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Why I Built Mealpractice

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Ben Bjurstrom
Ben Bjurstrom

I’ve been cooking weeknight dinners for my family for a little over three year now. This mealpractice has been a wonderful way to ensure my kids eat at least one nutritious meal a day and has helped me stave off a few extra pounds.

I got started using meal delivery kits like BlueApron and GreenChef. These services are great when you’re just starting out since it removes all decisions. You just make what they send. I learned a ton about cooking and how various ingredients work together to make delicious yet healthy meals.

Of course, the flaw in these services is that they’re packaging fresh ingredients and shipping them across the country in a box filled with ice. It’s not very economical. Once I was a little more comfortable in the kitchen I switched to mealplanning sites like PlateJoy and eMeals and purchased my ingredients locally.

Again these worked well for a while but eventually I became frustrated as they fall short in several critical ares. In particular they don’t cater to the core meals that you make often which make up the cornerstone of any successful mealpractice.

Mealpractice makes it easy to add your core meals

Existing recipe and meal planning sites seem to focus their energy on their catalog of recipes and UI elements like creating shopping lists, and building menus. But when it comes to users adding their own recipes the process is cumbersome and the results are poor.

This is fine if you’re going to rely 100% on the recipes from a single site for all your meals. But in my experience there simply aren’t enough recipes on any one app matching my tastes and nutritional goals. After a few months the recipes being suggested are mostly thing’s I’ve either cooked before or rejected in the past.

Plus no matter how large a site’s catalog, most people already have existing meals that they want to integrate into their mealplan. I know I sure did.

One of the goals for Mealpractice is to make it easy to add your own recipes to your recipe book. This is achieved through automated ingredient parsing, simple image uploads, and a recipe steps builder.

By giving users the option to publish their creations, Mealpractice motivates the users to fully flesh out the recipe. That way when you cook the meal again in the future it’s easy to follow and you are inspired by the recipe that you built.

Mealpractice allows you to track the meals you actually eat.

Three years into my own mealpractice I’ve found that there’s a handful of recipes I make at least once a month. While I love mixing in new recipes, having a stable of core meals to fall back on provides a number of benefits.

For starters it makes it really easy to cook. Since I’ve made the meals numerous times, I can usually whip them up with only a few glances at the recipe. Plus I know it will taste good and that I’ll feel good after eating it. That rare combination of being delicious while meeting my nutritional goals is hard to find.

Here too existing mealplanning sites fall short as they make it hard to find the recipes you’ve made most often. Usually they provide some kind of favorites list, but you have to keep it up to date. Forgot to add a meal you liked to your favorites? Good luck digging through all your old menus to find it. Added a meal you liked at the time but hasn’t sounded appetizing since? You have to manually remove it.

With Mealpractice the goal is to effortlessly track every meal you make and make that data accessible to you. Looking for a core meal to make this week? Quickly sort your recipe book by the meals you’ve made most often. Want to resurface an old favorite? Filter for meals you’ve made more than X times but haven’t made in Y months.

By tracking the meals that you actually eat Mealpractice make it easier to plan, shop, and cook for your core meals.