For a long time, I never really meal planned in the way that most people think of meal planning. There was no pen and paper or filling out a weekly meal chart. I pretty much did it all in my head. Maybe I have a fantastic memory? All I know is that once I made my shopping list, I knew what I was doing for the next several days. I would typically grocery shop or hit up the local farmer’s market twice a week. Planning for 4-5 days at a time felt easy.
It’s kind of surprising for how incredibly organized and structured I am. But for some reason, I craved more flexibility in my kitchen. Hence, meal planning seemed too annoying and rigid. This process worked well for me for many years while living a paleo lifestyle.
Then I started traveling full time. Woah. All of the sudden, trips to the grocery store became a very planned out excursion. No stopping on my way home from swim practice cause I felt like roasted broccolini tonight. Not only is it much more of a hassle to drive my RV to the grocery store, I’m often camping out in places where there is no grocery store! Or at least not one where I can rely on there being quality & organic foods.
I had heard about Real Plans many times and had considered trying it out. But given my earlier thoughts, it just hadn’t seemed like it was going to jive with my more ‘flexible’ way of eating. After a few weeks on the road, I realized how important meal planning would be to providing my body with the proper fuel. So I dove right in!
I have now been using Real Plans for several months and it has become a necessary part of traveling full-time. At first, I was a little hesitant that I wouldn’t like planning what I was going to eat so far in advance. I was also concerned that I would have trouble personalizing it becuase so many times when I cook, it’s not from a recipe. How would I “plan” for my throw-together meals? What about not shopping on the same day of the week or needing to shop for more than 1 week at a time?
Fortunately, Real Plans has thought about pretty much all of these possibilities and more! After getting to know the system, I am now a pro at making it work for me!
Real Plans is all about customizing the meal planning process to what works for you!
Then, this is my favorite part. After you select your diet, you can further customize it by including and excluding certain foods or food groups! Avoiding mushrooms? Want to eat rice but not other grains? Whatever your healing journey requires at this point in time, you can adapt your Real Plans to fit it!
After you personalize your food choices, then you get to set up your weekly schedule. This is where you decide how many planned meals you want to have each week and on what days. You can change this at any time and you can also change one individual week at a time. The schedule just gives you a jumping off point for each week. You can even include filters like “Preparation time <= 30 minutes” or “Cook for 4” or have it schedule your favorite recipe every week!
From this point, you are able to continue to personalize each week based on what you’ve got going on in your life. Throwing a dinner party? Know you’ll be going out to eat with friends? Want to make extra servings to have leftovers? Whatever it is, you can build it in to each week to make Real Plans work for you.
You can edit recipe serving sizes and it automatically updates your shopping list with the correct quantities. Don’t like a recipe? Play ‘recipe roulette’ or search the recipe box for something that is more appealing. Have a favorite recipe that you want to make this week? You can import the recipe via the url or you can add it in manually, then save it for future weeks.
Real Plans App makes grocery shopping and meal prepping a piece of cake!
After you have set your meal plan for the week you can check out the Timeline and the Shopping List. The Timeline gives you a day by day plan of what you need to do to be ready to prepare your delicious meals. Whether it is defrosting the meat or making a bone broth, it makes sure you have it ready in time. This is where the Real Plans app for your phone comes in handy. If you install the app you will get super timely notifications reminding you to get the ground beef out of the freezer!
The Shopping List is one of my favorite features because it works seamlessly with the Meal Plan and it syncs right to your phone. No need to write up or print off a list! It’s organized by category of how you would shop for the foods and gives you the exact quantities that you need. If you already have an item on hand, you just check it off the list. Need to shop for a specific period of time? You can change the dates so that it creates the list based on the meals in your desired timeframe. (This is huge for me since I don’t always shop on the same day when I’m traveling.) There is also an ‘add ingredient’ option if you want to add something to the list that isn’t on your meal plan.
Oh yeah, the recipes are great too! I have yet to try a recipe that I didn’t like and it’s really helped me to expand my cooking comfort zone. I love that I can always check out a recipe when I’m planning to make sure my tiny kitchen will be able to accommodate it or that I have the tools needed. I can also make edits to the recipes and save them for future use. Maybe I prefer to use ground chicken instead of ground turkey, I just modify the recipe and it automatically updates my shopping list too!
Want quick and easy access to more recipes? Real Plans offers subscription upgrades that include recipes from some of your favorite bloggers.
Maybe you are like I was and enjoy flying by the seat of your pants in the kitchen. If so, I feel you and more power to you! I know that now that I’ve tried meal planning with Real Plans I don’t think I’ll be going back. It helps me save time and money at the grocery store (a list is your wallet’s best friend). Real Plans keeps me from worrying about if I bought enough food to last me until I come across the next grocery store in my travels. When it comes to eating healthy while traveling, using Real Plans is by far the best method I’ve found!
Have a question about Real Plans? Leave me a comment and I’ll do my best to help you out! Please spread the Love and share this post with someone!
If you would like help with Meal Planning, then Transformational Nutrition Coaching could help!
Book a FREE Discovery Session with me today and let’s work together to create a plan and transform your life!
I have saved a ton of money while eating Real Foods by shopping at Thrive Market! This has been my favorite place to shop for real food pantry staples and non-toxic home and personal products for over 2 years! You can read my review of their service in a previous post. Think Costco + Whole Foods + delivered to your doorstep!
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Disclaimer: The information in this post is not intended as medical advice, or to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional. Marcelle encourages you to make your own health care decisions based upon your research, and in partnership with your doctor, licensed dietitian, or nutritionist. The information provided in this post and the entire contents of www.marcellephene.com are based upon the opinions of Marcelle Phene and are for general educational purposes, and have not been reviewed nor approved by the FDA. You are solely responsible for your health care and activity choices.