7 Day Seasonal Meal Planning Guides
It took me years to finally align with my ideas of sustainable eating. And it was meal planning that helped me take the final leap.
What is sustainable eating? I characterize it as:
- Foods that are grain-free, to avoid heavy agriculture
- Ingredients that are in-season; and not from around the world
- A diet that follows our omnivorous, evolutionary biology: Fruit, lots of veggies and greens, nuts and seeds, oils, eggs, and some good meats
But let's get real too: No one is perfect. Including me.
There were some things I didn't want to cheat on (grains and dairy are so easy to give up anyway). But there were some things I do. I like using coconut oil, and when I can find it organic and sustainably produced, I'm willing to order it online. And sometimes, smack in the middle of winter, I want some flipping strawberries!
Making the switch to foods that aligned with my values was hard at first: I'm a busy woman - working from home, raising a teenager, and at one point, traveling full-time - but this all means I'm also a pro at systemizing and organizing things in a way that make them simple and flow easily.
I quickly found my biggest challenge to eating sustainably came from a lack of better systems for planning, prepping, and making meals happen.
So My Seasonal Meal Plans Were Born
These 7 day menus are tried and true, because they are ours. They are the exact weekly menus that our family uses to organize our meals for the week, shop, and prepare food in a way that works for us:
- Simple, easy-to-make recipes that don't lack variety and flavor
- Strategized meals that save time in the kitchen
- Menus to cut back on meat without cutting back on the nutrition we want
- Foods that are readily available and very affordable
- And a few cheats, sweets, and desserts that don't make me feel like crap
I started creating these meal plans to cut back on the frustration, overwhelm, and sheer food boredom.
And when I started getting questions about how I had simplified our meal planning so much that this non-foodie was starting to enjoy food, I decided to offer these to you too.
These are not "professional" meal plans. They are tried-and-true, down-to-earth, and easy to use for those of us in the real world. They are filled with totally new menus in each one (no repeating of recipes) and are based on seasonal eating. They also include a few sustainable "cheats", such as the occasional fresh berries in the winter.
They are simple, affordable, yummy, and practical - just like we all want.
Spring's Lighter Days and Heartier Nights Menu
This meal plan is ideal for springtime, when the days are getting warmer and we're starting to crave lighter fruits and veggies, but the evenings are still chilly and we want something heartier and warmer for dinner.
This meal plan includes:
- 7 hearty dinners with yummy seasonal ingredients
- 5 unique and substantial smoothies
- 2 heavier breakfast or lunch recipes
- All of the bonus material listed above
This menu is 100% paleo-friendly, but can be easily modified to include grains or dairy if you'd like. Some potential allergen or uncommon ingredients include nuts or nut/seed butter, almond milk, coconut products, flaxseeds, and nightshade plants (most of which is easily exchanged for something that fits your dietary needs). Only one recipe calls for eggs, but an egg substitute would also suffice.
Spring's Lighter Days and Heartier Nights Price: $7
Autumn's Warm and Earthy Menu
This meal planning menu is ideal for the chilly fall air, when the days are brisk and we're inspired to start baking and connecting with the Earth.
This meal plan includes:
- 7 earthy, warm dinner recipes
- 7 yummy breakfasts, including grain-free muffins, hashes, and more
- All the bonus material listed above
This menu is 100% paleo-friendly, and can easily be modified to include grains or dairy if you prefer. Some potential allergen or uncommon ingredients include almond flour, coconut flour or oil, and eggs.
Autumn's Warm and Earthy Price: $7
Winter's Hearty and Grounding Menu
This meal planning menu is ideal for cold weather, when the days are short and we want to curl up, eat hot, heavier foods, but not feel bogged down by them.
This meal plan includes:
- 7 hearty and fulfilling dinner recipes
- 7 substantial breakfast/lunch recipes, incl. skillets, paleo bread, and more
- All the bonus material listed above
This menu is 100% paleo friendly, and can easily be modified to include grains or dairy if you prefer. Some potential allergen or uncommon ingredients include two recipes that call for eggs, but one can easily be substituted for a "flax egg" alternative, coconut aminos (but you can sub organic soy sauce), coconut flour/oil, almond flour, quinoa, nuts, almond milk (can sub for a milk of your choice), and fish.
Winter's Hearty and Grounding Price: $7
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I need to be a foodie to use these?
Hahahahaha! If you knew me you'd know I'm NOT a foodie. I mean, I love yummy food...but cooking for three hours (and cleaning up after) are my least favorite things to do. So to answer your question, NO you do not need to be a foodie. You just need to be willing to learn a few new recipes to make meal planning easier on you.
How many meals are included in each meal planning ebook?
Each ebook is a 7 day meal plan with 2 main meals and a list of ideas for simple snacks or additional meals each day. We debated doing three meals, but who really has time for three unique "recipes" each day? Instead we kept things simple, just like we do at home.
I'm looking for low-carb meal plans; is this it?
Yes. The only carbs in these meal plans come from fruit and veggies. There is no rice, soy, corn, wheat, beans, or other sources of carbs. We mostly follow what is often referred to as a "paleo" diet, which includes meat plus heavy portions of veggies, and fruit, berries, nuts, seeds, and oils. We do use quinoa in a few recipes, but you can substitute for cauliflower "rice" if you prefer.
What if I'm not grain-free/dairy-free/paleo?
Then you get to benefit from cutting down on some expensive and often unsustainable products, trying some new meals to mix up your routine, or you can easily change up ingredients (like switching out dairy milk and coconut milk, or adding a side of rice).
Without grains/dairy, are these actually filling?
Yes! With a carpenter for a husband and a teen son, I have some big appetites to satisfy. These "paleo" meal plans certainly do it.
I am a picky eater/have picky eaters; will they like these meals?
It's hard to say without knowing exactly what kind of foods you like and don't like, but I can tell that I'm pretty texture-sensitive and my son is very selective in what he eats. I have no problems with these meals, and we can make easy modifications for our son (like cooking his portions separately in some cases). It'll really be a matter of trying it out.
Are the recipes repeated from one meal plan to the next?
Nope! Each of the recipes in each meal planning ebook are completely original and do not repeat in the other menus. We like variety around here too. :)
Do these call for hard-to-find ingredients?
For the most part, no. However some of the recipes do call for almond flour, coconut flour/oil, or things like flaxseeds. You can read below each ebook title to see what are the most "rare" ingredients in that menu. But they can be found at most grocery stores and ordered online for considerable discounts, or a preferred alternative can be used.
Are the recipes complicated/time consuming?
No, we picked recipes that can be cooked in 20-45 minutes of work (minus the crockpot meals, of course, but those cook while you're off doing something else). However, since they are likely new recipes for you, the first 1-2 times you follow it might take a little bit longer as you familiarize yourself with the recipe.
I'm on a budget; are these meals expensive?
For the most part, no. We never spend more than $160 a week on our menus, and that's our worst-case scenario when we can't find affordable options (depending on our travels) or just get lazy. I highly recommend you check out our ebook, Making Organic Food Affordable, to help you decrease your meal planning costs even more.
How many people does each recipe feed?
It's hard to say, since we test these recipes out with a teenager who eats like he's four people. ;) I would say they create enough for at least four people, often more. If you find they aren't enough it will be easy to increase the quantity on the grocery list, or simply add an extra side (salad!), or a dessert, or snack before or after the meal to keep your budget low.
How is payment for the meal planning ebooks made?
Payment is handled securely and privately through Paypal. You can either use your existing Paypal account, create a new account, or skip that altogether and just use your debit or credit card. I never see or have access to your financial information, and Paypal guarantees your security.
I'd like to order more than one meal planning ebook; how do I do that?
Simply click Add to Cart next to the ebook you'd like to order. The cart will hold your order while you come back and click on the next ebooks you wish to order. You will then pay all at once, instead of making multiple transactions.
Are there shipping costs?
Nope. You will be ordering a PDF ebook (electronic book) through a service called e-junkie. You will be able to download this meal planning PDF to your computer to read or transfer it to your smartphone or Kindle (some converting may be required for Kindle; I can't do that for you).
What if I don't like the recipes? Can I get a refund?
Um, no. Just like if you purchase a novel and decide it's not your jam, you can't return it either. That would be entirely unfair, no wouldn't it?
Do I receive each ebook with my purchase?
Each ebook is sold separately, so if you wish to purchase more than one you'll need to add each that you'd like to buy to your cart.
How do I order my copies?
Scroll down, read the details of each weekly meal planning ebook, and click Add to Cart for each one that you'd like. Then simply follow the prompts, and check your email inbox (and spam folder) for your download link! Like magic!
"I am really impressed with your website and have used the meal plan. I loved how organised the planning was... [As a single mum of 3] it's great not to have to do all the thinking sometimes. I even shared it with a neighbour up the road and her and her kids loved it!"
Your meals are delicious and filling. I have got so much out of your books. Since following your advice I have found much more fulfillment in my role as a mother and the power and influence I have over my family for good. I am collecting items to start my own garden and I have seen how gardening can become a huge teaching tool for my children in regards to hard work, health and team work. Thank you for sharing your knowledge it has enriched my life and therefore the life of my family.
Ready to Get Cooking?
(Sorry, I couldn't help but throw in a pun.)
Read below on each Seasonal Meal Planning ebook to find the one that works for you. Pay special attention to the allergen info, special ingredients, seasonal recommendations, and types of meals that are included in each as we've made each one a little different to create the variety and seasonal changes we like to see.
Each and every meal planning menu/list includes the following bonus material:
- A seasonal food guide to help you make modifications
- A customizable grocery list to print and go
- A full week of recipes that are easy to follow
- And 21 ideas for snacks, lunches, and breakfasts included in each
I currently have three different meal plans to choose from. Scroll down to see each one and stay tuned as I hope to add more!
|Spring's Meal Plan||Autumn's Meal Plan||Winter's Meal Plan|
Perfect for spring, when the days are warmer and the nights are cooler, this meal plan includes:
Perfect for crisp temperatures, home baking, and connecting with the Earth, this plan includes:
Perfect for winter, when your body wants warmer and more filling meals, this winter plan includes:
And Check Out Our Most Popular Ebook, Too!
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Answer your questions on how to make it feasible for any family is what inspired me to create my ebook, Making Organic Food Affordable.
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