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What is Real Plans?
Real Plans is an innovative, affordable meal planning software that helps you create meal plans and shopping lists. These plans and lists are customizable to your precise way of eating, preferences, and size of your family and available to use on your smartphone, tablet, or computer.
When we first got a peek of what Real Plans could do for the autoimmune community, we were floored. Here at Autoimmune Wellness we were so all-in, that we decided to partner up to license ALL of our recipes in the Autoimmune Wellness archives, as well as every recipe in our hard-copy books, The Autoimmune Paleo Cookbook and The Alternative Autoimmune Cookbook (300+ AIP recipes). This is in addition to their standard library of AIP recipes, which brings their total AIP collection to 500+ recipes!
If you already know you need affordable, customizable AIP meal plans in your life, click here to learn more and sign up!
How does it work?
You start by telling the Real Plans some specific information about which ingredients you avoid due to sensitivities, eliminations, or preferences, how many people you’d like to cook for, how often you’d like to cook, and how often you shop.
Their software instantly creates a meal plan and shopping list based on your preferences, from which you can modify or add to. It is that easy!
Want to see a walkthrough of how to customize your diet preferences and organize your perfect weekly plan? See how Mickey does it below.
Snapshot: A week on Real Plans
To break it down, each week you:
- Choose what you want to eat from the Real Plans recipe database.
- Review your shopping list, removing the ingredients you already have on hand.
- Print, email or sync your shopping list with your smartphone.
- Shop quickly and efficiently!
- Follow your weekly timeline to find out when to defrost, chop and reheat.
- Eat good food every day.
This is a really big deal for the AIP community! Not only will it help you get healing foods on the table, but it’s also a sign of how widely understood and acknowledged the Autoimmune Protocol has become. And it is crazy affordable!
The best part about Real Plans is that they get us. Their database includes recipes from the Autoimmune Wellness site and our books, so you know you are getting quality instruction and great flavor. All recipes are clearly labeled and categorized so you’ll have no fear of finding a stray nightshade or legume on your shopping list.
A few more details on why Real Plans is perfect for those on AIP:
- You have the ability to exclude or include entire food groups from your plans, meaning that if, for instance, you have eliminated nightshades but have reintroduced eggs, you can tell Real Plans to adjust your recipes accordingly.
- You can separate ingredients by grocery store so you can plan exactly where to get what and you can easily upload your own recipes (or favorites from other blogs) to your collection.
- You can make changes to your weekly plan whenever you want. So even when family comes to town, you can easily swap out recipes, increase serving sizes, or repurpose leftovers and your shopping list and timeline will automatically update. No other service does this!
- Recipe simplification. The folks at Real Plans get that for most weeknight or batch-cooked meals, nobody wants to be making recipes with 20 ingredients.. Their new update comes with dozens of new recipes that are designed to be as simple and easily-sourced as possible.
- Leftover logic. If you are like us and almost always cook leftovers in order to have heat-and-serve meals ready for later in the week, you can now build this into your meal plan. At setup, their system will ask you how many people you are cooking for and how many meals’ worth of leftovers you’d like to produce per week. Your meal plan will now show you on the calendar which meals you’ll be eating your leftovers.
- Scheduling logic. You can make helpful customizations to your calendar, such as having dinner leftovers for lunch instead of a boxed lunch. You can also select options for breakfast, like having a simple breakfast to construct every morning, or a finished meal to heat and serve. With their scheduler you can choose how many meals you want to cook in the week, and combined with how many servings you’d like to make, it will make you a batch-cooking plan to maximize your time.
- Macro-driven plans. If you are layering a macronutrient-driven plan with your eliminations, Real Plans now has the capability to select recipes that have the macronutrient ratio you are going for.
What if my whole family isn’t doing AIP?
No problem! Even if you set your diet as AIP, you will always have access to ALL the other Real Plans recipes – over 1600! – without changing your plan. Based on your selections, Real Plans will then create a realistic meal plan that your whole family can (and will want to!) eat.
Does the shopping list only include ingredients from the recipes, or can I add my own items?
You can use your Real Plans shopping list just a real one! Add ingredients or other household items that don’t show up in your recipes for that week. You can also schedule ingredients to appear on your shopping list at various intervals. For example, you can schedule milk every week, or bacon every two weeks. It’s really slick!
Can I import my own recipes?
Yes! You can easily upload your own recipes (or favorites from other blogs) to your collection. In most cases, the shopping list will automatically recognize the ingredients in any recipes you import.
What if I shop at multiple grocery stores? Can I tailor my shopping list accordingly?
Yes! Real Plans lets you separate ingredients by grocery store so you can plan exactly where to get what.
My country uses metric measurements. Does Real Plans work with this?
Yes! You can switch between US or metric measurements whenever you like. The calculations are accurate and foodies all over the globe enjoy using Real Plans.
Do the Real Plans recipes take seasonal produce into consideration?
Yes. All recipes are cataloged by season so you can search accordingly. The Real Plans Smart Engine takes this into account when picking recipes for you as well.
Get started right away with core meal plans
If you are less interested in customization and just want to get started, I have created a collection of core meal plans, available with the Autoimmune Wellness recipe package that you can use to get started. If you sign up, they will all be pre-loaded on your account:
- Mickey’s Picks (my favorites!)
- Leftovers (great for batch-cookers)
- Freezer Meals (get some food in the bank!)
- Feed A Crowd (ideal for big families)
- Budget (accessible and affordable ingredients)
- Quick (30 minutes or less)
- 8 Ingredients or Less (make things easy)
- Instant Pot (for those pressure-cooker fans!)
How much does it cost?
There are 3 payment options: $20/month, $45/quarter $91/year. The quarterly plan works out to $15 per month and the annual plan works out to $8 per month. This includes the Autoimmune Wellness recipe package!
If you enjoy using Real Plans, we recommend going with the annual plan to maximize your savings, but honestly, having the plan alone will save you so much money. It will mean fewer trips to the store and fewer forgotten or unused ingredients. At $8/month, if it saves you one trip to the store or one ingredient that doesn’t spoil in the fridge, it’s well worth it.
Get your meal routine nailed down
Until preparing AIP-friendly foods becomes routine, healing will continue to be an uphill battle. If you feel like you’re spinning your wheels cooking every night, or you’re struggling to nail down a sustainable routine, Real Plans might just be your answer. We never promote products or services we don’t fully believe in, and this is no different!
Want to give the gift of meal planning to a friend or family member? Real Plans now offers gift subscriptions! What could be better than giving the gift of good health? Learn more about Real Plans gift subscriptions here!