Three little words.
Nothing can inspire the same tingle of fear as these three little words.
What’s for dinner?
To help you answer that question, every Thursday, I post Five Paleo Dinners To Cook Next Week, a collection of five paleo and Whole30 approved dinner recipes, a condiment to add zing to basic ingredients, a special snack, recommendations for complimentary side dishes, and advice for how to work the recipe into a Weekly Cookup. It’s not really a meal plan—it’s more like ideas for dishes you might like to cook.
And for newbies to the Whole30, I created a 4-week food plan that includes some of my favorite recipes. Week 1 and Week 2 include recipes, shopping lists, and step-by-step instructions for cooking the food in the least amount of time; Weeks 3 and 4 give you guidelines to come up with your own meal plans.
But not everyone has the time or inclination to make their own meal plans. And that’s where Real Plans comes in super handy!
Real Plans is an incredibly powerful, flexible meal planning service that offers real food recipes served up with shopping lists and helpful how-to tips to make getting meals on the table faster and easier than you thought was possible.
A few months ago, Nom Nom Paleo officially introduced me to Antony and Emily, the founders of Real Plans. I was already familiar with Emily from her kickass site The Holistic Squid, and I was blown away by the meal planning app they’ve put together. They really are committed to helping busy people streamline the process of planning, shopping, and cooking on a daily basis.
I was so impressed with Real Plans, I decided to partner with Antony and Emily to offer hundreds of Well Fed recipes within Real Plans.
Antony and Emily are meticulous about choosing recipes that work reliably for cooks of all experience levels, and Real Plans is completely customizable so you can change every aspect of the system, including number of meals each week, specific ingredients, serving sizes, and more. It’s easy to swap recipes in and out of the plans, and the system provides a foolproof, step-by-step timeline for prepping ingredients and cooking throughout the week. Real Plans also provides nutrition information for all of the recipes!
I’ve been asked many times to contribute my recipes to other meal planning services, but Real Plans is the first one that’s better than anything I could have imagined—and that’s why I said yes to sharing recipes from Well Fed, Well Fed 2, and my web site.
This video is pretty sweet and gives you an overview of Real Plans. I’ve also called out some of my favorite features below.
Custom Meal Planning
The Real Plans system gives you a schedule of recommended recipes every week, based on the parameters you set up—and, using the Recipe Box, it’s easy to swap recipes in and out of the schedule to create a plan that’s exactly what you want. You can exclude entire food groups or ingredients, and there’s even an AIP filter. You can also add notes like “Melissa’s coming to dinner!” or “Eat fast; Criminal Minds finale tonight!” to the meal plan to remind you of special events.
Flexible Shopping List
The Shopping List is insanely awesome. You can easily change quantities, add additional items, divide items among multiple grocery stores, and designate items you always/never need to buy. Then you can print it, email it, or—this is my favorite option—view it on your smartphone and actually check off items as you add them to your cart. It’s the smartest list I’ve ever met!
Sometimes the issue isn’t what to cook, but how to cook it without spending all your free time in the kitchen. The Real Plans Timeline is like having a project manager in your kitchen, reminding you which tasks need to be performed when. The Timeline changes with each recipe you add to or delete from your meal plan, and it specifies the tasks you need to accomplish each day to get meals onto the table, for example, “defrost pork shoulder, if frozen” or “start beef in slow cooker.” You can stop taking up valuable brain space with cooking to-do items and focus on the really important stuff, like whether you should do a 10-minute meditation or take a 20-minute walk.
The base subscription to Real Plans is $6-$14 per month—and you can add special recipe access, like Well Fed recipes, for $1 per month. I think it’s worth every penny! Trusted recipes, custom meal plans, a powerful shopping list, and step-by-step instructions to get it all done—that’s almost priceless, really. (And I’m not just saying that because I’m a partner and affiliate in the program.)
Real Plans is packed with 1500 foolproof recipes made from real food—including more than 200 of mine (if you add the optional Well Fed package for $1 a month)—all carefully tested in the Real Plans kitchens.
My Recipes and Whole30 Support
Recipes from my web site, Well Fed, and Well Fed 2 are available in the awesome Real Plans service; you can learn more and sign up for Well Fed recipes right here. But even better! Real Plans now offers Whole30 recipes and support, so you can get all of the Whole30 goodness plus all of my Whole30-approved recipes—use this link to check that out!
The key to long-term success with paleo eating is two-fold: being prepared and avoiding boredom. I can’t think of a better way to help ensure healthy, happy eating than solid meal plans built around delicious, nutritious recipes. You can certainly do it your way—I’ll continue to share my Five Paleo Dinners posts every week. But…