The Plan to Eat Podcast

#49: How to Keep Your Goals and Resolutions Going

February 01, 2023 Plan to Eat Season 1 Episode 49
The Plan to Eat Podcast
#49: How to Keep Your Goals and Resolutions Going
Show Notes Transcript

It's February and if your goals or New Year's Resolutions have already started to slide, we have some tips to help you get back on track! From scheduling reminders to breaking your goal into bite-sized pieces, tune in for how Riley and Roni motivate themselves for habit change. And if meal planning was your 2023 goal, we give you some tips on how to keep going, including hacks in Plan to Eat. Enjoy!

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Classic Reuben Sandwich

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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.

Riley: Hello and welcome to The Plenty Podcast. Uh, today we are gonna talk about getting back on track with our New Year's resolutions.

Roni: It's February, which means if you are like most people, you may have fallen off off the wagon with whatever your goal or resolution or new habit change was supposed to be in 2023. So don't feel bad if you fall into that category. I'm pretty sure it's like 98% of the population

Riley: Yeah, I bet Google has a statistic. I'm gonna

Roni: Google it.

Riley: All right. Thanks Google. Um, okay. 41% of Americans who make a New Year's resolution, oh, only 40% of Americans make a New Year's resolution. I didn't [00:01:00] realize that. Only 9% are successful.

Roni: Okay. 

Riley: All right. 

Roni: my, my number was a little exaggerated, but even.

Riley: So I, you know, when we talked about this back in December, we kept it very generic because you are not even a resolutions person. I'm not really a resolutions person either. I, I'll try to make, you know, I'll, I'll like say, Hey, I'm gonna try to, you know, this is my goal. Here are some things I wanna work towards.

Um, . But I would say it's not like a whole like resolution, like I'm gonna do this and change everything about myself, , which I think can be what sometimes like happens with resolutions. And so I think for our listeners, considering that only about 41% of the population even makes resolutions, maybe people didn't even make 'em.

So use what we're gonna talk about today and what we talked about back in December, for when you change a, have a goal or have a new thing you wanna do, because it happens all year to everybody, right? Where you're like, oh, wow, I've really fallen off the bandwagon. I'm drinking water, start drinking some more water.

[00:02:00] So I guess let's just jump in. Roni, why don't you start? How can people get back on track, uh, with their goals or resolutions.

Roni: I think really the first place to start is to kind of analyze whatever your goal or your resolution was. One of the things that we talked about in December. Riley, I think Riley mentioned it, um, is breaking your goal down into like kinda like bite size pieces so that you can attain these small pieces that kind of lead you to your big goal.

So one of the things that I would think that would be be important to look at is to look at whatever your goal was, look at how you've broken it down. And think, is it still too big? Like if you've already, at this point, if you've already fallen off the wagon with whatever you're, you were attempting to do, there has to be a reason for like, what was the reason that you didn't actually make this happen?

And part of that could be it's still too big. Even your bite size chunks are potentially too big. And one of the ways that I think is helpful to look at it is, How can you [00:03:00] redefine your expectations for the goal on a week-to-week basis, or even a day-to-day basis? So kind of like depending on what your goal is, if your goal is to drink more water, well day-to-day, how can you achieve that better If your goal is to exercise more well on a week to week basis, like how many workouts do you wanna get in this week? You know, is it, you know, realistically looking at your schedule, looking at your life? Can you fit in two workouts this week? Well, that's certainly better than zero. And so that is helping you achieve your goal of, you know, being somebody who is a, you know, an exerciser or whatever. so I think that that's the, really, the first place to start is kind of analyze your goal. Um, look at how you've broken it down and think, is there a way that I can actually make this a little bit simpler for myself?

Riley: Yeah, I mean the, the thing that, that all of that makes me think of is couch to 5K programs.

Roni: Hmm.

Riley: You look at a couch to 5K and it's like the first day, the first week you're running a mile. You, you're not, or you're not even running a mile, you're running, uh, like a maybe a minute on, a minute off, a minute on a minute off until you reach a [00:04:00] mile, something very bite size.

So I think that using that same mentality for whatever your goal is and just. I think the problem with resolutions is that we put this huge expectation on ourselves to radically transform instead of doing the bite size thing to actually get to the goal. Um, which I think is why it's more disappointing when we failed by February because like, well, I didn't change everything , I didn't completely revolutionize, you know, I'm not working out every single day or five times a week.

I'm not weightlifting Well, okay, but were you weightlifting before, were you weightlifting in December at all? Like, you probably should. If you're trying, if your goal is to weightlift five times a week, you probably need to start with once a week, um, and kind of build to that point your body needs that, your schedule probably needs that as you get more comfortable with it as you build a new habit.

And this can be applied to everything. But yeah, so kind of like reframing it, going back to the basics and just trying again, I think is really important. And not just jumping off the whole thing and, and quitting [00:05:00] altogether at this.

Roni: Yeah, I think it's really easy for a lot of people to label themselves as an all or nothing kind of a person. But I'm just kinda kind of be like, Tough love right now. If you identify as an all or nothing kind of a person, don't let that identity be an excuse for, for either like the reason that you fell off the wagon or for the reason that you can't get back on the wagon because you don't have the time or you don't have the energy or you don't have the resources to commit fully to something. it something that's easier to do, make it something that's moderation rather than, I'm gonna do this seven days a week, or I'm doing it zero days a week. It's better to have part of something than to have all of nothing.

Riley: Mm-hmm. . Yeah. I love that. I'm thinking about what other pe, like what other goals, goals are so unique to people. Um, and so Ronnie and I, we can't even, we can't even think about all the resolutions that, or goals you might have for this year. Um, they're very personal to you, but [00:06:00] maybe, oh, maybe your goal is spending more time with friends.

Well, that goal requires that two people are involved in it, you know, not just you. Um, maybe it's spending more time with family. It's another, another goal that requires more people's action than your own. you can certainly be the catalyst that tries to make it happen. but I would just say like, is have you improved at all?

look at that as a win. Uh, and then just try to keep improving. And also understand that, uh, life gets a little crazy and sometimes things ebb and flow. And so like, maybe this is your month where you can see friends once a week or, I don't know, two times a month, depending on what your life looks like.

Um, maybe it's you get one big family, get together. Like that's your win. Put your effort into that one thing. I think that you and I gave this encouragement back in December, but. , it's just proactively working towards things. You know? It doesn't have to be this all or nothing kind of approach. And I'm guilty of that too, of being, well I didn't learn how to play the guitar so I can never learn how to play it instead of, well, I [00:07:00] could practice every day for a year, or twice a week for a year if that's too much, you know, and just kind of ebbing and flowing, um, with the season of life you're in and with what your goal is and just.

you know, it's easy to bite off more than you can choose. So, um, how can you, how can you do this more a, uh, you know, like adequately with your life, I guess is a, a good time to do that in February? Okay, , it didn't go so well. So what can I do differently to try to improve upon this, this resolution or goal?

Roni: right. Well, one of the things that you mentioned in there too, you know, talking about like the, the little wins and stuff brings me to another point is that, You know, I think one of the ways to help yourself stick to your goal is to, you know, actually take time to review your, like this idea of like analyzing your goal, but also taking time to track your progress.

I am personally somebody who really loves to, you know, see like gold stars on my calendar or something, you know, or like, you know, X off on X's on my calendar for the days that I did something. and it can be easy to fall [00:08:00] into the mindset of like, oh, I have a seven day streak going in. I can't break the streak.

It doesn't have to necessarily be that way. I know that that feels good for a lot of peoples to like have a streak, but, okay, let me see if I can explain this in a way that makes sense, but really so it. The way that I look at it is that, you know, the, the goal needs to be broken down into either like a day by day basis or a week by week basis, so that way at the end of every week or the end of every day, you have a win to celebrate.

But also when you expand that and look at the entire month as a whole, you can say, holy cow, I actually did that thing, you know, 14 days this month, which is really good.

Riley: Yeah.

Roni: there's, there's like the micro aspect of it and also like the macro as aspect of it, you know, where like you can look at it both ways and it's like, you know, days add up to weeks and weeks add up to months and months add up to the entire year if your goal is to do something over the entire year.

So, I think that tracking is really important, whether it's on a calendar, whether you [00:09:00] have, you know, an app on your phone. , one of my next points is to talk about like having resources that will help you recommit to your goal. And one of those things could be some resource that helps you track, like I said, whether it's a calendar planner, an app, if your goal is related to something like fitness related, you can buy fitness trackers that'll help you keep track of that stuff.

Um, I'm sure those exist for all sorts of goals as well. You know, reading, reading goals, there's apps for tracking your reading goals, all those kinds of.

Riley: Yeah, I, I love that. And this, it does remind me of something else we talked about in December, and if you did not listen to that episode, I highly recommend that you go back and listen to it. Taking the time to find something to help you get back on track. , you know, um, it's so easy for me to not even think about those kinds of. but using an app like Plan to Eat for your meal planning, if your goal is meal planning, perfect , use that tool. If your goal is budgeting, find a budgeting app. I think that when we try to do things or like take these things on essentially by [00:10:00] ourselves.

We're more likely to fail because we don't have something to assist us. And I'm not, I'm not talking about people to assist us because, you know, we're not even talking about friends or, uh, accountability partners or fitness. Like if you hired a trainer or, um, if you hired a nutritionist or. , um, you know, whatever else it might be.

Or if you're doing something with your spouse, like, um, there's so many things that you could use friends for, but these are things that are not even related to a person. You know, it's download an app. It's, if you don't have like the budget to hire a trainer or do or buy a fitness app, well YouTube best free workouts all over the place, use that YouTube's free

And so kind of using the tool. as that spark of like, okay, this is gonna get me back on track. And uh, and that'll help me track wins, which helps me track progress, uh, and wins. Help us keep going. So, yeah.

Roni: exactly. That's, that's the key thing right there is wins help you keep going, and when you're tracking your wins, you're ab you're able to, , [00:11:00] uh, have a record of that rather than feeling like, well, today I messed up. Well, that's okay cuz yesterday, because yesterday you did what you wanted to do, you know, and so being able to keep track of those wins keeps the progress moving forward.

Riley: Yeah, I mean, I just, what is motivating to you? I lean into and think about what is a is a win to you? Like I'm a big fan of, of writing it on my calendar of putting a gold star or. You know, so I'll buy a sticker pack that's, um, , that's like something that means that I worked out or I drank water or whatever.

I like to see those getting to stick it on my day and be like, oh, I did that. Like, to me, that maybe sounds silly to people. But that to me is like part of helping me feel like I'm reaching my goals in those little tiny wins are really big deals to me. Um, if I'm trying. Do something really specific with my budget.

Maybe there's like a fun money section of your budget and when that gets to a certain amount, you can spend a percentage of it or whatever. You know, maybe you've [00:12:00] set aside, you set aside a dollar here and there and when it builds up to, I don't know, you can buy whatever you want. I think Rosemarie, she was a great person to talk about this because she was so motivated by wins.

and so like little like do these little things and think about what motivates you and then try to get to that win.

Roni: Yeah. I'm like you. I a couple years ago, so every November. There is a, a, like a challenge, a program that happens called National Novel Writing Month, and the goal for the whole month is to write 50,000 words in a novel in, you know, your own novel. Throughout, just during one month. So I think the, like in order to do that, like the goal is to each day write, I think it's like roughly 1600 words, 1,684 or something like that.

Words every single day. It's like if you do that every single day, it. , you know, cumulative, you give 50,000 words at the end of the month. Obviously, some people, you know, spend one [00:13:00] day writing 50 words. The next day they write 5,000 words, like people can be all over the place. But so one year, I've done it multiple years, and one year I did it, I bought a sticker pack that was like these little typewriter stickers.

And so every day that I reached my, you know, 1600 word count goal, I was able to put a little typewriter sticker on my calendar. And it was so, I don't know what it is about that, but that felt so rewarding to just have like a visual of, okay, I reached my goal today. Will I be able to reach it tomorrow will be I be able to put that cute little sticker on my calendar tomorrow.

maybe that's not for everybody, but you and I are similar in that regard.

Riley: totally, I, I wonder if this is personality based because, like for me, even just crossing off everything on my to-do list feels good and that feels like a win. 

Roni: That feels great. 

Riley: For people listening, maybe their, uh, what constitutes a win? is greater than. Um, but again, I think it's knowing yourself and [00:14:00] knowing what motivates you, and working towards whatever that is.

You know, I have a free app on my phone that reminds me to drink water. Um, and if I actually track the water, then this little person fills up with water. And so at the end of the day, the whole person is blue. I like it. I don't do it every day, I'm gonna be honest, but when I do, I get excited about it.

Oh, my little person, I drink all my water. I drink what I should have drank. Just finding the things that speak to you and that are also, like, these are things that are almost free that we're talking about. We're not talking about, um, your, maybe your awards cost money, but like very, you know, stickers are pretty low cost, you know, like drawing a little heart on your planner to signify that you did something that was reaching your goal on your planner.

That's essentially free. Um, and so finding those little wins I, I think is really unique to everybody. But you know, you have to find what's right for

Roni: these are our ideas, at


Riley: Yeah. Buy a new water bottle. Maybe that costs money, [00:15:00] but buy a new water bottle. Does that motivate you to drink more water? ? It does me.

Roni: Okay. So something that we talked about, um, in our episode in December as well is how sometimes when you set a goal, you might just forget, this happened to me in 2022. Originally I was going to set a new goal for every month, whether it was, you know, taking something away, adding something to my life, whatever.

Uh, and I think I only did it for about three months before I kind of forgot. And I was like, we got to the end of the year and was like, oh yeah, I was gonna be doing a different goal every month, whoopsies. So if you're like me and you're forgetful, um, a really good thing to do is just create reminders, whether that's a reminder in your phone.

Riley and I have admitted that the reminders on our phone do not help us. We ignore those. So if you're like us, pick a different option. Um, , I am, I would say I'm a little more motivated by adding it to either my physical planner or like my Google calendar. Um, so that I would get a [00:16:00] reminder, in my Google calendar for that.

But I think having reminder. , even if your goal is a goal that's g try, like you're trying to have a goal that spans the entire year. Like you're, you know, trying to save extra money every month and you have a specific monetary goal you wanna reach. You know, just having a reminder of the very first day of the month that tells you, Hey, focus on, is focus on saving money this month is going to help you remember that.

That's something you're supposed to focus on. So that way you don't go three whole months and be like, oh yeah, I forgot I was supposed to be focusing. You know, saving more money and I just haven't even been doing it cuz I completely forgot. minds are not perfect , we will not ever remember everything that we need to do that we're trying to do.

And so relying on other resources to, help us recommit to things, I think is a really important part of this process as well.

Riley: I do wish that we could talk to somebody. Uh, you and I are very similar in this way. [00:17:00] Um, I go, I go in advance in my planner and put things like, remember to ask Roni about blank. Like, cuz I don't need to ask you today, but I'll need to ask you in two weeks. You know? Um, and so these little reminders, they work really well for me.

because I've put it as a to-do item in the future. Uh, and then I don't have to waste the brain space thinking about it, or, oh no, I'm gonna forget. I should just ask her now. Well, no, you don't need to ask her now. You need to wait because it's not the right time, you know, whatever the thing might be. Um, but this is where I wish that we maybe could find out from somebody else what kind of things works for them, because, uh, because you and I, you know, have that same mindset about things that, um, I'm having trouble thinking about what somebody else might do.

Can you think of something that, uh, maybe is useful for your, for, for your husband? Like, what would he do to help stick to a resolution?

Roni: I'm really not. I think this could be a fun opportunity. Maybe later in the year we will do, um, you know, like customer [00:18:00] input on how they, on maybe on how they stick to goals. Um, we did that last year. We did, a two-part podcast series on customer meal planning tips. So, you know, maybe a little later this year we'll send out an email and ask for all of your tips on, you know, how you stick to goals, how you stick to habits, those kinds of things so that we can share different perspective.

Um, , that could be something fun to do.

Riley: Yeah, I mean, one of the things that I, again, it's like these visual reminders, kind of like in your planner, but maybe printing out your meal plan for the week, um, is that reminder of, oh, it's here, but then I need to do it too. Maybe that kinda is like a, like printing something and putting it on a fridge or, um, maybe it's a sticky note on your mirror, in your bathroom.

I dunno, those kinds of things. It's kinda like when your car tells you need an oil change or you have that sticker in the top of your window that says when you get to this many miles, um, these visual reminders are so good for me. but the, like, what other wins I, I think would be really great to hear from people.

Like what wins? Really help [00:19:00] motivate them. Yeah.

Roni: I mean, I guess another thing is that you, okay, so I mean, this is getting a little bit back into the, you know, what tools and resources you could use, but potentially if you're going after a goal, um, and you have an accountability friend, that person could also text you and be like, Hey, how you doing on your goal?

you know, I mean that put, that does kind of put the onus of that onto somebody else a little bit. But if you have somebody who, you know, either you guys are committing to the same goal or for whatever reason, they're very interested, they're very invested in you, reaching this goal. maybe they're just your B fff and they really want you to succeed.

You know, that could also be another thing. And then if you're somebody who. is motivated by other people, you know, that could also really help. You know, last year I read this book that's called Better Than Before by Gretchen Rubin. She also has another book called The Four Tendencies, and they're, both of those books are related to what, what are the things that motivate you to [00:20:00] take action in your life?

And so the four tendencies are basically like her evaluation of the four different personality. and one of them are people who are called Obligers and obligers require outside. Outside influence in order to really take action on things in their life. And so if you're one of those people, if you're somebody who's like, yeah, I don't ever go to the gym unless my workout buddy is going with me, then you probably need to find an area in your life where you can, you know, have somebody help you.

Stick to some of the things that you're trying to stick to, um, because it's really gonna be the thing that'll probably motivate you and help you take action. 

Riley: Yeah, I love that. That makes me wanna go read that book.

Roni: it's really good. The, the, I haven't read The Four Tendencies, but Better Than Before, is an excellent book and I highly recommend it.

Riley: I love that and that makes me wanna go read that book. Uh, and I've heard you talk about it before, so I definitely should just go read it.

Um, but it makes me think about some goals that people might have, like [00:21:00] signing up for a marathon, but not being prepared to run it, you know? And then that, that is that motivating thing. It's not necessarily a person, but a commitment that you've made, um, to do that kind of thing. Um, but often progress.

uh, toward like progress gives us those wins, towards our goals. So unfortunately, sometimes actually just doing them

Roni: Oh yeah. Well, yeah. You need that like 


You know, You need that. You need that hard deadline of like, well, I'm running a marathon on June 13th. I better start running

Riley: Yes. Yeah.

Roni: All right, so. as we talked about, uh, last time when we talked about goals and resolutions. If you chose meal planning as the thing that you wanted to do in 2023 and you've fallen off the wagon a little bit, we wanna give you a few tips so that you can continue meal planning and hopefully, implement meal planning into your life so that it'll be a habit that you do all of the.

Riley: my first tip for this would be start small. Um, and I, [00:22:00] you know, I feel a bit like a broken record. I say that all the time. But plan two dinners, see how it goes. Just planning a little bit at a time. And if your goal is to plan, you know, every single week out and all the details of that, I still recommend starting small.

I, if you're not. actively doing this. It's a totally new thing, you know, so how can you, um, just ease into it? Maybe you get into the grocery store and get really sidetracked. , uh, from your meal plan because you see things in the store and you think, oh, that sounds so much better than what I planned. Well, how can you resolve that?

Grocery pickup, grocery delivery, uh, having your spouse go and pick up if, if that's an option for you, maybe an older sibling, like a, not an older sibling, but like an older child, go do the grocery shopping for you. to help you stick to the meal plan you made. Uh, because I know for me, calling an audible at the last minute means that I [00:23:00] always spend more money, um, because it's hard to, it's hard to like stick to the plan, but then veer off a little bit and then I'm buying more than I need, or maybe not what I needed for the other thing that looked so good.

So start small, uh, and then try to figure out where your roadblocks are. If you get into the store and get distracted, well then resolve that. Don't go inside the store

Roni: Yeah, I would say related to that keep your meal plan simple. Or also to, you know, plan recipes that are 30 minutes or less. You know, if you're having a hard time sticking to even a simple meal, even a, you know, a small meal plan that you made, plan recipes that are quick and easy to prepare.

Uh, also plan recipes that you're familiar with so that way when you make 'em, they're just like on autopilot and you don't have to be, you know, thinking about if you like where all the ingredients are or how you're supposed to saute this one thing and blanche this other thing or whatever. It's just a recipe you know how to do.

You get the ingredients together, you do the steps, and it's done.[00:24:00] And then I think also, you know, planning around the, the items that you have at home already, is also a really, that's thing, that's something that can help you create your meal plan is going into your cupboards, going into your refrigerator, looking what do I already have that's, you know, giving me some inspiration for what I could put on a meal plan.

You have, pasta noodles and pasta sauce. Cool. What kind of pasta you gonna make?

Riley: I love that tip. Because I think it's very easy with any kind of resolution, um, is to go in it with this mindset of like, I'm gonna go big. It's, it's kind of like that idea earlier that we talked about, about, um, maybe your goal is weightlifting five times a week. Okay. If you are not weightlifting and you weightlift five times in one week, you will not be able to walk.

You know, you're gonna be in so much, you're so sore. Right? So this kind of the same concept applies here of. what's familiar, what's simple to make. Don't go in and think you're gonna make a five course dinner for your family at five o'clock one night, [00:25:00] um, because you won't stick to that. I, I can feel like I can say that with confidence.

I, I really love that tip. That's a great one, Roni.

Roni: Yeah, I think that, you know, because potentially a part of your goal related to cooking and meal planning is that you wanna learn new recipes or you wanna become a better home chef. Well, I still think you can keep your meal plan simple and just put some of those like. Fussier more complicated recipes onto a day that's less busy or maybe onto the weekend.

So like you can still, you can do both things. You can achieve your goal of learning new recipes, becoming a better home cook, you know, learning new methods, um, while also still feeding your family every night in a really uncomplicated way.

Riley: Yeah, it makes me think about what I do around the holidays. So Thanksgiving week, I know on Thursday that week, or maybe Wednesday, depending, that I'm gonna be cooking a lot of things. I've got a lot to make. I've got a lot of, it's a lot of cooking effort. Um, so my other meals that I plan that week are [00:26:00] so simple.

They're very low maintenance. They're very, so that kind of same idea of if you plan something that week that is really complicated to make, make sure the rest of your week is not too difficult. So you have the energy going into that homemade ravioli night, , it takes five hours or whatever. That homemade ravioli night, we've got the energy and maybe that sounds silly, but, You know, we talked to Erin Lowell of YAB last year, and she talks about all these different levers in your life, emotional, financial, um, I can't think of the rest of 'em off the top of my head,

Roni: Convenience was

Riley: Convenience. Yeah. Um, and what lever are you pulling at any given time? And so if you have a really busy week, don't overdo it. Plan some simple stuff. Sure. If you know you're gonna make on Saturday night, you're gonna make this amazing, fancy, homemade ravioli plan. Super simple stuff the rest of the week.

Um, just especially as you're easing into a new habit, just try to simplify it how you can.

Roni: Yeah. And then going [00:27:00] back to, uh, we talked a little bit, you know, about scheduling things, um, so that you don't forget your habits. I think you can also use meal planning that way you can, you can schedule your meal plan. Um, you can pick a specific day of the week. This is my day that I meal plan a specific day of the week.

This is the day that I grocery shop. So that way it does become, This habitual thing that you do week to week and you have a time set aside that you're gonna do it in, you know, you can even add it to your schedule. You know, like if you use a, like a Google calendar, an online calendar, you can put it in there as a time when you're busy so that other things don't get booked during the time that you're supposed to be creating your meal plan and going shopping.

or you know, if you have, if you write things on a physical planner or on a calendar, um, write it in there as well. So that way it's a, a phys, uh, a visual reminder for you, um, to be like, okay, yeah, Sunday two 30 I'm making my meal plan.

Riley: Yeah. That is, uh, going back to this idea of your commitment to yourself is just as important as your commitment to other things. And by scheduling it, [00:28:00] um, , if you follow a schedule , like a planner like us, um, by putting it on a calendar, you're kind of giving yourself that. Like, nope, this is, I'm doing this thing.

This, I, I'm booked that day. , you know, and meal planning shouldn't take a day. Meal planning with Plan to Eat, you know, 10 minutes to 30 minutes or less, I would say, you know, like somewhere in that 10 to 30. And so, Schedule it and just, and just hold yourself accountable to this thing of like, I've got an appointment, I'm gonna go do this thing.

I've been known to meal plan , like laying in bed on Sunday night, you know, it's like nine 30 or 10 or whatever, and I'm like, oh, I'm gonna make this really quick and just do it really fast. And that's something that works really well for me. Maybe you do it sitting in the parking lot of the grocery store before you walk in.

But like setting aside that time to do the thing and actually doing it when you say you're gonna do it, I think helps you stick to your goals because it is becoming more of a habit. Um, eventually I don't, you know, eventually you won't need, uh, make meal plan on your [00:29:00] calendar. I don't put it there. I just, it's a's the thing I do on Sundays and it's, it's, it's like brushing your teeth, you know, it's like I just do this thing, you know? And it's just becomes part of your habit.

Roni: Yeah, that's a great.

Another idea that I have is, and this kind of relates specifically to plan to eat. But I think that, so if you're somebody who's like, I don't wanna do this week after week, I just kind of wanna do it one and done. I think a really simple way of doing this is to plan two weeks in your planner.

So in plan to, you could add, you know, your recipes for two full weeks, and then you could just simply copy those two weeks down to the following two. you have a whole month planned and you could even, you know, save those two weeks as a menu in plan to eat. And so that way you can just re reuse that menu whenever you want.

And it's a full two week menu. Potentially some people's hesitation around this is like, well, we're just eating the same recipes for the whole month. Not necessarily, you know, if you make your two [00:30:00] week menu, you know, have some variations in it, the difference between the first week and the third week.

Well, you're hardly gonna remember that you ate that recipe two weeks ago. Um, you're just gonna be like, oh, great. Done. Ready to go to the grocery store and buy new things. So I think this is a really, if you're somebody who's like, the reason that I don't meal a plan is cuz I can't do it every week.

Figure out the way that works for you to just plan the whole month ahead of time. You don't have to do your whole grocery shopping, run for the month all at once if you don't want to. You know, or if you have perishable items that aren't gonna last for the entire month, but you could certainly get at least the planning portion of that done all at once and creating a two week meal plan and then duplicating it.

It's not gonna take you very much time at all. I'd say, 20 minutes.

Riley: Uh, just to add to. , you could then make your planning just once a month planning. And then once you've got 12 menus made, you don't have to eat the same thing in any kind of order. It could be two week menus that you've made, but you planned once a month for that whole month. [00:31:00] You know, something like that where you get into this rhythm of, yeah, planning is something you hate to do.

Um, so use make two weeks and make a menu. If you did that a couple of times a year to add some more variety, then you really wouldn't need to even feel that tension with, oh, we already ate this two weeks ago, I know some things that people do are create a menu that is notes of maybe it's a protein, and so they make this meal plan, but it's just a little template and it's like Monday.

It's chicken . Tuesday is tacos. Um, Thursday is leftover night , you know, uh, Friday is, we're eating out and Saturday is, uh, fancy new recipe. And then that way they put that template on their planner and then they plant a round that, so it gives them some kind. , some [00:32:00] kind of spark, you know, so ta Okay. Two tacos.

Tacos. Uh, Google, yummy taco recipe. , that one looks good. Plan it . You know, that kind of thing. Okay. Chicken. Something new to do with chicken. Google it, you know, whatever. Some kind of reminder that fits your family's kind of eating habits. Maybe your family really, really loves pasta. So it's a pasta thing.

Maybe your family really, really likes a vegetarian night. But something to kind of spark your interest in the planning process, that you do and your future self thankss you for it, , because you're still planning, but you, there's a little bit less work of the, the agonizing, I don't know. Nothing sounds good or I'm full right now.

It's a bad time to plan, you know. Those are things that get me too. You know, I, I'll try to meal plan after dinner and, uh, my husband will say, well, I'm, I'm too full to even think about more food , or, I don't know what Sounds good. And so just some kind of little, uh, [00:33:00] tip for yourself. I, I don't know. I, I think that that would be really helpful, for me and hopefully for other people.

Roni: Yeah. I think related to that, the, well, at least the idea of. I have no idea what sounds good. I think really important to have your, you know, family go-to recipes, they might be the recipes that you, like, you end up eating. Say you have 10 of these recipes that are your go-to recipes. You end up eating, you know, five of them at one in one week or something.

It's really the, the important part about creating a meal plan is the creating a meal plan. It's not so much about. I'm wowing my people every single night. Like the right, like the point of creating a meal plan is like, we're getting fed, we're eating the food that works for us. We're eating, you know, the things that we're, we're, we're making the meal plan that works for our budget.

All of the different aspects of that. It's not so much about how can I have so much variety every single day or every single week. Sometimes you just have to go to those. Go-to recipes when you need to make your meal plan. [00:34:00] You know, if your family loves meatball. plan meatballs, , and it's totally okay to just plan the things because there's an aspect of it too, that if they're the recipes your family loves, well they're not gonna mind eating those two weeks in a row, you know?

So definitely when you're having those moments of like, I have no idea what I should be planning right now, I think that's it's totally okay to have some recipes that you just fall back.

Riley: and those are some of the easiest nights at our house because I, I don't need a recipe. It's a bit more mindless, which is less agonizing, you know, like I don't have to like shut down word. Or, you know, whatever it is that I did that day, or you know, my two-year-old is starving. You know, I, I can like, kinda like my brain can not have to think about the food that I'm cooking cuz I know how to make it

Um, I'm assuming most people have a recipe like that. That is that back pocket thing they can pull out. Shoot, it could be grilled cheese sandwiches. You know, but like, that's fine. , uh, [00:35:00] whatever that thing is for your family, or for you as the cook, uh, or the chef of your home, whatever, you know, whatever role you fall into, you've probably got one.

And like to me, there are nights when I just need to make breakfast for dinner. That's my go-to . Um, because I. , I, I need the mental capacity to do something else, or I'm just tired, you know, whatever it looks like. So don't be afraid to fall back on those and plan them to give yourself that favor.

Roni: Great tip. All righty. Well, I think that wraps it up for today. Do you wanna talk about a recipe you had recently that you loved?

Riley: Yeah. So ironically, the other night I made breakfast for dinner. And it had been been a while. I'm, I'm from the south. Uh, it's been a while since we've had grit. It's not always my husband's favorite thing, but you know, we often do, if we have breakfast for dinner, we'll often do a biscuit or a waffler or a pancake in addition to, some kind of egg or fruit, that kind of thing.

And so last night I decided I would make grits. And so I made them, [00:36:00] uh, if you've never made grits before, it's roughly like a four to one ratio, four cups of water to one cup of grits. It's a lot of stirring. . Um, but you wanna make sure they're really cooked. Um, and then you can add whatever you want.

I am a savory grits person through and through. Um, and so I always add butter, uh, lots of salt. And then last night I added pepperjack cheese and then green chilies to it. Uh, it was really good. And this is not really a recipe I can share other than the details I just told you cuz it's a, a lot of wing in it.

but it was really delicious and everyone really loved it, including my toddler. Uh, so parents out there have toddlers. If you're looking for something to give your kid, uh, that is a little bit different. Try grits.

Roni: Good idea.

Riley: what about you, Roni?

Roni: We had Rubens and I don't, I actually don't know that we've ever actually made Rubens at our house before. I just always see 'em on a menu at a restaurant and think like, [00:37:00] you know, oh, a Ruben sounds amazing, or I just order one, something like that. And so, yeah.

I know that you guys eat Rubens kind of frequently, and so I was a little inspired by you. A little inspired by going to a restaurant and seeing it on the menu. Yeah, we had Rubens and they were delicious. My husband was like, let's eat these all the time, please, and just like such a simple meal to make, um, the recipe, you made your own homemade Russian dressing.

But certainly if you didn't wanna do that, you could buy Russian dressing from the grocery store. . But yeah, really yummy. Really good. Kinda like cold weather sandwich cuz it's all nice and toasty, so Yeah. We loved that.

Riley: Yeah. I love those too. And like you said, they're really simple, but they feel like an elevated sandwich,

Roni: yeah, it's, yeah. It's not just like a ham and cheese sandwich, you know. Yeah.

Riley: Yep.

In two weeks we're gonna be interviewing a professional chef. Um, and I'm really excited for you to hear what recipe she mentions at the end of our podcast because it's another one of those Ruben [00:38:00] type meals where pretty simple, pretty basic ingredients, but just elevated, kind of makes dinner really special. So maybe that's a theme of this year. 

Roni: It's actually a recipe that would go really well with a

Riley: Oh, it would, I would. Okay. Now that we've tempted you fully, um, make sure you turn tune in in two weeks to our episode, um, with Meera Keshav. It was awesome and we can't wait to see you then.

Roni: Yeah. Thanks for listening.