By Jackie Rainford Corcoran EBS Health Columnist
Does the question, “What’s for dinner?” make you want to run to the nearest restaurant? At the end of a busy day, having to make this decision can feel like an enormous chore. But eating healthy, home cooked meals is good for the waistline, the purse and for an overall sense of well-being.
That’s why the app Mealime is a must have. This free and very intuitive meal planning service is available on iPhone, Android or for your laptop.
Consider it if you enjoy cooking with whole foods but want new recipe ideas, or if you’re just learning to cook. If you like having a well laid out meal plan, or you need a quick dinner idea on the fly, this app is for you.
Mealime provides these three essentials: customized meal planning, a comprehensive grocery shopping list and easy to follow cooking instructions. Here’s how it works: after you download Mealime to your device, create your account and choose your diet type from the options below.
Classic: No holds barred
Flexitarian: Easy on the meat
Low Carb: Easy on the carbs
Pescetarian: Vegetarian and seafood
Vegetarian: Zero meat
Paleo: Plenty of meat and plants, and no refined foods
The app then asks you what ingredients you’re allergic to, or just dislike.
After selecting how many people are eating—the options are two or four servings—begin creating your meal plan by browsing images of beautiful dishes and clicking on the ones you’d like to add. Voila! You’re meals are selected for the week.
When it’s time to buy your groceries, click on the “Grocery List.” All ingredients for each of the meals you chose are listed here. It even tells you approximately how many minutes your shopping will take. The items are grouped under different grocery store sections. For example, all veggies appear at the top of the list under produce, then meats, spices, etc.
As you put an item in your basket, or if you already have it at home, simply click on that ingredient and it vanishes from your shopping list. Another handy feature suggests substitutes for ingredients you might not be able to find.
When it’s time to cook these delicious meals—my husband and I have enjoyed them all so far—click on the meal you’re making that night to see the instructions.
Three tabs appear in this section: cookware, ingredients and instruction.
Get your cookware ready, bring out the ingredients and then dive into the instructions.
Here you can open the “Cooking Mode” option. It brings up the instructions in a larger font, one step at a time. I appreciate that it tells you how much you need of each ingredient, in each of the instructions, so that you don’t have to refer back to the ingredients list.
Love what you’ve made? Click the heart to add favorites. The handy share button lets you easily send to a friend. It’s such a great app, it’s hard to believe it’s free.
Jackie Rainford Corcoran is an IIN Certified Holistic Health Coach. Check out her new website corcoranhealth.com where you can schedule a free 30-minute health coaching session.