Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Meal Planning with gatheredtable

When my first son was born, I discovered that he couldn't tolerate many of the foods in my diet, particularly dairy, wheat and soy. With virtually no support from his doctor and very little knowledge about cooking around these dietary restrictions, I gave up breastfeeding.

Three years later, I was pregnant with my second child. I planned menus ahead of time so I could avoid the ingredients that had triggered my oldest child. But in those first few weeks of chaos, I set the menus aside. That's when I discovered the joys of colic. Again, his doctor said the problem couldn't possibly be my diet, but with the support of a lactation consultant, I decided to eliminate the allergenic foods. Not surprisingly, the endless crying ceased. The baby slept. He felt so much more peaceful and relaxed in my arms. It was clear to me that these foods were not agreeable to him!

But there I was, with a whole family to feed and only a couple weeks of menus with no grocery lists. Rich offered to drive to the store, but I didn't even know what to suggest he buy. So, I cooked a lot of separate meals and, well, we got by. I wished we had had a meal planning or delivery service and even thought about starting something that would help new moms.

Recently, I learned about a company that's doing just that. It's called gatheredtable and while its concept is broader than mine had been, it would have been perfect for us as we navigated tricky dietary restrictions.

I learned about gatheredtable when the company contacted me to serve as a recipe contributor to its paleo recipes library. What an exciting opportunity with a vision so close to my heart!

Here is a sneak peek of some of the exciting features of gatheredtable. The website is simple, easy to use and has a beautiful modern aesthetic and you can choose which kinds of foods you want to enjoy and how often:

Gatheredtable will build a menu for you, or you can select recipes from its library or import your own. Here's one featured on the site now that I just added to my library:

If you want to add your own recipes from websites, it's surprisingly easy. You simply drag and drop gatheredtable's cabbage into your bookmarks bar and then click on it whenever you're on another site that features a recipe you like (yes, just like Pinterest). The system automatically imports all of the ingredients and instructions and calculates the prep time. Here's one I brought from my site. It took just minutes.

Right now, gatheredtable is offering six months of its menu planning service for FREE without even having to enter your credit card. So, check it out! I'm eager to hear what you think. They also offer grocery delivery in select cities, so all you have to do is unpack the ingredients and get cooking!

By the way, no one paid me to say this. I'm just super excited to participate in this new venture and empower more people to enjoy meals together, especially those who are working with special diets! 


  1. Hi, I just joined it and as a paleo/celiac family, put in for no grains, wheat, etc. First recipe they put up, pasta! I emailed the support team, we'll see what they say. But doesn't look good at this point.

    1. Hi Debbie, I'm so sorry to hear that! I know the service is new and still building its recipe library. I just sent a note to gatheredtable and mentioned your concern.

    2. Hi Pamela, Gathered Table got right to me to help. They corrected the error. I think, after all, I may have unchecked rather than left the foods I wanted to be left out. It was a wee bit confusing, for me anyhow. They sent the weeks menu and I briefly perused it and it looks pretty good. We will see how it goes.

    3. So glad to hear it, Debbie!

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  2. Thanks! I'm looking forward to trying this out!

    1. You're welcome, Anandi! I feel like handing over meal planning to Gathered Table is like having a best friend with good fashion sense dress you. You get to explore new things you never would have thought to try.

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