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Do you plan your meals in advance?

Since I started blogging, I’ve received quite a few emails like this recent one, below:

Hey Katie! I’m a new reader and a new vegan too. And I have a question for you. Your meals always look amazing and so well put together. So my question is how do you decide what to eat? Do you plan your meals in advance?

My response: I have a great friend who tells me exactly what to eat: Mr. Stomach!

Okay, lame jokes aside, I actually don’t plan in advance anymore. For a while, I tried planning my meals out the day before. But then, when the time would come to eat said meals, I often found I was craving something else, so I’d have to change the plan anyway.

That being said, there is some planning that goes into my meals. I make different things up in advance and keep a rough list on hand of what’s available. That way, come mealtime, I can choose what I want to eat.  So in reality, I “plan but don’t plan.”

Chocolate-Covered Meal of the Day


Almond milk, frozen mango, and Snickerdoodle Oat Bran.

An example of my “plan-but-don’t-plan” idea: I made up the oat bran the night before but didn’t decide to snickerdoodle it (Like my verb?) until the morning.

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Published on November 6, 2009

Meet Katie

Chocolate Covered Katie is one of the top 25 food websites in America, and Katie has been 
featured on The 
Today Show, CNN, 
Fox, The 
Huffington Post, and 
ABC's 5 O’Clock News. Her favorite food is chocolate, and she believes in eating dessert every single day.

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  1. Marina says

    Great post!
    I plan some meals in advance, because it helps me sometimes. Sometimes it’s so hard to know what I crave and need, and to have a plan makes it a lot easier to buy groceries and just go and cook for me and my boy. But most of the time, I cook what I feel like eating and have in my fridge

  2. Christina says

    I hardly ever get cravings so I really like planning out my meals in advance but hardly end up doing it. Last year I always did and it was awesome because I made so many new dishes. I need to get back on track!

  3. CaSaundra says

    I usually plan lunches for the today–plan Friday, grocery shop Saturday, cook it Sunday, and eat it for lunch Mon-Fri 🙂 But other meals, I just go with what I feel like, or what I have on hand!

    Any giveaway would be fab!

  4. livingfreeforever says

    Love this post! I used to plan all my meals out a week in advance, but like you, when the time came, I would be craving something else. I do need to plan a little though. I’m glad you posted this, because I was curious as to how you plan or ‘un’plan:)

  5. BroccoliHut says

    My meal planning usually consists of picking out a few recipes that I want to try for the week, not assigning specific times to eat them or anything–that way I have the flexibility to go with my gut cravings:)

  6. Valerie says

    I try to plan some meals in advance but its hard sometimes. I am sort of transitioning to vegan. I am curious: were you vegetarian before vegan? And what is a day of meals like for you?
    I have been eating soy products (tofu, tempeh, edamame) about 3-5 times a week, but I am not sure that is right. I read so many different studies on soy and they all yield different opinions on how good it really is. So I rely a lot on nuts and seeds and nut butters. Can it really be good to rely so heavily on these? I also eat a lot of beans and lentils. What are your thoughts on Sun Warrior vegan protein? Heather at HEAB liked it and I thought a small scoop occasionally might be fine?
    Thanks. SOrry for 101 questions.

  7. Jessica says

    I’m definitely a planner! I make my dinner menu a week in advance, that way I only have to go shopping once. I have a pretty tight evening schedule, so it’s easier that way…

  8. Marianne says

    I’m the sort of planner you are – plan, but don’t plan. I figure if you have a well stocked fridge, freezer, and pantry, then you don’t really need to plan much. I may start to think of some good meals to use up leftovers or food that’s soon to go bad, but they are never set in stone. Because like you said, if you aren’t feeling it, what’s the point in eating it?

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