The plans of the diligent lead surely to plenty, but those of everyone who is hasty, surely to poverty.Proverbs 21:5 (NKJV)
Ain’t it true?!
Here’s how the New Living Translation puts it:
I love how God always makes it so simple & clear for us.
Diligence = surely plenty.
Haste & shortcuts = surely poverty.
I remember a framed crossstich a lady from our church in Kentucky had hung on her wall. It said,
Does that ever describe you? I know it did me!
Planning does not come naturally to me—doing things at the last minute does.
But I’ve learned from God’s Word that diligence is a characteristic of the wise.
And who doesn’t want to be wiser?After all, it is the wise woman who builds her house!
That’s why in January, with God’s help, we’re going to kick of the new year saying, “Adios laziness!” and “Hello Diligence!
We’re going to look at practical ways we can put this verse into practice + become more diligent women & leave hasty shortcuts and idleness behind!
So I invite you to join me as we look at how we can develop diligence in our time with God, cleaning our homes, our finances, and every area of our lives!
But right now, this verse going to be our war cry when it comes to Menu Planning!!
Am I the only one who battles in the kitchen? 🤣
Last year, we asked the question: What is a Homemaker? & saw that one of the ways a woman can build her home is nutritionally.
And thats where meal planning comes in.
Picking a specific meal for each day and sticking to it was such a struggle for me. I tried and failed over and over.
I thought, “How does she make it look so easy and I just can’t get it right?”
The Lord helped me realized that He created us women each with her own personality, strengths and weaknesses. And it’s not wise to compare myself with others.
One day after asking His help with menu planning, an idea came to mind. (But since there’s nothing new under the sun, I’m sure I’m not the first to try it. 😉)
Either way it’s worked wonderfully for me ever since!
JUST MIX + MATCH TO MAKE MEALS!
Mix & Match Meal Plan Benefits
Here are the benefits we’ve seen after a month of implementing this meal plan:
- Money on groceries each week.
- Time trying to figure out our weekly menu.
- Time in the kitchen preparing a big variety of meals each day.
- Food waste.
- Trips to the store because I forgot ingredients = less gas $.
- Bland & Boring meals.
- Being stuck in a food rut.
- Buying food out because of last-minute rush and not knowing what to cook.
- Time to enjoy other things in life.
- Savings in our food budget to utilize in other areas.
- Variety of foods & flavors.
- Creativity in the kitchen.
- Flexibility than assigning a specific meal for each day of the week.
- Nutritionally rounded meals.
How to Meal Plan for Women who aren’t good at Meal Planning!
The Mix & Match Meal Plan
Choose foods for each category below and then simply Mix & Match to create flavorful meals for the week!
For each week choose:
# 1. Your Flavors (2-4)
Your flavors for the week are your starting point that you will use to create your meals.
This is where you get to have fun and be creative!
Choose 2-3 sauces, spice mixes and/or marinades.
BBQ, ranch, teriyaki, taco seasoning, fruit salsa…the sky’s the limit.
You can also try one of these 3 Authentic Mexican Salsas to add flavor to your dinner tonight.
Stuck in a flavor rut?
I was too.
Always remember: Colors are your friend.
Simply choose a color (preferably one you’ve not used recently) and search on Google for a sauce that color.
You’ll be surprised at the new flavors you’ll discover!
Recently, I thought, “what would a blue sauce be like”? So I searched & found a new flavor—a blueberry balsamic + rosemary sauce.
Find the recipe for this delicious blueberry sauce & pork tenderloin here at eat beautiful.net!
I have my Flavors—Now What?
Now it’s time to create your soups & meals for the week.
Just mix your flavors with your proteins + veggies for delicious meals!
Example: a tomato (or nomato) sauce could include meals such as:
- Spaghetti w/ meat sauce & salad
- Southwestern stuffed peppers with Mexican rice.
- Tomato soup with avocado + toasted gluten-free bread,
- Chicken parmigiana
- Homemade sloppy joes
- Meatball marinara sub sandwiches with sweet potato chips.
- Huevos Rancheros
- Homemade pizza + wings
- Baked Fish with Mediterranean Tomato Sauce & Olives
# 2. Your Soups (1-2)
Whether it’s creamy or chunky, a broth or more of a stew, soups make a wonderful addition to your weekly menu.
They can be the main dish, side dish or appetizer.
Soups are also a great way to add extra nutrients and veggies for picky eaters.
Here are a few soups I’ve made recently:
Stuck for a soup idea? Check out this great article by bonappetit.com. It really helped take the guesswork out of how to make better soups!
# 3. Your Proteins (2-4)
So many proteins options.
Chicken, ground beef, steak, turkey, pork loin, roast, seafood, tofu, beans, eggs, etc.
One I always include in our weekly rotation is a whole chicken.
It’s super-versatile. Just pop it in the crockpot with some seasonings and water. A few hours later you have around 6 cups of shredded chicken and homemade bone broth to make your soups.
Check out my recipe for Crockpot chicken and make meal prep even easier!
**NOTE: If you plan on making bone broth, it’s very important that you use organic chickens. Any toxins the bird has eaten is most concentrated in its bones. And what it’s eaten, so will you and your family. Choose organic, avoid toxins + know you’re nourishing your body.
Whole chickens are most economic. I find ours in ALDI for $2.99 per pound. It serves us two for various meals and soups.
When I started the Autoimmune Protocol diet (read about my journey here) we made many switches. One was we swapped the leanest regular ground beef for 100% grass-fed 85/15.
You can also find this at ALDI for around the same price as regular ground beef. It has a better flavor + added benefits of healthy fats.
Fish (salmon in particular) is great for a healthy diet.
Wild-caught is your most nutritional option.
If fresh, wild-caught salmon isn’t in your budget, opt for frozen or canned. Just make sure it’s bpa-free and it has the msc mark. Find this also at ALDI!
NOTE: For last-minute nights, just add a sauce to a cooked protein!
#4. Your Healthy Fats
All my life, I’ve heard that the best is to eat the leanest cuts of meat. Now I’ve learned by personal study & by experience that’s simply not true.
Our bodies are always making new cells and the cells are covered in lipids (fats) . To have healthy cells we need healthy fats.
Healthy fats help our body absorb vital nutrients, help us feel full longer, give energy, & much more. (Check out this article by Houston Methodist Lead Medicine for more of the low-down on healthy fats. As well as this one by nutritionstripped.com)
Some examples of healthy fats are:
- Avocado + avocado oil
- Olives, olive oil
- 100% Grass Fed Beef
- Wild-caught salmon
- Coconut + coconut oil
And remember, moderation is the key.
**Check with a nutritionist or doctor about what works best with your body. This article is not meant to be medical advice.
#5. Your Colors
Eat the Rainbow! And, no, I don’t mean Skittles. 😆
God is so marvelously creative and simplifies healthy eating for us.
Different color veggies have different nutrients. 💜
So the more colorful your plate, the more nourished you and your family will be.
This article by winmedical.org breaks down veggies and fruits by color and lists benefits of each color group!
Vary from week to week your vegetables. Also, experiment with different cooking techniques + flavors.
Sometimes eating at home can be monotonous. So here are a couple tips to help!
Check out this video about Food presentation tips for the home cook by Jennifer L. Scott.
Final Notes + Tips
- Choose a day to plan.
- Choose another day to prep food. This helps with being consistent + avoiding rushing at the last minute.
- No need to assign a meal to a day. Just choose the one that works for your schedule that day.
- The amount of food in each category is only a suggestion. Adjust for what works for your family. 😊
- I encourage you to try out this meal planning method for a few weeks. All changes have a learning curve and take time to adjust. It did for me! But now I’m so happy with it!
- Please, never compare yourself to someone else. We’re all designed uniquely.
- If this way of meal planning doesn’t work for you, pray and ask for God’s help to find one that does. I tried lots of methods until the Lord gave me one that fits. 🥰
- Don’t stress or give up. We will fail at times. We won’t always be diligent. Rest in God’s grace. He knows we can’t be perfect. That’s why Jesus came! Turn to Him & with His help, begin anew the next day.
- Rejoice in the gospel. It’s how & why we can be transformed from hasty, lazy women to wise, diligent planners.
- When you feel like you can’t, remember He can!
He who calls you is faithful; He will surely do it.1 Thessalonians 5:24 (ESV)
The Faithful, Powerful God who created such delicious foods is the Only One who is able and willing to transform you and me.
If this article was helpful, be sure to give it a like & Subscribe. And I love reading your comments below!
If you’d like me to do a post showing how I work out this meal plan, let me know in the comment section below.
Be Kind. Be Encouraging. Be a Multiplier!