6 Steps for Success in Your Health & Wellness Business

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Angela Argentina is not just your everyday health & wellness entrepreneur...this woman is a the definition of a GO-GETTER! If there's one "influencer" you should start taking notes from, it's her. Never afraid to jump onboard new projects and challenges, learn about new ideas, and offer her insights and open up the floor for collaboration...she's been an absolute pleasure to get to know as one of our first ever Meal Garden Professionals.

For those of you looking to increase your "following" in a way that's contagiously authentic, meaningful, and that truly has the power to change the world for the better, I suggest reading her following advice carefully...


There is no survival guide to being an entrepreneur or for starting a small business. You have to have a dream, a vision and goal and prepare yourself as much as you can before taking a giant leap of faith and believing in yourself to trust you can do it. That takes courage! Nobody will tell you what to do or to check in and see if you pulled through. You are making a huge investment in yourself, and sure, that’s a gamble, but if you want it, you can do it. 

Initially it may seem scary but the good news is, you are not alone, many have taken that leap before you that just goes to show that running a successful business is not impossible. Of course it’s not always easy to leave your comfort zone in pursuit of your passions and chasing your dreams, but it is worth it. This is your life and your chance to make a statement, share your gifts and inspirations and inspire others who are like you. If you have it in you to want to help others improve their health and lifestyles because it’s your passion, then you owe it to yourself to do what you love and you’ll be helping others while making a profit.

Imagine you were so good at what you do that your only job requirement was to be you?

In the world of entrepreneurship, one must learn to be resilient and learn to ride the wave—after all nothing is for certain, and the only constant is change. I started my first entrepreneurial pursuit in 2008, since then have changed focus and careers several times, but all the while I continued to educate myself, to pursue my passions and to add to my skills, experience and qualifications. If I knew then what I know now, things probably would have turned out a lot differently for me but everything in life is a learning opportunity and I believe things happen to us for a reason. After many failures, mistakes and costly lessons I've also have exceeded expectations, had countless success and incredible opportunities bestowed upon me. 

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I can say that I still don’t have all the answers but looking back in retrospect, I can see what worked, what wasted my time and how to be more effective, efficient and present in my business and HERE I AM — Healthy, Hip & Holistic — a self proclaimed Lifestyle Expert known as Angela Argentina who specializes in Alternative Healing, Yoga and Vegan Cuisine. I also recently founded Kindred Kitchens whose mission is to provide optimal health through plant-based nutrition and meal plans whilst creating conscious community.

If I can draw upon my own experience to offer you some steps or tips that could help speed up your journey and simplify a few things for you as you move forward towards success for your health and wellness business it would be this:

1) Be Clear on your Goal

I know this sounds really simple and it’s true. It’s one thing to say, “I want to have a successful holistic health and wellness business one day” and another to state things very clearly and outline the details.  For example, a more defined statement might say, “In one year my holistic business will help 'X' number of busy working moms aged, 25-40 with plant based lifestyle support and guidance through meal plans, weekly comprehensive shopping lists, creative and easy to follow recipes, and bi-weekly follow-up and support sessions with access a private Facebook group for additional information, inspiration, support and sharing”. That’s just an example of a business statement that draws upon the values you provide to service your clients needs and how you plan to deliver. 

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I’m a creative person myself and I actually prefer to create a similar statement/value proposition in the form of a vision board. This allows me to take inspirations I see such as flyers, business cards, ads, articles and pictures from magazines and re-appropriate them to bring new meaning and help me visualize my business goals in a way that suits my personality. There is no right or wrong way, the universe (or that powerful inner force called your subconscious) is just waiting for you to tell it exactly what to do. The more you clearly define your goals the more likely you are to get the results you envision. However, that being said, sometimes we get what we need and not what we expect because the universe unfolds mysteriously. So as important it is to be clear on your goals it is also important to remain flexible and open to change and transformation. Sometimes by hanging on to that ideal too tightly, we may miss another opportunity for success, something more aligned or more exciting.

2) Mind Your Time (and your Money) 

Yes, of course you have to manage your calendar and attend meetings, appointments, courses... whatever.... that’s just the nature of a successful entrepreneur. Keeping an up-to-date calendar is an essential but also it’s important to look into other ways you can save time and energy because as awesome as you are, your time and energy are limited resources so you must give them the upmost respect and be resourceful. Entrepreneurs wear many hats, but they can't wear them all. 

Some time saving options could include outsourcing a professional such as accountant, designer or lawyer to save you the stress, not to mention countless hours, of doing it all yourself. Another way to grow your business with more cost efficiency is by meeting your business needs through energy or value exchange. You can swap your services with someone to get something done - and while this may seem a bit out there for some, the sharing/bartering economy is really growing. Everybody has a need and we all have things of value can offer others, you can negotiate with people or use sites or platforms such as the popular Facebook group: Bunz Employment Zone. If you are looking online for solutions to reduce your expenses and make things a bit easier, try using "shortcuts" such as hiring a virtual assistant to handle all of your time consuming administration; a tool, such as Meal Garden Professional to store recipes and provide your nutritional calculations, and apps to help with everyday things such as saving receipts and help with organizing them for your taxes.

It’s so easy to ambitiously fill our plates while on the path to success in business that we can quickly arrive at a place where we are so booked with meetings, appointments and things-to-do in our schedule that we run out of space for that oh-so-important ‘ME’ time. We often ambitiously push ourselves further, keeping so busy servicing the needs of others that we can forget to take care of numero uno. As the driving force of your business, your self-care is for you and your clients as well. In order to provide the best service possible you must be at your optimal by making sure all of your own needs are met. What good are you to anybody if your burnt out, exhausted or stressed? As a holistic health and wellness professional we naturally reflect a positive, healthy and balanced lifestyle to help inspire that in others, so it is necessary to create some space for your own sacred rest and relaxation.

Carve out some time and space in your busy schedule to practice yoga, for some mindful mediation, and/or for creative exploration, or perhaps for fitness, something fun with friends... whatever you need to include to help you arrive in a healthy balance of work/life/play; it reduces stress and makes the constant challenges and everyday struggles more manageable. Achieving your optimal health isn’t about perfection but rather about creating a state of harmony in the health of your body, mind and soul. Your overall health and happiness are what will raise your vibration, open you up to thrive in your personal life and of course, in business.

3) Align and Shine  

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Align with your intention. Check in with your goals and ask yourself if they are they consistent. Do all of your activities, services, products, events and social media posts reflect your brand identity and delivery your brand message consistently? A great way to approach your business as a brand (and not as yourself) is to think about your brand as a promise. Once you are clear on your brand message, image and what type of expectation you want to create then the method and form of delivery will begin to fall into place. When you are aligned with the authenticity of your brand, sharing it will flow more freely as you find your voice; you will eventually know what types of information to share and you will know what to say naturally.

An African proverb wisely states, “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” This is true to business too, so once you know where you stand as a brand, the best way to get ahead is to network and find like-minded entrepreneurs and businesses to collaborate with. Sharing ideas, projects, services and creating new innovative ways to expand your services and reach through working with others towards the same goal will help everyone reach and go farther and much faster than you would alone. Ask yourself what types of things do your clients do, think, feel or need? By providing solutions for their problems you will increase their interest and the likelihood that they’ll buy your promise.

4) Social Media Mastery

Social media has become the buzzword for success in business these days, but if you don’t have a clear goal in mind or a strategy in check, it’s easy to get lost in all the noise and to waste lots of your precious time. As busy entrepreneurs we need to ensure that our time and our efforts provide us with some sort of return on our investment ("ROI"). Many people believe they need to have a huge social media following but what’s the point if there isn’t any sort of conversion or benefit to your business?

To use social media effectively and efficiently you also need to manage your time spent but also make sure that what you are doing aligns with the goals you outlined for your business. Things to consider to increase and enhance your online presence is collaborations, challenges, contests... things to get people talking about and sharing your business. What can you offer your audience? How can you position yourself as an expert or leader in your field? How can you be more engaging? And if you want results, what type of call to action are you providing?

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The benefit of being an entrepreneur is that you are the voice of the brand and people prefer to engage with real people rather than dialing a 1-800 number to get more information. Social Media is an excellent opportunity to build relationships with your clients, expand your reach and gain trust by sharing your passion and expertise and you may have to make a free offer to grow your list of subscribers—but remember, you have to respect your business and boundaries and don’t give everything away for free. Continue to share ideas and inspiration but know when to stop. Once you have interest, share your offer or product/service that’s available for purchase.

5) Embrace Change

The most important thing to do is plan for success but keep in mind that trends, fads, markets, prices, partnerships, audience interest, participation, expenses etc... are all bound to change. You can’t control all or any of these external forces so it’s necessary to remain resilient and to be able to change with the times. This may mean making some adjustments to your initial strategy or even to change your ultimate goal. As the master of your destiny and the mastermind behind your business, you have to accept things won’t always go as planned and sometimes they may go exactly the opposite way as intended but this by no means signifies failure, it’s simply just another lesson. 

Your business is your business so leave any emotions such as shame, guilt, embarrassment and instead: objectively examine your results. The only way to get ahead in business is to try new things and experiment. When plans fall through, as they are bound to do, we just need to pick ourselves back up and try and try again. Rather than abandoning any future attempts ask yourself, what did you learn from the experience? What worked, what didn’t and what could have been done to make it better? If you can’t answer those questions, perhaps you should ask others for their feedback. Constructive criticism will bring things to attention that you probably weren’t aware of. Perhaps you were way off in what your customers need and want, that is also a point to pivot and take a new perspective on your business.

It may seem like a never-ending road of continuous improvement, sometimes it’s all about chasing the thrill and other times it’s all simply terrifying—but if your pursuing your passion then just try to relax: you really are on the right path. Yes, at times the journey of running a health and wellness business is a bit like a rollercoaster ride of incredible highs and extreme lows, but once again that’s what creates the balance in the business world and it’s all part of natural flow. If this didn’t happen, then we would just plateau...and what’s terrifying about that is that then the business would cease to grow. The biggest regret is not failure, but not trying at all.

6) Celebrate Success

As you move forward in your business it may feel like you're taking baby steps. That’s ok, you might get where you want in one day, week or even a year or more, but as long as you're trying you're making a difference. Celebrate your successes, big and small, this shows your appreciation of your clients and that you are working. It may not come naturally for you to shout out and scream about reaching a few hundred likes, or celebrating it when you wish you were ahead, and while it may all seem a bit embarrassing: let it go!

The more people become aware of what your doing, your events, successes and offerings, the more likely they are to remember you when they are looking for something you do. It’s not bragging when you share your success - you are simply advertising that your doing your best and people want to work with people who are successful and doing great things. Since you are, keep that attitude of gratitude vibrating inside of you and you will naturally attract even more wonderful things and more opportunities for success. If you are sharing your passion and doing it on your own, that takes a lot of courage and faith, that’s something to be proud of. Continue to count your blessings as you continue on your journey towards success. 

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Health Coach Essentials: 9 Tools To Upgrade Your Business

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The concept of working smarter rather than harder is certainly gaining momentum as the advances in technology offer smart solutions for our growing businesses.

Whether you’re a tech-savvy entrepreneur who actively engages in the progressive startup world, or if you’re simply a nutritional practitioner or health coach that focuses on just that: helping your clients eat and live better. If all the other social media frills and swanky apps cause you more anxiety and grief than you think they’re worth: THE FOLLOWING LIST MIGHT JUST CHANGE YOUR LIFE BY OPTIMIZING HOW YOU WORK!

As Director at Meal Garden for the past 2 years, I’ve worked with hundreds of nutritional practitioners, from Registered Dieticians to Naturopathic Doctors to Registered Holistic Nutritionists and one thing is clear: they want tools that are easy, financially accessible, and that add REAL value for their clients (as well as their sanity!).

I’ve rounded up all of our favourites as an all-inclusive checklist to ensure your business activities are thriving just as much as you & your clients’ health!

1) Communication Across Borders: Zoom

Health practitioners seem to all be flocking to Zoom.us these days! No wonder - it’s ranked #1 in customer reviews and works great for one-on-one video coaching, and just as well for your programs’ and challenges’ group conference calls. I tend to stick with Google Hangouts for scheduling my own sales calls, but I must admit - the success rate is starting to drop and the quality of the calls are hit and miss. I always appreciate when I get a reply with those beautiful 5 words: “I’ll send the zoom link!”.

2) Newsletter Campaigns: MailChimp

What’s your “opt-in”? Your free giveaway? How do you make sure you land a touch-point with future or potential customers, as well as stay top of mind for those existing and/or past clients? While some are starting to argue that email marketing has lost it’s “sexiness” as other forms of engagement - especially for health coaches - are gaining in popularity, think: Facebook Groups, Instagram Stories/Lives, etc. I’m still a firm believer in building your list and keeping a beat going with your tribe! I love MailChimp for this. Here at Meal Garden we have the paid version, which allows you to do advanced things like time your emails based on open rates and get further insights on click rates, etc. BUT I also use the regular old free version for Mindfully Edible and I find it almost as good and still a vital tool for my health business.

3) Keep Your Team on Track: Asana

Even if you’re a solopreneur, you’re likely still working with others in some form or another - this could be a co-op (here at Meal Garden, we’ve been thrilled with the wonderfully intelligent students from the IHN), an outsourced assistant/consultant, some other form of part-time help (yes, your kids/friends count too in those early days!), or even just a collaboration with a fellow expert. There’s a well-known saying that continues to ring truer and truer for me as I get a handle on the “real world”: If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together. Working with others is a beautiful thing and it will likely transcend you to new heights and onto exciting paths in your business that would be impossible to achieve on your own. With that said, planning projects and staying on track amongst groups - or even just in pairs - can be challenging. I like Asana for this because it makes responsibilities and next steps clear for everyone involved, and also adds accountability to keep things moving efficiently. They have a basic version which is free, and their very affordable basic plan for just $9.99/month is a worthwhile expense if you’re often working with others.

4) Be Active Online → Even When You Sleep: Buffer

I find it slightly ironic that in order to be a “successful health advocate”, you sort of need to be online all the time. How healthy can that be? Not very, which is why I recommend you get yourself a tool like Buffer, which is a social media platform that allows you to schedule your posts...so it seems like you’re always on it (even when you’re not!). Life it too short to sit behind a computer, or to be on your phone all day. Plus, you can track which posts do best, and get insights to drive more successful sharing for next time. While setting up a monthly content calendar might sound like an attractive option - get it all done in one shot type deal, I would still advise you update your content “in-person” or “live” so to speak, at least every 2-3 days. The social media world is an ever-changing place where news comes and goes fast, and it’s best to take advantage of things in the moment. On the whole, though, having some content set up for yourself to take the stress off is a helpful aid thanks to Buffer.

5) Make Posts Look Pretty and Professional: Canva.

The importance of aesthetics cannot be underestimated - it can be the difference from a potential client thinking “ew” or “oh la la” to the content you share, regardless of its accuracy or the actual information shared within it (sad but true!). Designing beautiful posters to share across social media and/or in your freebies is easier with the right templates - vs. building things from scratch, which is also incredibly time-consuming! Canva is free and instantly makes you feel like a pro - go ahead and get creating, and you’ll be proud of what you can create in no time, I promise.

On the topic of keeping things pretty: so far the most attractive free stock image site I’ve ever come across has to be Unsplash, hands down. Stock photos can scream...well...stock photos. If you want images that keep your brand authentic, relevant, with just enough flavour, I love Unsplash. It’s 100% free and crediting the photographer is suggested but not required.

6) Make it easy for people to slot you in: Calendly 

How much time do you spend scheduling things? What if you could prevent all the back and forth emails asking “what times might work for you” and instead make it easy for people to book whatever time they like on your schedule. Calendly not only makes you look and operate more professionally, it saves you from all of those annoying emails - because booking a time to chat takes shouldn't take more time and energy than the chat itself!

7) Be a Better Robot: Hubspot

Speaking of emails, do you find yourself sending basically the exact same thing to different people? Yes, sometimes hustle takes patience, and can make you feel a bit like a robot, but instead of fighting that simple fact - I suggest just embracing it with efficiency. Hubspot allows you to build email templates so copying + pasting that “cold reach out” email is replaced with one simple click. Their free version also allows for the sneaky (but totally worth it) ability to see who is opening your emails and who isn’t, so you can plan your follow-ups accordingly. In other words - do you need to work on just tuning up your subject line, or the email body itself? For even more insights and the ability to set up email sequences (similar to automated campaigns in MailChimp) you may want to upgrade to their paid version.

8) Get Noticed and Get Trending: Neil Patel SEO Analyzer

Do you have an SEO consultant? Okay, probably not. But regardless of if you’re a keyword expert or not, you could likely do with a bit of help when it comes to keeping your content optimized for relevance as well as being easily searchable. Who doesn’t want to come up in the top results for Google searches?! #Goals. For that, I have just discovered an amazing free tool on Neil Patel’s site - it’s right at the top of his page, and you can plop in your website link and see how much better you could be doing when it comes to gaining traffic. The assessment is totally free and even comes with links to explainer articles to ensure you understand the information being presented to you.

9) Give Each Client Exactly What They Need: Meal Garden Professional

Let’s face it, we can all Google search for recipes, download ready-made meal plan templates, or read articles on this vs. that diet - but how are you providing real value to each of your client’s specific nutritional restrictions, preferences, and goals? Meal Garden lets you build out custom materials (recipe collections, meal plans, etc.) that suit the unique needs of your individual clients quickly and easily, and then share that content in a way that’s still customizable on their end, so that they can interact with the resources you provide and feel empowered rather than disciplined. Say goodbye to PDF printouts that have only proven to lead to stress and failure, and say hello to a whole new way to inspire your clients to make better food choices - without a total overhaul of their current lifestyles. Sometimes it’s the little things, like providing mobile-friendly grocery lists and notifications, that can keep them on track and feeling supported more than ever - what can be more rewarding for a health coach than that?! For $10/month Canadian, the power to upgrade your business - for yourself and your clients, is in your hands (on your desktop or mobile devices).

How to Do It 'Your Own Way': From a Naturopathic Doctor who LOVES her profession but was taught NOTHING with regards to how to run a thriving business

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Dr. Salna Smith from Kale & Coffee and now Meal Garden Professional used to be happy following the standard nutritional practitioner "rules", but soon enough her yearning for a more exploratory practice in a relatively new 'niche' became too strong to ignore. Here's how she made it work, and continues to seek out growth opportunities to support a thriving clientele, business, and self!


Entrepreneurship – where to start?!

I’ve known I wasn’t the best employee since I began my journey as a Naturopathic Doc in downtown Toronto in 2005. I loved the collaboration with other health practitioners and craved being around like minded people, (I joke that I love the health bubble we in the wellness industry live in), but in the back of my mind I knew I wanted to do it ‘my way’ one day.

While I’ve been a full time ND for over a decade, it’s been the last few years that have shaped my practice into one that consists of me, finally niched down and focusing on my local home based concierge practice and broadening my telemedicine practice in Alberta Canada.

So as a Naturopathic Doctor who LOVES her profession but was taught NOTHING with regards to how to run a thriving business - What have I learned thus far?

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  • It’s ok to think outside the box…and act on it – our profession teaches trading dollars for hours and while that’s fine for some, it never sat right with me. I wanted to help MORE people and I wanted the RIGHT people to be able to access me if we were a good fit to work together. Enter telemedicine. It’s still a work in progress as a profession, but I’m moving forward within the constructs currently laid out in order to provide optimal patient care and it feels amazing to be doing something more on the cutting edge of medicine.

  • Making mistakes is part of the journey – I’ve made some doozies. From the more mundane systems-not-in-place (ie online scheduling errors, website malfunctions), to lacking clarity for the confines of what our profession can provide and when all is said and done, I haven’t yet viewed one as an actual “mistake”. I think when you love something, there are no mistakes, only solutions, or pivots. It’s exciting to know you’re blazing ahead, doing your best for the greater good. That makes it all worthwhile.

  • Enlist a mentor – it can be lonely to be the sole one responsible for your business. You’re the receptionist, marketer & practitioner along with other home/family responsibilities. And it can be a lot. Tasks can get forgotten, things are easily disorganized and this can create a sense of overwhelm. I used to think a paper business planner was all I needed (HA!) but to have someone help prioritize tasks and help with execution has been invaluable.

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Telemedicine and niching down (i.e. I have a drive to support women with Adrenal Fatigue and Hormonal Imbalances) is a relatively new concept for ND’s and isn’t something taught in school.

It’s been bumpy, rewarding, with more bumps but always a choice I’m SO happy I made and one I don’t see myself trading for a brick and mortar space anytime soon.

Taking the Leap of Faith: From Salaried Registered Dietitian to Starting A Private Nutritional Practice

Are you thinking about a move from your "comfy" salaried job to a more exciting, yet risky entrepreneurial venture? Whether you're in the nutrition space or not, Meal Garden Professional and RD Mosadi Brown has some heartfelt and valuable insights to help guide your path...


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After 10 years as a Registered Dietitian that had worked in a salaried government job with a benefits package – I was itching for a change in my field and took a leap of faith into private practice.

It can be scary to start a business and for me it was. The element of the unknown – concerns regarding ways to get clients, where to start with launching my business, am I going to make enough money, anxiety and pressure on myself, and my brand to do the best that I can – always.  

The way that I did it was by 1) Having a clear vision for what I want to do; 2) Do what I am passionate about; and 3) Have supportive people around you.  

  1. Have a clear vision for what I want to do, then establish a set of goals and tasks that align with that vision. A clear vision for what I wanted helped to give me clarity and focus. I frequently refer back to my vision and vision statement which is to provide high quality registered dietitian services for my clients to enable my clients to improve their health status, clinical outcomes, and quality of life. I also don’t want to limit myself and have established multiple income streams in addition to my main brick and mortar clinic location such as a mobile clinic, skype clinic, group education, workplace wellness, and consultant for businesses – all activities that I enjoy! As for writing things down for clarity - I put pen to paper and captured my vision statement in a business plan.  Initially writing my business plan was for submission for funding to cover start-up expenses. Since that time, I have found that my business plan continuously keeps me on track as I review my mission and vision statement as well as the goals, tasks, and marketing strategies that align with my overarching vision and mission.  
  2. I do what I am passionate about first and foremost. When I do what I am passionate about – my clients get the best possible care from me because I am doing what I love and they can sense that. Doing what I am passionate about has also been that I create values-based services because I am putting enthusiasm, optimism, and attention to detail that is necessary to enable my clients to reach their nutrition and wellness goals, as well as for my clients to be happy with the services I provide to them. Passion is infectious and permeates as well as adds positivity and value to everything I do.
  3. It is important to have supportive people around me. People that want to see me succeed and that are in harmony with my vision. When I launched my practice – I created a site assessment and checklist tool for the clinics that I operate out of to help me decide where I was going to set up my practice permanently.  Some of the items I had include: Do I have a regular referral source?; What is the clinic culture (are they friendly? Fulfilling my business needs?  Fair and equitable? Do they support my career advancement?) as well as also looking at marketing and networking exposure. I apply the same approach to my business colleagues, to ensure that I am creating an uplifting experience to build my nutrition practice within – such as for networking, marketing, partnering, and referral opportunities.
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The  most important part of the process of starting my nutrition consulting business was to get past the wall of fear. 

Do not be afraid to fail – if you do – then you won’t get very far.  

To me, failure is not an option.  Not that fear does not exist for me – at times it does.  Rather it is about having the courage to pursue my dream job (which is running my own nutrition consulting business) in the face of fear instead of running from it.  In this way I can stay focused on what I want to create, remain grounded, and live in an attitude of gratitude.

I have a general practice. I also have areas of focus that I am most passionate about that are:

  • Metabolic disorders (weight management, diabetes, cardiovascular health) – certified diabetes educator ready to meet your needs in the areas of type 1 or 2 diabetes, pre-diabetes, diabetes prevention, metabolic syndrome, dyslipidemia (cholesterol), high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease.
  • Digestive Disorders – a healthy you starts with a healthy gut.  Gas, bloating, irritable bowel syndrome, celiac disease, inflammation.
  • Functional Nutrition – food as medicine!  I can help you piece together the nutrition puzzle to get you eating and feeling great, as well as to work with your body’s natural ability to heal itself.  Food coupled with supplementation (herbal, neutraceutical, homeopathic) to address your health concerns.
  • Emotional Eating – I work with you to modify your behaviour, motivate you, and to tackle the challenge of changing one’s relationship with food.
  • Meal Planning – create an individualized action plan for menus, meals, recipes, and snacks.  

The last area of focus brings me to my connection with Meal Garden!  I love to cook as well as to create recipes, collate recipes, try out and modify existing recipes. I enjoy doing all of these things on Meal Garden as it is a medium that allows me to keep meals, snacks, and recipes all in one place. I can also overlap meal plans as well as copy and paste plans week to week for a seamless experience. Many of the meal plans are themed making for easy access to select them by health issue or type of diet. Additionally, I write a regular blog and can post my articles on there as another way to engage the public.

For my clients - meal planning can be time consuming when done manually.  

Meal Garden is a great online platform that allows me to put together meal plans as well as to access meal plans much more quickly.  

The nutrition information and shopping list are also a great compliment to the meal plan itself as it gives my clients sound nutrition information and also saves them time because the grocery list is done for them.  Apart from what I recommend – clients can choose recipes and meal plans that suit their needs.

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Mosadi Brown, Registered Dietitian – Preventing Disease with Nutrition One Step at a Time

Follow Mosadi on Social Media:

 

3 Essentials For Successful Nutritional Entrepreneurship

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Whether you're just starting your health coaching business or have been in it for years, learning from fellow practitioners can offer valuable insight. 

Here are a few tips that Meal Garden Professional Kim from NutritionPro Consulting cares to enlighten us with...

Kim has been in the health and wellness business for several years and she has a true passion for what she does. 

"I love helping people improve their lives and health by coaching clients on how to make wise choices with food.  From cooking at home to smart shopping at the grocery store, these are a couple of areas we work on." 

There a few things that I have learned by being a nutrition entrepreneur:

Visit NutritionPro Consulting on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. 

Visit NutritionPro Consulting on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter

Give clients the very best and go over and above what they ask for. 

This is important.  I want them to know their health is important to me and is something that deserves time and attention.  Each person is an individual with unique needs. 

Never stop learning. 

Research in the nutrition field is always changing and improving. I make it a point to educate myself so I can deliver the most scientifically sound advice to my clients and in my writing.

Incorporate good products and services into your business. 

I use Meal Garden because I love the recipes  and the ease of use of the program.  It also helps clients to cook more at home without having to search for healthy recipes.  Making simple, healthy meals  is something we work on when people want to start eating a more high quality diet. 

How to Build a Successful Nutrition Practice - Tips & Tricks from an [Entrepreneurial] Nutritional Practitioner

Recently graduated from Nutritional studies and feel excited about your new career ahead - but still a little lost as to how to really "start"?

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You're not alone. Here at Meal Garden, I work with a wide array of nutritional practitioners at various stages in their wellness business.

I've noticed an interesting commonality among all of them - from holistic nutritionists to registered dieticians to health coaches to naturopathic doctors and everything in-between: they all think they lack an element of "business-savviness"

"I'm good at 'X', but I need help with all the 'marketing', 'social media', 'financial', and/or 'tech' stuff."

Often times, they give themselves less credit then they deserve, and dare I say: their fear or insecurity about not being "savvy-enough" actually prevents them really garnering up the confidence to just going for it - what it takes to really build a business and a brand for yourself from the ground up.

In a few special cases, though, I'm delightfully taken-aback by how quickly and effortlessly some recent nutrition grads seem to do it. While I've picked up on a thing or two watching fellow wellness influencers market and create a successful name for themselves - I think it's best if I let them explain in their own words...

That's why I'm excited to have Ivana Locke, from her name branded Nutrition + Wellness business, share her insights...

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"When starting out owning your own practice as a nutritional practitioner, there are a lot of things that can distract you as you are trying different ways to get clients.  But the desire to help people and wanting to see them succeed is the key ingredient of a great practitioner and a solid foundation for your new business. This will help to build a successful referral-based business.

From Day 1 of starting my business, I came in with the mentality and mindset of:

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  • How can I help my clients to the best of my ability.
  • How can I help them achieve their goals and make them successful.

By continuing to focus on one client at a time and helping them get results and guide them through to their success, I was able to work with more clients and build my business through word of mouth and referrals.  It just takes a little patience and time. 

When your clients know, like and trust you, the rapport and referral base is easy to build. A good marker for me to know how well I am doing is if I am continually getting referrals.

Having a large online presence is not something that I really focus on. 

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I basically use the online social media platform to build an audience to try to show potential clients what I am about and what kind of knowledge I have to offer.  If it resonates with them, then I am just pre-educating them and already building that rapport for when we work together."


I had the pleasure of connecting with Ivana as she was one of our first Meal Garden Professionals, and she quickly navigated the tool to suit her coaching needs with clients (both in-person and one-on-one as well as through online group programs). 


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"Meal Garden acts as a host where I can house recipes and meal plans to assist my clients in my nutrition business. I like to share a lot of the fantastic recipes that already exist on there and I also like to add/modify a few of my own. Therefore, its a great platform for organizing my recipe collections that I like to share with my clients.

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My clients can easily utilize Meal Garden to help them organize their meals for the week and even generates a grocery shopping list with the nutritional analysis of the recipes. It’s a real time-saver for them."


It's rewarding to see successful and entrepreneurial nutrition practitioners take advantage of the resources out there to advance and optimize what they already do so well - help people eat and live better! 

I look forward to watching Ivana's business continue to thrive and will stay tuned for many more positive testimonials and referrals in her future...

From Blogger to Holistic Food Entrepreneur...

Are you a foodie blogger looking to expand your horizons, but your path to fame and success unclear?

You may very likely be inspired by one of our fellow Meal Garden users - turned Professional...in both Meal Garden, as well as with her very own business. Angela Argentina is a talented entrepreneur, and wears many different hats, from graphic designer, to yoga teacher, to Reiki Master, to retreat host, to meditation teacher - any many more!

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With that said, her passion for healthy recipes and inspiring others to join her adventures in food forever fuelled her personal mandate. While the path to Kindred Kitchens - Angela's self-run community dedicated to helping others create a holistic, happy and healthy lifestyle - was not always clear or easy, she has never lost sight of her end goal of sharing her love of a "holistic foodie" lifestyle.

We're excited to have Angela as one of our very first Meal Garden Professional users, after over a year of using the tool as a regular user herself.  

It will be interesting to see where her entrepreneurial and enthusiastic mindset takes advantage of it...

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"I have been using Meal Garden for over a year now and it's great for meeting particular dietary requests of my clients.

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I also find it a great platform to store and record my recipes, and it's also wonderful for inspiration.

The Holistic Hub, curated by Kiki, offers a variety of meal plans and information showcasing different themes and food trends; meal garden really makes the whole 'meal planning' process look quite easy.

As I'm producing more recipes and growing my food business, Kindred Kitchens, I am particularly interested in using the meal planning feature as many people ask me for ready-made templates and plans.

There is a library of tutorials and a live chat option, so when I get to planning meals for clients in the new year, I'm confident it will be a breeze."


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"I recommend Meal Garden for any food blogger or foodie interested in making healthier choices easy, and who want some creative inspiration to feed their needs."

- Angela Argentina of Kindred Kitchens


Thanks Angela for your continued involvement in our growing community!

What's a "Wellness Influencer" and How to Become One...

In my past 2 years in a Marketing, turned Customer Success, turned "Growth-Hacker" position here at Meal Garden, I've learned a thing or two about what it takes to become truly "influential" in this crowded - yet growing - health & wellness industry.

My journey started with a desperate desire to "get people talking" about Meal Garden...

We're a health-tech company helping people eat better, with a fully developed and incredibly advanced tool - hype should be easy. Or so I thought.

Getting the word out requires strategy.

So I turned to "influencers" - health & wellness thought-leaders with a following. That would surely be the way. Or so I thought.

Turns out asking people to take a spin at your super cool new app isn't a super cool new ask - they're used to it, and folks that are "big enough" to matter, send you a "big enough" press kit.

Unfortunately, as a bootstrapped startup, forking out thousands on a "feature blog post" or "social media mention" just didn't seem worthwhile...nor financially feasible.

Moreover, I wanted these Media Nutritionists and RDs to genuinely use and love our tool. I wasn't looking for a one-hit mention.

So instead, I turned to up-and-comers, while building my own brand, Mindfully Edible, on the side.

Taking inspiration from Toronto's big names in nutrition, like Joyous Health, Abbey's Kitchen, and Julie Daniluk, while working closely with recent grads from the Institute of Holistic Nutrition (IHN) and the Canadian School of Natural Nutrition (CSNN), I began to piece together what it takes to be truly "influential" in this space.

I've come to realize that an "influencer", especially in this space, is someone that people not only look up to, but wholeheartedly trust and resonate with.

What do all of these "nutrition stars" have in common? They are inspirational, informative, and have impeccable brands (in other words - beautiful aesthetics is vital).

Working with a select group of entrepreneurial nutritionists, dieticians, and health coaches, I can immediately pick out those that "get it" and are going places, and those that still need to find their footing in the space. Some of the nutritional influencers and advocates I'm most excited about who have already begun to shape our Meal Garden Professional community include Ivana Locke, Kristine Peacock, Paula Yolles, Ana-Maria Janes, and many more.

They have each and collectively taught me the importance of becoming an expert in serving your particular niche - whether it's busy new moms, women with digestive issues, or parents struggling with picky-eaters - and furthermore, becoming a relatable "friend" to your followers.

While my passion for food and nutrition grew as I learned and developed at Meal Garden, meanwhile pursuing continued studies in holistic and alternative medicine, I was inspired to create my very own health & wellness community, Mindfully Edible.

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The tool has provided me with the resources, support, and confidence I needed to become a "wellness expert" myself, and continues to opens up new and exciting doors for me today.

Here are a few examples of what I mean…

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  • It's been the platform in which I host my own online channel, The Holistic Health Hub, where I connect with people all across the world looking to improve their eating habits.

  • I use my Recipe Collections + Meal Plans as a value-add on my personal blog. This is the page that consistently gets the most traffic on a monthly basis and helps to boost my website SEO.

  • I can quickly and easily find and dissect any recipe to assess it's nutritional composition, offer scientific dietary analysis on menu plans, and quickly and easily create custom meal plans to suit the individual dietary needs of a wide variety of my followers.

All of this, and I'm not even a "Nutritionist". Yup, I said it. Just a Rotman Commerce grad with a passion in food & nutrition, a desire to help people eat and feel better, and a continuous thirst for progressive information in the ever-advancing wellness world.

While I've struggled with my own insecurities of not going to "nutrition school" or being a certified "Dietician", I've realized that's not a barrier to my success as a Wellness Influencer in the slightest. Without sounding TOO conceited, I can confidently state that I am one of the most informed people I know on almost any dietary-related topic, and that's all thanks to literally living and breathing in this space. Everyday, all day.

Naveen Jain, serial entrepreneur and Founder of Viome, explained on a recent podcast on Bulletproof radio that his advice for becoming a successful entrepreneur is as follows:

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"First of all, start dreaming big. Really start to think about what are the biggest problems. Don’t be afraid that you know nothing about it. If you look at the most successful entrepreneurs, they are not the experts in their field. They all started because they saw a big problem. When you see a big problem, you essentially start to take a small, small slice, and then start executing."

Thank you Meal Garden for fuelling and supporting my journey becoming a "Wellness Influencer" in this crazy yet exciting "wellness world".  

7 Must Know Strategies to Support a Thriving Health Business for “Newbies”

I still remember the day Paula Yolles, a Digestive Wellness Expert at FoodTastic Health, joined us here at Meal Garden.
 

She took a leap of faith and reached out via email: "I coach women with digestive health challenges & I'm looking for a way to share, with ease, recipes & meal plans to my clients."

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Paula was only just starting her business at the time, and it was about getting comfortable with the basics of getting the word out about her services and finding clients - but first, she needed a way to reach people and also garner their trust. "I already have a lot of personal recipes written up on my computer, and I need to get them accessible to people."

While she was a "newbie" to the health coaching world, she wasn't afraid to network and put herself out there in order to explore available opportunities and resources within her reach.

"I knew of Meal Garden from a colleague, and so I check it out.  After exploring the Meal Garden site,  I knew instantly that Meal Garden was just what I was looking for to support my clients and my business!”

Today, with the help of Meal Garden - Paula's clients' aren't the only ones thriving, so is her FoodTastic Health business!

Thus, I thought it would be worthwhile for her to share her insights and experiences with the aim of inspiring others just starting their journey as "wellpreneurs"...

When I, Paula, first started my FoodTastic Health Digestive Wellness Business,

I noticed within a few months that my own health was beginning to take a downward dive

and this was alarming.  I was experiencing:

  • Disruptive Sleep- lots of chatter brain in the middle of the night

  • Lack of focus- hopping from one task to another without completing one

  • My digestion started getting wacky- constipation wacky which for me is a clear sign that  my body is off balance

I had to step back for a moment as my body was being greatly impacted by the “Busy Building a Business Syndrome”.   Unfortunately, many wellpreneurs, mompreneurs, and any business owner can readily attest to having experienced this.  

It’s that feeling of all the success is on your shoulders and if you don’t get the long list of To Do’s done right now your business won’t blossom.  

You know that list… build your email list… write blogs... figure out how to do a sales funnel… answer all the emails… oh and don’t forget, actually figuring out how to best serve your clients (Just writing that list makes me want to scream.  Okay, take a deep breath, let it out and read on).  

Building your own business can zap you or build you up - Which are you going to choose?

I knew I couldn’t keep doing what I was doing or I’d be burnt out before I even got my business up and running.  

So I decided I needed to take the advice I was giving my clients - Prioritizing Self Care from what you put in your mouth to what you think to how you spend your day.  

It took a bit of time to sort things out and find balance. I did achieve it and now I stay happy & healthy while running a thriving business.   

You don’t have to go through the bumps like I did.  

Your Business Can Thrive and So Can You!

It is possible to start healthy and stay healthy from day one of your business.

Strategy #1: Get Support  

Get support to help you through the ups & downs (Oh, there will be downs!). Support will keep you moving & thriving forward.  Prepare your family and friends for the launch and building of your business.  Let them know you will need them to support you, whether that is emotionally or by folding some extra laundry.  Also, having a business buddy is a great way to know you aren’t in this alone and to be inspired.

Strategy #2: Use Your Strengths

What comes naturally to you? Make a list and use these areas to build your business upon and things will flow.  Ask for help, barter or hire someone for the areas that feel like a struggle so you can stay thriving and focus on supporting your clients and enrolling new clients.

Strategy #3: Action with Ease

When looking at my To-Do list, I select something that feels comfortable and I start there as that helps my day flow from a place of success instead of a place of struggle.  Action with ease & joy are the keys to success and the foundation of my business both personally and with my clients.

Strategy #4: Prioritize Eating Well

When I first started my FoodTastic Health Digestive Wellness business, on many occasions, I’d be working away and then all of the sudden I realized dinner time was upon us and I forgot to cook us dinner.  

This is part that makes me laugh at myself, as a wellpreneur, I know the importance of eating high-quality home cooked meals.  I’ve learned quickly one must take care of herself to best serve her clients, including eating well.  

 

Paula and her son enjoying a home cooked meal they prepared during their trip to Italy.

Paula and her son enjoying a home cooked meal they prepared during their trip to Italy.

Strategy #5: Invest in Yourself

As health practitioners, the place we shine as bright as the sun is, well, health.  I knew from the start that when it came to the business end of running a health practice, the clouds could quickly roll in and blocked my shining sun.

Being in the world of business was brand new to me. So I found myself a business coach, who I deeply adore and trust, & enrolled in her year-long business program for holistic practitioners.

This was and continues to be the wisest investment I made in myself for my business- as it provides me with the emotional support, plus the practical foundation with a clear path of actions I use to build my business.  

Strategy #6: Patience is Power   

Building a business takes time, requires learning new things, and will push you out of your comfort zone.   With patience, you can do all that needs to be done, while knowing you are on the right path and that you are creating a thriving business one step at a time.  Most importantly, patience with yourself will lead to more self-confidence and others will feel that, including potential clients.

Strategy #7: Celebrate Daily (or even hourly)   

The most helpful emotional advice I’ve received as a business entrepreneur is...

“Celebrate all the success from the big ones to the little ones.”  

I say, “Stand up and do a happy dance!”

Strategy #8: Bonus Strategy

The bonus is you getting to start your business while maintaining your physical and emotional wellbeing so your business can thrive.

No time like the present to start, right?  

So I would like to offer a self-care challenge to you.  

Select 3 or more of the above listed strategies and start putting them in place so you can have a thriving foundation from the start.

While our Meal Garden Professional software has come a LONG way since Paula first joined us, Paula navigated the tool like a pro from day 1, and took advantage of many of the different capabilities it has to offer.

I never tire of seeing Paula share some of her wonderfully curated recipe collections and specially designed meal plans on Facebook. Without fail, we always get an influx of new users signing up, on the hunt for some more of the content she's sharing within a few hours of her posting.

[Thank you Paula!]

"Meal Garden has saved me hours & hours of time and it will for you too.  Trust me, I know since I started out creating meal plans by myself and that literally took me days & days.  Now I hop on Meal Garden and can efficiently create a meal plan.
"Meal Garden is the place where I store recipes I personally created and have access to hundreds of other recipes so I can easily design a recipe collection or meal plan to best serve each clients personal digestive health needs."
"Meal Garden has a ton of healthy & tasty recipes, including my personal FoodTastic Health recipes which I can add at any moment."
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"Meal Garden is designed so a health practitioner or coach can share meaningful content like articles or dietary guidelines for individual clients (of course) and even share them without a glitch onto social media like Facebook."

So what's the major takeaway here?

Hopefully you'll walk away with a few valuable and actionable tips, alongside some healthy inspiration. Mostly, I want to drive home how very capable you are of starting a nutritional coaching business - as long as that's where your heart lies. While it can be daunting, and needless to say it can feel risky and lonesome at times - it's important to remember you are NOT alone. There is help and support out there - you just have to reach out and ask for it!


Paula Yolles

FoodTastic Health© Digestive Wellness Expert

Women hire Paula to help them overcome digestive issues, bathroom struggles & weight gain.

She’s really passionate about helping women feel Vibrantly Healthy and Pain Free.  She rejoices when her clients gain crystal clarity on knowing how to Eat Just Right for Her Body™.

Paula’s nutrition philosophy for her clients & herself, is eat whole, organic, unprocessed foods (without counting calories) that are Just Right for Her Body™ to create Optimal Digestive Health, Increased Energy, Weight Loss (if desired) & To Be Pain Free.

Click Here to learn more about FoodTastic Health and see a sampling of the meal plans Paula has created on Meal Garden.


Just starting your nutritional practice? 3 life lessons you can learn now or later.

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It's hard to believe Ana-Maria, RHN from Nourished Little Munchkins reached out only a few months back - sharing that she was just starting her nutritional practice but was looking for ways to scale her efforts and in particular a way to quickly curate client meal plans. 

Today, Ana-Maria's business of helping moms nourish their babies and kids - from teaching how to introduce solids, helping with picky eating, addressing mealtime challenges, teaching mom’s how to navigate their kid’s allergies, or how to deal with frequent cold and flus - her passion has now become a financially successful venture. 

As one of our first Meal Garden Professional users, it's my pleasure to have Ana-Maria share the life-lessons she's gained through the ups and downs of building her wellness business. I hope they'll guide you to make smart decisions fast - and perhaps save you from making some (understandable) "mistakes". Eagerness is valuable and important. Efficiency and marketing intelligence is absolutely necessary to stand out in this saturated market and truly help the people you know you can - at large!

Here are 3 essential learnings to grow a healthy practice from Ana-Maria herself...

#1: FIND YOUR TRIBE.

I remember after graduating, I was so excited and I knew I can help anyone that came my way.  And while it is true that we can help individuals from all walks of life, the first lesson I learned is that when it comes to your marketing communication:  If you try to talk to everyone, you talk to no one.  The most important thing you can do is choose a niche to specialize in. It took me a good year to figure out what I love talking about.  What could I talk about all day everyday.  Or better put, what I could talk about for free and still be very happy.  But I needed that year to venture out and try different things.  The big take away, is to not be afraid to start somewhere and give yourself time to explore. Make a natural pivot into a niche when it feels right. 

#2: FIND YOUR STORY.

My second take away is to embrace your own story. The backstory you share in your business is an important element which can serve to further connect with your audience.  The second tip I can share revolves around taking the time to craft that story. 

  • Why did you choose this career path? 
  • Why do you like to help others with their nutrition needs? 
  • What discomforts did nutrition help you overcome? 

Once I got the courage to be comfortable enough to put my story out there, I literally felt like there was this huge burden lifted from my shoulders. Everyone struggles with one aspect or another when it comes to their health, and connecting with this truth will help you attract an audience who resonates with you and your message. 

#3: FIND THE PROBLEM FIRST (THEN SOLVE IT).

The third lesson I learned is also one that was a huge game-changer for me.  Always think in terms of "problem --> solution".  When you start talking about and advertising your programs, focus on the emotional struggle that comes with having problem xyz.  Regardless if a client is struggling with weight loss, cancer, adrenal fatigue, hormone imbalances, endometriosis, or how to feed their family allergy-friendly foods - each of those problems come with an emotional burden your client has to work through.  Make sure you tap into how it's like to live day-in and day-out with the problem your program solves.  The more emotional you can get, the more you will show your audience that you get them.  That you understand what's it's like to walk in their shoes and you know how to pull them out of that pain and into a solution.

How Ana-Maria Uses Meal Garden...

Besides the fact that I can create customized meal plans, entire programs, home pages for each of my clients, the main reason I love it is because it's a tool that actually adds value to my Clients. I was never able to use any other meal planner tool because most stop at adding recipes in designated meal slots during the week.  Meal Garden knocks it out of the park with the flexibility yet simplicity of their design.  

Let me give you an example of a typical wild week in a family's household...

If mom is on a "balance-your-hormones-after-baby" diet, she can import her weekly menu and assign it to herself.  If baby needs pureed foods, Meal Garden lets you add (essentially overlapping) this meal plan and assign it to your baby while still giving you the option make extra portions to freeze. If dad only needs a few modifications to the elimination diet mom is on, for dinners only, we can easily double the dinner portions of the elimination diet and add a few extra foods for him. Wait! Triple those dinners because their toddler also needs to eat!  If Saturday is little Jimmy's 4th birthday, either individual foods or entire dishes for the event can be quickly added in the weekly plan.  And of course, while mom is at home with the baby, her lunches might look different than the lunchbox lunches little Jimmy gets.  And yes you can totally add lunches specific for Jimmy to the weekly menu plan. 

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See the best part?  If mom is following the homorne balancing diet, all she has to do is import it into her weekly schedule and plan her family's meal around it.  Visually, it's incredibly easy to see everyone's meals at a glance, and takes the burden off of your clients trying to piece together the rest of the family's meals (which are otherwise scattered in baby food recipe books or in Pinterest Pins).

Let's face it: We are asking our clients to make changes to their diets and lifestyles and that's not easy.  I love how Meal Garden is the closest tool I've ever come across that actually mimics how real-life really happens. For our clients this is golden!  I can't recommend Meal Garden enough.