Meal planning. It’s something that needs to be done every. single. week.
It can be tiring. It can be a bother.
You might think that just because I’m a dietitian, I might love to meal plan, but, boy, can I get into a real food rut just like the next person. It’s like loading + unloading the dishwasher… it’s not hard, but because I have to do it every single day, it becomes my least favorite chore.
But say no more to meal planning being a least favorite chore. About six months ago, I recently found the Mealime App and I have fallen in love. Plus, I’ve been able to email with the creators of the app and they genuinely love what they’re doing, appreciate consumer feedback, and implement changes if needed.
First up, there is a free version and paid (pro) version of the app. I’ve used both and love both. You can get used to the ins and outs of the app on the free version, see how much you use it, and then ultimately decide if you should upgrade. When you join, you’ll be asked all about your preferences on type of food you eat, if you follow a certain eating plan, and how many people you need to feed. I think this is so nice because it becomes super tailored to you and your family’s needs. Once you have that set, you can go ahead and start to pick your week’s meals!
Everything we’ve tried from the Mealime recipes has been awesome. I’ve really been impressed with them. To add a recipe to your weekly meal plan, you’ll click on the plus sign and it is added! Continue to browse the recipes until you fill up enough meals for the week – be sure to plan for leftovers! I usually create my meal plan on just four meals. If you have the pro version of the app, you’ll see more recipes too – but you can still make this recipe if you have the free version; HOWEVER, the ingredients won’t get added to your grocery list. Just one little difference between having the free vs. paid.
Also, think you’ve made your meal plan but then want to swap out a meal for something different? There’s a new EDIT button that will allow you to do this! This was one of my first pieces of feedback to the app creators, because I may not start and stop making my plan all in one sitting.
So, after you’ve finalized your weekly meal plan, you can now click your grocery list tab and a list is curated FOR YOU!! This is my most favorite part of the app. PLUS, you can then add your own grocery items at the top. As you shop, you click into the little squares and it will make the item disappear. This will help you easily keep track of what you have left to shop for! You’re now ready to make your meals! Love a recipe? Add it to your favorites list for easy reference in the future!
I really hope you’ve enjoyed learning about one of my new favorite apps. It is a weekly helper for me. My Healthy Habits Support Group friends know how much I love Mealime and offered their pieces of testament for this post as well! Here are take-a-ways from three awesome ladies!
Judy: I’ve used it numerous times! Love that the recipes are proportioned for either 2 or 4 servings so no leftovers, easy to follow instructions, dinner is usually ready in 30 to 40 minutes and quite often done in one pan. Personally, I’ve kept to the low-carb meals that consist of a protein and a variety of fresh veggies… everything from stir fry to chili and no disappointments!
Holly: I think Mealime is a great tool. It did have some drawbacks from me in that a lot of the recipes I was most interested in were only for paid users (totally understand this is how they make money though) and I didn’t like that you couldn’t edit the meal plans, which I see they have changed. I did think that a lot of the meals in the low-carb meal plan were very similar and that there weren’t a lot of options that would appeal to my entire family. That said, there was a couple of recipes I tried that I really loved and have gone back to and made multiple times. I would definitely give it another try with the changes they have made.
Erica: I’ve used it a number of times too. My favorites are the Mediterranean chicken quinoa bowls and the chicken & fresh mozzarella sandwich, which we serve on ciabatta bread and it’s so good! I like that it provides you with the grocery list, and the instructions are easy to follow. One possible downside is that the recipes require a TON of fresh produce/herbs, which is great but can get expensive. Some of the meals seem really bell-pepper heavy too, I noticed (like one week I was making 4 meals from Mealime and had to buy like 9 bell peppers or something ridiculous, ha).
This is real life! Definitely let me know if you download the app and I’m happy to help answer any questions you may have!