Updated: Dec 16, 2020
I've always been a list maker. It is so satisfying to me to cross something off the list and to see all of the things I accomplished that day. It's one of those little things that helps me feel progress. I've got multiple lists going on at once: things to do around the house, things to do for self care, things to do for the kids, places I'd like to eventually go see in the Monterey area, stuff to do NEXT month, the LIST goes on and on (see what I did there?). And let us be real for a moment. Some Moms have so much to keep tabs on that without the sacred list, there's likely a kid to be forgotten at a school function (pre-Covid of course) or a last minute run to Whole Foods for a birthday cake that was never baked. So, what's my favorite list? If there is such a favorite thing. Okay, you're gonna think I'm crazy. It's the grocery list.
For many years I have religiously created a weekly menu for dinners. I would browse through a plethora of websites and recipe books finding what sounded good, writing it down for the day of the week I wanted it, and then going through each recipe adding what I didn't already have in the pantry to the grocery list. The dinner menu and grocery list has always been something that I enjoy. Maybe it's because it's a list and I get to cross it off when I put something in the cart. Or maybe it's because I love food, and I love to cook food. And I especially love when my family throws down on something delicious that I spent time cooking.
Then, one day about 4 years ago, I thought to myself...wouldn't it be cool if there was an app that had all sorts of recipes that you could choose from and then they would give you a grocery list, and my Mom Life would be made that much easier?! Well, little did I know, that already existed. I just needed to crawl out from my Stay-at-home-mom hole and search the Google App store for it. That's when I found Mealime and my weekly menu game went from rec sports to professional status in the blink of a download. Full disclosure: I am not sponsored by them, nor am I affiliated with their company. Do I wish I was, yes. Because this app has changed my meal planning in such an amazing and positive way. Let me explain to you how using a tool like this can be sooo helpful to your nutrition and exercise goals, and even beneficial for our planet.
I'll break this down very simply. Planning meals ahead of time sets you up for success in the nutrition department. It makes you less likely to order takeout or hit the drive thru for dinner. Which means you're cooking at home, consuming better quality calories from whole foods, reducing the amounts of bad fats, sugars, and sodium that you're putting into your body, and reducing waste. Not to mention that cooking at home can become a great way to get everyone involved in some family time. These sort of things add up over time, meaning that you'll probably be consuming less calories over time which can be good for weight management and fueling your body in a healthy way which, as we all know, can have SO many health benefits.
Now, using an app like Mealime that gives you oodles of recipes means there's always something that everyone will like - you put in the menu preference you want: full carbs, low carb, vegetarian, vegan, etc. You select the meals you want for the week and how many servings of each, or use their option that creates a menu for you based on how many meals you want. Then it puts everything onto your grocery list and you go through and check off all the things you already have, leaving just what you need from the store. For me, that's usually half the initial list. See how this could give the list lover some satisfaction? Oooh yeahhhhh! Your grocery list is only for what you need for the meals you selected, you can add whatever else you may need. Enter goldfish and cheese sticks here because...kids. But that's not the end of the excitement. Because it gives you the list just for what you need for the meals you selected, it reduces the amount of food wasted. Which means, money in your pocket and not in the trash can...or sitting in the back of the fridge for 4 weeks. Let's be real. Sometimes that happens. Cleaning out the fridge every second day isn't on the priority list. See...another list!
And now I know what you're thinking. Really, Dawn? You think I have time to fiddle around on an app trying to find recipes for dinner while my toddler screams to be held for the 37th time today and my 4 year old is literally bouncing up and down screaming at a pitch that you'd think only dogs can hear? And my response is, Yes. Yes all day. Because I know you're most likely already perusing Instagram, TikTok, Facebook, YouTube, Pinterest, etc. So take a few minutes out of that technology time and put it towards something that can actually work for your health. It might take a little bit longer for you to get a routine down at the beginning, but after a few weeks of trying something like this, you'll have it down pat and streamlined. After all, you're a Mom. Which means you're already queen of multitasking and time management, so I know you can handle something like this. And especially taking into consideration how much better it is for you to cook at home versus eating out multiple times a week, it's kind of a no brainer. Not to mention it's totally our responsibility to teach our children healthy eating habits.
So, if you've made it this far into this blog post and you're someone that is already doing all of these things and I'm not telling you anything new, get down to the comments and tell me what your current routine is and what works and doesn't work for you! If this is something you're up for trying or even hesitant to try and you're not quite picking up what I'm laying down, I want to hear from you too! Let's get some ideas flowing and share all the great things that work and don't work!
All the Mom Love,