Meal planning is a popular topic for many different kinds of people and for as many different reasons. It saves money and time, something I’m pretty sure everyone wants, and it can make a huge difference in your health as well. Even better, it doesn’t take much to get these benefits. There are a ton of resources for meal planning that include ideas, lists, calendars, and apps to manage it. But today we’re covering the simplest way to start so you can experience the benefits right away.
Welcome to the Positively Living Podcast. I’m your host, Lisa, and I am so grateful you’ve joined me here. Since I began this podcast adventure in June 2020, your response has been overwhelming and I want you to know how honored I am that you choose to join me. I am careful to select topics to support you in the Positively Living mantra: do less, live more, and breathe easier and look for guests who give you the simplest, most effective advice and encouragement.
While the majority of episodes cater to moms and women in business, and though my guest and I are chatting today from a mom perspective, today’s topic is helpful for anyone looking to feed themselves and their family in an easier, cheaper, healthier way.
Today, I welcome Marie Fiebach to the Positively Living Podcast to talk meal planning — the reasons why we want to do it and how to do it in a way that works for us. We cover day-to-day meal planning and even add in some holiday tips as well.
Marie Fiebach is a married mother of four active kids aged 12-17. In 2017, she founded Feed Your Family Tonight to help busy families eat dinner together at home and recapture a little calm in the crazy. She is a speaker, cookbook author, podcaster, and has a weekly cooking segment on KAKE TV. She loves feeding her picky clan, she dreams of the day when she and her husband can eat kale salad and frittatas in quiet.
Ah yes, I feel that dream personally as well, minus the kale. Feeding a family is not an easy task. I’m thinking of the memes and mom jokes about how when the family is hungry the mom looks at them and says “But I just fed you yesterday?!” Yep. I may have uttered those words. Meals are a thing we need to figure out every. Single. Day. But when we do, it can be rewarding. And thankfully, the pressure and stress of it can be mitigated through proper planning.
The benefits of meal planning may be more than you expect, too. The big ones being saving time and money. Home-cooked meals can often be healthier than eating out and with limitations on restaurants like we’ve seen in 2020, safety and control can now be added to the mix. Beyond those benefits are the more subtle but powerful ones such as reduced stress in trying to figure out “what to eat” when you want to eat (which in my case may also include being hangry) and this kind of planning can promote eating meals together, which have been linked to so many benefits for children especially benefits like better academic performance and self-esteem, more resilience, improved mental health, and reconnecting…all of which Marie and I talk about today. There are so many powerful reasons why meal planning for families is worth the effort.
What we’re talking about today is also a great example of doing work upfront to save yourself effort later. I talk about this concept with Hanna Donnelly in Episode 21 about capsule wardrobes. The stress of figuring out what to wear is such a productivity bust and when you simplify the structure, you reduce stress significantly.
Meal planning works much the same way. By putting the decisions ahead of time, such as at the beginning of the week, you give yourself so much more space….space to think, create, relax…breathe.
The challenge with many systems out there is that meal planning, like most things in life such as decluttering, is not a “one size fits all” approach. This is why I created the SIMPLE system framework to help people declutter the right way for them. Marie has done the same for meal planning.
She shares her 3-step process that helps you focus on your specific needs. To go with our conversation, Marie has a free planner you can download from her site www.feedyourfamilytonight.com/lisa. You might want to hit pause, grab the download, and then listen to our conversation. She goes through the steps and provides lots of insights and ideas so you can follow along and be meal planning in no time.
Thank you for listening! Be sure to tune in to all the episodes to receive tons of practical tips to create space for what really matters in your life.
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Music by Ian and Jeff Zawrotny