I make a menu for the week ahead. I write out my breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks. I usually do this in an email to myself so that I can attach the link for the recipe if there is one. My favorite thing to do is once I know of an ingredient I want to use (like soba noodles or a vegetable that is in season) then I will just google "vegan soba noodle recipes" and kind of go through and get ideas and inspiration and go from there! For me, it's a creative outlet as well as fuel. I always do breakfast, lunch and dinner and then decide on 2 snacks. Sometimes my snacks are just a piece of fruit or veggies and hummus and sometimes I am in the mood to make muffins or bars of some kind. I like to stay away from pre-packaged food as much as possible but popcorn, protein bars and those kinds of things are always an easy snack option.
Down below in the email, I write out my grocery list below according to whatever I need. I add to this list throughout the week as I think of things or run out of things. Then I transfer the grocery list part to the Notes app on my iPhone…As I am in the store and add them into my shopping cart (we call it a buggy in WV just so you know) I erase it from the Note.
I go to the grocery store on Sunday morning. I do Aldi first and then Kroger for specialty items or items I couldn’t find at Aldi. I also use Vitacost.com for protein powder and most pantry items as I have found things are generally a lot cheaper this way and shipping is free over $50 so I wait and order everything I need at once.
After I get home from the store, I put my groceries away and get to cooking! If something is cooking for a long time, I will go ahead and start on the next thing. I do all of my cooking for the week on Sunday and then just reheat or eat as needed. It’s seriously the best way to set yourself up for success. The biggest complaint that I hear about meal prep is that it is time consuming, and it is, but you are worth it. Your health is worth it. There are also a lot of meals that you can make super quickly, you don’t have to do complicated and involved meals to make it work.
Favorite prep tools:
- Containers that work for me (some people like dividers, bowls, etc. it’s worth it to spend a little more to have everything you need. I suggest small containers for dressing and sauces)
- Vegetable spiralizer
- Instant Pot (found on Amazon, YES it is worth it.)
Once everything is put away, I go ahead and set everything together for the next day so that I am not scrambling in the morning and forgetting something that I need. It will all be there together in the refrigerator so I just grab and go the morning of.