to day or week to week so it’s impossible to do things from memory. Without a household calender, we would not be able to function. Between client meetings, scheduled office time, ballet classes, and dinner preparation – it’s a lot to keep track of without having it all laid out in one location for everyone in the household to see. A household calendar is just as helpful for families that might have a little more of a repetitive routine because there are many things that need to be planned in order for them to actually get done.

What’s on the Calendar

A household calendar will obviously vary for each family. In our house we have everything from our client schedules, birthday parties, plans with a friend, or yoga classes on our calendar. Anything and everything that is important to us is on there. In a household where one or both parents work at a job with a set schedule, such as 9-5, it may not be necessary to put any work related things on the calendar. Keeping a calender helps to keep everyone on the same page. Everyone knows what is going on, when it is and where it is located so that plans can be made ahead of time. Beyond just this obvious point, there is a lot of value in having a calendar like this because it helps to make sure everyone’s needs are met.

The Real Value in a Calendar

When it comes to your own self care as a parent, things you want to do often take a back seat to the things you need to do. Most Moms don’t take the much needed time to take care of themselves. A lot of us Moms say we would love to go to a yoga class or go for a massage but there is just not enough time. These things are important to do for yourself to care for yourself as much as you care for the rest of your family. A Mother who is well taken care of can better give herself to her children and husband and be a calmer, happier Mother. These types of things will never happen unless they are pre-planned. You can keep telling yourself you will go do that yoga class but until you look up the schedule, mark it on your calendar, and make sure the children will be taken care of at that time – it just won’at happen. This is a huge benefit to keeping a calendar that everyone can see. You are able to schedule time for the things you need to do for your own self care. Once things are scheduled they are much more likely to really occur then if they were not scheduled.

Types of Calendars

The type of calendar that you use should match the preferences of your family. For some families a paper calendar that hangs in the kitchen, or somewhere that everyone will see it, might be the way to go. If you schedule is not changing on a daily basis, this might be a good option for you. On the other hand, for families that have a lot of different schedules that change often, a digital version might work better. We use Google calendar and it is linked up to our iPhones so that we can each make our updates as they occur. If my husband is with a client and schedules a new appointment while he is with them, I am able to see that on my phone. This system works amazingly well for us because of our ever changing schedules  Find a method that works for your family – which may take a few attempts. Try out a paper calendar and if that doesn’t work try digital or vice versa.

A household calender is the best way to keep everyone up to date with what is going on and allows for proper planning and preparation. The most value in this comes in the area of self care because it allows you to set the time that you need for yourself without feeling guilty. If everything is set up ahead of time, there is no reason for you to miss your yoga class or your time to decompress. We all need a self care routine to be the best version of ourselves.

Do you keep a household calendar? How has this impacted your life?

Meal Planning for Real Food Success

Maintaining a healthy real food lifestyle can be a challenge on your first attempt. Some people start moving towards a real food lifestyle with every intention of following through for good but seem to struggle to maintain it. There are many things you can do to increase your chances of making it work such as family support, creating a plan, or working with a health counselor. Meal planning alone can be one thing that can make or break your experience. Working off a plan reduces stress, saves time, and makes things more manageable.

Planning Method that Works for You

How you do your planning is all up to you. There are many ways to go about it and it’s important to find the way that works best for your lifestyle. Some, including myself, like to have a physical book and paper to work on. As much as I am a fan of technology and use it often, there is something about having a book with recipes that just works for me. My personal method includes a binder with dividers and recipes printed out from the internet, copied from cook books, or ones I have created myself. I like to make notes on the recipes that say how we liked it and if I thought it needed any modifications. Keeping them all together in one book makes it easier for me to plan each week.

If you prefer to do all your planning on the computer there are some nice websites that can help you do your planning online. Some of them have apps for your phone so that you can refer to your shopping list while you are at the store. If this type of thing appeals to you more then this option might work better for you. Whatever method that will make it more enjoyable for you is what you should chose.

How to Come up with Ideas

A challenge that I hear often is that it is tough to come up with ideas for what to make. As you meal plan more often this gets easier and easier. You will have a bigger database of recipes to chose from and  you will know which ones your family likes. Initially, start with recipes you know. Make your plan using your already perfected recipes to make the process easy to start. As you go along start incorporating 1-2 new recipes per week.

To find new recipes it’s a great idea to invest in a few new real food cook books or eBooks to get some new things to try. I am a big fan of eBooks from bloggers I follow because I know they have already tried the recipes themselves. A free way to get new ideas is to subscribe to recipes sites and blogs. Not all of the recipes will appeal to you but when you see something interesting, print it out and keep in in a folder of “recipes to try.”

Why this Works

Having a meal plan is takes a lot of stress out of meal time. Most moms will agree that the hardest time of day with little ones is 4pm-7pm and this also happens to be the time that we are preparing dinner. If you don’t have a plan it is very stressful to look through what you have in the house, find a recipe, and try to throw something together. Dealing with this often is the reason why we turn to convenience foods – it’s less to think about. During this time of day if you already have all your ingredients, a recipe, and a plan, things will go much more smoothly. When Moms are stressed, children feel it too and it changes the dynamic of the house.

A meal plan also saves time and money. You are less likely to buy take out or junk food if you have a specific grocery list to follow. When you have a plan to follow and a list to shop off, things don’t go bad, and junk doesn’t make it into the pantry.

A meal plan ensures more real cooked food on the table, less stress, less junk, more family time, and less time and money wasted. With all these benefits it’s a no-brainer to implement this into your life.

If you are interested in learning my detailed meal planning method, look out for my new virtual meal planning workshop coming up soon. More details to come…

Do you create a meal plan? What are your challenges in implementing this into your household?

Meal Plan Monday 9/17/12

Today I am starting a new meal plan series inspired by Modern Alternative Kitchen. Watch my introduction video and join in the meal planning fun. Based on enthusiastic feedback I received on Facebook, I am going to start posting meal plans! Modern Alternative Kitchen will be hosting a weekly meal planning share where a group of nutrition and food bloggers will be sharing meal plans so this will be a huge resource for everyone. I will participate in the MAK meal plan share post at least once a month, maybe more!

Meal planning can be overwhelming when you first start doing it. Sitting down and staring at a blank sheet of paper can make you draw a blank on what to make. Once you have done it a few times it becomes easy and quick. Develop your own system of creating your plan. Whether its on your computer or down on paper, chose the method that works best for you. It is smart to create your meal plan based on your schedule for the week. Plan for leftovers on the days where you have a lot going on so it relieves some pressure on those days. Also, don’t worry if you don’t stick to the plan 100%, its OK. Just having the plan is what helps you be organized and be able to have a home cooked meal for your family.

Meal Plan for the week of 9/16/12

Sunday

  • Breakfast: Eggs & leftover veggies
  • Lunch: Chicken salad, Cucumber & Citrus Salad
  • Dinner: Herb Cod, Sauteed zucchini & onions
  • Snacks: Almond flour muffins

Monday

  • Breakfast: Eggs & leftover veggies
  • Lunch: Tuscan kale & white bean soup
  • Dinner: 40 Clove Chicken, Sauteed Collard greens & onions, steamed broccoli
  • Snacks: Cantaloupe, Homemade Larabars

Tuesday

  • Breakfast: Almond Flour Pancakes, fruit
  • Lunch: Chicken Salad, Cucumber & Citrus Salad
  • Dinner: Meatballs with Marinara sauce, Roasted Herb Veggies
  • Snacks: Apple & Almond butter

Wednesday

  • Breakfast: Eggs & leftover veggies
  • Lunch: Tuscan kale & white bean soup
  • Dinner: Leftovers
  • Snacks: Cantaloupe, Homemade Larabars

Thursday

  • Breakfast: Smoothies & Almond Flour muffins
  • Lunch: Meatballs & Roasted Veggies
  • Dinner: Leftovers
  • Snacks: Homemade Popcorn

Friday

  • Breakfast: Eggs & leftover veggies
  • Lunch: Leftovers
  • Dinner: Bean Burritos
  • Snacks: Homemade Larabars, popcorn

Saturday

  • Breakfast: Eggs & leftover veggies
  • Lunch: Leftovers
  • Dinner: Coconut shrimp, marinated raw veggie salad, black bean salad
  • Snacks: Leftover Snacks

Be sure to check out the Meal Plan Monday link-up on Modern Alternative Kitchen today to read all of the other meal plans posted there!

What is on your meal plan this week? Please share in the comment section below!