Since we're approaching 2023, we're diving into New Year's resolutions and goals this week. Riley and Roni give you their tips for figuring out what your goals for the new year could be and why it's important to reflect on the past year. We also talk about meal planning, of course, and why you might consider it for your 2023 New Year's resolution. Enjoy!
Find the recipes Riley and Roni talked about:
Air Fryer Teriyaki Chicken
NYC Halal Cart Chicken and Rice
I'm Riley and I'm Roni. And this is the plan to eat podcast, where we have conversations about meal planning, food, and wellness. To help you answer the question what's for dinner.
Roni: Hello and welcome to the Plan to Eat podcast after a series of interviews. It is me and Riley today, and we are talking about New Years, because it's already the middle of December. Somehow
Riley: It's coming and I still feel surprised by you saying that, like, how did we get here so fast?
Roni: It's so true. Uh, yeah, it always feels like the holidays sneak up. It's like, you know, you're in August and whatever, the holidays are a long time away, and then all of a sudden it's the end of October and you're getting ready for all of your Thanksgiving plans. And then after that you're getting ready for, you know, Christmas, new Year's, Hanukkah, whatever the thing you celebrate is.
And once the [00:01:00] beginning of November comes. Literally a snowball.
Riley: Yeah, no joke, because you go, I mean, if you're a decorator, you go Halloween decorations, Thanksgiving decorations, maybe you're hosting Thanksgiving decorations, and then it's whatever holiday you're celebrating in in December. And then it's New Year's. It's like if you're having par you're going to so many parties, you're getting your kids in costumes.
Like you're, you're decorating your house, you're redecorating your house potentially three to four times. Um, it's just a lot of added things on your plate, so it just, it does sneak up.
Roni: Yeah. Well, we in particular wanna talk today about getting prepared for New Year's, you know, maybe planning ahead for what your resolutions are gonna be, um, and you know, just kind of getting ready for that beginning part of the year because, you know, like we're saying, it sneaks up on you, and I've definitely made the mistake of.
New Year's Eve, being like, oh, what am I gonna do [00:02:00] in the new year? And you know, if you're somebody who's goal oriented, that's probably not the right time to be starting to create your goals.
Riley: but maybe for the goal-oriented people, they already are starting and
Roni: Yeah, maybe
Riley: trying to motivate and help other people. I don't know, but I am a planner and I'm feeling. Okay. It's what, we're recording this on December the 12th, so we've got a little bit of time, so we have put some thought into it.
That's the planners in US
Roni: Yeah, exactly.
Roni: Yeah. So to preface this conversation, We're gonna use the word resolutions a lot because I think that it's just a, a commonly used word in the new year. I personally don't like the word resolution. I think that resolutions, uh, kind of have a negative connotation on them. Like everybody has a resolution, but resolution has this idea of.
It's, it's something I'm gonna say I'm gonna do, but never actually follow through on it. Um, so even though we're using resolutions, you can think of it as, you know, creating new habits or setting new [00:03:00] goals, whatever it is that you do in the new year. Personally, I'm like a habit and goal oriented person.
And there's just something special about the new year. Even if you're not somebody who is really interested in resolutions, there's something that's unique about the freshness of a new year and like the changing of a calendar that just makes it an easier time to kind of like start something new.
Riley: getting a new
Roni: Getting a new planner, man, I already have mine and I'm so excited.
Riley: it feels so good. Just it is. It really is. That fresh start. I think that one of the things that has stood out to me in thinking through this is, Committing to yourself is as important as committing to anything else you do in your life. So if you have this goal or new habit you wanna reach, or let's call it a resolution, um, you, you do kind of have to plan for it or it will, you will fail. I, I, I personally believe that if you don't plan for something like that, if you don't set yourself up for success through habit [00:04:00] changes, through simple things like Google Calendar, put it on there,
I'm gonna do this today because this is part of how I'm gonna reach my goal. Whether that, maybe that's budgeting, maybe every Thursday at 4:00 PM you're, you're checking your budget, you're doing your budgeting, whatever that looks like. Um, but schedule it for yourself, just like you'd schedule anything else just to get you started, regardless of what your goals are, how can you make it more attainable?
Roni: Yeah. Or actionable is the word that it was like coming to mind when you said that is what are the actual steps that you can take? So if your goal is to save money, what are ways. that you can save money. Can you set, you know, like an auto pay to your savings account for every paycheck that you get? Can you find places like the grocery store to cut back on the things that you're spending?
Um, you know, I think if you go through that process of creating action items that support your goal or support your resolution, tho, that's the actual way that you know, you, you really [00:05:00] make change. Rather than just saying, I'm gonna be better at saving money. . Well that really doesn't mean anything and that's how resolutions don't get past, you know, January 3rd,
Riley: Yeah. So this brings me to a perfect, um, a perfect segue into one of my points, which was. Find a tool or product that you need to help make this happen. That also could be find a podcast that is helping you support your goals, like, YouTubers podcasts, uh, Instagram accounts. I just stumbled acro across an Instagram account through the day.
That's all about cleaning hacks and like just cleaning tips. that are very actionable, but very simple to just help you get to your, maybe your goal is to have a cleaner house or a cleaner car or whatever it is. If your goal is around cleaning, find somebody who's encouraging you in that way and who's really good at it, and then is giving you those little tips and little, don't just try to cold Turkey, like do these things.
you're probably maybe not already good at [00:06:00] because a lot of, I think a lot of our goals and resolutions sometimes they come about because things have piled on in the year and we're just overwhelmed. But sometimes it's just that we're trying to do something outside of our norm Um, and so this is one of my tips is find a podcast or a YouTube that is a, like maybe it's meal planning.
Listen to the Plan to Eat podcast. Maybe it's, I'm trying. I can't think of that cleaning one right now. Sorry. But maybe it's cleaning, maybe it's budgeting and you need to go listen to the YAB podcast. Regardless of your goal, I know that there is somebody out there talking about it and those kinds of things, especially listening and like maybe watching on a YouTube video will really give you the motivation and really great information and tips and the encouragement, even though you're not connected to them personally.
That encouragement kind of keep going with it.
Roni: Right. Yeah. I love that tip. I, I have a similar, I had the same tip of, um, you know, finding the tools that will help you reach your goals, but [00:07:00] I really like the idea of listening to a podcast or finding a YouTube channel because, it, it almost makes you feel like you have a little bit of support or community in the goal that you're trying to accomplish, or, you know, the, the, the end goal that you wanna reach.
And one of my tips was, um, like write a list of 10 things that will help you reach your goal. Whether they're actually 10 things that are, you could all implement right now. I think if you just have a list of, you know, these are, these are 10 actions that I could take, you know, either throughout the year or I could take one action a month or something like that.
I think that if you start. Just ideas of here are the things that I, that I can implement in order to make this happen. That's a really, you know, a good, like, positive direction to go in. If you're, if you're just, if you're starting out and you're like, I, you know, like I wanna save money, or you know, I wanna eat healthier, whatever your goal is.
You could be sitting here being like, I actually have no idea how to get started with this. [00:08:00] And so just take having a brainstorming session and potentially you listen to some of these podcasts or watch some YouTube videos and they give you ideas, but just having a brainstorming session, I think that you actually could come up with more ideas than you realize if you just sit down and focus your attention on the thing that you wanna do.
Riley: Yes. And don't, and I think just to piggyback off of that, you don't have to think that those things are only coming from within yourself. Right.
Roni: Mm mm-hmm.
Riley: um, while I do feel like I can get a good brain dump going, talking to my friends or getting advice from somebody like a podcaster, even Googling it, How do I reach my goal of reading more books? You know, how what and because they're endless resources out there in they're designed to help you. So I love that of just taking the time to think through what could be helpful. I just listened to MacKenzie Kapa. Um, she was talking about New Year's resolutions.
It was an accident that I listened to that one before we recorded hours. But she was talking about these [00:09:00] bite size things that you can do to help you reach your goals, uh, based on like the 12 months of the year. Her example was, if you wanna read 24 books, well that's two books. Books a month. Okay. So is that, can you read, can you read two books at the same time every month?
Two different kinds of books at the same time. Do you listen to one and you read the other? Do you read one for two weeks and one for another two weeks? You know, like that, that's the same idea. Um, cuz most goals can be broken down into bite size pieces. And I think that that's probably why people.
Riley: often is because they're just like, I'm gonna, I'm gonna save an extra thousand dollars a month But like, where's that money coming from? You know, right now you're probably spending that instead of saving it, or maybe you're not saving quite that much, whatever it is. Um, a thousand dollars was a random number, but unless you break it down into, okay, I'm gonna save this much money every day or every week, or I'm gonna spend less here so I can save more there.
Unless you [00:10:00] do that. You really aren't gonna be able to reach that kind of goal.
Roni: I mean, I think in general that's the hard part about setting goals or, you know, change is, is this idea of like changing your habit. Habits you have to, there is upfront work in, in actually creating these changes. And it's not easy. Like we're not here saying, oh, this is super easy peasy. You know, it does take upfront work to just even get to the point of implementing some of these things because you really have to find the right methods that work for you.
I remember when we talked to Rose Marie, the busy budgeter, and you know, her system works specifically for people who have a really hard time with being organized, have a really hard time with planning their meals and getting their budget under control. You know, she called 'em like hot mess, quote unquote hot mess people.
And um, and so, but like she's found a system that worked really well for her in the stage of life that she was in. And so I think that part, , this goal setting situation is finding those things that work best [00:11:00] for you. And like it might require listening to multiple podcasts, watching multiple YouTube videos, doing multiple Google searches and reading blog posts about it.
Because you know what you've tried before that didn't work. And so, you know, it's never gonna be reinventing the wheel because I'm sure somebody else has already found a solution that will work for you. But it's just like, you know, getting to the point of finding that and thinking, okay, this seems.
I'm able to implement this into my life. Um, because yeah, it, it's not, it's not reasonable to say, yeah, I'm gonna save a thousand dollars this month. And the way that I'm gonna do that is I'm gonna stop driving my car.
Riley: Right, right. Yeah. You know, something I just thought of based on all the things you were saying is everybody's personality is so different and I think a lot of the time our resolutions are built around, okay, go with me here. Like really hard things or like opposing to our personality kinds of things. [00:12:00] Or, you know, it is like you're trying to force something to make a new habit.
And, and we do try to, like, we try to swallow a whale by by doing these things. Um, but resolutions can be fun too. You know, it, it could be that you love to read, but your life has just led you in this path of not reading a whole lot. And so reading a book a month is a great place to start. But the idea that just occurred to me in that, that train of thought, Is that you could do a new resolution every quarter to keep it interesting for yourself.
It doesn't have to be. I'm gonna, I, I mean, you know, it's . You can get tired of them, you fall off the wagon, but like a three month chunk of time. , it's a really quality amount of time to put into one goal. And you could have four goals overall. And which one, when, when does it fit? You know, maybe, um, the summertime is when you wanna read a ton of books because maybe you're a teacher and you're off work in the summer and it just fits.
So maybe set a goal for each quarter of the [00:13:00] year and then. , then you just have three months. It's way more bite sized at that point. And then you're not thinking, well, next December when I have to, you know, like, that's a long time from right now. Um, while it will go by faster than we all want it to, I I just think it's interesting to even kind of break it down even more and, and have more goals spread out over time.
Roni: Right. I remember last year I read an article from a person who did a new goal every month, and I'll, I'll be honest with everybody, I tried to implement that into my life in 2022, and I actually kind of forgot about it. . You know, sometimes that can be a hard part about goal setting, you know, or resolutions is like, you just kind of forget like, oh yeah, I was supposed to be focusing on this thing.
So, you know, maybe that's a time where you have reminders in your planner or on your Google calendar to tell you to focus, refocus. , but I thought that that was a really good idea too, because, you know, they did things like they cut sugar out for a month or they cut alcohol out for a month, but it wasn't just cut.
[00:14:00] His idea was it wasn't just cutting things out of your life. Like some of your months should be adding things like your idea of like reading more books. You know, like there should be times when you're adding more fun into your life, you know, or adding more exercise into your life. I think that it's easy to get into the mindset.
uh, like a resolution or a goal is taking something away that we think is a, you know, like a negative habit that we have. But there's also the aspect of if you take something away, you could replace it with something positive. Um, and then, you know, it kind of gives you a little bit of like positive feedback by being like, well, I'm no longer doing this other thing, but that's because I'm doing, you know, I'm no longer watching an hour of TV every night, but now I'm reading more.
And that really is the thing that makes me, you know, much happier at the end of my day every.
Riley: Yeah. And in. So much more doable than 12 months. Um, Because if you're halfway through and you're like, wow, this really stinks
Roni: Yeah. Oh, well I only have two weeks left.
Riley: have two weeks left, you don't have, you know, 11 [00:15:00] and a half months left.
Riley: Um, I really like the idea of scheduling it. I, when you said that, I was thinking about how I always ignore reminders on my phone.
Roni: Oh man. Me too.
Riley: I'll get a reminder and I ignore it. So adding it to my planner or to my Google calendar is a much for me that would work much better for me. The first of every month it's an alert that says, Hey, today you're going to this, this month you're focusing on more time with friends.
Riley: What are you gonna do about it? I'm gonna pay much more attention to that. So this is that idea again, of leaning into who you are, what works for you, and knowing what doesn't work for. We jumped kind of into the middle of some of my list of things, but one of the things that I had first was what went, what goes well for you normally, what went well for you last year?
And then kind of taking that idea and like self-reflecting to think, okay, I really enjoyed that aspect of last year. How can I do more of that this year? Or, [00:16:00] I ignore reminders on my phone literally every day, so stop using. Use a different method. , why are you fighting this thing that's not working for you?
And that does kind of play into tools or products that you need to, like, make your goals happen. But um, yeah, just what would, like, pondering it, self-reflecting, those are really important parts of starting a new year and your goals.
Roni: Totally. And I, I have that on my list too, is, you know, how can you reflect on the past year to help you set goals in the new year? And I think, uh, I'm a journaler. And so I think that if you're somebody who, um, either likes to journal or maybe even don't like to journal, but it's just, to me it's a really great way. Actually process your thoughts, because often I'll start, I'll sit down, so say I'm doing like a reflection and on the year and trying to figure out, you know, what should I focus on in the upcoming year. I might start and sit down and be like, okay, I literally don't remember what happened this [00:17:00] year. You know, and you're like, racking your brain to go through month after month, but like all of a sudden, you know, my hand will just be flying across the page because all of a sudden, like something will get triggered and I'll be like, oh yeah, this was like super fun.
Or, or, or even like, this was a, a negative thing and I don't want that, you know, I don't wanna redo that again next year. So I think that reflection is super important. Um, I personally don't know very many other tools aside from, you know, doing something like journaling. I don't know if you have any Riley, but that's mine.
That's my go.
Riley: well. Journaling is a really good one, and I, I find it valuable too. I'm not as naturally inclined to journal, but when I do it, I find a lot of value in it. A couple of ideas came to mind. One of them is they have journals that are like one line a day, like a five year, one line a day. And so December 12th, 2022, I could go to that day and I could see what I did the last three years or one year winning, depending on when I got it.
and those kinds of things can help jog your memory for like, what did I do? What was [00:18:00] bad? Like when were there bad days, when were there good days, to help you maybe guide, help guide you maybe in the, like, what do you wanna do next year? Um, because in it's one sentence for people who are maybe less inclined to journal a one sentence, like, here's.
here's what I did today. Here's, you know, like I had a great conversation with my grandma today. Okay? My resolutions to my grandma more, you know, , I love talking to her, whatever. But the other one that came to mind is accountability friends, for your goal. But the other thing I was thinking with that is you, if you have a close friend, Go to coffee with them and be like, Hey, I'm having trouble remembering what happened last year, when we talked on the phone or when we got together.
Like what did I, what was I excited about? What do you, what, what was like, what do you remember me talking to you about? What was I super negative this year. Okay. My goal is to be positive next year.
Riley: or you know, maybe I, something I did brought me a ton of joy and I told you about it and now you don't [00:19:00] forget that I told you that.
Cuz sometimes friends are really good at that of the looking into your life and thinking, wow, you loved that , you did really well when you were involved in that, or, Whatever . Um, but friends can just see your life a little differently than you can. Um, and it's a bit like journaling cuz if you're talking to a friend regularly, it's a bit like journaling.
You know, you're filling them in on your life, you're hearing about theirs. Um, and so maybe you could do that for each other. Just sit down and have a, like new year's coffee date, uh, and figure out, and from that conversation glean what you could do in the new year, or where the positives were that you could lean into.
Roni: I really like that idea. It actually makes me think I am a very forgetful person in a lot of ways, which is why I write everything down. But I have a, I have a couple friends who are, their minds are steel traps and, you know, I, we could be talking about March or something and be like, oh yeah, we went to X, Y, and Z and we did such and such.
And I'd be like, wow. I literally don't [00:20:00] remember that at all. So yeah, sometimes friends are really good resources cuz maybe they have a better memory than you.
Riley: No, I'm like you. I have I sometimes this is again where I use Google Calendar. I'll go back and see like, what were we doing?
Roni: Yeah, that's also a good idea.
Riley: I'll delete things from the calendar if they didn't happen and Luke's like we could have just left it, who cares? I'm like, yeah. But in a year when I look back to try to figure out what we were doing at this time last year, I remember that we didn't, I won't.
We'll look at that and think we did it cuz we didn't, you know, like that , um, that was a really weird sentence. We didn't do it, so I deleted it. Whatever.
Roni: I actually was recently reading this book that's called Story Worthy, um, and it's by a guy, I can't think of what his name is right now, but he's, um, do you know the podcast, the Moth? Have you heard of that before? Okay, so it's a pod, so it's, it's, it's a podcast. It started as like a live event, and now the podcast is like recorded live events.
Um, and so the, the Moth is a, they call it a story slam, and it's like where people come [00:21:00] to, , um, like a coffee shop that has like an open mic situation and, uh, like you put your name into a hat to potentially go up on stage and tell a story in front of the crowd of people. And so the guy who wrote the book is like his, like one of the, you know, top winning grand slam moth, grand slam storytellers.
So he's got the, the book is all about, you know, storytelling method essentially. Um, but one of his. Recommendations is to do what he calls homework for life, which is to, he does it just in like an Excel or like a Google spreadsheet. Um, you could probably do it in a planner or a, a journal instead. But he just, he essentially, at the end of every day, he thinks back on what was the, what happened today and what was one thing that could potentially make a.
And because, because his idea is that like every day is a story worthy day. Even if you felt like [00:22:00] it was a super boring day, or you know, nothing outta the ordinary happened, more than likely something happened. And so he just takes, he says like, don't write a whole lot about it. Just write two to three sentences at the most.
and then like if you do that every single day of your life, he's, he said that for him, it actually made time really slow down because he was actually able to go back and look at every single day of his life for, I think he's been doing it for like eight years or something. Like go back and look at every single day of the last year and think, oh yeah, that's what happened that day.
Or, oh yeah, I went and saw that friend or. . So that's a really cool idea. It's, it definitely takes some work. If you're interested in learning more, you should definitely read story worthy. Um, but, uh, I, I did try it for a little while and I kind of got off, got out of the habit of it. I put a reminder in my phone every night for 9:00 PM to do my homework and just started ignoring the notification
Riley: Okay, so
Roni: So I only.
Riley: reminders don't work for
Roni: Yeah, so I only did it for about a week, but I do really like that idea. [00:23:00] And it's, it's hard at, I feel like it's really hard at first, and he says that it's hard at first because you feel like your life isn't interesting enough to tell stories about. But then he said that he started having these revelations of like, like he wouldn't have remembered like these little things that like his wife said to him or like his kid did.
That all of a sudden ended up turning into these stories that he would tell on stage. So I guess that's just another idea to throw into the.
Riley: Yeah, I love that. . And I think the thing that came to mind when you were talking about it was just being more invested in your life.
Riley: I don't know, just writing down because I'm, I'm, you were saying this, I'm literally thinking through my day today and thinking what would've been worth a story
Roni: right. . It does. Yeah. It's an interesting introspective on your life For sure.
Riley: But I think that stories certainly get better over. , you know, and, and probably that's because things get embellished or things get deleted or, you know, like, and so stories evolve and they get more exciting, [00:24:00] maybe even less exciting as time goes on. I'm just thinking about stories. My husband and I will often tell like party kind of stories, like the funny stories are like, oh, he did in conversation and you tell this story, or whatever.
How interesting, like how much more I remember them. The more I tell them and the more that I like, they get funnier over time. And I dunno, it really feels like you're making a choice to invest in your own life, um, as being a story worth being told. So I really like that.
Roni: That's a good perspective. Yeah. Should we talk a little bit about meal planning as a New Year's resolution, or do you have other tips to.
Riley: I have some more generic tips, but we can certainly jump into planning meal.
Roni: Yeah. we're gonna talk about meal planning a little bit more in the new year as well, so, but we wanted to just give an overview of why you might choose meal planning as your New Year's resolution or goal, because we think it's a pretty fabulous choice.
Riley: Let's be real, like you can't be listening to the Plan to Eat podcast without us talking about meal planning, at least a little
Roni: [00:25:00] Yeah.
Riley: Hopefully you were expecting that when you
Roni: Hopefully you were looking forward to it.
Roni: You know, meal planning is really interesting because it's kind of like an umbrella like goal or resolution, right? Like it's one thing that actually contains a lot of little goals and resolutions underneath it. So your, your goal could be to meal plan more, which could result in you doing lots of other things.
Or your goal could be to do something else. And meal planning could kind of be part of that. Like, it could be one of your action steps. So like, if your goal was to save money, meal planning could be one of those action steps for a way to save. . But also if you have meal planning as your goal, you're probably gonna save money.
You're probably gonna save time, probably gonna spend more time with your family. Potentially you're gonna eat healthier foods and you're gonna end up being more organized and productive week to week. So meal planning really covers a lot of different things, but also, like I said, it could work in the reverse where, you know, like your goal could be be to be more organized and meal [00:26:00] planning is one of those actionable steps to take.
Riley: Absolutely. I think that that statement has become more apparent to me in the last year because of doing this podcast. Um, then in the entire seven years that I worked for Plan to Eat prior to that, Because you realize how these pieces start to fit together.
Riley: I wanna elaborate on the, all the things you said, just so people who maybe are new to meal planning can start to understand like why these things are connected at all.
Um, one of the things I was thinking is that, Planning your meals can help you have less stress overall in your life, which could be your goal in and of itself. So maybe you're starting to implement tools that can help you be less stressed, but it could also help you be less stressed so you can focus on other goals.
Riley: allows you to have more time. I think one of the things that you mentioned was time. Time with your family, time to do whatever you want, , you know? So why is that? That is because when you plan your meals, you don't [00:27:00] have to think, you don't use the brain space to think about what's for dinner.
You did that when you've planned your dinners or your breakfast or your lunches or whatever your planning cycle looks like. , you have a consolidated list. So when you go to the grocery store, you're buying what you need and you're in and out. You're not wandering the aisles unless you're at a new grocery store.
you're not wandering the aisles trying to find what you need. You have a list. You're not making it up as you go along. You know , which means you're gonna leave something at the store and then you're gonna have to go back because the key ingredient for the lemon chicken was the lemons, and you didn't get the lemons
what else? How else can it save you time When you go to have dinner that night, you just open up the recipe and you start cooking it. Maybe it was a crock pot meal and you started it at 8:00 AM and all you do is just get some bowls out, and you eat it for dinner. Um, so there's lots of ways it can help reduce time and stress.
Um, so let's unpack another one. Roni. Which one do you wanna unpack?
Roni: Well, we've already talked about saving money [00:28:00] a couple of times in here, but I, I do think that that's a really important one. I. Right now, like food costs are still increasing and you know, I know my grocery bill has increased without me even trying. And so, you know, saving money is really important. And I think probably aside from like my mortgage, I spend the most money at the grocery store out of every paycheck, you know, When we, uh, did a survey of our customers a few years ago, they said that, just by creating meal plan, nothing special about their meal plan.
It was just the fact that they created a meal plan, saved them an average of 23% on their grocery bill. So, , that's a pretty big savings. And it literally, I mean, it's for the exact same reason that you kind of were just stating is that you go to the grocery store, you have this consolidated list, and you're buying things that have a purpose.
So you're buying items that actually go with recipes instead of wandering around aisles and being like, what do we need for enchiladas? Um, maybe this and, or maybe that. Oh, also those Oreos look really good, so I'm gonna buy some of those.[00:29:00]
Riley: But you, maybe you already had, maybe you already had diced tomatoes at home.
Riley: or maybe you already had the chili powder, which is my, the bane of my existence is chili powder. End up with a bunch of those. So yeah, it's, it's the exact same thing.
It's like you didn't actually need to buy it. You could have saved $5 on buying that spice or not , because you, but you knew you had it or you didn't know you had it because you were winging it in the store.
Roni: Totally. Yeah. The, the winging it in the store situation can lead to a lot of problems.
Riley: Absolutely. I, we don't, we are not anti takeout. I am a huge fan , but I think that that's part of planning too, and budgeting for sure. Um, you can't eat out takeout every night unless you've budgeted for it. I mean, maybe you can, maybe you're in that position that you can, I don't wanna just make a huge assumption, but I personally cannot eat takeout every night.
Without having planned for that, because then my grocery budget, food budget for the month is totally blown. And so planning even for that and saying, okay, Thursday night we're gonna go out and have dinner somewhere because we're already gonna be in [00:30:00] town for this, this, and this. But the other three to four nights that I'm planning that week, I planned for and I bought the ingredients that I needed.
One thing about plan to eat is that the shopping list shows you exactly how much you need to buy of anything. And so you're not buying more than you need, which means you're wasting less, but you're also saving money at the grocery store.
Roni: Yeah. Because instead of gonna the grocery store and being like, how many lemons did I need for that lemon chicken? I guess I'll just buy like six to cover my bases . And you really only needed two. And not that lemons are that expensive, but over the course of your entire shopping trip, you know, things like that.
And buying the wrong qu, wrong quantities of items really adds up.
Riley: Yeah, it really does. And because we use little piddly examples like lemons all the time. yeah, over the course of a whole month of groceries, that could be $20, $50
Riley: um, depending on all the things that you did that with. Um, and then if you're, if you are wasting that food because you're not actually cooking it, then that's wasting money too.
And you take your [00:31:00] grocery budget and you just put it in the trash can. , um, yeah. So yeah, saving money at the grocery store and meal planning, they go hand in.
Roni: Absolutely. Yeah. So then if we're thinking about being more organized or more productive, this goes along the lines a little bit too, of feeling more stressed. You know, when you actually make a plan and you are planning ahead for the things that happen in your life, you know, not just with meal planning, but you know, with a.
With an app, with a planner or a calendar, it just leads to a lot less mental fatigue and a lot less decision fatigue. And that correlates with being more organized. You know, when you're, when you don't feel like you're constantly trying to remember everything and pick up all of the pieces every second of the day, you're able to just kind of, You know, like relax a little bit more things in your life go a little bit smoother.
And it's not like, oh my gosh, I'm frantic and you know, my house is a wreck because I can't remember all the things that I have to do and I didn't have time to vacuum before I had to go to the grocery store or remember all these things. [00:32:00] life adds up real quick. . And so planning, planning ahead just makes that so much more simple and just really relieves a lot of those, mental to-dos and worry.
Riley: One thing that I've taken up doing recently is, um, and I think I've done this, I do this periodically, but right now I'm in a really big phase of it. Whereas if something sounds good to eat, I plan it. If I've already planned this week, I plan it next week. If I've already planned next week, I plan it the next week.
and I'm actually like not even sitting down the plan because I'll just pick up my app and quickly schedule something or add it to my account immediately cuz I saw a recipe on Instagram or Facebook that looked good. And then I've actually ended up planning like three weeks from now. , but, but not even by thinking about it more, just being inspired and thinking, oh, that sounded good and that workload has just gone off my plate, which is huge and I didn't have to sit down.
But it's kinda just like adding that in of like, oh, I thought about it, so I'm just gonna do it really quick cuz it takes, you know, 30 seconds or less, [00:33:00] um, to do something like that. And that organization piece, like I'm getting myself organized by barely even thinking about it.
Roni: Right. That's a great tip. I, I have actually found myself doing that more recently too. Like, we went out to eat the other day and, uh, I didn't get a Ruben, but like I saw the Ruben on the menu and I was like, oh yeah, I'm gonna add that to my meal plan.
Riley: Yeah, I recently got an air fryer and I know I'm light to the game, but that has been very inspiring to me too, cuz I'll look up air fryer recipes and then I can't plan 'em all in one week, you know, . So I start spreading 'em out over the next couple of days and it's really helpful.
Roni: Yeah. Okay. So a final thing that we love about meal planning is that it helps you spend more time with your people. Hopefully your family or your friends, the people in your community who you care about. . Maybe part of this seems like, okay, that's a long shot that meal planning is gonna like actually help me spend more time with my family.
But if your goal is to spend more time with your family, meal planning really does help you with that [00:34:00] because food is a great connection point and. Sitting around a meal is just a great time to be able to spend time with the people that you love and having a plan for that meal. Make sure that that meal happens a lot easier, rather than doing this frantic thing at five o'clock trying to find ingredients.
And then, you know, maybe you're frustrated and you don't actually wanna spend time with your family anymore that night.
Riley: Yeah, that's the scenario I was picturing in my mind is just. Whoever's cooking a mom or a dad. You know, if there's other people living at your home, if you have children, um, and you go and it's like time to eat dinner and everyone's hungry, and then you're having to dole out snacks because peop because you don't know and or you're behind schedule and you have to come up with something and, and then the things taking longer because you didn't plan for it well, and whatever it is.
And then by the time you're ready to eat dinner, everyone's just scarfing it down to be done because other things need to happen that in the evening, you know, , cuz kids are on, most of 'em are on schedules. [00:35:00] Or maybe you're on a schedule, maybe you gotta have after dinner meeting somewhere, uh, like an extracurricular activity that you have.
All of that is so stressful, , um, which takes away from the enjoyment of being with your people. We've talked to several people on the podcast. Who are huge into eating with their families and having conversations over dinner. Um, and I think it's something we've really lost. And if we can kind of get the cooking part and the what we're having part taken care of, which is what Plan to Eat does, the rest of it can just be enjoyment and just sitting together, having nice food and talking, and who honestly at that point, who cares about the food?
You get to spend time with people you love. but most of it have to eat. So
Roni: yeah. And it also doesn't have to be something that happens every single night of your life. Like that's not the, that's not the expectation that anybody has. But when you do, when you go through the process of planning ahead and you look at your schedule, you can decide, okay, well, you know, Friday night looks like a great night to be able to have a family dinner together because we don't have other things going on.[00:36:00]
So we can, you know, focus on making a nice meal and then we can all sit around and eat it together. Whereas maybe if you wouldn't have planned ahead that night would come around and it would just. . Yeah, whatever. Let's just all go through the drive through on our way home from school or something, you know?
Riley: Yeah. I mean, leftovers can also be a wonderful time together with your family. Um, Pizza ordering pizza. Like maybe you plan for that and then if that makes the spending time with your people better or more enjoyable, then do it.
Roni: I got nothing against pizza. We used to have Friday night pizza night when I was a kid and it was the best number one. Okay. My mom would make homemade pizza dough and then we all gotta make our own pizza, which keeps everybody in the house happy. Right? And it was so fun and their memories that I have, because it was a fun time, like everybody was in the kitchen doing, you know, making their individual pizzas together.
And then we were also able to sit around and eat the pizza together. So overall it was really fun. So I love a Friday night pizza.[00:37:00]
Riley: Yeah. I think that these tips are just that we want The what you're eating and the cooking time and the, the stress that can come with meals, um, to be taken care of for you so that you can eat together as a family or so you can do what you want to as a family or spend time maybe reaching other goals you have. but if that part is taken care of, it really helps.
Roni: Couldn't agree more.
Riley: One that we didn't talk about very much was eating healthier.
Riley: Yeah. And I wanna mention it really quick cuz that's a really big New Year's resolution for people.
Riley: If you're not planning what you're eating, the chances are it's gonna be hard to stick to the goals you have. Maybe you don't have the things you need at home because you didn't shop for them.
Uh, maybe, maybe you're hungry. And the easier thing is what comes, takes precedence. And so I know that that's another big statistic that. we're impressed by when we surveyed our audience, um, is that just by meal planning, people were able [00:38:00] to stick to their weight loss goals or stick to their health related food change goals.
But it just makes sense because you are getting to make those choices in advance when you are in a good head space. You know, here's what we're planning, here's what we're eating, cuz this is gonna help us achieve whatever our goals are.
And then when you go to actually eat the dinner, it's, you know, you already bought it. you already can make, you know, you can make it. Um, there's no winging it in that kind of situation. And then I think hand in hand with that and with budgeting is the wasting less. Um, if you're planning for the healthier meals and you're actually cooking them, you're not wasting them.
Uh, it all, it all goes together.
Roni: I mean, I think related to eating healthier food too, the new year is a really popular time for people to cut out certain foods, you know, from their diet or, you know, change their style of eating. And so, , the great part about plan to eat is that you can add a whole bunch of recipes that fit that style of eating.
You know, there was a, during one of my month long, uh, goals last [00:39:00] year that I did in the beginning of the year, you know, like my husband and I did Paleo for a month, and if I wouldn't have meal planned for Paleo recipes, it definitely wouldn't have happened because number one, I don't always remember what are the things that are Paleo compliant. but I didn't have to think about it because I, I already had the recipes on my meal plan, and so then I just was able to go to the grocery store, buy the things that were on my list, and I didn't really have to analyze is this, is this a thing that's okay? Is this thing that it's not okay? I think a lot of people do like the whole 30 thing in the new year.
And so if you're, if you're on one of those, you know, specific ti specific style of eating, changes, you know, importing recipes that correspond with that style of eating. It's so hugely helpful to be able to stick with it and. takes a lot of the brain drain out of like, you know, it's hard, it's hard enough to change the way that you're eating, particularly if it's a drastic change.
But then there's [00:40:00] also the mental aspect of it, of this thing of like, I don't know what to cook, or I don't know what I'm supposed to be eating, or how does anybody eat a snack when they're not eating chips, you know, . It's, I think that part is super helpful and, and I just, I actually am not sure how you would do it without planning ahead
Riley: Really, and I think that that is probably, uh, the answer to why a lot of people have trouble sticking to those kinds of things. You can get on board with, this is what I can have, this is what I have on hand. You're not getting hangry, you're not choosing other things. And then that starts your habit or your diet change.
Or maybe you just got diagnosed with the, Hey, you don't need to eat this anymore. if you, whatever that is, if you can start on the right foot, you know of I've got the snacks, I've got the meals. That is a huge stress reliever, and taking out stress helps you reach your.
Roni: Absolutely. Yeah, it does. All right, well I think we can wrap up today's episode. Next week [00:41:00] we are gonna be back talking about a 2022 recap with Plan to Eat, and we hope you guys will join us for that. , but Riley, why don't you talk about a recipe that you had recently that you loved,
Riley: so I recently got this air fryer and uh, I think that, I know I'm so late to the game with the air fryer, but I get the hype. It is impressive how fast things cook inside of it. And how good they are. I made some, um, like teriyaki chicken skewers. Um, and so while those were cooking for like 13 minutes or something in the air fryer, , um, I did the like teriyaki noodles and veggies and sauteed that all up and then just put the chicken in it.
Uh, it was, it made the meal so fast
Riley: it was really juicy. And it was delicious. Yeah, it was great.
Roni: was the chicken like crispy then, like crunchy, or how did, how does it come out? Because I don't have an air fryer yet. So how does it come out when it comes out?
Riley: So this chicken wasn't breaded, so it didn't have any kind of like crunch on it. Um, but it came out with that kind of like [00:42:00] nice, like a little bit of crisp, like a little bit of like well cooked outside that I kind of like, you know? And the inside was really tender and juicy. It was great.
I mean, I think one of the things about it is it's just hands off. You know, you put it in there, you said it, and it just does its thing, which is pretty impressive. I, I, I've been really impressed with it, so I get the hype. what about you, Roni? What's something you've eaten?
Roni: Well, I, the recipe that I'm gonna talk about is one that I saved from your plan to eat account, and when I told you about it, you told me that your brother was the one who introduced you to that recipe. So, Brian, if you're listening, shout out to you for this amazing recipe. It's called N Y c Halal Cart Chicken and Rice, and it's a really simple recipe.
It's just, um, I use chicken thighs. I don't remember if the recipe called for a thick chicken thighs or breast, but I had thighs. And you marinate 'em in like a really yummy, like halal spice, marinade that has Greek yogurt in it. And. Something else, maybe lemon [00:43:00] juice. I don't remember what the acid is that's in the, um, the marinade, but so I'm, I actually went through the process of marinating it overnight, which is sometimes doesn't always happen.
And, but that really elevated the chicken, like that made the chicken so flavorful and tasty. And then you just, you make rice, but you make the rice with like spices and stuff in the rice. So while the rice is cooking, it like absorbs all those flavors. And I really need to do that more often because it made the rice so flavorful and d.
It was a really simple recipe. It's now, um, like on repeat on my meal plan cause it's so good. And my husband was very impressed by it. So always love that. So that's gonna be in the Plan to Eat podcast account and everybody should go and try it.
Riley: Yeah, that's a great one. When you text me about it, I was like, oh man, that is so good. And you know, honestly, forgetting about really great recipes is one of my toxic traits. or something. I dunno. But I started a folder in implant in my, uh, recipe book, that is, [00:44:00] Well, it's a course I've named a renamed a course Favorites or like Recipes we love.
Recipes We Love is what it's called. And I'll just add 'em into there. And it's a conglomeration of desserts and appetizers and breakfast and dinner, but then they're all in one spot. You could also use tags for that, but I had forgotten about that recipe, so it's on my meal plan also. I can't wait to try it again cuz it is really.
Roni: Okay. Well thank you guys for listening to another episode. You can find all the recipes that we talked about. You can find the recipes we talked about today, and any other recipes at plantoeat.com/PTEPOD. Uh, that'll take you a landing page where you can connect with our podcast account and plan to eat and find all the yummy recipes we talk about and, you know, subscribe to our podcast.