Meal Planning Cheat Sheet for Busy Moms everywhere





Eating real food isn’t complicated at all. Keep it simple. You don’t have to be a culinary chef in the kitchen. You don’t have to buy everything fresh. Who told you that you had to put so much pressure on yourself for every meal to be 5 star quality? 
 
I hear from busy Mom’s all the time that they can’t research another recipe and spend time and money on ingredients only to find their family won’t eat it. I understand. There is nothing more frustrating than planning a meal, buying the food, preparing it, dirtying dishes and then it’s not a hit with your toddlers and hubby. Been there girlfriend and I still find myself there from time to time now. But, using these tips, dinner is almost always a hit in our house. 
 
Real Food can be simple. Don’t overcomplicate it. Just because your Mom hand made rolls and breads, doesn’t mean you have to (although I know these are fabulous). 
 
 Here’s some tips how to meal plan.
 
Leftovers are key. Don’t like leftovers? Learn to  Seriously though, if you don’t like leftovers try putting a twist on them. Adding some additional veggies some dump ranch LINK, an egg or two to it. Something to change it up if you can’t stomach leftovers. Try really hard to learn how to like them, because it’s a lot easier because then you don’t have to cook every meal, instead you can batch meals  
 
Batching meals for the week ahead is essential. I like to take a look at our family calendar and see how many nights we will need quick on the go dinners. Then, I make sure I prep those ahead of time. 
 
Protein is typically the hardest nutrient for us to get into our bodies and yet one of the most important. So, I always recommend when planning ahead of time to ensure you have enough protein cooked or prepared ahead of time for on the go or quick eating. Protein are your lean meats (I swear by buying meat only from here because of their sustainability and standards) http://fbuy.me/pYZR4
Nuts, etc that are so vital to supporting your body in muscle mass and keeping you feel full and satisfied. 
 
I’ve created a cheat sheet meal plan recipe list for you and I’m calling it my 1234 method of easy meals for the Modern Day Busy Mom. You can use this for yourself using foods that you will like and fit for your family! This will you a great variety of macronutrients of whole foods; Protein, Carbs, Vegetable and Fat. Easy Peasy.
 
Click here to get my list I’ve complied of each MacroNutrient. Pick one from each category for each meal you eat and watch as you feel more energized, fuller and less bloat. All because you’re fueling your body with real food that it needs! 

 
Oh and you can be sure your kids and are getting filled up too with these proper nutrients it won’t have them asking for a snack 10 minutes after a meal….eeeep that used to drive me crazy!
 

Be sure to also check out my video here for Quick Grocery Shopping Tips

The Staples you need in your kitchen for Real Food Meals without breaking the bank

Every time I  share a real food recipe on Instagram or Facebook someone inevitably comments but Real Food is so time consuming and expensive. 

Hear me out, eating Real, Healthy Food doesn't have to be complicated or expensive. We are all busy. I'm a busy Mom and don't have time for overcomplicated recipes. I    need quick, easy meals that my family will actually eat. So, that's what you'll find in all of my recipes; a no fluff, lots of flavor, real food that is toddler and dad approved :)



Also, let's address the misconectipion that real food is expensive. You don't have to shop at Whole Foods to eat healthy, real food. You can whip up a healthy real food meal within minutes all while staying within your grocery budget. 

So, lets get down to the staples I recommend you have on hand in your kitchen to rock this Real Food journey. These are the staples that are on my Shipt order every week. These are interchangeable and will help you whip up a meal that's quick and delicious in no time. 


Pantry Staples:

Olive Oil: (I    like to buy the extra virgin Olive from Costco, since its such a steal). I    only cook with olive oil for the most part when cooking anything on the stove top. It's a good healthy fat and cooks so well when making meat!

Seasonings: I    like Flavor God Seasonings but also like any of the organic seasonings at the local grocery store.

Essential Oils: These are a great thing for me to have to flavor food especially when I  don't have fresh herbs and spices. You can get yours here

Chicken Bone Broth: I prefer this brand from Kettle and Fire but any organic not filled with added ingredients bone broth will also do. This is great to have on hand for soups, flavoring chicken and or just boosting your wellness as bone broth is a great immunity booster!

Sweet Potatoes: Excellent source of Carbohydrates and filled with lots of Vitamin A. These orange potatoes are known as sweet sugary potatoes in our house because my boys love them and it was a good way to get them to try them when we told them they were made with sugar :)

White Potatoes: Another great source of Carbohydrates yet real food are white potatoes. We love making Baked Potatoes, Potato Salad or Homemade French fries.

Frozen:

Vegetables: I'm always buying the steam fresh kind which can be microwaved or often times I'll just throw in a pot on the stove and warm until melted. Less than 5 minutes!

Chicken: I love Organic Chicken Thighs in my freezer to just have on hand as a backup in my house for any meal!



Refrigerator:

Bananas: (excellent source of potassium) I    make banana eggs with these, find recipes here. They make great snacks for kids and when all else fails...banana pancakes :)

Kale: (or any leafy green vegetable you prefer) Getting a leafy green into your diet everyday is essential. I    prefer Kale because its easy to add to salad, throw in a smoothie or add to my tomato sauce

Eggs: We eat a lot of eggs in our house. They are a great source of protein and all things considered pretty cheap. I  buy primal farms Eggs which are organic and free range. We love making Frittatas for breakfast or a snack, breakfast for dinner or having hard boiled eggs in the fridge for easy on the go eating.

Cheese: I  try and buy only goats cheese. We Love the goats cheese from Costco. Since we mostly don't eat dairy, goats milk cheese is a good alternative for us.

Lemons: Flavor your water, dump ranch, flavor the chicken? Lemons are a great thing to have around your house always. Plus isn't it good feng shui have 8 lemons in a bowl on your counter?

Avocado: One of Connor's first baby foods and forever a staple in our house. Avocado is great for so many things...helllo taco Tuesday?!?! Also, it's an excellent source of fat. It makes a great snack if you cut in half and sprinkle with salt, eating out of the half with a spoon

Sweet Peppers: I prefer to buy these at Costco because of the price and the size but these sweet peppers make their way in so many meals of ours. From salads, to chili to breakfast these are a great way to add additional veggies. My boys will also eat them as a snack with some dump ranch. 

Onions: I  love Spanish onions to cook with and red onions in my salad. Whatever you prefer be sure to add them to your list!

Garlic: We are a garlic loving family. The more garlic the better. This makes its way in all of my dishes. Plus its an immunity booster. I    buy fresh garlic that's already peeled and diced for me. Makes it easy to cook with!

Other Fruits: This one is a no brainer but had to include so you don't forget. Whatever your fav fruits are be sure to add them to your weekly staple grocery list! Fruits and veggies are essential to a healthy diet and staying full from one meal to the next!

So, that list wasn't too bad right?!? I    want you to feel from this blog that healthy eating is neither complicated nor expensive. There are many ways you can combine different foods to make them easy and delicious and nutritious! 

The more you practice, the more confident you’ll become and you’ll start to see just how easy and simple healthy eating can be even for us Busy Moms on the go!

Need help planning out your meal plan for the week?  I got you! Download my free meal planning guide here with a breakdown of why meal planning is so important plus my easy 1234 method that's so easy for us busy moms to make meal time easier!




XOXO,
Jess