Ever feel like you’ve got to be missing something when it comes to mealtime? You want peaceful mealtimes, but instead all you have is chaos and a whole lot of dirty dishes. Well read on for the 4 secrets to mastering mealtime and creating peaceful mealtimes once and for all!
Hey everyone, welcome back to the podcast.
I’ve been working hard behind the scenes around here and have got some exciting things launching in the next few months including a shiny re-designed website, a mini-rebrand, and most important for you increased clarity around what we can do for you here with the Planned, Prepped & Productive brand.
With these shifts, I’m so excited to bring to you an exciting topic that will define where the brand heads moving forward.
So let’s dig in.
Have you ever felt like there must be something you are missing when it comes to cooking and mealtime?
Let’s face it, most moms have a less than stellar relationship with the kitchen and their mealtime responsibilities.
Maybe you never liked to cook, or maybe your relationship with the kitchen started to go downhill as you introduced more children into your family and the ever increasing responsibilities made it a place you don’t want to be.
You may even be desperate for a solution that works for you. You don’t have time, your dead tired at the end of the day, and by the time dinnertime rolls around you are so done that you honestly couldn’t care less whether or not the meal you eat is good for you or not.
The kitchen feels like your slave-master because no matter what you will never be able to give up this task. There will always be mouths to feed, and there will always be another meal to prepare.
It’s like laundry but worse because at least laundry will let you breathe for a few days after you finally get it done.
But what if you could change your relationship with the kitchen and mealtime so that YOU are the one in charge?
What if you could set firm boundaries that limited the amount of time you spent in the kitchen?
What if you learned to work smarter, not harder so that you could easily put homemade meals on the table regularly without the monotony and hours spent in the kitchen.
You know it’s possible. You’ve seen other people do it. You’ve probably even tried some solutions and maybe you’ve found some success…but you still don’t feel like a mealtime master. You still feel a little like the kitchen’s a big huge bully that’s got it out for you.
I’m here to tell you that you and the kitchen can absolutely get along. Maybe you won’t be best friends, but you can totally learn to understand each other and you can become master over your own kitchen.
The problem with most of the solutions that you’ve tried is that they don’t attack the whole problem.
Cooking and mealtime is a complex and multifaceted experience, so we need to use several different techniques to master it once and for all.
4 habits for peaceful mealtimes.
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The 4 habits for peaceful mealtimes that I share with you today probably won’t be new, they’ve all been talked about in some way or another on the podcast before, but I’m hoping that introducing them in this way will help give you clarity as we move forward with podcasts in the future.
In fact, I’m defining these 4 topics of the 4 pillars of my business. This means that every course, podcast, or other piece of content should connect back in some way to these 4 habits (or pillars) for peaceful mealtimes.
It also means that as you make small steps in each of these areas you will be well on your way to the peaceful mealtimes and evenings you crave and you will also be able to self-assess when you are STRUGGLING by determining which pillar is the weakest and what steps you can take to strengthen that pillar for the future.
Woo. I’m so excited!
Alright, let’s hop into the 4 things that people who’ve mastered meal time are doing out of habit.
Working on your mindset
Mindset work is a never. ending. battle. You could say that’s the bad news. The good news is that whenever you feel stuck you can almost always attribute to mindset and you can come back to working on it.
Most programs and solutions out there for simpler, more peaceful mealtimes don’t address mindset.
Instead they promise the perfect meal plan, or they even sell you the whole meal in a meal prep kit.
Now there is a time and a place for solutions like this, but the point is, until you work on your mindset, the promises from these done-for-you solutions are empty and you will still feel the struggle and stress at mealtime.
Mindset is foundational. It’s where we will start no matter what struggle you are having.
Kid won’t stay at the table?
- What expectations are causing you frustration about this situation?
- How are you letting the way you feel about this frustration affect how you feel about dinner?
- How are your limiting beliefs about you or your child keeping you stuck? (thoughts like something must be wrong, they never learn, if I were a “good” mom I’d be able to keep him at the table) and so on and so forth.
…and this is for only one frustrating situation.
I can think of about a hundred more frustrating situations about mealtime and a hundred more distorted ways of thinking that might be keeping you stuck.
The mindset problem is universal, I can guarantee there is something about the way you are thinking about meal time that is keeping you from your potential.
The good news is despite how diverse the problems are the solutions are simple (though they do require work and effort).
We’ll do a deep-dive in my upcoming course Master Mealtime (click below to sign up to be on the waitlist!!) or you can get started with my simple mindset worksheet by signing up here!
Get on the waitlist for the Master Mealtime comprehensive kitchen course
Get started on changing your mindset NOW with the mindset mythbusting worksheet
Planning and Organization
A lot of people think I am simply organized by nature.
Nothing can be further from the truth. My car growing up was (and still often) a complete disaster, I lost or forgot to do my homework in high school constantly. I always have a thousand things going through my brain and find myself feeling scattered often.
HOWEVER the situation I find myself in now (you know, in charge of the lives of 3 other humans) has shown me the necessity of adopting some level of planning and organization.
It might feel stifling (I get that…sometimes I feel stifled too) but adopting at least some level of planning and organization will be key to helping you simplify meal time.
(and if you really hate the idea of planning, make sure you stay tuned in for the upcoming course where we’ll talk about ways you can plan and organize that feels authentic and true to your nature even if you are so not a planner).
This is another area where most of the meal planning and meal prep industry gets it wrong.
Planning and Organization is the 2nd pillar of peaceful mealtimes, and you should work on this BEFORE you work on your meal plan.
Many people purchase or create a meal plan without ever considering what their life looks like.
If you work a full-time job with a commute and kids, you’re going to have to seriously strategize to put homemade meals on the table if that’s something of value to you.
The download a meal plan or write down whatever sounds good simply will not work because you don’t have the time to make it work.
There is nothing to feel guilty or ashamed about (though if this is you and you’ve continually failed at your meal plan you may feel a little like a failure).
You’ve just been doing things in the wrong order.
When you master “life planning” first and then introduce a meal plan into your life that you actually have (not the life you wish you had) you will be so much more successful.
You will learn about balanced meal planning and understand that pancakes, eggs, & fruit is totally balanced and totally “counts”
You’ll learn to let go of some expectations and understand that some meals will be a B or even a C and everyone will survive.
You’ll understand what reasonable expectations are and plan your meals accordingly, not the other way around.
Now here’s where I get all sorts of opinionated.
If I see one more meal planning template that consists of nothing more than a week’s worth of boxes and lines for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks I’m going to scream.
Meal planning is so much more than that.
You don’t need a template, you need a strategy.
That’s exactly what I’ll teach you how to do in the conquer the kitchen course.
You won’t be randomly perusing pinterest for ideas anymore, you’ll have a strategy and a limited selection of tried and true meals to choose from.
You will no longer be buying a pethora of ingredients that you have a hard time getting through.
You will no longer wonder if the meals you are making your family are healthy, you can rest easy knowing that you are using a formula for balanced meal planning and know that your family is getting exactly what they need.
These strategies will be extra effective when you pair them with the tools you’ve learned from the first two pillars.
Meal Prep: The secret sauce
Meal prep was the secret sauce my meal plans were missing for YEARS.
In fact, the crazy thing is I was using many of these strategies at work long before I introduced them at home.
In fact, I’m betting YOU use similar strategies at work as well.
When you have free time in your schedule at work, what do you do?
I know I was always doing everything I could to make the rest of my week easier.
You can do this by tidying your work space, or getting ahead on projects.
Meal prep is the exact same idea.
Meal prep helps you to work smarter in the kitchen instead of harder. When you aren’t overworked, peaceful mealtimes are a natural result.
We’ve talked about lots of meal prep strategies here on the podcast, but in the conquer the kitchen course we’ll dive deeper on how to make meal prep work for you (even if you think you don’t like leftovers!)
I promise you that fulfilling your mealtime dreams lives somewhere on the other side of these 4 habits.
I can’t wait to dig deep into all of them so that you feel ready to tackle your kitchen once and for all.
Let’s review one more time quickly before we wrap up for the week.
The 4 pillars of a well-run kitchen are:
- Planning and Organization
- Meal Planning
- Meal Prep
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Master these 4 things, and you’ll be shocked as peaceful mealtimes become the norm and you find yourself enjoying quality family time at dinner instead of feeling stressed, overwhelmed, and angry.
And like I said, I’m making final preparations to launch the master mealtime course in late spring/early summer 2021. Sign up for the waitlist below and be sure to interact and follow me on social as well. I want YOUR input as we prepare to put this course out so you can rest easy knowing it will be exactly what you need (because YOUR input helped create it!)
Next week, we’re going to get cooking with a conversation about how I prep meatballs for the freezer, and how I make one of my favorite dishes to use them in, teriyaki meatball stir-fry. It will be an awesome, practical lesson to get you cooking and utilizing some of the habits we talked about RIGHT NOW!
I can’t wait my friends, thanks for listening, and happy planning!