One of the biggest surprises to me when I first started my Whole30 journey, was how much fun cooking was for me again. It used to be so therapeutic for me and many fond memories were spent in the kitchen with my grandmother and mother. But, this took a very unhealthy detour for a few years. The Whole30 has given me the structure and parameters to be able to get back into the kitchen and prepare meals, knowing that I am feeding my body with nutrient dense, clean ingredients. It also has given me that creative outlet that I have not been able to tap into in quite some time.
My actual meal planning system is pretty simplistic. I use two delivery services to keep things well stocked. I use Butcher Box for meat delivery once a month as well as Thrive Market for all of my pantry essentials. I cannot say enough good things about both of the places. The products have been of the highest caliber and I have not been disappointed at all. Because of this, that really only leaves weekly market trips to pick up produce and a few other things from time to time. I have subscriptions via Amazon Prime for my Vital Proteins Collagen and RX Bars. These are also delivered to me monthly.
I usually sketch out what my week will look like using the following formula……..
I also cook so that I can use the leftovers as my lunch throughout the week. When I do go to the market, I use a simple sticky note system that works well for me. I take 3 sticky notes and put them on a piece of paper…..I write down my plans for the week, the meals I plan to make with things I have, the meals I want to test or create, as well as one recipe that I would like to try (I always put the page number if it is a cookbook). I then flip the paper over and put 1-2 sticky notes on it, and make a list of the things I need to get from the market. I take this paper to the store with me to shop. When I return home, the paper is immediately put up on my refrigerator as my “game plan”. I cross of things as I make them.
I like this system for many reasons. It helps keep me organized. It is portable; I can always take the sticky notes off and re-write them if things change. As I cook, I often will write notations in the margins of things that I did or changed, or want to change in the future. It also really helps me focus on a week of mindful clean eating and helps keep me on a budget.