good eats, real food, whole food lifestyle

Five simple ways to cleanup your weekly meal plan

A few years ago my Facebook profile read, “family CEO, cook, chauffeur, cleaner, party planner, yoga enthusiast and volunteer.” I was part-time communicator and a full-time mom. Life was busy, messy and most of all…fun.

Fast-forward five years and my profile, if written honestly, would’ve read “full-time communicator, ATM, takeout queen, family cryer, extra-curricular chauffeur, wanna-be volunteer, and armchair chef.”

Gone were the simple days of preparing meals at home, baking homemade muffins after school or discussing the day over dinner. Ordering takeout or picking up a meal on the way to the next activity became the daily norm.

There’s no denying that the cost of a takeout lifestyle for a family of four was outrageous, but the health ramifications and the example set for my children carried a far greater weight. I knew we had to make a change when I asked my seven-year-old, “What are whole foods?” Here’s her response:

I can cook— that was never the problem— but my culinary toolkit did not include healthy 30-minute meals suitable for the weekly dinner rotation. My biggest concern, what could I prepare that my extremely picky first-born would actually eat? Should I buy organic? When would I find time to cook with a busy career and activities every night? Could I really hit reverse on our drive-through lifestyle?

I met with a naturopath and decided to cut the gimmicks and the timelines. Instead, I would focus on a simple whole foods – most of the time—with five rules the entire family could adopt:

  1. Limit healthy takeout to once a week
  2. Purchase a weekly fruit and vegetable box —and use it!
  3. Say no to soda…most of the time
  4. Replace margarine with butter
  5. Read labels: If you can’t read it – don’t eat it!

It’s been six months since we began our whole foods journey –  I’m now a full-time mom and part-time communicator. I collect cookbooks, subscribe to a weekly produce box and pine over beautiful meals; however, I am still searching for that perfect weekly meal plan that everyone will enjoy, and the kids (and sometimes the parents) still negotiate for drive-through for our weekly takeout.

Yet, I realized just how far we’ve travelled. During a recent birthday party, a child asked for a soda. I immediately responded, “We don’t drink soda in our house. Can I get you water, juice or milk?” As soon as the words came out of my mouth I thought, “God bless your heart…you are now one of those prissy, proper – no lollipop for you – moms.”

And while I’m not a prissy, proper mom by any stretch, I now know that small steps work work best for my family. We are on our way to a fresh, whole foods lifestyle – most of the time. Next up – reducing sugar. Wish us luck…and send sugar-free recipes, PLEASE!

6 thoughts on “Five simple ways to cleanup your weekly meal plan”

  1. Hey Anne-Marie,

    This is Cristiana from SCS 275! I know the struggle if completely making over your food lifestyle. I am currently on a fitness/healthy food journey myself. I think it’s incredibly hard to cut out processed sugar … I never noticed how much my body craved before I starting cutting it out of my daily food routine. However, there are things that are very yummy and healthy. Whoever says healthy food is gross is lying to themselves. My all time fav dessert right now is banana ice cream! Super simple! I like to add peanut butter and sprinkle cinnamon on top. If your family is a fan of bananas 🙂 I suggest you check it out. For recipes I suggest checking out as well!

    Cheers & good luck,



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