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PlanSimple Meals — cookbook, meal planner, and parenting handbook — designed to help busy moms make good food for their families.
PlanSimple Meals — cookbook, meal planner, and parenting handbook — designed to help busy moms make good food for their families.
331 backers pledged $52,246 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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PlanSimple Meals is the textbook healthy moms wished they had. It is designed to help all moms streamline their time in the grocery store and in the kitchen so they can create good food with lots of joy!

  • If you know how to make delicious gluten-free, plant-passionate food but want to get your children on board, this book will show you how.
  • If you enjoy family dinner every night, PlanSimple Meals will help you upgrade that food to really serve your body.
  • If you have a child who was diagnosed with an allergy, a family member who is always sick, or a few pounds to shed, you will get step-by-step strategies to a new lifestyle.

PlanSimple Meals is part cookbook, part planner, and part parenting handbook. Inside, a modern, busy mom will find recipes, formulas (‘cause what busy parent has time for recipes everyday), and strategies galore designed to help her create meals so each member of her family can stay healthy, sleep well at night, concentrate, and thrive. It is filled with gluten-free, plant-centered, low sugar, goodness — and action steps for how to get your family to create and eat those things.

The book is composed of recipes that I have shared over the years on my blog, StayBasic.com, coupled with the recipes, “formulas” and strategies I have shared with the moms who have gone through my signature programs that take place online in our virtual classroom. That means they’ve been tested by children and other moms, so the ingredients and directions have been revised and clarified over the last two years based on feedback.

I’m a graphic designer, an entrepreneur, a wife to an incredibly supportive husband, and mom of three — which basically means I wear about 20 different hats on a given day. Now, I’m putting on another hat: book writer and publisher. And I could use your help to make this book a reality — we are 95% there. With your contribution, we could do some serious good here.

PlanSimple Meals shows you how to create a rhythm to your family meals — repetition leads to habits.

The best way to really explain this is through a sample dinner. One of the things kids seem to love, at least mine do, is pasta. So Friday night has been “pasta night” in our house.

The book goes through how to make such a meal gluten-free, dairy free, and veggie-centered. It also has an action guide for getting more and more veggies into this meal, and looks at how “pasta”night can change both through the seasons, and as you migrate a picky eater into an adventurous eater.

It is never just a recipe. It is always a process.

This same process is outlined for soup night, taco night, rice bowl night… and more!

PlanSimple Meals also goes through rhythms for breakfast, lunch and snacks — and how to deal with them on the road.

But that is not enough… The book explores how to schedule a week, moving food forward on weekends and in the morning. I ask the reader to consider days that she can carve out a little extra time to make something new and more complex, cook with the kids, or prep for busier days — and show her how.

Changing what we eat as a society is something we have to start doing today. PlanSimple Meals will break down how to do this for busy parents. 

Not convinced? Just look at these stats:

  • The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) reports that the average American consumes anywhere between 150 to 170 pounds of refined sugars in one year.
  • Less than 100 years ago, the average intake of sugar was only about 4 pounds per person per year.

According to Joel Fuhrman, M.D:

  • Only 7% of calories consumed by Americans are from fruits and vegetables.
  • Half of all vegetables consumed are potatoes.
  • Half of all potatoes consumed are in the form of chips and fries.
  •  42% of calories consumed by Americans come from dairy and animal products
  • 51% of calories consumed by Americans come from highly processed and refined carbohydrates and extracted oils

Here is another angle from Mark Bitmann in his book Food Matters.

  • For a family that usually drives a car 12,000 miles a year, switching to a vegetable diet for one day a week – in terms of greenhouse emissions – is the equivalent of driving 1,160 miles less a year.
  • And if you switch to a completely vegetable-based diet, that same family reduces its emission 60%, cutting their mileage down from 12,000 to just 3,900 miles a year.

Point being that changing what we eat and how we think about food is kind of important, but not necessarily easy!

Enter PlanSimple Meals — the textbook on HOW to make these changes in a busy family — keeping it fun, simple, and delish!

Before I decided to take on the Standard American Diet, I was a graphic design studio owner… For 15 years I designed, art directed, and oversaw the production of many corporate and educational coffee table books written by others. Some won awards.

Over the years I have definitely pondered what a book of my own would look and feel like. And now that I have the content, I can’t leave the details to a publisher! I need to choose paper that feels good to touch, pick fonts that are clean and put them in the right places on the page, and choose photos that communicate. And when I hit tasks that are out of my skillset, I want to work with my dream team — those that are the best at doing the tasks that need to get done.

I need Kickstarter because all the things a traditional publisher does cost money… I have taken care of the writing and design myself.

But, this busy mama definitely needs a professional proofreader, recipe editor, a photographer to fill in some gaps, and an illustrator to clearly demonstrate some of the processes.

Printing and shipping is the biggest item in this Kickstarter effort.

Lastly, I need help to get this into the hands of as many moms as possible — that takes some marketing skills that I was not born with!

Oh, and I can make this all happen much faster than a traditional publisher.

So, that is why I am here…. And I am so looking forward to you being part of my dream team! This project only gets completed if folks who believe in it fund it!

I am working with a one of my favorite printers to create the hardcover version of the book. The printer is a 20 minute car ride away, and I look forward to seeing the pages come off the press, and maybe offering a color correction or two. The hard cover will be printed on archival paper and only be available in a limited edition to those who contribute at a certain level.

I will also be printing a high quality paperback version that I will print through an Amazon vendor (who passed our printing sample test) to allow for easy distribution once this book is 100% real.

All versions of the book will be slightly bigger than 8 x10” and 300+ really well designed pages — with content and images that you will want to sink your teeth into.

My goal is to cover the additional costs to make the writing and visuals finalized —the parts like getting the title right, editing, illustrating, indexing, writing the front matter, and some photos (I took most of them.) Then cover the initial print run for funders plus the number our printer tells us is worth printing above that.

Then I hope to cover some of the costs with getting the book out in the world. One of our dream team members is a genius at making books best sellers and he can help get the book into as many hands as possible.

If all this gets covered then extra money will be spent to 2.0 the content. Think key teaching videos where we actually make some of the recipes, and an app that allows you to take this info on the road.

Mia is a mama on a mission. 7 years ago I was 85 lbs over weight and avoided the vegetable section of the store. Today I can whip together a meal for my bustling family that is mostly green and everyone eats it! Now there is nothing I want more than to pass this system on to busy moms everywhere! I studied Graphic Design at the Rhode Island School of Design ('98) and have always loved books!

Rob Kosberg from Best Seller Publishing is going to help me really create a ripple effect. In order to create big change in the family kitchen we want to get this book into as many hands as possible. Rob has a gift for getting books to become bestsellers. He is also good at managing all the little details like editing, front matter, back matter and the little tasks that I don't even know exist yet! He does everything that I don’t do well!

Mark Vokey is a printing rep who I have followed around for a LONG time… well since graduating from RISD in 1998. He now works at Kirkword Printing. I know they will deliver top-notch quality for the hard cover limited addition.

Tom Kates is a photographer extraordinaire. When I was first trying to take photos it was not very pretty, but I had a very strong vision after art directing shoots where Tom was the photographer. We have worked together on client shoots for 10 years.

Adam N. Greene from Green Lens Media shot the Kickstarter video, and I am hoping to raise over our goal so we can get him an his team to help me make teaching videos that supplement the book, and take all the overwhelm out of making new recipes.

I am still picking the perfect illustrator for the job. I have sketched out all the graphics, and I need someone who can transform them using simple shapes and color. I am VERY excited for this part… and will share them in progress with funders!

And you can be on the team! Everyone who funds this project is an important member of our team, and we will never forget you. We have a section of the book about how it really takes a village to feed a family well, and I would say the same thing for this book! And there are a few key decisions I will need your help with — including final cover photos.

Risks and challenges

My biggest risk is time. I wanted the book out by Christmas, but I pushed that back to February to meet the delivery date. Busy families will get it when New Year resolutions are fizzling and parents need a plan. I think we have padding now for the many moving parts and schedules that are coming together.

Another risk is vendors. Prices of paper change, printers get busy and photographers go on vacation. But I have picked a group of people who I know and trust because I have worked with them before. And I have the best feeling ever that they have our backs!

If anything comes up, you all will be the first to know.... But we are 90% there, so I expect smooth sailing...

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    5 HEALTHY DINNERS E-BOOK
    5 Veggie-centered family meals and how to get them on the table when you get home late

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    THE E-BOOK
    Digital download of cookbook

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    THE MENU PLAN
    12 days of done-for-you menu plans

    + Digital download of cookbook

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    Pledge $40 or more About $40

    BIRTHDAY PARTY BUNDLE
    An 80 page e-book with simple, healthy birthday ideas and tools for planning them + audio class (ideas for 1-12 year old children)

    + Digital download of PlanSimple Meals
    + 12 days of done-for-you menu plans

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    Pledge $40 or more About $40

    DETOX BUNDLE
    A 100 page e-book with a simple 30-day Detox Program (designed with busy moms in mind) + 60 minute audio class

    + Digital download of PlanSimple Meals
    + 12 days of done-for-you menu plans

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    THE PAPERBACK EDITION
    The paperback book

    + 12 days of done-for-you menu plans
    + Digital download of cookbook

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    FRIDGE ART EDITION
    4 beautiful "how-to" prints for your fridge that depict our 4 most popular formulas

    + The paperback book
    + 12 days of done-for-you menu plans
    + Digital download of cookbook

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    CUSTOM MEAL PLAN
    Private session with Mia to create a custom Meal Plan for you and your family ($350 value)

    + The paperback book
    + Fridge Art
    + 12 days of done-for-you menu plans
    + Digital download of cookbook

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    Pledge $200 or more About $200

    DESIGNER EDITION
    Limited Edition Hardcover, signed

    + 12 days of done-for-you menu plans
    + Fridge Art
    + Digital download of cookbook

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    Pledge $350 or more About $350

    DESIGNER WORKSHOP EDITION
    Virtual Pantry Makeover, half-day Workshop

    + Limited Edition Hardcover, signed
    + 12 days of done-for-you menu plans
    + Fridge Art
    + Digital download of cookbook

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    A RECIPE WITH YOUR NAME EDITION
    We will name a recipe after you! We will work with you to figure out the recipe that suits you best and come up with a clever new name that makes you the star!

    + Limited Edition Hardcover, signed
    + A special framed print with your recipe
    + 12 days of done-for-you menu plans
    + Fridge Art
    + Digital download of cookbook

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    Pledge $800 or more About $800

    PRIVATE KITCHEN MAKEOVER
    Let Mia lead you through a complete kitchen makeover, food shopping, cooking and a plan for you and your family’s future. (*Within 200 miles of Boston, in person, or anywhere in the world virtually)

    + Limited Edition Hardcover, signed
    + 12 days of done-for-you menu plans
    + Fridge Art
    + Digital download of cookbook

    Will schedule at a mutually agreeable time in 2016.

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    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    LOCAL GATHERING
    Gather a group of 8 at your house for a live workshop and light food OR a large group at your school or work for an inspirational talk with food samples. (*Within 100 miles of Boston, New York City or New Orleans)

    + Limited Edition Hardcover, signed for you
    + Paperback for your local school or library
    + All guests get digital downloads of book, menu plans, and fridge art

    Will schedule at a mutually agreeable time in 2016.

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    Pledge $2,500 or more About $2,500

    PRIVATE LUNCH OR DINNER FOR 6
    Private Lunch or Dinner for 6 in your home. Choose from a raw vegan menu or cooked menu that is gluten-free and vegan. This will be a 6-course meal, created on-site by Mia. (*Within 200 miles of Boston, Los Angeles or New Orleans)

    + Limited Edition Hardcover, signed
    + Paperbacks signed for your guests

    Will schedule at a mutually agreeable time in 2016.

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    Pledge $5,000 or more About $5,000

    PRIVATE LUNCH OR DINNER FOR 12
    Private Lunch or Dinner for 12 in your home. Choose from a raw vegan menu or cooked menu that is gluten-free and vegan. This will be a 6-course meal, created on-site by Mia. (*Within 200 miles of Boston, Los Angeles or New Orleans)

    + Limited Edition Hardcover, signed
    + Paperbacks, signed for your guests

    Will schedule at a mutually agreeable time in 2016.

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    Pledge $10,000 About $10,000

    PRIVATE LUNCH OR DINNER FOR 12 ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD
    Private Lunch or Dinner for 12 in your home. Choose from a raw vegan menu or cooked menu that is gluten-free and vegan. This will be a 6-course meal, created on-site by Mia.

    + Limited Edition Hardcover, signed
    + Limited Edition Hardcover signed for your guests

    Will schedule at a mutually agreeable date in 2016.

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    Reward no longer available 2 backers
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Funding period

- (32 days)