Healthy Eating

How to Eat Healthy Meals Every Night Without Meal Planning- Large Family

Learn my five tips on how to eat healthy meals every night without meal planning. Coming from a large family perspective, I give all my tips and tricks!


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I’ve noticed that when people want to get on a real food diet, they think they need elaborate meal plans with dry erase boards neatly filled in with three meals a day.

Baked blueberry pecan oatmeal for breakfast, Asian pesto curry for lunch and almond crusted parmesan tilapia for dinner…

(I just made those titles up, by the way, but they really do all sound fabulous.)

Just do a quick Pinterest search for “Paleo Recipes” and prepare to be overwhelmed.

I love a good crispy coconut chicken with squash and parmesan fritters as much as the next person, but maybe for a Saturday night special dinner, or a night when I have a little extra time to spend in the kitchen…

Which is pretty much never.

I am a mom of four small kids!

If you think you need to make Paleo safe coconut tortillas for every meal, that plan isn’t something sustainable . No wonder people limit their healthy eating attempts to 30 days.

Eating real food can feel so overwhelming when we hold ourselves to these standards!

What ever happened to good old fashioned meat, vegetables and herbs?

Back when my grandma was a mother of young children, I imagine she cooked a whole chicken, baked potatoes and maybe served it all with a biscuit and canned jam.

No fancy recipes. Just real food.

Meal planning stresses me out, my friends.

If you have a Type A personality, and thrive in environments with plans and rigid structure, you should probably stop reading this post now. I think meal planning is a fabulous option for you.

I am NOT against meal planning.

I am talking to the moms who actually feel burdened and stressed by the idea.

I tried meal planning. Really, I did. I sat there for hours, on Pinterest, with my pen and notepad in hand, one night per week. I sifted through as many popular healthy eating boards as I could find.

I wound up with an almost full bottle of rice vinegar, half a can of tomato paste and rotting herbs all stashed in the back of my fridge.

Ok I don’t remember exactly what happened, but I know I ended up buying a bunch of crap I don’t normally use, just so I could follow the recipes.

I like the freedom and creativity that not having a plan allows for me.

I can fill up my cart “on a whim” with organic peppers, when I see the store has them on sale for $1.99.

When chanterelle mushrooms are in season, and we forage a grocery sack full, I want to incorporate them into everything.

If 13 dozen organic eggs are marked down, because they are about to expire, I am going to snag them up, and throw the meal plan out the window on the way home.

Egg salad, anyone?

In the summer we eat lots of tomatoes, cucumbers and zucchini, because I find them cheap at the local produce stand.

Would you believe I also go to the store without a list? *Gasp*

And, trust me, its not as reckless as it sounds.

I will share with you my 5 tips for having healthy meals every night without a plan.

1. Always have meat thawing in the refrigerator.

I keep a glass 9 X 13 pan in the fridge for thawing meat.

When I only have a few dinners worth of thawed meat in it, I will restock it with a whole chicken, two pounds of ground beef and a couple of steaks.

If you have meat thawed out, you are less than an hour from a meal at all times.

Is throwing a whole chicken and five sweet potatoes in the oven really that much harder than throwing a pre-made pizza in?

2. Do a little prep work when you have extra time.

If you’re a person who likes to ferment things, like me, spending some time on a Saturday to make up a few gallons of sauerkraut, will reward you richly in having a side dish ready to go.

Once it is done…

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