Real Food Whole Life

Ditch the Complicated Meal Plan (and Try THIS Instead)

Whole LifeRobyn DownsComment

I want to tell you a little story. You see, this real food and whole living thing? It hasn’t always been easy for me.

After the birth of my daughter I was overwhelmed and out of balance. I knew something needed to change, but I had no idea where to start.

Between the demands of work and family, I struggled to find the time to get organized. I felt like I needed an extra 6 hours just to meal plan. And those were 6 hours I didn’t have.

I had no idea how to fit real food into my everyday. It all just seemed completely overwhelming.

Of course, I tried complicated meal plans, but struggled with unwieldy grocery lists and cooking new recipes each night.

Ditch the Complicated Meal Plan (and Try THIS Instead)

And I dreaded grocery shopping. And I felt guilty about the amount of unused food I ended up throwing away.

Then there was all the time I was devoting to it. After working all week there is no way I wanted to spend my entire weekend meal planning and prepping.

There had to be a better way.

Fast forward to today, and I spend less than 5 minutes pulling together a meal map for the week and jotting down an organized grocery list.

I breeze through the grocery store, grabbing exactly what I need, and nothing I don’t.

Meal prep is streamlined, and results in a fridge full of mix-and-match options that can be combined to create an endless variety of ready-to-go dinners, lunches, and snacks.

And I now I have more time for doing the things I love, while still living a real food, whole life.

I will never, ever waste my time and meal plan + prep the traditional way again.

I’ve finally ditched complicated meal planning in favor of a simpler, more streamlined system. Here’s how you can to!

1 | Create a Capsule Pantry

A capsule pantry is made of up a limited number of versatile ingredients that you love to eat, and that can be combined into a variety of easy, delicious meals.

Basically, know your pantry, fridge and freezer essentials, buy only what you need, and know how to use what you have.

More resources: How to Create a Capsule Pantry for Simplified Cooking

2 | Think about recipe building blocks, The Essential Six

The Essential Six are the fundamental building blocks of any recipe: sauces, protein, cooked veggies, raw veggies, grains + bases, and toppings + extras.

Thinking in terms of building blocks allows you to combine them into an infinite number different meals. Think bowls, tacos, pasta, salads, and stir-frys, just to name a few.

Using the Essential Six method allows you to efficiently shop, plan and prep, without wasted time or money.

As an added bonus, you can create a fridge and pantry filled with ingredients that actually go together, no matter what you’re cooking.

Plus, thinking of meals in terms of the Essential Six allows you to efficiently prep just part of a meal, without cooking the entire meals ahead.

More resources: 5 Meal Planning Myths (and Why It’s Not as Complicated as You Think)

3 | Don’t Meal Plan, Meal Map

Instead of setting out to create a complicated meal plan, think instead about creating a loose map to follow, with just enough structure to guide you.  

And, instead of planning for individual recipes, think about meal types such as tacos, pasta, bowls, stir-frys, and salads.  

Once you’ve decided on the meal types for the week, decide how you’re going to combine the Essential Six.

Choose a sauce to use, then move through the list by selecting a protein, veggies, and so on. 

More resources: Slow Cooker Lemon Herb Pulled Chicken + 3 Ways to Use It

Real Food Fix is your guide to simplify meal planning and prep.

If you want to take this process next-level, and receive guidance, recipes, and planning sheets, to make it easy, then Real Food Fix is your answer. 

Real Food Fix is your system to help you plan less, eat well, and feel good, every day. Here’s what it’s all about:

  • A streamlined, flexible process to make meal planning & prep fail-proof and fun

  • Over 50 easy-to-make, mix-and-match recipes that can be combined in a variety of ways

  • Over 30 examples of how to use the mix-and-match recipes to create real-life meals for really busy people

  • Tips for success, including how to set up your kitchen, reduce food waste, and more

  • Bonus customized plans for families, couples, and singles plus printable PDFs to stay organized