Why cookie-cutter meal plans don’t work (and how to make your own)

Meal-PlanWritten by my brilliant dear friend, Laura Curiale.

You’re on the internet: Facebooking , Instagramming, looking up recipes and meal ideas.

You have a busy life and you want to be healthy.

Then you see it.

A beautiful, blue, clickable link promising you balanced daily meals and shopping lists to match.

This is amazing! You think… and so you pay the $9.99 for one week, the $17.99 for two, or maybe even the $40 for the month.

Sound familiar?

Well, join me in the “I wish I had bought that dress instead of this meal plan” club, sistah!

Week 1 goes off without a hitch.

The shopping is easy, the meals are ok, I’m thinking – I’ve totally got this!

Week 2 is OK.

Similar meals to the first week.

I know I’m definitely grabbing a takeout pizza because let’s face it, for me, a week without one of my favourite foods is not a good week.

Now I arrive at week 3 and I’m dying of boredom.

Who wrote this meal plan? Why do they not like flavours? Why am I listening to someone who doesn’t know me or my likes or my lifestyle?

There’s only so many days in a row I can eat boneless, skinless chicken with steamed veggies and brown rice.

And just like that, I hop off the bandwagon and am back at square one.

It took a few rounds of this before I came to the conclusion that these cookie-cutter meal plans aren’t for me.

And it’s not because I’m bad at following directions (I even have the Kindergarten report cards to prove it).

It’s that eating became a chore.

And that’s not right because I love food! 

I was a disciple of Mr. Quaker Oats oatmeal for the majority of my life. What could be better? Individually-wrapped flavour-packed oats that were ready in the blink of an eye (or a boil of water). But this too got boring, and thinking of eating chemical flavours every day kind of got to me.

Here’s how I made a meal plan that sticks.

I started to really think about what gets me going about food and how I can incorporate my favourites into my lifestyle.

What’s an oatmeal-lover have to do to get her morning oat craving?

Having recently been introduced to overnight oats, I went back to the internet and found oh, about a gazillion different variations.

The best part? You can make these suckers the night before! Sunday night overnight oat-making means I have breakfast ready and waiting for me for the next 4 days at least.

Simple, healthy, fast, and cheap and way healthier than chemical-filled Quaker Oats.

Now you may not be as oats-crazy as this girl, but the point I’m trying to make is…

You can make amazing, delicious and healthy meals that suit your tastes and your lifestyle by planning properly.

Not sure where to start?

That’s where Make Love in the Kitchen comes in.

This 6 week online program walks you through the steps of creating a plan so that you always know what to eat for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks.

You plan your outfits, your vacation time and your Friday nights- isn’t it time you make a plan in the kitchen that will stick?

Click here to get started.


so true, i never stick to a meal plan someone else has made. love the idea of creating my own


Quick and Easy Pizza Bake


If you grew up in an Italian household like me, you know the importance of sauce.

If you didn’t grow up in an Italian household, let me fill you in.

Sauce is the Holy Grail of all foods.

It is something to be mastered. Simmering for hours on the stove. Adding the perfect proportion of spices. It’s an instinct. You know the taste so well that a recipe isn’t even needed. You tweak and perfect it until it is ready to be served over a heaping plate of pasta.

But sorry, Mom.

This recipe isn’t about spending hours perfecting the ultimate sauce.

It’s a quick and easy Italian dish that you can whip up in less than 20 minutes.


Quick and Easy Pizza Bake


  • 2 cup of a grain (quinoa or rice or a mix. In this picture I have the Sprouted Rice & Quinoa Blend from Costco). Prepare according to package directions.
  • 1 cup tomato sauce (Also from Costco. Yet again, sorry Mom)
  • 1 tomato, diced
  • 1 pepper, diced
  • 1/2 cup onion, chopped
  • 1 tsp basil
  • 1 tsp parsley
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • meat (optional)
  • parmesan cheese (optional)
  • fresh herbs (optional)

Line the bottom of a casserole dish with your already prepared grains.  Add the tomato sauce and herbs and mix. Top with optional meat and cheese.  Place in oven to bake at 350 for ~20 mins. Remove from oven and top with optional fresh herbs (basil, parsley, oregano). Serve and enjoy!

Pizza-Bake-Ingridients Pizza-Bake-Pin
Is this recipe something you would make for yourself?

Write “yes” in the comments to let me know!

Eat Your Way To A Life You Love