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Tip For Meal PLanning
Episode 181

October 19, 2021

We all gotta eat, and so does our family. Making meals each day is quite a task and can use up a lot of ‘thought energy’ to get food on the table. Listen today for some tips on making meal planning flow better each week.

Diana Ballard

Mom Training

Tips For Meal Planning

Episode Transcript

The Mom Training Podcast with Diana Ballard


Diana:  Hey, Meal Mondays starts again next week. You got to come join me on Facebook @DianaBallardLive. We share recipes. We try new things. We give ideas. It’s super fun. Come join me, around 4:15, 4:30 Mountain Standard Time. Come check it out. Come hang out with me or catch it on replay. It’ll be just as good. And we’ see you over there.


Hey, ladies, welcome to The Mom Training Podcast. We are going to talk about some meal planning today, which is super fun!... No. It can be fun. I think it’s more… I don’t know if I’d call it fun, but it’s rewarding. And it pays off, to do meal planning. Right?


We have to sometimes push a little bit in the beginning to get a little bit ahead of ourselves, and then the week can flow so much better when we have a little meal planning. So, I want to ask what’s your routine is... What’s your plan is, with meal planning?


   You’re like, “Diana, I don’t even know. I just go open up the fridge, I look at it. I say, “Cool, we’re having sandwiches again, which is great.” You’ll have sandwiches every day, cool… Whatever floats your boat, whatever works out for you.


   Maybe you would pop something in the microwave or the oven. I mean, you’re still alive and so are your children, so that means you’re eating so that’s great. [chuckle]


   But what is your normal routine with feeding your family and yourself?


   Now, let’s address some of the problems with meal planning and feeding our family. One is that, I don’t know about you but sometimes it’s like, “What the heck am I going to make this week?” I find myself asking my husband and my kids. “So, what kind of food do you want this week?”


   “I don’t care… Whatever’s fine with you.”


   And you’re like, “No, I need you to tell me, what do you want?” Because I’m like running out of ideas. Like I’ve done this week after week, that I’m wondering what the heck we’re going to have, besides tacos and homemade pizza, and soup? [chuckle] Or chicken and vegetables? I mean, are we just going to eat the same things every week?


   I’m down with that. That’s easy, something that we can do. But figuring out what to make is challenging. Especially, when we’ve kind of hit like a stress point, or our brain’s a little bit like, “Behh yehhh… What? Who am I? What am I doing? Why am I standing here?” Maybe you’ve never felt that way but I don’t know.


   Having a new born… Having four little kids six and under, I found a lot more moments, of me standing there and be like, “What was I doing?... Uhm… I know there’s so many things to do right now but what was I… Why was I headed in this room?” There’s been a lot more of that lately.


   But I’m going to share something that I’ve been doing, that’s been helping me with meal planning. And it’s something super simple that you can do in your phone; in your Notes in your phone. And it’s been very helpful for me, and hopefully it can help you too.


   So, there are weeks that our brains are better than other weeks. Maybe you’re on a good week… Let’s say that we’re on a good week right now, and you’re sitting down and figuring out what you want to make for the week, for your family. Now, if you’ve never done this before. It’s okay. There’s always time to try something new.


   And if you want to become more organized and take a lot of stress out of how you feed your family, then this is a good opportunity to step it up and try something new.


   So, as you’re sitting down, it’s a good week. Your brain is working well. You’re thinking out, “Okay, I’m going to make four dishes, split them into double meals, or be able to used them more than once. So, that all will split up here… “This is what I’m going to make for breakfast…” You’re doing all these things. And you’re making your grocery list, which for me is grocery pick up.


   I literally, have only used grocery pick up the last year, which has shocked some people close to me. They’re like, “You took all of your kids to shop?” I said, “Yeah. I did.” I mean, it was just something that we did. We went to the store, I had a list, and we got.


   But with 2020, I tried it for the first time, and it was like, there’s no turning back. [chuckle] Delegating somebody to get my groceries for me, and me and my children get in our seats in our car, and we drive there. I open up the trunk and they put it in.


   Yes. Thank you. Yes. [chuckle]


   But you’re making your grocery list. You’re figuring out exactly what you’re going to have. You’re being wise with what you’re buying. I love grocery pick up because I can see how much I’m spending. Because when you go in the store, I do love going into the store… But when you do grocery pick up, you literally can choose how much money you spend, like right there.


   Obviously, they have to weigh your vegetables, or how many bananas you get. There’s the different things like that. They can adjust it just a tiny bit. But when you have a food budget, and you have a goal of how much you’re wanting to spend or not spend, then it makes your decisions a little easier, when you can take things off your list, or adjust something, or change your meal up a little bit, to be able to fit in your budget.


   So, you’re sitting there, you’re making your meals, you’re making your grocery list, everything. You’re on fire… “I’m feeling good. I’m on top of this. Let’s do this thing. Let’s do it.”


   And you pick up your groceries. You meal plan, beautifully. You get the things chopped up. You get things done. And the week is a week, meaning that you have good and bad times. And you’re grateful for the times you have those meals already prepared. You’re like “Oh, yes!... I forgot that I made that tuna salad. We’re going to put that in sandwiches, and that’s going to be lunch today, with grapes and some red bell pepper.” Cool. We got it.


   But then the next week comes, and this is the week where maybe on the weekend, someone got sick or you were up; you were feeling so on fire that you decided to stay up really late. You’re like, “I’m invincible!” … That’s pretty much like… I don’t say that to myself, but I act like I’m invincible, by not going to bed, sometimes in the weekend. And then all of a sudden, I’m like, “Buhhh… ahh...”


   I get emotional. I’m not on top of my game. I’m really struggling to have my mind think straight. Because I’m tired. And maybe there’s other reasons why we’re not having a good week or whatever.


   But say, you’re sitting there trying to make your next of meal planning… And you know what, you can’t think of a thing… I’ve been there. You can’t think of a thing. So, these tips that I’m going to share with you is that week that you were on fire, document what you serve. Document how you created meals that week.


   When you’re sitting down, and making that meal plan, planning out what you’re doing, making your grocery list. It’s the same time you say, “I’m going to do this. I’m going to do this, this, this and this.


   Not only is that going to help you in the future weeks, to be able to look back on, but it’s also going to help you remember – “What the heck I planned? Why do I have six crowns of broccoli in my fridge right now?” Which is me at this very moment…


   “Why do I have six crowns of broccoli? Oh, because we’re having raw broccoli with hummus. And I’m also doing cooked broccoli.” We absolutely love cooked broccoli. So, we’re going to have it twice. And I’m chopping all of it up so it’s going to be a freak-load of little pieces of broccoli, that I’m going to split some that we’re keeping raw and we’re cooking the rest of it. Like in two separate meals. I might even just cook it in one time and just warm it up.


   But it is amazing, baked broccoli is amazing. If you have not baked broccoli, girl… Girl, are you even living? I’m just kidding. [chuckle] No, really… I don’t know if you like broccoli or not. But the best way to do broccoli is to bake it. Maybe you could throw something that the air fryer’s good. I’ve never used an air fryer myself before. But baking broccoli… You just toss it in some oil, put a bunch of seasoning on it… Put a piece of parchment paper down because we know we’re not scrubbing that pan.


   Put a piece of parchment paper down. Parchment paper is your best friend. If you have not used it, girl… Come on over. Come join the club [chuckle]… But put that parchment paper down, you throw that broccoli on, bake it in the oven… Oh, my gosh, it’s crispy. Like what the heck just happened to this broccoli?... “What are you doing to my body? I love you! ...” I mean, seriously, it’s bomb!


   But, so here comes this more challenging week, and you’re like, “What the heck am I going to make? I cannot even think of anything to make.” And believe me, those moments happen. I’m sure you’ve had them.


   All you got to do is open up that list on your phone, and start putting on… And I’d put dates too. So, I’ll say, “Okay, cool. This is when I made this.” It’s really fun to look back like a year from now… “Do I do this every week?” No.


   I mean, on my on-fire times, when I’m like, “Yeah. I got this planned out. I got the grocery list. I got it typed down on my phone so I can use it in the future. Bam! We got it.”


   The week where I’m like, “Rahhh… What am I doing? How am I going to do this?” Yeah. That’s probably not a week that I’m going to be documenting what I make. Maybe it is, maybe it’s not. But what I’m saying is, you don’t have to do this every single time.


   But the more you do it, the easier your meal planning is going to be. Because maybe you’re on an okay week. Maybe it’s not like, “I’m on fire! ... Burn it down! Yeah. We got this week by the horns. Woohoo!” Or maybe it’s not like, “Ahh… This week already sucks…”


   But maybe you’re like, “Ehh, I’m doing okay, but I still need some help with ideas.” Go scroll through your notes, because that’s the easiest way for you to go through a list of what you’re going to feed your family, of what you’ve already fed your family. Because everybody has their own thing.


   Like my family, we eat a butt load of vegetables; like a ton of vegetables. I mean, if someone looked at my list, they’re going to be like, “You feed your children stuffed mushrooms and tons of broccoli, and tons of bell pepper? And I can’t even get my kid to eat a vegetable.” Well, keep working on it. If that’s what’s something that you want, you want your kids to eat vegetables, then keep working on it.


   But you can’t look at my list, and be like, “Oh, that’s exactly what I’m going to feed my family.” You can get ideas from other people’s list, but the best way for you to have a list to look from is your own list.


   So, I want you to implement that. Plan. Make your grocery list. Write it down on your phone. Of what you’re going to do that week, how you’re going to execute it. And start making your own list, on your phone, of what your family eats. Save yourself some time, automate some things for yourself, momma.


   You can do this. Make some yummy food for your family…


   Oh, Meal Monday is starting up again. Do not miss out on Meal Monday. It’s obviously, on Monday. So, come and find me. It’s going to be determined exactly, what time. But come over on social media, we do it live on Facebook.


   Come and I’ll be letting you know a couple of days in advance, exactly what time that’s going to be. So, be looking for that this next Monday. And we'll see you, as well, next Tuesday on The Mom Training Podcast.

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