It’s a new year, and with that, we’re all trying to level up our game when it comes to eating healthy and moving more. I get it, and I do the same thing, particularly after what seems like a month-long holiday-fest where there’s a steady stream of cheese and wine going into my mouth. Personally, I’m glad it’s over.
Many of you have reached out asking me about meal plans, and here’s the thing - I'm not great with them because they overwhelm me. My brain doesn’t want to be told what to eat for lunch on Tuesdays and I’m terrible at sticking to a plan. That’s why I have far more success with building healthy habits.
However, I recognize that we’re all unique snowflakes, and some of you want to be told what to eat and when. You’re the rule followers and the diligent doers that I have so much respect for.
That said, I want to offer a few resources for you to consider. All are highly reputable and one I’ve had some extensive experience with.
Real Plans - Subscription-based Meal Planning Service
Real Plans offers meal plans as a subscription service (they even offer a free Paleo meal plan). They take all the mental work out of planning meals and grocery lists for the whole family and support a bunch of different dietary needs. So if you’re paleo or gluten free, they’ve got you covered. It’s not an expensive plan and if you’re a good rule follower, something like this will actually save you time and money. If you’re not a rule follower (like me), it will cause you unnecessary amounts of stress and anxiety just trying to follow the damn shopping list.
Many of you have asked me specifically about Keto plans. While I’m a huge advocate of eating low carb, particularly if you’re over 40, I’m not a keto expert. It’s a complicated process as you have to ensure you’re eating at least 70% of your daily calories in fat and that’s not as simple as it sounds. However, it’s obviously become quite popular because it works, and it has done so for me in the past. So if Keto is something you’re interested in exploring, do yourself a favor and find an immersive plan that’s designed by an expert.
Leanne Vogle is the person I turned to when I started a Keto, and I found her program to be extremely helpful. She walked me through the whole process from start to finish and explained how to avoid things like keto flu (the. worst. thing. ever.), or how to navigate restaurant eating while on the diet. I trust her knowledge and teaching implicitly.
Ultimate Meal Plans
This is the mother of all meal planning guides. It’s a bundle created by a number of experts in the field of planning meals (which I am certainly not) and because of the broad cross-section of info, templates, guides and recipes, there’s something for everyone, no matter how convoluted and picky your family of eaters are. The only issue with this option is that it’s a limited-time deal that ends January 7th, so you have to jump on this one asap. It’s probably the best value as it comes with over 1000 recipes, ebooks, courses, templates and grocery lists.
Just want a basic simple plan?
If you’re someone who just wants a basic clean eating plan, there are so many options out there for you. If you have the Beachbody On Demand platform, you get free meal plans with all of the workout programs, so you just have to click on the “Materials” section in each program to access their extensive plans.
Meal planning vs meal Prepping
As I mentioned, I’m not great at meal planning. I don’t sit down with a calendar and plan out my recipes for the week because I find that process very overwhelming (I’m hoping the Ultimate Meal Planning Bundle will help me with that). That said, I am very diligent with meal prepping, particularly when I’m working in an office regularly. I will always take an hour out on a Sunday to hard boil a bunch of eggs, prep some chicken breasts or salmon fillets and pre-make a bunch of salads so I have healthy options for the week. This process has been incredibly valuable for me, and a practice I’d highly recommend getting better at if you’re not doing it already.
Failing to plan (or prep in my case) is planning to fail.
Caren is a certified yoga teacher, fitness instructor and author of The Fit Habit. Here she shares simple, low carb recipes, quick home workout ideas and practical ways to foster mind + body wellness.