Why I Changed My Mind on Meal Plans (and How You Can Benefit)
It’s confession time.
I used to be very anti-meal plan.
You may think, "But Jen, you’re a dietitian. Isn’t meal planning kind of what you do?”
I didn’t like meal plans because I wasn’t teaching from them. It felt like the easy way out; something that wouldn’t set my clients up for success. Not a process of helping my clients learn and create new habits, but a risky way of having someone try something because not even I felt confident in using them.
But I was looking at meal planning in the wrong way.
Many clients come to me for help with nutrition and their diet because they know they should eat better but they don't have the time it takes to plan out healthy meals, create the grocery list, and purchase everything they need. And not just for themselves, but for their whole family.
And as you may know, I really focus on helping people with diabetes, kidney disease, and high blood pressure. So meal plans are tough because I can’t just make one plan for all- everyone’s health situation is different.
Then there’s the challenges for clients to find the time required to figure it all out. Even for someone like myself, who went through years and years of professional education and training- it still can take hours to figure out what to eat and plan out for the week.
So I get it. I’ve been there. Hell, I’m still there from time to time.
But I found it. A meal planning system I could really get behind and feel confident in adding to my services. To make my clients more empowered and supported in making healthy choices.
I fell in love with a great meal planning software called EatLove. It is completely aligned with my practice and goals with my clients. It provides the extra support that often times clients need to be successful in reaching their health goals.
These meal plans aren’t your standard “print-this-out-and-good-luck-with-the-rest.”
This is not only a meal plan, but a software tool my clients and I use to communicate food preferences, align heath and lifestyle needs, and work towards learning and practicing better habits.
The meal plans don’t become a crutch. They become a guide. A resource. A lit pathway.
With this new resource, I’m able to create a custom-tailored meal plan just for you. After getting a few Qs and As from you, I can generate a meal plan that fits exactly what you need.
Got breakfast and lunch down but need some good dinner ideas? How about a 5-day dinner plan to get you through your work week?
Maybe you like your dinner habits but mornings are too hectic to think about breakfast and you need help to start the day off right. I can set you up with breakfasts for the whole week if you want.
Or let’s say you just want a few days of well-rounded days. Let’s get you the 3-Day plan to start- breakfast, lunch, dinner and a balanced snack included.
But what if your next week is different?
Hallelujah, the plan can change!
Even if you chose the 5-Day Dinner and Lunch plan last week, you can opt for a full 3-Day meal plan for the following week.
Each week, you have the power to change your meal plan based on your schedule and needs.
Uh oh. You’ve got a spouse. And two kids. There is NO WAY you’re going to make a meal plan for yourself and then cook a whole different meal for your fam.
I’ve got you covered.
You can include the other adults, kids, and teens in your house! I’ll include them in whichever meals they enjoy with you as well (and leave them out of the meals you enjoy on your own).
It’s truly a great way to teach your family about healthy eating habits without having to create the whole dang menu yourself.
You can even search based on certain ingredients (like that box of pasta in the back of your pantry you know you need to use ASAP) to save even more money on groceries!
This meal planning system is like Pinterest, but each recipe you come across already fits into your nutrition needs.
I haven’t even told you my favorite part yet.
After you decide on your meal plan (Yes - you approve final plan), you get a printout and digital version of the auto-generated grocery list that includes everything you need for your plan.
Check off what you already have, leave on what you don’t.
Long-gone are the hours and hours spent meal planning, creating your grocery list, and then finally getting to the store.
Not crazy about the grocery shopping?
Click the “Buy Online” option to order the food and even get it delivered!! (Note: the cost of grocery ordering and delivery is not included with the meal planning but, hey, that’s your choice and I’m glad this at least provides the option.)
I’m telling you. This. Is. Game Changing.
Looking for a diabetic meal plan? I gotchu. What about pre-diabetes? Have that, too. Need to control high blood pressure or just looking to prevent it with a low-sodium diet? Done and done.
Need a vegan meal plan- maybe even that paired with controlling diabetes or another health concern? I think you know what I’m going to say (yes!). Even you pregnant and breastfeeding mamas out there can get a special meal plan tailored to your very special needs.
And I definitely have to give a special shout-out to those with kidney disease that need a chronic kidney disease meal plan.
And you still get to scroll through a variety of recipes that will fit your needs.
You tell me your priority and I’ll work with you on the best meal plan for that need.
I’m offering this service in addition to my one-on-one nutrition coaching.
So if you’re not ready for sessions with me yet, I still want to offer this to you. And I’ll still be there to support you along the way.
My Meal Plan Memberships are available month-to-month, so there’s no need to worry about a long-term commitment.
The true purpose of these meal plans is to start off supporting you as much as you need and gradually taper down until you gain the confidence and knowledge of how to cook on your own.
Many say it takes at least 21 days to set a new habit. So starting off with just 30 days of meal planning is a great place to start.
Save money by throwing away less food.
Save hours of time with a few clicks to generate your meal plan and grocery list.
Save your health so you can continue to enjoy doing the things you love with the people you love.
Got questions? Let me know! Until then, happy planning!