Back-in-the-day my husband and I would do food shopping once-a-month. We would buy everything we needed for a month, and pick up little things we needed in-between. Our diet revolved around self-stable, highly processed foods. But, now it’s so different and meal planning is extremely important.
Because our diet now revolves around whole, natural, fresh, unprocessed foods, we can no longer do a whole food shopping a month in advance. Now, we go food shopping once a week, usually on Sunday. Before we go food shopping though, we sit down with our work schedules, and meal plan.
inkWELL Press sent me the most amazing item to review and although I have only used it for a week so far, I am absolutely in love with it! Even my husband said this is going to make our life so much easier. inkWELL Press sent me their eatWELL Menu Planner and ohmygoodness is it AMAZING!
“Our eatWELL™ Meal Planner is designed to cover your weekly meal planning and grocery lists for 6 months (4 weeks per month). Included is a section with 3 special meal planners to help show you how to take the stress of holiday meals or dinner parties. We also include a resource section in the back to help with cooking conversions, quick and simple meal ideas, chart for in-season produce and even tips on storing food. The hardcover allows for a firm writing surface and is coated in a matte laminate film that allows for easy cleaning with a damp cloth.
The weekly meal planner takes the stress out of planning dinner each night with sections to include where to find recipes and even a rating system to help you remember your most successful meals (which helps simplify future meal planning time!). The weekly grocery list is designed to help you get in and out of the store even faster. Divided into categories that line up nicely with grocery store sections, it enables you to get your shopping done quickly. When you are in the produce section, you know everything written under ‘Produce’ should be in your cart before you move on. No running back across the store because you forgot potatoes!
The eatWELL menu planner from inkWELL Press® is not your ordinary meal planner. With thick luxurious 140 GSM paper, you’ll find that pens write smoothly with no bleed through… even from fountain pens. The wire-O binding helps the book to lie flat so writing is easy & it allows it to prop up nicely in your grocery cart!”
Last night my husband and I sat down and meal planned for next week. Although we didn’t figure out meals for all the days yet, we figured out most and we have a plan for the following week.
To make meals easier in our house, we like choosing things that we can cook ahead of time and warm up each night. So, for example, next week we are going to be eating Venison Chili. On Wednesday, when I have off from work, and most likely so does my husband, we will have grilled chicken, with 1/2 baked potato, and veggie. For breakfast we are having an omelet with ham, cheese, and raw milk. My lunches for the week are easy because I love yogurt, and it’s so filling! My husband will also be taking our homemade yogurt to work with him too for a healthy, nutritious lunch. And snacks? Dark chocolate.
Using inkWELL Press’ Weekly Grocery List page, we were able to plan out exactly what we need to buy which is: veggies, cheese, ham, dark chocolate, chicken breasts, shredded cheddar cheese, raw milk, eggs, stewed tomatoes, kidney beans, and chili beans. Some of these items we will get at the local farmers market, some we will get at our farms (raw milk and eggs), and the rest we will get at the grocery store. Venison we already have in our chest freezer from last winter’s hunting season. The eatWELL planner is definitely making meal planning easier, and I am all about making things easier.
What I like is that this book, which will help us meal plan for 6 months, is something that we can always refer back to. We can easily see what meals worked, and what didn’t. We can get ideas for the future of meals to make again. That’s the one thing that’s hard about meal planning. Sometimes you get stuck in a rut and can’t think of anything new to make. So, it’ll be nice to look backwards and say “Oh yeah! Remember when we made this for dinner? It was so good! Let’s make that again.”
In the back of the eatWELL Planner is a few pages labeled “Holiday Meal Plan.” I haven’t gotten a chance to use those yet, but it will come so in handy during Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, and Christmas. Not only that, but there’s also a section titled “Quick & Simple Meal Ideas”. I already started jotting down some meals there for weeks when we get in a rut, and need ideas.
One of my favorite pages in the eatWELL Planner, and I was so happy to see this, was the list of Seasonal Fruits and Seasonal Veggies. Since our meals revolve around the seasons and what’s locally available, it’s great being able to see at-a-glance what’s in season. There is also a list of “The Dirty Dozen” and “The Clean Fifteen”. Another wonderful, handy reference to have right at your fingertips, especially while food shopping.
“The Dirty Dozen” is a list of fruits and vegetables that absorb more chemicals than others. These are the list of fruits and vegetables you should always buy organic if you can. “The Clean Fifteen” are the list of fruits and vegetables that don’t absorb as many chemicals and is ok to not buy organic.
Another page I love in the eatWELL planner is a page titled “The Butcher Shop”. This is really helpful for my husband and I because we try to buy our meats straight from the farm. It’s a good way to see what cuts of meat you want, and a very handy reference.
When you live an all-natural lifestyle, meal planning is so essential to your way of life. But, even if you don’t live an all-natural lifestyle, I still encourage everyone to meal plan. It takes the guess-work out of everyday. It helps you to make those Mindful Unique Decisions to keep yourself accountable, and make healthy choices. You are never wondering “What should I eat today?” and prone to making unhealthy choices because you have planned out your week. That’s not to say that maybe once-a-week you might go out to eat somewhere. But, plan that into your meal plan for the week! For example, if my husband and I know that Sunday is going to be our Family Fun Day, then I will write down on our meal plan for that day “Wild Card”. That lets my husband and I know that on that day we don’t have to prepare a meal, that most likely we will eat out somewhere while we are out and about.
I used to think meal planning was something I couldn’t do. I used to think that it was too restricting. Especially when I started recovery for my eating disorder. But, you know what? It isn’t restricting at all. I have learned that it’s fun to plan out what I’m going to eat. I’ve learned that it’s fun to look for recipes.
Since I started recovery, I’ve learned that although I like to control everything, I really can’t. A lot of the ways I tried to control things in the past were unhealthy. But, through meal-planning I can actually use my need for control in a positive way. I can make sure that each week I am making Mindful Unique Decisions for my family. It helps me to ensure that I am eating correctly; that I am taking care of myself and living the best life I can. And through that, I am empowering myself to live my best life.
Meal planning is empowering!
Thank you inkWELL Planner for sending me your eatWELL Menu Planner to review.
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