In today’s episode, I’m sitting down with a cup of coffee and inviting you to join me for a coffee chat, just you and me. In this episode, I share the routines and rhythms that simplify real food for our family, from meal planning to shopping to food prep.

Simplify Real food

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What's Covered in This Episode?

  • Why rhythms and routines are important
  • How rhythms and routines simplify real food meals
  • My 15-minute meal planning routine
  • How to use themes to simplify meal planning
  • My weekly meal themes for breakfast and dinner
  • How to use a rotational meal list to simplify meal planning
  • My weekly grocery routine
  • My weekly food prep routine
  • Upcoming podcast episodes and guests

Listen To The Podcast

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Show Notes

Resources Mentioned In Today's Episode

Here’s the thing about real food: it requires work and effort. Processed food is so incredibly appealing because you don’t have to think about. If you’re going to eat real, you have to give it some sort of thought in advance–you have to prepare before you can enjoy real food. 

Some interesting facts: 

  • In 1970, Americans spent 26% of their food budget on eating out. In 2010, this number was 41%. During this time, obesity rates more than doubled. 
  • 60 years ago, the average dinner time was 90 minutes. Today, it’s less than 12 minutes.

I completely understand because we’re busy.  We live a very different life than our ancestors. 

  • after a full day, thinking about what to eat and then cook is draining 
  • time is needed to prepare food
  • take-out is incredibly appealing
  • processed food (take-out and packaged meals) meet the ever-growing need for FAST food

Dr. Mark Hyman, “Today, the food industry has hijacked our kitchens, not by accident, but by design. It has rebranded cooking as a chore, a burden, a drudgery. Cooking is what humans have done for millennia—transmitting the skills of gathering, preparing, and making food in community from generation to generation.” 

It’s important to talk about how to make real food work in our modern day. This is why it’s important that we share the routines and rhythms that are working to simplify real food for our family.  So, here’s what works for me in this season of life. 


My Weekly Real Food Routines and Rhythms

  • Starts out Friday night
    • clean out the fridge sort, consolidate, take note of what I have. 
  • Saturday morning meal plan 
    • Use themes 
    • Use rotational meal list 
  • Saturday morning grocery shopping
    • first visit the market for meat, eggs, veggies, fruit, bread
    • Order from Whole Foods Prime Now grocery delivery to supplement with extra: butter, pasta, pantry essentials 
    • Sometimes Trader Joes for nuts and seeds
  • Sunday Food Prep 
    • Take a look at my meal plan and determine what I can prep to reduce time in the kitchen
    • Some initial food prep for the week
    • Get kids involved: peel and chop carrots, wash fruit and veggies, make muffins, etc. 
    • Yes, takes time but greatly reduces time in kitchen throughout the week 
    • During the week prep naturally builds with leftovers 

Find routines and rhythms that work for you, in your current season of life. Be willing to play around with your routines and tweak them to simplify your life and how you approach real food. Create a flow and rhythm to your real food lifestyle. 

Healthy Food Swaps

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  1. Hi Kristin,
    This episode was great. I think the themes would really help me out. Would you mind sharing your list of dinner themes with us?

    1. Hey Becky, I’m so glad it was helpful. My current themes: soup night, date night (either go out, leftovers, or a cheese board–cheese, crackers, veggies, maybe a dip–something we can cuddle up with on the couch), pasta night (anything pasta based), chicken night (anything involving chicken: roasted whole chicken, chicken and rice, chicken and veggie bowls, chicken enchiladas, etc.), pizza and popcorn night (homemade pizza dough made into multiple personal pan size and everyone gets to dress and make their own). The weekends I don’t plan with a theme. I like to be flexible for social outings (out to a new cafe with family or friends) or to try new recipes from Pinterest or cookbooks or just something I’m craving to make.