Meal Planning, Do I Have To?

Meal Planning, Do I have to?

I struggle with meal planning, I honestly always have. I am a spur of the moment, fly by the seat of your pants, “I forgot to take it out of the freezer” kind of gal. So to answer the question “Meal Planning, Do I Have To?” To stay on track with my Trim Healthy Mama lifestyle, yes I do. Maybe not in the strictest of ways but staying on plan is much easier when I do.

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I sometimes feel like the meal planning mantra of “fail to plan = plan to fail” is a bit harsh. It does have truth in it though, as many of us have experienced. If you are like me there are times that a set in stone menu just isn’t going to work but other times when it saves you.

To those who Meal plan religiously, Bless you! You are my heroes! And I want to be like you when I grow up.

And to those who are like me and ride the struggle bus in this area, buckle your seatbelt we are in for a ride.

Using my Trim Healthy Mama Plan Book for Meal Planning

As the New Year, New You: THM Book Study 2018 moves into session 4, we start looking at sample menus in our Trim Healthy Mama Plan Books that are designed around recipes from the Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook.
One of the best strategies I have found is to follow the menu that looks like it is doable for you in your lifestyle!
Granted I have many of the specialty ingredients called for. But if you don’t; you can many times find local ingredient substitutes or change-up the recipe for one that uses no special ingredients (just keep it to the same fuel type).

How Do I Meal Plan With Recipes That Are Not in the First Cookbook?

Do you have the New Trim Healthy Table Cookbook? Have you tried some of the suggestions that are included there?

Use the meal types in your plan book and find recipes that match with those, again keep your fuel types similar and change-up the recipes.

How Do I Plan One Meal For The Entire Family?

I see people struggling with this all the time. Many times with “picky eaters” or it is just plain fighting that S.A.D. (Standard American Diet) mindset. A husband or children that refuse to eat alternatives to white flour, potatoes etc. Struggling with the slight texture differences in baked goods and substitutions.

When you are starting this journey, look for recipes that are similar to the dishes you currently serve. Trust me spaghetti squash or shredded turnips make amazing “cheesy potatoes”.

Take Baby Steps with Your Family.

Pick your protein, add one new side dish and one standby vegetable that everyone likes. Add some seasoned brown rice or quinoa for those that need crossovers, and save some for your next E meal.

Make a smaller batch of the new side and load up those veggies.

You may be pleasantly surprised when your family enjoys it right alongside you.

My husband often times enjoys a slice of sprouted bread with S meals for the additional carbs that he needs while I refrain from the bread or enjoy a slice of this Basic Low Carb Yeast Bread.

Want Them To Try New Vegetables?

Try cooking them differently than you have. Roasting vegetables in your oven or Air Fryer can totally change their taste and texture. I found that with my own children and grandchildren that this method works well.

I can’t eat okra if it isn’t roasted, the texture gets me every time. But I love this Oven Roasted Okra as a snack or side dish.

The Meal Planning Method That  Works Best For Our Family

I’ve found that if I make a list of 7 recipes for the week for breakfast,lunch and dinner we can then pick and choose what we are having based on our tastes and cravings.

We don’t always use all 7, many times there may be a batch of leftovers in there too (we are not big on leftovers). This also saves us money since I can shop the sales for our staple ingredients.


I typically make a batch of s snacks, with only two of us a batch of cupcakes lasts for 3 to 4 days. Cookies are a normal occurence here as my husband loves my Best Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe.

Skinny chocolate stays in our freezer for “chocolate emergencies”.

Making something like this Pear Waldorf Cottage Salad or this Strawberry Pineapple Salad and split each into 2 snack size portions gives us a variety of great E snacks.

I love cottage cheese or 0% Greek Yogurt and fresh fruit again an easy E.

For Fuel Pulls, I  love making baby shakes, glycine puddings and berries with greek yogurt or cottage berry whip, again simple and easy. (In the summer you will find both my Vanilla Cottage Style Ice Cream & Chocolate Cottage Style Ice Cream in our freezer)

Dessert only happens twice a week in our home.

Those heavy S cheesecakes and decadent cakes etc, they are for once in a while not everyday in our home. Neither my husband or myself do well when we have overindulged in those heavy S treats.

Meal Planning can help you in your journey to a healthier lifestyle. Don’t make things harder on yourself than you have to, Find what works for you and your family.

3 thoughts on “Meal Planning, Do I Have To?

  1. Wow. You said it. I’m the same type of gal. Thanks for this. I know meal planning is so important to our plan.

  2. You have some great tips here Judy! Thanks. I’ll have to look at the strawberry pineapple salad and Pear Waldorf Cottage Salads. I really like the Cottage Waldorf salad, so I bet I’ll like this. I do have to keep an eye on how much dairy I eat though. I have some Tummy Tuck Ice Cream cubes in my freezer again, since it is warmer this weekend. 😉

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