Kitchen Stewardship | A Baby Steps Approach to Balanced Nutrition

Those Who Succeed at their Goals are Intentional

January 4th, 2014 · 5 Comments · What to Buy

You’ll never fall into a good habit.

Think about it.

We only form good habits by being intentional about it; it’s the bad habits that we just fall into without planning on it.

Without planning, we find ourselves hungry at 5:30 p.m. and fall back on takeout.

Without planning, we make goals for healthy eating and then fall off the horse when we’re just not sure what to eat or how to reach our goals.

Without planning, we fall into a pattern of making quick simple meals, but they’re not always the most nutritious.

And when we don’t plan to shop or use the food we buy, we might even fall into debt or off our budget or let fresh food fall into the trash because we’re not keeping up. (top photo source)

I mentioned in yesterday’s 5 teeny tiny totally doable healthy eating goals post that I can’t imagine not planning meals at all. The idea is foreign to me and would lead to much frustration.

What I didn’t mention is how poor I’ve been at meal planning of late! I might plan a few days ahead, then when I run out of the plan I’m either thawing meat on the counter between lunch and dinner (not an FDA-approved method you know!) or wracking my brain at 10 p.m. trying to figure out what I want to make the next day.

And even when I do have good plans, I don’t always locate the actual recipe until 5 p.m. the day I’m making it. Guess what that is called? Poor planning! Sometimes I don’t have an ingredient that I forgot was part of that recipe, and sometimes I waste a precious 5 minutes locating it since I’m usually later than I should be getting into the kitchen in the first place.

Katie Enters the Technological Age

You’d think, as a blogger, that I would be all techy and up to speed on anything with a screen, but I’m far from it. I just got my first smart phone (hand-me-down from my husband) a few months ago, and I still don’t use it well.

After I mentioned here on KS that I might be interested in a tablet, I ended up getting one for Christmas…so now I need to figure out how to do more than scan Facebook and read Kindle books on it!

I’m venturing tentatively into the world of using an online calendar…but I’m still sort of clutching onto my paper calendar like a stubborn toddler, so we’ll see how that all plays out.

On my list for this Sunday?

I wrote “set up PTE on tablet!”

And yes, I wrote it on paper. Baby steps, people, allow me some baby steps.

(photo source)

As much as I love the way Plan to Eat is set up and appreciate its functionality, I’ve always maintained that I personally needed something that didn’t make me get on the computer. But now that I actually have some mobile screens, and I seem to handicap myself with the whole “where’s my blasted recipe?????” drama, I think I’m finally ready to transition over.

I can’t just say, “I should plan better,” or “maybe I’ll try it someday.” I have to be intentional about it. I have to sit down and take my own advice – just plan a week, full on, and use the system and see how much nicer it goes. I think the ability to save and reuse menu plans and having many recipes at my fingertips (the KS group just topped 100K since I last checked! Amazing!) will result in more variety in our dinners, another thing sorely lacking as I’ve felt behind and out of creativity the last few months.

Here’s what I’m looking forward to about using PTE for real:

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  • Firefox bookmarklet – I can add a recipe to my PTE recipe box in about 30 seconds when I find a good one on the web or want to plan via my Pinterest boards.
  • Shopping list – I’m just getting more forgetful lately and really DO need it all in one place!
  • Mobile compatibility – I was looking for a Plan to Eat app, and I just love how they explain the alternative here – that rather than embark on the (expensive!) process of making apps for all the various platforms, they’ve made their basic website extremely mobile responsive so that just by visiting PTE in any mobile browser, you’re having a smooth mobile experience, just like an app.
  • Rinse and repeat meal plans – that’s my own phrase, just meaning that I can easily save a week’s meal plan (or more) and reuse later with just a few clicks. Why have I not done this before! A reader just commented this week on Facebook that she planned her entire month on PTE in just 30 minutes. I’m green-eyed with jealousy and can’t wait until I get that streamlined!!
  • Drag and drop menu – just drag recipes from your box onto the day/meal you want them, and boom – they’re in.
  • Automated shopping list – the system then automatically generates a shopping list based on the ingredients you just planned, so there’s no thinking involved beyond “do I already have this on hand?” (And technically if you keep up your “pantry” list on PTE, those ingredients will be removed from the shopping list already. Rock out!)
  • And probably some more stuff I’m forgetting and have yet to discover! If you’re already an avid PTE user, I’m totally open to some “schooling” and advice in the comments here. Winking smile Thanks!
  • Here’s a little video demonstrating the basics, if you’re interested.

Want to Join Me?

There are two ways to jump into meal planning with me on Plan to Eat – notice, we’re jumping, not falling. Winking smile

You could win this giveaway and get a full year membership ($39 value, 3 winners).

Or you could just sign up for the free 30-day trial and be intentional about using it all 30 days, then decide if it’s right for you.

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Kitchen Stewardship is dedicated to balancing God’s gifts of time, health, earth and money.  If you feel called to such a mission, read more atMission,Method, andMary and Martha Moments.

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5 Comments so far ↓

  • Alicia@ eco friendly homemaking

    I know what you mean. My husband just got me a smart phone recently and I am still learning how to use it. We got a tablet a few months back and I still haven’t used it. I am doing well using my desktop computer, and that’s a real accomplishment! Really glad to have discovered your blog. Off to read some more of your posts!

    [Reply to this comment]

    Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship Reply:

    Welcome, Alicia! Hope you enjoy your time here! :) Katie

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Susan

    I’m looking forward to learning how you incorporate PTE into your new online life! I try to do as much as possible online (phone, tablet, laptop) but am having trouble transitioning recipes, meal planning, and cooking online. Thanks for sharing your journey with us!

    [Reply to this comment]

    Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship Reply:

    Susan,
    The first week was …okay. But I think that’s expected b/c you’re setting everything up so it doesn’t seem more efficient at first. I did love having the shopping list at the store w/o having to think about it though! :) Katie

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Andrea

    I have recently discovered ziplist which is completely free and does all the same things you mentioned above, plus has a great mobile app. It also scans Pinterest for the best trending recipes and sends you a recipe a day. I’ve never used PTE so I’m sure some of the features may work differently, but for free you can’t beat it! Now to use it to consistently plan meals…

    [Reply to this comment]

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Welcome!  Meet Katie.

I embrace butter. I make homemade yogurt. I eat traditional real food – plants and animals that God created, not products of plants where food scientists work. Here at Kitchen Stewardship, I share how I strive to be a good steward of my family's nutrition, the environment, and our budget, all without spending every second in the kitchen. Learn more about the mission of KS here.

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