So You Want to Be a Meal Planner...


So you want to be a meal planner. You’ve tried before with little success. But this time, it’s different. This time, you talked to your best friend who is a meal planner extraordinaire! She handed you her menu. She took you shopping with her. She even gifted you a set of her fancy tupperware, the kind that can go in both the freezer and the microwave.

“Watch out, kitchen!” you say. “I’m about to make you my bitch!” 

But then you get distracted, or busy. Before you know it, the week is half over and no meal has been prepped in advance. In fact, you’ve even gotten takeout the night you were supposed to have roasted chicken because you were starving and roasting a chicken takes FOREVER! 

Damnit, kitchen! You’ve won again! How is your bestie so good at this? She makes it look easy? What are you doing wrong?

The answer: NOTHING. Much like you will never be 5’10” if you are actually 5’2”, meal planning just might not be in your DNA. Trying on your tall friend’s jeans doesn’t mean they’ll fit. But there’s nothing saying you can’t still find some fabulous denim that fits you perfectly!

Clothing metaphor not working for you? 

Every great quality that someone has also has a dark side. Take me, for example. I was born a meal planner. But with that, comes great anxiety around not having a plan for food. Great for my menu. Not so great for my sanity. When I find a way to balance both is when I thrive. If I can tame my inner meal planner, stop her from taking over, and listen to the anxious voice in my head as information, I’m living the best of both.

So you weren’t born a meal planner, and that’s a bummer. Hey, I get it. You’d love to show up to work with your perfect lunch just like I do. But my guess is you also don’t have the same baggage that comes with my meal planning habit. 

So that’s it? Do you just come to terms with your meal planning inability? What about all the tupperware your bestie bought you? What will you do with it now?

I’ve got news for you; little in life is ever that black or white. But if you can come to terms with who you are, you might be able to find a nice balance. So here are just a few things you can do to make the best of your non-meal-planning-self.

  1. Cook extra. When you do take the time to cook a meal, make a double portion. Before you even serve, put some in one of those fancy freezer friendly tupperware and store it. There’s bound to be a night in the future when you don’t have as much time to cook dinner. This will be a nice backup.

  2. Bake. You don’t have to be a meal planner to enjoy an occasional bake job. Making muffins or cupcakes? Great! Save some and put them in the freezer. They’ll be fun to-go snacks later. Hey, you can even make those breakfast cookies you pinned to your meal planning board. They can be dessert now, and a meal on the go one day when you’re short on time.

  3. Buy premade frozen dinners.Yup, you read that right. You don’t have to be the one making the meals to enjoy eating them. Meal planning is about saving time. Places like Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods have some delicious healthy options for you to choose from.

  4. Be nice to your non-meal-planning-self. Love yourself for who you are! You’re spontaneous! You’re fun! And you don’t need to know what you’re going to eat a week in advance.

So you want to be a meal planner. You’ve tried before with little success. But this time, you recognize it’s not who you are. This time, you’re not going to beat yourself up for wanting to be something you’re not. This time, you choose love over hate. This time, it’s different!

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