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That being said, we only promote authors, products, and services that we use ourselves and wholeheartedly stand by. To learn more about how we earn money here on Autoimmune Wellness, head on over to our Promotional Policy.
If you’ve been following us for any length of time you already know that we think the Real Plans meal-planning software is the most genius organizational tool for anyone doing an elimination diet like the Autoimmune Protocol. (Seriously haven’t heard about it? Head over to our overview post for some in-depth details!).
The incredible thing about Real Plans as a company is that it is run by folks who both get the challenges of meal prep for restricted diets and are constantly striving to make their tool better. As if revolutionizing the AIP scene with their meal planner wasn’t enough, they have consistently put in the work to create a program that is endlessly flexible and customizable (for the same affordable cost!). It is very rare that we promote a product that people go out of their way to email and thank us for introducing them to after the fact… but that happens all the time with Real Plans!
Our favorite Real Plans features
Real Plans is a desktop and app-based software that enables you to make custom meal plans tailored not only to the way you eat, but when you want to shop, prep, and batch-cook. Some of our favorite features are:
- Meal planning genius. In short, Real Plans makes you a meal plan based on the parameters you’ve set in their program. You can either select recipes from their database or have them select recipes for you, and if you don’t love their pick, you can adjust easily with their drag-and-drop interface.
- Allergen or preference-friendly. Not only can you ask Real Plans to select only AIP recipes for you, but you can ask it to avoid additional ingredients (like FODMAPs) or include any ingredients you’ve successfully reintroduced (like nuts or seeds).
- Literally tons of recipes. Real Plans offers over 300 AIP recipes in their regular software, and you can add over 250 additional recipes from our books and site for another $1/month. You won’t run out of options!
- Shopping lists included. Once you set your meal plans, Real Plans will generate your shopping lists automatically, including separating your list by store after you tell it where you shop for what. You can either print out your list or use it in the app.
What’s new with Real Plans for 2020
Like I said, the team at Real Plans has been busy and their updates do not disappoint! Among the newest features are:
- 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, especially if they aren’t able to be sourced easily in stores. Their new update comes with dozens of new recipes that are designed to be as simple and easily-sourced as possible.
- Leftover logic. Of all the updates, I think this one is the most powerful! If you are like me 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. Literally, a batch-cooker’s dream come true!
- Scheduling logic. Similar to leftover logic, their updated calendar lets you make some helpful customizations to your calendar, such as if you’d like to have dinner leftovers for lunch instead of a boxed lunch. You can also select some 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.
If you are familiar with Real Plans you know their platform is available both on their website and an app – and all of these features are currently live in both places!
Real Plans + Autoimmune Wellness
We are proud to have partnered with Real Plans all the way back in 2016 to offer all of the recipes in The Autoimmune Paleo Cookbook, The Alternative Autoimmune Cookbook, and the classic recipes Angie and I have offered here on the blog. For $1/month, you can add access to these 250+ recipes directly in the Real Plans software (and that is in addition to their house collection of over 300 AIP recipes!).