So I've developed a paleo/PHD/Primal-based tool that uses an algorithm and tons of data to calculate the nutritional value of recipes, and will use that information to automatically plan a week's worth of meals for you. It will also, based on the recipes in the program and the number of people you specify are eating at each meal, automatically generate a shopping list with precise quantities of the food items you need to procure.
The algorithm analyzes the ingredients of each recipe, taking into account every macronutrient and every vitamin and mineral as well as propensity of the food to cause inflammation and its acidity. It also takes into account cooking methods and the changes in nutrition that those cause.
From all this information the algorithm will assign recipes with the highest nutritional value to your menu. If the user wants to change the meals used for the menu and to generate the shopping list, he can just select a different meal for that slot. But the algorithm itself is capable of providing a menu with multiple hundreds of percent of RDAs for almost every nutrient, with balanced 3-to-6 ratios, ideal fat-carb-protein ratios (even accounting for different types of fat), balanced mineral ratios, high anti-inflammatory activity, and good levels of alkalinity. The user can set ideal ranges for carb, fat, and protein levels, total calorie levels, and so on.
It also produces a nice summary sheet with graphs and pie charts showing a summary of your nutrient intake for the week.
This tool has become invaluable in my own meal planning and grocery shopping, and is instrumental in ensuring that I am getting healthy amounts of nutrients. What I would like to know is if anyone else is interested in using this tool, and if so, if you would be willing to help me refine it for general release. It would of course be free to the community at large.
Currently I've got over 200 recipes (most Paleo/Primal/etc) from various books, and about 150 or so foods (from the USDA food-testing database) inputted. But to make this complete, I need more recipes and more food/ingredient data. Since this planning tool is basically a really complex Excel workbook, we could use Google Docs to work collaboratively on the data entry. If anyone wants to help iron out the kinks in the appearance or functioning of the workbook, that would also be useful.
Any takers for helping out--or, barring that, anyone interested in just using this planner?