I am, as you may already know, a big fan of the Ketogenic Diet/Lifestyle. The only thing that can be difficult about eating Keto is planning what you are going to eat every day. You’re going to hate me, everyone does when I say this, but when you are Keto, you don’t care about food that much.
But you do still need to eat! And I have found the most genius way to meal plan for the week and I’m going to share it with you!
It’s a meal plan template, which I know, you’ve downloaded a million of those from Pinterest and they didn’t work, did they?
Don’t worry, this one works.
Meal Plan for the Week On Autopilot
I’ve tried very hard to meal plan before, as I am sure you have, too. If you are disorganized like me, then you probably quickly realized that all the tools you’ve found were meant more for an organized person, right?
This meal plan template is NOT like those ones. This one is for you! The person who has tried and failed at it. (It’s also for you if you are the super organized person). This meal plan template practically plans itself.
I know that sounds like the musings of a crazy person. It’s not. This thing has changed my life.
- It took me less than 30 minutes to do my grocery shopping today. I spend less money every time I go than I ever did before. And I never, ever, forget anything. (that one might be my favorite).
- It’s easy. I spend maybe 10-15 minutes once a week picking out my meals and making a list and then I go to the store. And then we all eat Keto friendly meals all week and I don’t have to even think about it.
This magical Meal Plan Template is the brain child of Beth of the the DGAF Mom. Beth is a mom and a blogger and a wife and a worker. She’s busy. Just like you and just like me. She understand that busy women (and men!) WANT to make healthy meals that everyone loves and looks forward to but that life often gets in the way of that.
Meal Planning needs to be nearly on autopilot and Beth has done that. I swear, she has. Because for this to work for me, it has to be basically autopilot.
To help understand where Beth is coming from and why, I virtually sat her down for an interview! She’s got a great story of how this meal plan template came to be and how it has helped in her life.
PS, or, Interlude, or Whatever – In case my mother ever reads this, I have decided to censor the F word. Feel free to uncensor it and read it it in all it’s glory in your head. (Yes, I’m 43 years old and I still don’t want my mother to think I say the F word).
THE INTERVIEW – With Beth, The dgaf Mom
What is the philosophy behind The dgaf Mom? Do you really not give a f*%k?
When I first became a mom I cared a lot about all the things that I thought I was supposed to care about based on a perceived pressure that I felt from mom friends or the internet, or just scrolling through Pinterest. These were usually superficial things that could cost a lot of money or could take a lot of time and energy.
After my second was born, and I was back at work juggling life and everything in between I hit my DGAF bottom. I stopped caring about some shit that didn’t really didn’t matter to my family and realized that at the end of the day for me to be a present, loving mom, a present attentive wife, and a present efficient employee I had to pick and choose the f*%ks I needed to give. And thus the DGAF mom was born.
So it’s not that I don’t give a f*%k, it’s that I’m mindful and intentional about the f*%ks I need to give so that I don’t get overwhelmed and feel like I’m drowning in every area of my life.
Why is meal planning important to the dgaf lifestyle?
The dgaf lifestyle is all about picking and choosing things that are more important than others, and where to focus your time and energy.
From the time before I was a mom I remember the struggle of “meal planning,” whether it be for a diet, or trying to save money. I could never figure out a system that I could repeat every week that didn’t take me hours to sort through. And I always had different recipes in different places: on my phone, my Pinterest account bookmarked in my Safari…
This only got worse once I had kids, and even worse when I returned to work.
I remember being five months pregnant with my youngest and having a toddler at home. I spent something like two or three hours on a Sunday elaborately constructing a meal plan for the entire month based on a printable I found on Pinterest. It was part of our new “we’re going to save money and eat variety” initiative that I made up on January 2nd.
It was perfect: I used a pencil to write on it so I could change things around, and we had a variety of meals as well as some familiars. I displayed it perfectly on our fridge detailing what we were eating for the week and the entire month! I’d even made a grocery list on my notes tab and bought everything we needed for the week.
My hubby would be the one who had to cook most of these meals since I worked later hours, and he’s the one who threw in the DGAF towel first. He didn’t know where the recipe was (I was in a meeting and didn’t have my phone), he didn’t know how long it would take to make, was already late to pick up our son from daycare, and was totally overwhelmed. He sent me a flustered text at work saying: “I can’t make this. I’m giving him chicken nuggets and frozen peas.”
I was furious. All that time and energy I put into finding meals and into planning variety for my toddler and for us was gone. I know some of my frustration was from the hormones of pregnancy, but I couldn’t recover my anger and frustration for weeks. And I was annoyed that one simple “set back” in my meal plan made me throw out the entire thing I’d created.
And for weeks my toddler would eat one of three or four things that my hubby could make easily in the mad dash of post work, pre-daycare-pick-up.
All that work and effort was gone. And I still didn’t know what was for dinner for us.
The truth is, as parents, we have to answer the annoying question: What’s for dinner? Every. Single. Night.
I couldn’t believe how much mental energy I was giving this stupid question, day in and day out and I kept thinking THERE HAS to be a better way.
Once I finally found a way that works it was hard to deny how easy it could be.
My hubby has our family meal planner on his phone as well, and if he has to be the one to cook he just pulls up the meals for the week and the recipes are in the cards and it’s all easy peasy no-more-frustrated-textys.
Our conversations about what’s for dinner are also so easy now and they usually go like this: “What’s for dinner?”
“We have a choice of these three or four things, what do you feel like?”
And boom, we decide. Less than a minute for that one.
So if you can meal plan in a way that makes it easy and frees up mental space, and time, and money in your budget (because you’ve bought all the things you actually need and not one thing more) then, yes, you’re going to live your best dgaf life.
Can you use the meal planning template if you DO give a f*%k?
ABSOLUTELY. In fact, I’d argue that using the meal planning template is the ideal definition of giving a f*%k, because it means you’re thinking about what you and your family actually need, want, and could benefit from over time rather than not caring at all.
What makes this meal planning template work for someone like me who has never, ever succeeded at making a meal plan before?
The simplicity of using it and being able to sync it seamlessly between a computer and your phone makes it possible to actually, for once in your life, succeed at meal planning. It’s also a one-stop shop: store your favorite recipes, link to them, even add pictures if you want! You can also add your grocery list and keep a list of staples that you always return to week in and week out so you never “forget” anything.
Trello looks scary. Can someone who has never used it before learn it quickly and easily?
When someone first sent me Trello for a project I was a part of I was COMPLETELY overwhelmed and sorted through it only doing what I needed to do. It can feel unsettling to learn a new technology. In fact, I’m pretty sure the first time I actually used it for real was to create a simple grocery list. I learned Trello the hard way, through trial and error and over time.
You can learn Trello very quickly and easily with the meal planner template because I include a few video tutorials as well as written instructions to help guide you through the crash course in Trello. You can go from not knowing anything to being kind of an expert in about 20 minutes.
Trello is kind of like riding a bike: getting your bearings and balance is tricky but once it clicks it’s impossible to not be able to ride a bike again.
What’s your routine with the Meal Planner like? Can you walk me through how you use it?
I usually spend about 5/10 minutes a week, usually on a Saturday or Sunday adding new recipes that I’ve found on Pinterest or have been recommended (and they’re either instant pot recipes or something super easy because I don’t have time for elaborate meals). Once I do that I create a quick list of meals for the week, and copy recipes that I’d like to eat for the week over to that list.
I also try to consult with our social calendar to see if we have any planned events so I make sure to schedule in a “take out” night or “restaurant night.” I build that into our planning if we need to and our budget thanks me for that too.
Then I go to my grocery list and un-check each of the staple items we need to replace, like milk, eggs, bananas, sandwich bread. Sometimes I’ll quickly glance through the fridge to make sure we’re totally out of these items, other times I know because I tend to only buy what we need these days.
Then I’ll add the checklists for the new recipe ingredients to that same grocery list card and go through and uncheck things we have like salt, olive oil, butter, etc.
The whole thing takes maybe a total of about 10 minutes and that’s if I’m adding new recipes. If I’m not, then much less time.
When I head to the grocery store I make sure I have all my “hide checked items’ on my phone turned on for each of my checklists so I can quickly breeze through my list.
What was your life like before the Meal Planner vs after the Meal Planner?
This past year has been really challenging for my family. My father passed away after fighting Alzheimer’s and cancer in August, and my MIL was in and out of hospitals and passed away due to complications from cancer this November. My husband also was taking his licensing exam to be a psychotherapist which is like the bar exam for lawyers and we basically didn’t see him for months because he would be studying for the test (he passed!).
I settled on this system back in May and really put it to use in June.
Before this, we were spending an insane amount of money on groceries. At least $200 – $250 a week and sometimes more and we only have a four and a two-year-old.
After I started using the meal planner in earnest, my grocery bills went down to between $120 – $150 a week. We also had a variety of healthy, easy to make meals during all the chaos of looming death, as well as a nasty cold rolling through the house, potty training my 2-year-old, and all the other regular stress of work/life/parenting.
I was stressed out and overwhelmed about so many things. But not about groceries. And not about what we were eating for dinner. I had figured out how to make space for all the things I really needed to give a f*%k about because I’d taken time to give a few f*%ks about this system early on before sh*t got really bad.
How to Purchase the Meal Planning Template with Video Tutorials
If you live an average life, then you are busy. If you have a family to feed, I know you want three things, easy, fast, healthy. And you want that from the beginning of the process to the end. Beth’s meal plan template will give you that. If you take a few minutes to watch the videos and understand Trello you will finally see that meal planning can be easy, fast and healthy.