Ep9: Meal Planning Made Easy

Episode Description:

The one where we talk about the four reasons you must meal plan, and the three step process to create yours in less than 15 minutes. Plus, a super bonus that will get you a meal plan for this next week!

Episode Show Notes:

We talked about Mental Load in episode 2 and it makes another appearance today.
And how meal planning is a simple way to see weight loss, and yet so few people ever want to do it.
You would never run your business without a plan and you shouldn’t run your health that way.
Meal planning does so much for you:
Help you eat healthier
Save you money
Make you more efficient
Answer the annoying question “What’s for dinner?”
You can easily put a weekly meal plan together in less than 15 minutes each week in three simple steps:
  1. Make a list of your family favorites
    List both big meals and smaller meals
  2. Create theme nights
  3. Put meals on your calendar seven days at a time
Your brain will fight you on this. But I promise you can do this.
And I’m giving you a kickstart in this habit change.
I created “What to Eat This Week: Seven Day Meal Plan to Get Real Food on the Table.”
Go to www.AmyLatta.com/whattoeat to download your free copy, and you’ll get even more bonus materials in your inbox.
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Episode Transcription:

Hello, My Luvs! It’s Podcast Tuesday and I’m super happy to be here! This morning, as you listen, my husband and I are getting ready to leave town! We are going on vacation – without the children! I know!

That is such a luxury! And if you have young kids and can’t imagine the day, I promise you, it’s coming and it is glorious.
And if you don’t have kids and don’t know the glory of a vacation without children when you have children, then I question if you even know what true freedom is.
So, we leave a few hours after this episode publishes – and we are headed to Colorado, one of our favorite places! I could not be more excited and the kids could not be more pissed.
How dare mom and dad take a vacation – and to Colorado, no less! This is a huge family favorite, and where my oldest son, Sean, wants to live when he grows up. The mountains, the nature, ….the freakin’ mountains!
I would say I am guilty….but I’m not! We’re going to see a Colorado Rockies game tonight, and then knocking off a bucket list item tomorrow night. We are seeing a concert at Red Rocks. Oh my goodness. Ever since I first saw U2’s Sunday Bloody Sunday music video on MTV back in the 80s, I knew I needed to see a show here. I mean, it’s iconic!
And we are seeing two of our favorite bands, bands we have already seen live and traveled to see, no less! We’re seeing The Record Company and Jamestown Revival, two bands that we traveled to Louisville to see back in February of this year.
You might think we are crazy. I mean, who travels to see musicians. Groupies, that’s who. And I grew up in the 80s and I know all about groupies, am I right? Anyone else here love watching the Decline of Western Civilization, Part Two – the Metal Years? Yeah. I know all about Groupies! I was a wanna-be groupie in my hair-band days. Ha!
Well, my husband and I, and our two friends that we go see live bands with don’t plan on sleeping with any band members or doing lines of cocaine backstage. But we LOVE seeing live music. It’s become our thing – that thing that we are willing to spend money on, for ourselves, that others kinda think we are crazy. It’s a super fun hobby, I can’t recommend it enough!
And even better about these last two trips to see these bands? The men plan the trips. When we take family vacations, my husband and I plan them together, and often many of the details are left to me. For reasons I can’t explain and I wish would transfer over to other areas of our lives – because Hello Mental Load! – my husband takes total control of these trips. I only offer what I’d like, and we magicallly have airfare, a rental car, a place to stay, and things to do all lined up.
It’s the best damn thing of ever.
Because I know you all know – especially if you’ve listened to episode two on Mental Load – that that is one more thing we do not need piling on our brain!
Mental Load is all the tiny details of every day life that we take on. And women especially bare the brunt, since are still primarily in charge of running the home as well the children, and we are running our own businesses, too. Even when our husbands help, we are still the project managers who have to dole out the tasks.
So my husband planning a trip for the two of us, and I don’t have to worry about anything? Yes, please. I’ll take more of that.
That leaves more brain power to keep running everything else in our life. In these past few episodes, we’ve been talking about the fundamentals of weight loss – the basics of losing weight. Breaking things down into easy, manageable chunks so you all can start making a plan.
And plans are what are up next. Meal Plans.
No. No you don’t. Don’t you dare groan!
Yeah, I heard you! Just like I hear all my clients who act like me asking them to put together a meal plan is a fate worse than death.
I hear all the reasons you don’t do it.
It takes too long.
You don’t know what to put on the meal plan.
It’s so tedious.
Am I so dumb about weight loss that I really need to write every single thing down?
And what the heck am I supposed to do with it after I create it?
Oh yeah, I’ve heard them all.
And I’m just gonna call you out on your bullshit right now.
First of all, you would never run your business without a plan. Am I right?
Can you imagine not having any plan going into a Monday morning?
Who are you meeting with?
I don’t know, I was just gonna see who called and wanted to meet today.
What projects do we need to work on this week?
I say we just see how the wind blows and work on whatever lands on my desk!
Can you even imagine! You would never do that! No one in their right mind would wing week after a week in their business, because their business would fall apart!
And yet, that’s exactly what we are doing with our health! We refuse to do the simplest, least complicated things that often have the biggest impact. And then we wonder why, year after year, we struggle to lose weight and keep it off.
You are willing to wing week after week of eating, and allowing your body – the very vessel you need in order to even have a business and a life! – to fall apart.
You have heard the old adage that if we fail to plan, then we are planning to fail. It’s a bit cheesy and definitely a cliche, but it’s a true cheesy cliche.
If you want to lose weight, it’s super important that you make a plan.
A meal plan does so much for you.
You will eat healthier! Because you have a plan. And when armed with a well-thought out plan you will be much less likely to find yourself in the drive through or calling for take out. Do you know your Chinese delivery guy by name? Yeah, we gotta cut that out. Same goes for Pizza. And yet you don’t actually have to give up pizza when you have a plan in hand! HI. Make Your Own Pizza Night. Every Thursday here at the Latta home.
When you are squeezing in getting home late for work and running to get the kid to soccer practice, what’s your plan? Have you even thought about it? Probably not, and that’s why the car smells like fried chicken. I see those Chik Fil A wrappers! (They do have delicious lemonade, but I digress!)
A meal plan will keep you out the drive throughs and away from prepackaged meals loaded with chemical crap that weighs your body down and makes you feel sluggish.
A meal plan will save you money. You heard that right! Eating out is expensive. Last minute decisions are expensive. With a meal plan, you can buy only what you need from the grocery store and then Eat That. I don’t care if you try to meal plan around grocery sales or not – I personally find that one more step of extra work I don’t need – but even if you buy the food full price, it’s still way cheaper than restaurant and take out every night.
Not to mention the money you will save on your long term health bills. Mmmm, mmm ,mmm, do not even get me in a discussion about health care right now. Everyone’s arguing over who should pay for it while few people are considering the very real possibility of making it cost less. Making it cost less by making it less necessary.
Put the good food in your body and you will feel better, longer, and need less medicine! I cannot be the only one who sees that, right?
If half or even a quarter of the population would do that right now, you know what that would do to the demand for health care? It’d go down. And so would the costs. Basic supply and demand macro economics 101, baby!
Ha! And I thought I’d never use that college class again!
Talk about a serious digression, but you get the point. Planning ahead means you aren’t making last-minute costly decisions that add up over time.
And with a plan, you’re gonna be way more efficient! And I know you. I know you need time efficiency. I know you don’t have time to wing it all the time, that’s why you’re so exhausted in the first place and have convinced yourself that the last thing you have time for is to stop and make a plan! (I am so in your head right now, because I am you!)
When you make a meal plan, you automatically have a list of ingredients to take to the grocery store. You only buy what you need, not what you might use someday that ends up rotting in the back of your fridge because you bought it suddenly thinking you’re going to try rutabaga and you don’t even know what to do with a rutabaga. And you don’t make a meal plan in a vacuum, you’re going to look ahead at your entire week and you can see where you are supposed to be when – so you won’t plan on that whole roasted chicken when you have late meetings, and you can plug in an easy crackpot meal when you do!
And best of all, you will now have an answer to that really annoying question – Mom, what’s for dinner!
I don’t know, did you check the meal plan on the fridge?
And of course they didn’t, because they can’t even find shoes that are sitting on the floor at their feet. You think they walked to the fridge and actually read something on the outside? Fat chance. But now you have a sassy answer to that most annoying question!
So how are we going to really make this happen? I know you know why you should – but you still don’t want to do it.
Because it will take too long and it’s just too hard, right?
Wrong. Let me tell you how to create a great meal plan every week, in less than 15 minutes, in three simple steps.
Step number one.
What does your family already love to eat?
Sit down and make a list. You will only have to do this one time!
Ask your family – what are your favorite things to eat? Even if they are jerks who like to give snarky answers, I guarantee you have a short list.
Now think about big meals you like to make but rarely have time for. And then think about short and easy meals that you know you can whip up with next to no brain power.
Both are important! Those big meals, you can save for those days when you have the time. I love to make at least one big meal a week, one that I can use again later in the week.
Plus, during those big meals? You are already chopping foods, so pull out your meal plan – and you can prep ahead some ingredients for later in the week. See? I told you meal planning makes you more efficient! Now you have toppings already chopped for easy salads!
And those easy meals are important, too! These are the meals that you always want to have the ingredients on your grocery list! Know what they are and always have them on hand.
You know what’s easy? A jar of spaghetti sauce and noodles.
Did I say it was gourmet? No. But it’s better than a bucket of KFC.
Know your easy peasy go-to meals and have them at the ready.
Step number two
I look for themes in all those favorite meals. Again, you’re only going to have to do this once! Maybe you’ll do fish on Mondays, Taco Tuesdays, chicken on Wednesday, beef on Thursday, and soups on Friday. Or every Wednesday is pasta night. It really doesn’t matter. These themes are unique to your family.
My kids? They know if it’s Tuesday, we’re having Mexican. It’s gonna be the same ingredients and each week, we just mix up the way we serve it. Even better, because we have a plan, I can pass some of the meal prep onto my husband and my kids! My 11 years old can prepare most of Taco Tuesday all by himself. This is the greatest thing ever. Better than vacations I don’t have to plan. Is dinners on the table that I didn’t have to make.
I mean. It’s enough to make me cry.
And step number three
Take a look at what you got in your list of meals and your nightly themes. Now pull up your calendar. This is the only part where real brain power comes in, and the one thing you’ll do each week.
What does your week look like, and where are you going to place those meals? It’s only one week. Don’t try to do two weeks or Lord Help Us, those that plan a month at a time. Those people have a special something that I just don’t have, and all the power to them. But I just want you to focus on the next seven days.
You can do that. Do not let what to eat for the next seven days throw you into a panic. You can run a business. You can decide now what you will eat for dinner this next week. I know you can do this.
Right now, your brain is telling you lies. All those things we mentioned before.
That this is so hard and tedious and you aren’t even sure you can pull this off. That you are just too tired and there’s not enough time.
If you are constantly telling yourself that there is not enough time, I guarantee there won’t be. Because that thought – there’s not enough time – I know for me I’m either going to go into Overwhelm and shut down. And not do anything. Or I’m going to go into Anxiety – and just freak out. And probably eat a bag of Oreos.
Ain’t nobody got time for that crap!
Listen, your brain is just being a cranky toddler. And it’s like a toddler in a restaurant about to throw a big whopper of a fit if you don’t give it a cookie! But you are not going to give it a cookie!
Take a deep breath. And tell your brain – Brain, it’s going to be ok. We’re going to meal plan. We are not all going to die.
I can plan my business, I can plan the next seven dinners.
Yes, I talk to my brain like that all the time. It needs reassurance and to be calmed down. And you are just the one to do it.
And have you noticed something? We’re not recreating the wheel here. I mean, if you want to bring in new recipes, that’s absolutely fantastic! Go ahead! Shake things up. But you can build months of meal plans just on family favorites and theme nights.
So. You know what this week’s action is, right? For new listeners, every week I give something to take action on. I know your time is precious, and you aren’t coming to Business Women Losing Weight to just hear Amy spout off about something. I mean, maybe you are, but I want to honor your time and make sure you have something tangible you can work on.
And this week? That’s meal planning. AND – I’m gonna give you a cheat! Because you know what? I created a meal plan to get you started. I know! Because I love you!
I have a brand new eguide. “What to Eat This Week” A Seven Day Guide to Get Real Food on the Table.
I’m going to give you a week of meals. A variety of family-tested, tried and true, delicious meals that my family loves and that I make all the time.
And guys, there’s so much more to just the What to Eat This Week seven day guide – you’re going to get three emails total, each one with more tools to make meal planning happen week in and week out.
It’s a meal plan, and a grocery list, and the recipes – and so much more coming in those three emails.
So definitely still follow the three steps outlined in this episode in how to create a meal plan – the make a list of family favorites, look at theme nights, and look at your calendar.
But now you have this freebie I created just for you to be a kickstart!
Because I know you have a business to run. And I’m trying to kickstart a new habit of meal planning for you – because we are no longer gonna wing it when it comes to putting good fuel in our bodies! And I want to make this as easy for you as possible.
For those of you who coach with me, I do help you tweak your plans for specifically for weight loss. But even just implementing a plan will help you on your weight loss journey. Just having a plan! Any plan!
Ok, so to get your free seven day What to Eat This Week guide, go to AmyLatta.com/WhatToEat. Give me your email address and you’ll get it in your inbox. Okay?
And that’s where I am going to leave us for this week. Follow that guide and the three emails you get. And if your brain is still swimming, I promise you I still have your back, okay? If you need to work out a specific planning problem, that third email has my info on setting up a free call with me.
Who do you know needs to hear this episode? I hope you will share it with them. Let them know that there is help, there’s another way, and we are a tribe of Grown Ass Women who have their back.
Alright, my LattaLuvs, You have been listening to Business Women Losing Weight with life and weight coach Amy Latta. And until Next Week…let’s go do Epic Stuff.

About Amy Latta

Amy Latta is a life coach helping female entrepreneurs lose weight. Some entrepreneurs struggle with not enough time and not enough energy, and are so laser focused on growing their businesses, they sacrifice their health - not realizing their personal health is imperative to the health of their business. Women hire Amy to help them get an extra hour or two back in their day while figureing out why they don't do what they say they're going to do. The result being more time, more energy, and weight loss. When she's not building her own business, you can usually find Amy on her yoga mat or experimenting in the kitchen. When in doubt, bring her guacamole.

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