Meal Gardener of the Month!

June 2016: Kimberley

As the Meal Garden community grows with Meal Pals of all kinds now using our tool to change the way they live, we thought it might be nice to share stories to inspire others to make today the day they get organized and get healthy!

Kimberley started using the tool just a over a month ago, and hasn't looked back since. Her success is admirable on so many levels, and we're excited to feature her in our kick-off to the Meal Gardener of the Month campaign!

 

Without further ado...

 

A little about Kimberley:

I’m a single working mother of 1 daughter.  I am lucky to work from home which allows me the flexibility to make my life a little easier.  Of course at the same time, work is always right there and I often find myself working later than initially planned!  Last year I started exercising regularly and eating healthier which has opened up a whole new world of food and cooking that I continue to discover and learn which I find fascinating. 

Go-to strategy in the kitchen:

Ideally, I would like to have a rotation of made at home freezer meals ready to pull out and cook, but I’m not at that point yet.  Typically I figure out dinner the night of, after I’ve logged off my work computer (see above!) but Meal Garden is helping me with my planning and shopping.  One day I will get where I want to be!  I’m only feeding myself and my daughter but we are at very different places right now when it comes to food which makes mealtime very challenging.
I don’t consider myself a fabulous cook; I’d give myself a 6, but I enjoy it when I have the time and like trying new things.  I tend to follow recipes to the letter as I’m not great at substituting or cooking on the fly.  I’d love to get better at that!  I don’t mind recipes with a large list of ingredients but I tend to save those for weekends when I have more time to spend in the kitchen.

Finding Meal Garden:

I discovered Meal Garden through a weight loss Facebook Group I’m part of where a Culinary Nutrition Expert posted about this great meal planning tool.  I signed up for the free trial right away and was pleasantly surprised that Meal Garden didn’t ask me for my credit card up front!
Using Meal Garden is still an ongoing journey of planning and discovery but it was definitely an eye opener to load my favourite recipes and get the nutritional analysis on it.  Some I found out were quite healthy, others not so much!  It’s really helped me try to maintain balance in my week and change how I think about a meal.

Favourite recipes:

Honestly, I haven’t actually made any of the Meal Garden recipes until this week.  I used the High Protein; Fitness-Friendly Meal Plan template. 
The smoothies have all been fantastic! 
For myself, I’ve made the Beet Hummus which was a shocking but tasty alternative to regular hummus that I never would have thought of. 
I made Clean-Eating patties which are essentially tuna, egg and some herbs, as well as Glazed Lentil Walnut Apple loaf and the Kale, Sweet Potato, Onion Frittata
They were all good, but the Frittata was awesome, and I learned something new about whisking egg whites to a soft peak.  Unfortunately my daughter didn’t love the loaf but she did clean her plate so I think she’s just at a stage where anything different assaults her taste buds.  I followed the recipes to the letter because that’s just how I roll with cooking.  I don’t alter very often unless I realize when I’ve already started cooking that I’m missing an ingredient I thought I had.

Why use Meal Garden?

As mentioned earlier, I started living a healthier life last year and I’m continuously looking for new ways to improve on what I’ve already learned/implemented.   I’ve tried other meal planning tools in the past and I’ve never stuck with them so when I read about Meal Garden I thought I’d give it a try since I had nothing to lose (free trial).  Meal Garden is so incredibly simple to use with hidden gems of functionality that you wouldn’t know existed at first glance!  The email bootcamp is free and was so worth it as it helped me learn how to use the tool better than I originally would have. Did I mention their customer service?  You’ve never seen anything like it.  I feel like I’m chatting with a friend when I email a question or concern and they respond so quickly!  One more thing...you can take an existing recipe, make a copy and tweak it to change it to your liking or make it healthier!  How awesome is that???
My goal for using Meal Garden is to a) help me plan better and in advance and b) learn to use up leftovers - Meal Garden allows you to schedule leftovers and c) eat a healthier more balanced diet.

Some room for improvement...

Currently Meal Garden offers the option to create a recipe or send an email to recipes@mealgarden.com - that will upload the recipe for you, which are great options.  I would also love to see an option where a recipe can be instantly uploaded simply by inputting a link.  I’ve seen this option on other sites and that’s one thing I really liked.  However, not having this option wouldn’t prevent me from using Meal Garden.  I’m already loving it and once my trial expired, I didn’t hesitate to purchase the annual plan!  Keep up the great work Meal Garden!!

Cheers to you Kimberley! Thanks for helping to encourage us all to take charge of the meals in our lives just like you have :)

Are YOU ready to transform the way you think about and plan how you eat? Get started today here.