Meal Planning – UGH! My Biggest Struggle

“I’m hungry!

“Mom, what’s for dinner?”

“Can’t you just order pizza?”

“There’s nothing in the fridge!”

Meal planning. This is my biggest struggle. Being a busy mom with 4 kids who are all active, I don’t make the time to plan out meals for the week. Well, I did try it once and it was fantastic – but I didn’t stick with it.. REMIND ME WHY??? Oh yah, I was too busy.

I know you’re not buying that story. And, neither am I.

Since it worked, I’ve got to spend the time finding the RIGHT recipes for my family and then SHARE what I am doing with all of you. As, I am guessing that some of you may be in the same boat as me.

You know, the boat where you are the captain, chief rowing officer, head deck swabber and, oh yeah, the cook and provisions manager.

One of the biggest challenges is that everyone in my family is on a different schedule. Unfortunately, that is our reality. My oldest has late soccer practices 3 nights a week so he eats after we do. It could be worse, I could have to feed him first…

No Plan = Poor Choices

Lack of preparation is really the core issue, every time I try to solve this problem I wind up right back where I started. And it is SO FRUSTRATING. Like the movie Groundhog’s Day, just repeating the same thing over and over.

I don’t have a plan so I don’t have the right food and usually don’t have time to go pick it up and then make it by the time I figure it out.

Because of that, we grab unhealthy things, order pizza which I TRY not to eat (that means I have 1 piece instead of 3) or go out to eat.

I need your recipes - I'm More Than a MomWhen I do buy food for the week without a meal plan in place, it ends up not being used and I find myself throwing out food that went bad. ARGGH!! If I knew what I could make for the family each night, did the shopping ahead of time and then did meal prep twice a week, I probably would be able to break out of the cycle.

I Need Your Help

Step 1 – I need to make a plan of what we are going to eat. I’ve got one recipe that my family loves, and I’m sharing that with you below.

Can you help me? Will you please share one of your favorite, relatively healthy meals or recipes with me? I would love it and be so very grateful!

Just post your recipe in the comments. I’ll be checking them obsessively as I can’t wait to get some ideas and get this meal planning thing started.

(oh, and I’d love to hear your thoughts on my recipe)

Clean-Eating Turkey Chili

As easy as it is good, this is a great recipe for a warm meal on a chilly night.
Servings 8 people

Ingredients

  • 2 cans black beans drained and rinsed
  • 2 cans petite diced tomatos
  • 1 can corn drained
  • 1 can garbanzo beans (optional) drained, rinsed and de-skinned
  • 1 can black olives - sliced drained
  • 1 lb ground turkey lean
  • 1 package chili seasoning

Instructions

  • Brown the turkey meat in a pan. Drain the excess grease.
  • Add the chili seasoning and water per package instructions.
  • In a large pot add seasoned turkey, tomatoes, corn, black beans, olives and any additional beans (garbanzos, white beans, etc).
    Clean-eating Turkey Chili
  • Simmer on low heat for 10-15 minutes. Or you can put this in a slow cooker on low for a couple hours.

Notes

This feeds my family of 6 with a few servings left over. I love this meal because everyone enjoys it and it is simple to prepare... as long as I have the ingredients on hand.

I am a 44-year old married mom of 4. I love my family. If you’re a mom, then you know kids and a spouse keep you busy. It’s easy to forget yourself in the process of taking care of your family. My mission is to help other moms take care of themselves so they can be more available to their loved ones and lead more fulfilling lives.

6 responses to “Meal Planning – UGH! My Biggest Struggle”

  1. julie gasparro says:

    hi lee! i wonder if you have a crock-pot. if so, using it would be so great for your family as the meal cooks itself and is ready at dinner time! the only prep involved is shopping for the ingredients needed for the week on the weekends, then putting all ingredients for each nights dinner into the crockpot early that a.m. and setting it on low (most crock-pot recipes go 7 to 10 hours) then the dinner is there ready for you at the end of your day…..most crock-pots, like our, stay on ‘warm’ for an hour after the timer goes off, so is usually still warm when it’s time to eat. my fave crock-pot recipe is also the simplist one ever!! One 3-4 lb boneless beef chuck roast/pork loin roast, or 4-6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts and 1 large bottle of your favorite BBQ sauce plus 1/4 cup of water and 1 large chopped onion. put meat into crock-pot, then sprinkle with onions then pour the whole bottle of BBQ sauce over the meat and drizzle with the water. cover and turn on low heat to cook for 8 hours. when ready to eat, fork apart the meat and serve on buns, or just by itself with a salad. also, can doctor up with all of the fixins: shredded cheese, chopped tomatoes, shredded lettuce, hot sauce for those that need more spice and a dollop of sour cream, too. Hope you enjoy this recipe….we make it a lot!! oh, and never underestimate the power of rotisserie chicken! we always have one in the fridge for last minute healthy dinners….as there are so many yummy things to do with cooked chicken on hand at the ready! 🙂

  2. Beth says:

    What a great idea lee! I’m always looking for new recipes! My favorite is a “pasta” dish that I don’t have a name for lol!

    Grilled chicken breast
    Grilled eggplant (drizzle olive oil and add garlic powder, salt pepper and basil)
    Sun dried tomato bruschetta (or fresh bruschetta, which is really simple to make!)
    Artichoke hearts
    Spaghetti squash (or angel hair pasta)

    Mix it all together and Voilà!

  3. Lisa Reinhardt says:

    Hi Lee–I share your pain when it comes to meal planning!! I did make a great meal the other night that my family loved. No recipe, I just used what I had on hand: grilled a couple chicken sausages (plan on one sausage per person — less for younger kiddos), chopped up a bunch of fresh veggies (cauliflower, baby broccoli, onion, bell peppers) and drizzled it with olive oil, salt and pepper and placed on grill in tinfoil. While everything was grilling, I boiled up some pasta, and when everything was done, I drizzled more olive oil over pasta, chopped up sausages and tossed everything together. If the pasta seems a little dry, you could add chicken broth if you didn’t want to use so much oil. Hope this helps and you try it. I will certainly try the chili recipe! Thanks.