Meal Planning For Beginners

Meal planning for beginner’s is the perfect place to start if you’re new to the world of “dieting” or like most, you’ve been immersed unsuccessfully for far too long to remember.

It’s time to get back to basics.

No matter what diet you’re following or attempting to follow...

  • Eat By Design
  • Paleo
  • Vegetarian
  • Standard North American
  • Mediterranean

... the only way for sustainable success is to plan your meals in advance.

While one week is a good starting point, “in advance” could just be the day before or morning of at the start of this new habit.

What it can’t be (assuming success is the goal) is right now, in the moment.

Only someone with exceptional dietary habits, who has been eating the same way for years and has thousands of meals “under their belt” can get away with this strategy, for everyone else, it’s meal planning for beginner’s!


One of the mistakes meal planning rookies make is not giving enough time to the planning stage.

Every minute you spend planning is multiplied when you reach the meal prep stage and you’re not clear on exactly what recipe you’re using or you end up short a few ingredients and need to run out to the grocery store.

Friday tends to be the perfect day for planning (including the rest of your life planning - see Think By Design) as it sets the stage for your weekend meal prep.

Start by picking some recipes that fit your dietary guidelines. You’ll have the most success by sticking to a handful of recipes you recycle each week along with adding one or two new ones to test out for your rotation.

Don’t make the mistake of the attempting to create all new meals every single time.

Number one, there’s no way you can sustain it, and two, having a few winners that you love and can make with your eyes closed is a huge time saver.

Another consideration when choosing meals is how many do you need for the week?

Maybe you’re away two nights, or you plan on eating out for a work event. Modify your numbers accordingly.

Lastly, choose meals that use common ingredients versus unique and exotic ingredients you may only use once.

Here are some great resources for recipes that match the Eat By Design Blueprint:


Now that you’ve chosen wisely for the week, make an exhaustive list of all the ingredients you’re going to need to create your culinary masterpieces.

You’ll quickly realize you won’t need everything on this list as some already sit in your pantry, fridge or freezer just waiting to be used up.

Pair that list down to what you’re actually going to buy and if you really want to graduate from the meal planning beginner’s category.

Group your ingredients by what store you’ll be visiting or by the different areas within each store you’ll find your ingredients.


This step is simple.

The pro tip is to follow your list. Don’t spend time perusing or looking for the deals of the week.

You have a plan – stick to it!

Grab our shopping list so you're prepared when you get to the shop.

Get Your Eat By Design Shopping List!

Ebd shopping list

Want to feed your family foods that satisfy hunger, optimize health and limit toxicity? Use this shopping list to:

  • Choose the most nutrient dense foods.
  • Understand which is better (hormone & antibiotic free, free range, etc).
  • Avoid making poor choices when you are in a rush.

Everything on this list is Eat By Design approved.

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The final step in your meal planning for beginner’s program is to set aside time on the weekend.

One hour will generally work depending on how many meals and how complicated your meals choices are.

During this time, you’ll chop, cut, clean and prep as many of the ingredients you’ll need.

Package your ingredients in bags and containers for simple access.

Keep in the mind the goal is to be able to reach the “cooking” stage of each meal as fast as possible on the night you’ll be enjoying them.


Once you start the process of meal planning, I promise it will progressively get easier and easier, saving you more time and helping you and your family enjoy good, healthy food more often.

More often also means more health and more of the results you’ve always wanted from your diet.

Interested in finding out more about Eat By Design? Get the free ebook below.

Download Your Eat By Design Manual Here

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Tired of jumping on every new diet trend? Learn a simple and sustainable alternative to start eating more healthy today!

Eat By Design works in harmony with your body's genetic make-up and design. It is not a diet, but instead an approach to fulfilling the nutritional requirements of the body for optimal function.


  • The One Thing You Should Eat at EVERY Meal
  • What Type of Fat Won't Make You Fat
  • 3 Health Foods To Avoid At All Costs
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Thea is a Life By Design Chiropractor, author, blogger and international speaker on creating extraordinary health. Thea is passionate about powering your health, allowing you to create an extraordinary life! She has long known the benefits of regular Chiropractic care, experiencing drastic improvements in athletic and academic performance as well as an enhanced quality of life. Dr Thea shares the simple principles of achieving total health and inspires families to reach their full potential. Thea and her partner Brian own and practice from The Powerhouse Chiropractic in beautiful Vancouver, BC, Canada.