Thursday, 11 September 2014

Meal Planning and My Digital Studio

Good morning!  Are you a meal planner?  Meal planning for me is a huge time and money saver!  If I don't have a plan for supper we end up scrambling and then usually eating out.  As the kids get older, it isn't just a $40 or $50 meal anymore.  It's closer to $100, if not more.  That adds up really quickly.  So we save that for special occasions or when the kids are away:)  Like tonight!

I think I shared with you my menu planning chart a couple years ago but thought I'd share again.  I love it!  It helps that I made it pretty in MDS so it's not just a normal calendar:)
I have a friend who is so passionate about eating well and meal planning that she's started her own business - Meals Maven.  I used her services when she first started and she thinks of everything from dietary concerns, likes and dislikes to nutrition.  To top it off she even provided a detailed grocery list!  Amazing!

She's doing a trade fair this weekend at the Lakeview Inn in Fort Saskatchewan (Sat. 10-5/Sun. 11-4). You should stop by and check out her table (#7).  She's giving away a 2 week complete meal plan as one of her door prizes!   

Here's a bit of information about Stacy and her business.  I've included her contact information at the bottom.


Why Meals Maven?

Before we had kids, my husband and I lived in a small, hot apartment with few fixed expenses. We got into the habit of eating out- a lot- especially in the summer, when it was too hot to cook. I don't think we were ever deluded into thinking that Wing Wednesday or Goody Day on Fridays at work were actually good for us, but we didn't spend a lot of time worrying about it either. 

Then we moved to a house, became parents, and lost our second income. Not only was eating out too expensive for us at that point, we knew that a steady diet of fast food wouldn't do much for our child's health. However, our first child was really picky, and I had to resort to hiding extra vegetables in foods he already liked, and chickpeas in chocolate chip cookies. I am fortunate in that I was raised in a home with a mom who cooked, no matter how tired she was or how little she felt like it. I grew up learning valuable kitchen skills, so the transition into meal planning and actual meal making wasn't that hard for me. 

Over the years I've grown very proficient at it. I love food, and I love sharing it with people, so offering a meal planning service makes sense for me. I also feel very passionate about eating real food as opposed to processed products that resemble food. Most of the meals I make start from scratch ingredients, as unprocessed as possible. I use my family as a "test kitchen" on new recipes all the time, and many of those recipes end up on the meal plans I prepare for people. My husband and I take cooking courses each year, to expand our repertoire of meals, and to compliment the skills we already share. I also stay up to date on nutrition and health by researching current trends and taking courses, both online and in-person. My present course of study is on Childhood Nutrition, presented by the Stanford School of Medicine. 

Before I prepare meal plans for clients, I give them a questionnaire and a calendar to fill out. This gives me insight into what kind of meal plan they need. Anyone can come up with a list of foods and pop them on a calendar, in fact you can find several meal plan suppliers online that do just that, but I provide so much more. I take into account each person's lifestyle, level of comfort in the kitchen, food preferences, and dietary needs. My most popular meal plan package includes not only the meals on your calendar, but also recipes, notes, links to online recipes, and a weekly grocery list. I will even meet with local clients if they prefer and we can prepare their meal plan together, so they can learn the skills needed to continue to meal plan in the future. 

If you're tired of eating out or not sure where to start when it comes to cooking at home, I ask you to consider Meals Maven. You will be amazed at how much meal planning can do for your life. From less stress at dinner to money-saving every month, to more healthy food on the table and more healthy minds and bodies in consequence. 

I look forward to working with you! Get in touch today!

Stacy Westman
Phone: 780-441-5270

I highly recommend her services!  Have a creative day!


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