7 reasons why you should give meal planning a go

If you fail to plan, you plan to fail

meal planning menu board

Meal planning…the simple act of taking some time to plan for your weekly meals and yes, this can include going out for dinner or ordering a take-away! There are many benefits to meal planning and in this blog Claire Gillies, Founder of Delicious and Real shares with us the reasons why she loves meal planning.

Claire from Delicious and Real is a big believer in meal planning to help make healthier, more balanced food choices; to save money and to make life a lot easier.

Claire has always had a love of cooking which in 2016 led to her starting her own social media food blog. Since then Claire has developed a real passion for empowering people to ditch the processed food and showing people that cooking from scratch can be easy…the biggest dilemma often tends to be what to actually cook which is why she has launched her Delicious and Real website, featuring recipes and meal planning advice.

Claire’s motivation to encourage healthier eating was heightened in 2017 when she sadly lost her dad to cancer. “Watching a loved one battle an illness is immensely difficult. There is a desire to try and help but it is hard to know what you can actually do. I turned to cooking. I’d take round healthy meals for my parents because I felt helpless and wanted to show them just how much I cared”. In 2018 Claire was faced with more devastation when her brother also sadly lost his life cancer – and Claire now feels even more passionately about inspiring others to really think about their food choices…“Food is powerful: it has the ability to improve your general health and your mental well-being and can also give you a sense of pride and help show others how much you care”.

Here Claire shares with us some reasons why she’s such a fan of meal planning…

  • Helps make healthier choices – most people tend to make unhealthy choices when they have no idea what to cook. When you haven’t planned what to eat you are more likely to opt for pre-packaged foods or grab a take-away.
  • Helps with portion control – if you only buy what you need for each meal, you won’t have enough for oversized portions!
  • Allows for variety – planning means that you have the time to think about what you are going to be eating to ensure a varied diet. It makes you more aware of your choices.
  • Reduces food waste – by creating a meal-plan and then creating a shopping list, you only need to buy what you are going to eat. This means that you won’t end up with a fridge full of food that is past its best and destined for the food waste bin.
  • Saves money – cooking from scratch is cheaper than buying prepared foods or eating out. You will be shopping with purpose and will only buy what you need … no impulse purchases! Planning also means that you will no longer be wasting money by throwing out uneaten food: the most expensive food is the food that we don’t eat.
  • Saves time and reduces stress – resulting in a happier you! Less trips to the supermarket and no last-minute panics about what to eat.

Claire’s Delicious and Real service aims to simplify the meal planning process and take the stress out of meal-times.

  • For just £5 a month (99p for your first month), you will have access to an online weekly planner which contains 7 delicious dinner recipes and a list of all the ingredients you’ll need to buy.
  • Claire is a mum, none of her recipes are ‘chefy’… she doesn’t have the time or inclination to spend hours in the kitchen so all her recipes are easy enough for anyone to cook and they use normal, everyday ingredients.
  • None of the recipes have been designed in a test kitchen! They are all meals that Claire serves up to family and friends and each of the photos on the website are quickly snapped before she eats!
  • You can easily edit the weekly plan: you simply click on edit and then have the option to choose from over 215 recipes on the website.

Delicious and Real is a personal service – Claire is very happy to answer your questions and give advice. You can email her at deliciousandreal@hotmail.com or visit the Delicious and Real website to find out more.