What motivates someone to write a meal plan challenge?
In 2008, my husband and I decided to start eating “healthy.” Both of us grew up in the 80’s and 90’s, a time of kool-aid, freezer meals, and packaged chocolate chip cookies. Packaged food was commonplace in our homes, along with home-cooked meals.
College turned both of our tastebuds toward a heavily processed diet of fast food and packaged snacks. The craving for processed food continued during our first four years of marriage. Our typical meal consisted of chicken breasts, rice (from a box), and a veggie (usually from a microwave package). Healthier than the college days, but the same old meals got boring, fast. I’d quickly turn to ready-made meals to add more “variety.”
One evening in 2008, Dustin issued a challenge, “I bet you can’t shop, cook, and eat from just the produce department for a week.” I’m not one to turn down a good challenge, so I responded, “Sure, I got this!”
The next week was difficult. Beyond difficult. But, we survived. Soon, we started eating from the produce department on a regular basis and within a few weeks embraced veganism. Due to our lifestyle change I began to dabble in meal planning, realizing planning our meals was the only way to successfully follow a special diet.
In 2010, the birth of my first son changed our eating habits again. Due to health issues (you can read his story here), we introduced grass-fed meat and raw dairy into our diet, along with other nutrient-dense foods like homemade broth. I started making my own bread, yogurt, and even granola bars. My kitchen became my favorite place. My knowledge of meal planning deepened during this time as I learned how to plan meals for a family and shop and cook on a budget.
In 2013, I started a blog called Live Simply. Soon after starting I decided to offer a free weekly meal plan (you can still find these meal plans on the blog). In May of 2013, the first weekly “Weekly Real Food Meal Plan” was published on Live Simply.
The meal plans were a huge hit with readers. After a year of sharing these weekly meal plans I realized while I was offering a wonderful service, but wasn’t providing any lasting knowledge of how to meal plan effectively. That realization birthed this book. A book to provide you with the essential skills to create meal plans in a simple and doable way, without having to rely on a meal plan service or blogger.
I’ve learned (over nine years) that real food is only possible when combined with the learned abilities to plan meals and cook homemade food. Over the next twelve days, I’ll teach you the nitty-gritty of creating a real food plan that can be customized to fit your life.