mastering meal plan

Fall in Love with Mastering Your Meal Planning


I recently launched “Mastering Meal Planning” with Nashville Community Education this Fall to help people overcome one of their most frustrating food problems, meal planning.  Here’s what we learned in the 2-class series.

  1. WHAT TO PLAN FOR: A compass is rather useless without a map.  And when it comes to meal planning, it’s important to plan for healthful, balanced meals since we know what we eat has a direct impact on our health and overall well-being.  As a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, I teach my students how to achieve this simply.

  2. HOW TO EFFICIENTLY RESEARCH RECIPES: Let’s be honest. Recipe research can quickly become a black hole.  You might log on to the internet to find a new chicken recipe and 2 hours later you still haven’t found the one!  In “Mastering Meal Planning,” we learn how to work with our taste preferences and food priorities to help guide our recipe research so that it’s quick and productive.

  3. HOW TO OVERCOME MEAL PLANNING PROBLEMS: Life will always happen and throw off even our most well-thought out plans. In the last class, we discuss potential problems that could arise with meal planning and develop realistic strategies to ensure our plan still happens.


Lindsey is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist from Nashville, TN.  She graduated from the Dietetic Internship program at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, and prior to this, earned her Bachelor’s degree in Human Ecology from The University of Tennessee, Knoxville.  She is a weight management expert, meal planning master, and TN Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Nashville Media spokesperson.  Lindsey is passionate about helping people ignite the healthy that makes them happy and you can follow all her food-filled adventures at @themealplanningmethod!

Mastering My Meals

Mastering Meal Plan

One of my favorite aspects of directing Nashville Community Education is being able to take classes when my schedule allows. This Fall I participated in Lindsey Joe’s Master Meal Planning. In two short nights, Lindsey taught us a step-by-step process to plan meals, helping save time and money while eating a little healthier.

Lindsey covered everything from making grocery lists, how to work with your schedule, creating “master meals,” and SO MUCH MORE!!! Some students struggled with finding the motivation to cook and prep meals, some were stressed by grocery shopping, and some just wanted to save time and stop food waste. For all of us, Lindsey provided patient, knowledgeable, and enthusiastic support. At the end of class, Lindsey gave us a binder full of meal plan templates, recipe cards, pouches for coupons and more! The binder was a great motivator to get started on our meal planning journey.

Personally, I love cooking and shopping, but I struggle with making realistic meal plans on Sundays, that I actually follow through with during the week. I always think I’ll want that kale and quinoa salad on Thursday night until Thursday night rolls around, my day has been long, and I suddenly want pizza or takeout. Then the ingredients waste away in my fridge, while I cave into my cravings. Lindsey helped me realize that I needed to be honest with my tastes – I love hearty, comfort food. I can alter appealing recipes to be healthier by making substitutions for more nutritious ingredients or adding veggies where possible. Thanks to her guidance I’ve actually been following my new meal plans, cooking more food, spending less money, and feeling more energized!

I am looking forward to working with Lindsey again in the spring when she’ll be teaching Master Meal Planning and a new series, Preventing Diabetes(which I plan on attending!). Make sure to follow Lindsey (The Meal Planning Method) on Instagram for lots of helpful tips and treats!

Mary Beth Harding, Executive Director