My dinner makeover, from processed foods to healthy fare


To give you some ideas of how you might be able to change your daily dinners, I’m going to show you a week of what our dinners used to be, and show you what I’m serving up this week (while we mostly eat out of our pantry) by making those same meals better or replacing them. Our complete dinner makeover didn’t happen all at once, but over the course of a few months we began to add in more vegetables and I learned how to replace store-bought items with healthier homemade ones.

Our normal weekly dinners before:

  • Monday – Hamburger Helper (sometimes a veggie made it onto the plates as well, but rarely) can of soda or glass of skim milk
  • Tuesday – Spaghetti with store-bought sauce, 1lb conventional beef, white flour pasta, skim milk
  • Wednesday – Hamburgers on white buns, store-bought fries, store-bought ketchup, skim milk
  • Thursday –  Grilled chicken, broccoli, boxed au gratins, skim milk
  • Friday – Order Pizza, pop
  • Saturday – Eat out (fast food), pop
  • Sunday – Taco meal kit, pop or skim milk

Dinner makeover

And our normal dinners now:

  • Monday – Omelets made with free range chicken eggs, loaded with pepper, onion, and mushroom. Sourdough toast with organic butter, and sausage made with grassfed beef.
  • Tuesday – Spaghetti made with 1/2 lb grassfed beef, homemade sauce and brown rice pasta. Salad on the side.
  • Wednesday – Grassfed beef burgers on homemade buns, sweet potatoes, green beans
  • Thursday – Grilled free range chicken, broccoli and homemade au gratins
  • Friday – Salmon, baked potatoes, and green beans
  • Saturday – Homemade pizza with homemade sauce
  • Sunday – Tacos made with grassfed beef, homemade seasoning, and homemade tortilla shells served with a mexican rice (which is made w/ bone broth) and possibly guacamole
  • (we drink water w/ each meal)

Now is my menu perfect? No.

I always have room to grow and make it better, but at least now we’re getting veggies at each meal and most of what we eat is made here at home. And we’ve essentially gotten rid of all of the preservatives, colorings, fake flavors, etc. You can find more of my recipes on my recipe page.

So what are the biggest ways your menu has changed over the years?

Donielle Baker

Donielle Baker

owner and editor of Natural Fertility and Wellness at Natural Fertility and Wellness
I believe women can learn how to heal their bodies & balance their hormones through natural methods. An advocate for natural health, I have a passion for nourishing/real food nutrition and natural living. My personal background includes both infertility and miscarriage and I started Natural Fertility and Wellness in 2008 in order to share all of the information I found helpful in my journey to heal from PCOS and overcome infertility.
Donielle Baker
Donielle Baker
Donielle Baker
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  1. Jodi

    Looks like you are doing great! That menu looks super yummy! I started making my homemade bread from your recipe. Do you have a good homemade buns recipe? I haven’t had any luck with that one yet… Also in my pantry, I found wheat germ. What can I do with that? Can it be used like flax seed?

    • donielle

      @Jodi, I just use the bread recipe and make buns with it! I then just shape them into buns, let rise, and bake for 22 minutes.

      As to the wheat germ…I’m a bit conflicted on it since I’ve read so many times that we should be eating wheat with all 3 parts of the berry together (bran, germ, and endosperm is it?) But friends of mine eat it in there yogurt. Oh, and I believe the germ is the part that can go rancid rather quickly, so if it’s already opened or is getting old – just toss it out.

  2. Millie @ Real Food for Less Money

    Our menu changes have been very similiar to yours. Eliminating the boxed items was one of my early goals. And now I actually ‘plan’ the vegetables too whereas before if I remembered then we would have veggies or fruit. We are still no where near perfect either and have tons of room for improvement but every little bit helps.

  3. Kate

    When we got married our menu looked a lot like your original one. 🙂 But we’ve started making all our own stock (we always have soup on Mondays), our own sauce, taco seasoning, etc. What I don’t want to make I buy organic at a health food store. It’s been pretty good and we feel a lot better. We used to always feel bad after eating…and now that’s not true! Cool how that works.

    • donielle

      @Kate, Ugh. My husband and I NEVER felt good! We both had so many issues that we thought were normal that have now just disappeared!

  4. Jendeis

    This is such a great post! It’s really giving me ideas for how we can make changes to our own diet. I’m definitely bookmarking this one.

    • donielle

      @Jendeis, Glad it’s inspired you!

  5. erica

    I am trying really hard to make the switch. I’ve got three little ones and homeschooling. Some times it’s easier, and cheaper, to buy prepackaged foods. Burrito kits are my weak spot! My husband is no cook and those do it for him if I need him to prepare a meal. You should see what he does on his own!
    Homemade tortillas? hmmm, do you have a good recipe? I should make my own taco kit and just hand it to him, huh?

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