How many times have you scrambled to figure out what’s for dinner only to put something together that wasn’t so great or just decided to order take out?
I know this has happened too many times. Many times, not because of a lack of preparation, but a lack of time.
One thing that we busy moms need is meals that look like they came from the Pioneer Woman or Barefoot Contessa, but took on 30 minutes tops to create.
So how do you do this?
First, don’t panic. Listen to this episode with my friend, Andrea from Adventures of Feeding My Family.
In this episode, Andrea shares her 5 step process of getting meals planned for the week without stress.
Andrea Heyman has over 25 years of experience as a registered dietitian. Andrea specializes in weight management and currently works in Baltimore, MD.
In addition, she runs Adventures In Feeding My Fam, a podcast and online program that focus on providing SIMPLE non-diet meal planning tips and tricks; managing the nutrition needs of various family members; promoting wellness to achieve health transformation.
Andrea is the mom of three kids, 19, 16, and 13 and she’s proud that they all appreciate healthy food and are adventurous eaters. She is 100% confident others can reach their health and wellness goals!
- Blog/Website: https://www.adventuresinfeedingmyfam.com/
- Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/277424513335241
- Facebook Group: http://bit.ly/adventuresinfeedingmyfamsupportgroup
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/adventuresinfeedingmyfam/
- Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/andrea_heyman0244/_created/
- Facebook Group: http://bit.ly/adventuresinfeedingmyfamsupportgroup
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/adventuresinfeedingmyfam/
- Podcast: Adventures In Feeding My Fam
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Transcript of this episode
Real Happy Mom 0:03
Hey there, I’m Tanya and I have an overwhelming passion to help moms navigate motherhood without the overwhelm. I went from struggling with motherhood and losing my identity, to be productive and living out my version of being a happy mom. On the Real Happy Mom podcast, I interview real moms and experts to help you navigate raising children self care, time management, and so much more. So if you’re ready to get rid of the overwhelm, and start being a Real Happy Mom, join me inside the Real Happy Mom podcast. Hey there, and welcome back to another episode of the Real Happy Mom podcast. How are you doing? I hope you are doing great. I hope that even if things aren’t doing so well that you will be doing a lot better once you hear this episode. And the reason why I am pumped up about this one is because I have told you time and time again on this podcast that meal planning is not my jam, I’m not good at it. And I’m going to refer you to another expert. And today, I finally have someone that’s gonna help me with it and can help you too. So if you’re like me, and you struggle with meal planning, or you’re constantly eating out doordash and like me, and you want to get it together when it comes to preparing meals, and you know, having meals ready that are easy, practical, and ready to go. This is an episode for you. I have my yellow pod system for my friend and dietician, who is going to be sharing all the deets here today. And that’s Andrea, Andrea is going to be sharing with us ways to make meal planning practical, because one thing that I have found is yes, I can plan things out. But as far as making it practical, we need a little help on that. Then she walks us through this process, this five step process that is going to make it super easy to meal plan for the week, and actually stick with your plan that, oh my goodness, it’s gonna change the world. I have done it already. And I’m loving my life and my grocery bill is is looking a lot better. And guess what, I’m not door dashing all the time. So you definitely want to check out this episode with Andrea, she’s going to be sharing how we can do better when preparing these meals and actually utilizing some leftovers in Yeah, your life is gonna be so much better. And I’m saying thank you, or no, sorry, you’re welcome already, because this is one that I know is really gonna be helpful for you. Now, before we jump into this episode, remember, I have some coaching sessions that are still available. If you need some help with time management, some routines, just all the things that my life has gone on that is getting stressed out and overwhelmed. I want to help you I want to hold your hand, walk with you hold you accountable so that you can truly enjoy my life, you can reach those goals that you have for yourself and get rid of that overwhelm. Because ladies, it is not easy to do this mom thing on your own. So that’s why I’m here for you, I want to help you send me an email at Tony an at Real Happy Mom calm. Or you can go over to Happy mom.com slash coaching. And you can find some information there. Now that we have that out of the way, let’s go ahead and jump into this week’s episode with Andrea. Welcome to the podcast. I am super pumped to have you on this morning.
Andrea Heyman 3:17
Thanks, Tony. And I’m really happy to be here.
Real Happy Mom 3:20
Yes, I am happy to have you because you are going to help me get it together. And you’re going to help us all get it together when it comes to meal planning. But before we jump into our topic, I wanted you to share a little bit about you and what you do.
Andrea Heyman 3:33
Right. So I have been a registered dietician for a little over 25 years, and I’ve worked in a lot of settings. And one of the things that I’ve noticed over time is that I really love to make things practical for people that I work with. And part of that is to help folks meal plan so that they have a plan that really works for them and their family and their circumstance. So I I do that through also adventures and feeding my fam, which is a podcast. And my goal is to really help busy moms get healthy food on the table fast and easy. I’m also a mom of three. So we’ve got a pretty busy house here as well. And I’ve been doing some courses, also online courses as well.
Real Happy Mom 4:29
Awesome, awesome. And one his story that you shared with me is kind of how you really got into the meal planning and that was like so much fun. And like I said, I’ve shared many times that on the podcast like meal planning is not my jam. I’m not your girl for that. But you are. So I wanted you to share how you even got started with helping moms with meal planning.
Andrea Heyman 4:51
Well, it kind of goes back to what I just mentioned and that if we don’t make things really practice for ourselves and for, in my case for people that I’m working with, you know, I can tell people to eat this or eat that all day long. But if it doesn’t work into their routine, then it’s just, it’s just words, right? And not very helpful at all.
Real Happy Mom 5:24
Yeah, definitely, because I know what I should be eating or what I should be doing. But let’s just be honest, when it’s, you know, we’re crunched for time, we go for the easy meals, which aren’t typically some of the healthy ones that they’re already like pre made and pre cooked kind of things. So you have a five step process to meal planning that I want you to walk us through. And I want to start with step one, so that we can get it together when it comes to meal planning. So I’m going to let you start with that first step.
Andrea Heyman 5:55
Great. So the first step is really to decide what you want from your food. And sometimes people look at me like I’m a little cuckoo, because they are wanting, they’re so used to other people telling them what they should eat. When really, I want you to realize that you get to decide, you get to decide if you’re going to eat plant based meals, you’re going to decide if you’re gonna have the same vegetable every day, you get to choose. Obviously, there are some nutrition concepts that I like folks to, to follow. But you get to decide what how you’re going to build it and how what it’s going to mean to you and your family. You also this is where you also consider if your family has food allergies, or that you need to accommodate or other medical conditions, high cholesterol, or if you have any health goals that you’re trying to achieve. Because as a mom, if you are doing the meal planning for your family, you kind of get to be the driver. You get to make it how you want to look and that can accommodate your needs, while also accommodating everything in your family as well.
Real Happy Mom 7:22
Yes, and I never really thought about that. And I’ll be honest with you. So in my house, I have slowly become like pescetarian vegetarian ish, kinda, I tried the vegan thing. I’m not all the way there yet. But I have my vegan days. But my husband and my kids, they do not do the vegetarian. They’re like, Where’s my meat? So definitely, I see now what you’re saying about, you know, figuring out what you want from your food. So I definitely am a little bit more clear now. So I’m like in step one, I’m feeling pretty good here. So I want you to do step two here, so that we can get even more clarity with this.
Andrea Heyman 8:03
Yeah, so just backing up really quick about step one again, I remember once when my oldest child was pretty young. And he was a pretty small child. He’s actually a small young man now. But I, you know, we get I got into a little bit of a phase where I was concerned about his growth. So slowly, I found myself shifting into feeding him foods that I quote unquote, knew he would eat. So what I found is that in the house, we were eating a lot of those traditional prepared foods like pizza bagels, or a lot of fruit snacks, or things that just would are typically calorie dense that aren’t, you know, very flavorful or interesting. And I just found that we’re slipping into this mode, where we’re really eating kid food. And I had this like, aha moment. And I’m like, this is exactly what I tell people to avoid. Wait, so I really wanted to practice what I preach. And slowly I started to reshape what our meals were. And I would say now, like, you know, he eats a good variety of foods, but it was a very slow process.
Real Happy Mom 9:28
And yeah, I can I can totally relate to that. Especially having a pig’s ear in the family too. But I am learning with him to just let him try it. I tell him just try it. If you at least do that. Then we can figure out okay, Do you really not like it or just looks funny to you?
Andrea Heyman 9:47
Yeah, that’s a really good rule. I think as long as you have like a consistent rule of having them try either one bite some families do a three bite rule. I think that’s fantastic. As long as he will try, I believe that with repetition, and over time, he’ll start to accept more foods. And did you know this is a crazy thing, it can take up to 20 tries like actually not just serving it to someone, but actually having them, chew it, taste it, swallow it 20 tries, it can take up to before someone decides if they really do like a food. So don’t give up, be be consistent and persistent. And that is a really good strategy that you’re implementing.
Real Happy Mom 10:38
Yes, I love it. I love it. Thank you for the encouragement with that one. Now, I want you to jump into step two of your meal planning. So let’s hear what that’s all about.
Andrea Heyman 10:48
So step two is the step that often trips people up the most. And that is to actually choose the recipes that you want in for your family. So if you’re planning a week of dinners, then you would plan the dinners that you’re going to have that upcoming week. So in, in my case, what I suggest to simplify it is I use a two two and two system. So two recipes that are super, super easy and only take like 510, maybe minutes of prep time. Two that are a little bit more elaborate and require a little more creativity, or maybe it’s a new recipe to you. And then two options that are kind of your, in your wheelhouse that you’re pretty comfortable with, but maybe take 20 minutes or so to prepare. And you’ll notice that two, two and two only adds up to six. So I tend to have one night a week where it’s either a free for all leftovers, or reorder out so that I’m not actually preparing something seven nights a week, but six nights. Now for the folks that really are like, Andrea, I don’t even know. I would never do anything that was a little bit more elaborate. That’s fine. You can think about distributing instead of having like a two, two and two distribution more like a foreign two. And that’s perfectly fine.
Real Happy Mom 12:27
Yes, I’m liking this. Now I will tell you, Andre, what I have been doing is just writing out Monday through Friday and just putting in different meals. But they’re usually stuff that are like my go to but I’m finding that people are getting tired of eating the same stuff over and over. So you know, I have my my spaghetti, my chicken on my wings and fries, my steak and potatoes like in rotation, but they’re starting to get tired of it. So I like the two new recipes in there because I could spice it up a little bit. But the thing is time with me is buying something that’s easy. So I like how you said another two that are quick and easy to prepare. Because some nights I come home and I’m feeling a little inspired and I’m like, Okay, let’s do a little something. I’m feeling kind of like gourmet chef ish, kinda. But then there’s some nights that I’m like, I don’t even feel like cooking like, a y’all are gonna starve because I’m about to lay down on the couch. Though, definitely, when picking out these newer recipes, are there certain things that you look for, because I’ll be honest, I love the Pioneer Woman. I think she’s amazing. However, her recipes are redonkulous there’s a million different ingredients in her recipes. And they are fabulous. But it’s a lot of things that go into preparing them. So I’m just wondering, what things would you look for, especially someone who’s just starting out? Right, so
Andrea Heyman 13:48
someone that’s just starting out, I can tell you. I’ve seen it many, many times where folks get a little over ambitious and think I’m gonna do five new recipes this week. And I can tell you, that’s that’s a pretty big reach. What typically happens is books go into it super ambitious, and then ended up with, you know, the wilted lettuce or the wilted broccoli that’s turned brown in the bottom of their crisper drawer because they just didn’t get to it because it became overwhelming. So I would first of all, ask around to your friends to see what their kind of go to meals are during the week. And then just look for things. You can even look for things by ingredient. I know that we in our house, like we’re pretty good about only shopping for the items that we need. But every once in a while there’s a little bit of an impulse buy.
Real Happy Mom 14:51
Andrea Heyman 14:52
definitely will point to my husband for that. So we end up with these random things in our head. entry. And in order to use it up, I might just Google, you know, rice noodles in just in order to use that ingredient up. And it’s, it’s pretty easy to find a variety of recipes right off the bat, and I will pick one that takes, you know, only 20 minutes or so to make. That’s how I get some new options in our rotation as well. But for the new person starting out, I would ask friends like what their top, maybe to go to recipes are that they use. And then for themselves, I think you’d be surprised even if you don’t have like a formal meal plan, system or procedure or steps that you use, you definitely have meals that you make. And just writing those down, you’re gonna find that oh, you know, I do, I do have like a handful of things already. And so it just kind of makes folks feel a little bit more confident and sure that they have some options available. And I would say that’s a good starting spot.
Real Happy Mom 16:17
Nice. Nice. I’m liking that. And I’m liking how you’re saying 20 minutes, because 20 minutes is definitely doable versus 60 minutes. Yes, definitely. So yeah, I would definitely look for those recipes. Alright, so now we got our recipes that we want to create, or what is step three?
Andrea Heyman 16:42
Yeah, I look at my schedule. This is a, to me, this is a really important step. Because if you plan to make your more creative, elaborate new meal on a night, where you are slammed, where you have meet late meetings at work, or have a lot of activities with the kids or things going on, then that’s just not going to work in your schedule. So I check out my schedule I really think of Okay, which days, do I have the least amount of time, in which days Do I have the most amount of time. And I will plug in going back to the two two and two system. Obviously the two recipes that take the least amount of time I plug those into the nights that I am the busiest and have the most stuff and the least amount of time. And then, conversely, the nights of the week. So for me, I know it’s typically Fridays and Sundays, I have a little bit more time to be a little creative. So those are going to be the newer recipes that I like to try or dabble with. And then I just plug it in the those 20 minute meals that I mentioned, I just plug those into the the remaining nights of the week. So really looking at your schedule can set you up for success. That’s just a small detail, but really can make a big difference.
Real Happy Mom 18:17
Absolutely. Because I am just thinking right now because honestly, I’m very what I’ve been doing, like I said it’s having it’s really just like a menu up. And I have it by the garage door. So I know like when I’m coming in like okay, pick one, what do I want to do tonight? But having a little bit more of a plan who I think will make it a lot easier. And then sometimes those meals that I have on the menu, they don’t make an idiom.
Unknown Speaker 18:48
I like that
Real Happy Mom 18:50
I like this better as far as looking at the your your days during the week in you know, allotting the the time in the different recipes or the different meals you want to create based on those days because I know for me, Mondays are I love Mondays, but Mondays are the days that are the longest. So I could definitely see how putting the easy meal on Monday is better versus my fancy coordinate meal on Wednesday. Sure. So now that we’ve gone through steps one through three, what would you say would be the next step?
Andrea Heyman 19:26
So step four is really utilizing leftovers. And I would say this doesn’t necessarily have to be something for the brand new meal planner, but could be anyway. So for example, it’s really just thinking about how can I repurpose leftovers to make my life a little bit easier. So let’s say you make a a roast for example, or pulled pork or something like that on on a, on a weekend day, you, you can get a fair amount of mileage out of that. And I would assume you could get a couple couple good family meals from that, that that you just prepared. And I would just think about how you can use that, and not necessarily in the same exact way. So how could you use that pulled pork for maybe tacos one night, or maybe in a salad in a salad another night, something like that, so that you’re really only having to cook that item once, but then you can use it in two different dishes. on two different nights, I would typically put those on back to back nights or maybe like a Monday and Wednesday. But the other thing that I do is we use a lot of whole grain items such as rice or Kean law. And I will if I have dishes that are going to use the same whole grain, I will use that on back to back nights, so maybe a Monday and a Tuesday. And then I only have to make one big batch of that key Noir, whatever it was, and then just use it on both nights. So I’m really only preparing it once and just shaving off some time on that second night.
Real Happy Mom 21:30
Yeah, I’m liking this all ready. Because when you are talking, I was thinking about this too, because I remember talking to one of my friends. And she was saying how if you prepare, like, let’s just say like your protein is going to be like, let’s go back to the polpark. Since we we already did that. So she was saying like the popart? Like how can you like change it up as far as like seasoning it or like you even said, like putting it in a different dish. So that you can, you know, have different meals, because that’s the biggest thing for at least for me is like getting bored and having the same thing over and over. Because when whenever I hear leftovers, I hear we’re eating the same thing. So I love this as far as getting creative. So I definitely have to put my thinking cap on and see how we can use some of these different things different ways. And get a little creative with that. But I’m liking to utilize and leftover stuff. I personally was a little like, I don’t know, I’m pretty good now.
Unknown Speaker 22:27
I’m in a fun way.
Real Happy Mom 22:28
Yeah, for sure. For sure. So let’s run through a step five, here, we’ve made it all the way to Step five, where is the last step.
Andrea Heyman 22:38
So Step five is evaluate. So if you’ve made yourself a week long meal plan, you can save those those plans and decide what worked for you what your family liked what they didn’t like, and essentially reuse that. I’m not saying to use it week after week after week. But really, if you’ve got three or four weeks of meals that work for your family, even if, on some weeks, you repeat some things. So let’s say week two and week four, you end up repeating the same meal. But having a rotation like that you can you reuse those time after time, and which makes subsequent meal planning. So a couple weeks down the line a lot, lot easier. So you don’t necessarily have to reinvent the wheel, week after week after week, which people come to me and say, I’m running out of things to make. And I’m like, go back to what you may have already read and worked for you. So really kind of looking at what you’ve done already. What works for you What doesn’t make some tweaks, and then the meal planning process just gets more fluid and simplified over time.
Real Happy Mom 24:05
Yes, definitely. I can see that already. Because the one thing I was thinking was just like how you said like one person say like, Oh, I’m ready, I think snake and then I look at you and I’m like you always have something. It’s like there’s endless possibilities, like what is going on, but it’s just, you know, figuring out what worked and what didn’t work, and then going from there, but I’m loving this and this five step process is definitely doable. And yeah, I’m ready now. So you’ve given us a lot, and I am super pumped to actually try this out. But I was just wondering for the mamas listening and thinking like I don’t even know where to start or what to pick. When it comes to you know, even getting started with some meals for the family. What would you suggest to get us going?
Andrea Heyman 24:53
I would suggest two things. So the first is look at what you’re already doing. So You can just take what you’ve got already and kind of put it to paper so that you, you know that you’ve got some meals, typically somebody who says, I don’t know what I’m doing yet, they’ve already got some things that are doing that they’re doing. They’re not typically going out to eat seven nights a week. But they just haven’t really formalized it or put it to paper. And once they do that, they feel a little bit better,
Unknown Speaker 25:27
like, Oh, yeah,
Andrea Heyman 25:27
okay, I do, I do have some things that I make pretty regularly. So that’s one. The second thing is that, I wouldn’t start trying to make a full week of new items right off the bat, I would maybe pick two things, and start there. So say, maybe you’ve got your handful of items that you already make, you’re gonna maybe pick two or three that you’ll make in a week. And then maybe you’ll add one or two new meals that you can start to put into your meal plan. So you don’t have to kind of read plan for the entire week, but get a little foundation. And then once you’re feeling a little more confident, a little more organized, you can build on that by spreading it out to five nights a week, or maybe six nights a week, eventually, but I would start small, feel confident about that, and then build up.
Real Happy Mom 26:32
Yes, definitely loving all of this. Now, under you’ve given us some really great tips, you gave us some great steps on these five steps to get us started. And then like I said, I’m ready to actually start planning even though we’re in the middle kind of in the middle of the week, but it’s okay, we can still play the week. So I’m ready to get started. But before we signed up, I just wanted you to share with us either a motivational quote or words of encouragement for us Real Happy Mom.
Andrea Heyman 27:01
I love that. A my words of encouragement are that you can really build your life how you want. And that applies to so many things. And and especially how you want your meals and your food to look. You know we’re in charge as moms and we can make our lives. craft them how we want to
Real Happy Mom 27:24
craft. Yes, definitely. Now if we want to connect with you learn more about to get our hands on some of the goodness that you have as far as courses and things. Where can we find you online.
Andrea Heyman 27:38
I mentioned already that I have the podcast called adventures and feeding my fam. That’s also my handle on Instagram. I have a Facebook group by the same name. And I my website is also called adventures and feeding my family. So I’m making it pretty easy.
Real Happy Mom 27:56
Yes, you are. And I will include all of those links in the show notes. Thank you. Thank you so much for coming on. This has been awesome.
Andrea Heyman 28:04
Thank you Tony. And it was such a pleasure. I hope I hope we can make meal planning a little easier for your community.
Real Happy Mom 28:12
Yes, and you definitely made it easier for me so thank you. Now that does it for this episode of the Real Happy Mom podcast make sure you head over to Real Happy mom.com slash podcast to get the links in show notes. And do me a favor if you’ve enjoyed this episode, rate and review wherever you listen to this podcast in particular on Apple podcasts because the truth is, more people will know about this podcast and to and lets me know that you’re actually liking what I’m giving you here. And it really does put a smile on my face when I see those ratings and reviews so please please please if you’ve enjoyed this and you enjoy the podcast leave me a rating a review. I will be forever grateful for that. And make sure you tune in next week for another full episode. I’ll be back again for another good one. Take care and with lots of love
Transcribed by https://otter.ai