A Red Leaf Health Rating?! Fear Not! How to Build a Perfectly Healthy Meal Plan (With "Not So Healthy" Recipes)

The other day one of our Meal Garden users wrote to me (understandably) annoyed at why all of her lamb recipes were coming out as "not so healthy" - indicated by a red leaf on our health meter. 

Considering she was an organic lamb farmer, her frustration was clear...

The upset triggered me to look into exactly how our health meter works when it comes to meat. I myself usually stick to a plant-based diet, so I wasn't too familiar with how our health meter was processing meals like lamb tagine!

Indeed, many of the lamb recipes on our database come out as "not so healthy", but that's simply because they are being assessed on individually (i.e. taken out of context from a larger meal plan). In other words, yes, if you were to get all your calories from eating just a leg of lamb...you would indeed be in health crisis according to our algorithm. With that said, if you were to have a single portion of lamb alongside some vegetables and a hearty starch like millet, the story (...or rather - health rating) changes completely!

The fact of the matter is, some of our recipes might indicate that a particular dish is "not so healthy" but that certainly does NOT mean you should never eat it! Instead, it's an indicator that the other meals planned within your week should be balanced out. That way, you're filling up on all the right nutrients from all the right sources. 

To share a concrete example, I went ahead and created an Autumn-inspired meal plan (indeed, lot's of squash and warming spices like cinnamon make an appearance!) which includes a few sometimes uncomfortable-to-look-at RED LEAF health rating recipes...

Yup, lamb and pork is enjoyed in this week's plan!

You'll notice something, though...

THE HEALTH RATING FOR THE WEEK IS A PERFECTLY GREEN LEAF!

That's because of what I was explaining earlier: the Meal Garden health algorithm takes into account EVERYTHING in your plan - percentages of ingredients are thoroughly analyzed to provide a scientific and comprehensive assessment of the entire collection of meals planned. 

So, while pork tacos on Saturday night might not seem like the healthiest of choices if taken out of context, if you take a look at the entire week, it's clear that the meals all total up to a well-rounded and nutritious supply of ingredients that will fill you up with the right healthy fuel!

There's even wild-blueberry & peach cheesecake planned for dessert on the weekend - trust me, this menu plan will have you loving autumn in no time ;)

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