I’ve gotten a lot of questions about my little meal planning note pad that I’ve been posting in my Instagram stories lately. As well as how I meal plan and what cookbooks I use and like. I am by no means and chef or nutritionist or expert, but if helps – I am always glad to share what I do!
Before I started dating John I would have plain chicken and broccoli almost every night. Right about the time I started training for my first half marathon, I also started dating John. I remember he sat me down and was like, “You CAN NOT eat like this if you are going to run like that.” I took this feedback really well and changed my ways immediately.
No I didn’t. I’m pretty sure there was crying involved and a lot of resistance. But I did sort of change my ways slowly and overtime and because I wanted to perform better. I also liked having a boyfriend around, and boys love food. It’s science. Luckily, John’s love for Italian food and my need to have carbs almost every Friday night paired together well.
Fast forward a few years later and John & I are living together and we both workout quite a bit, so there is a big need for fuel. I was getting overwhelmed and exhausted with the grocery store trips and it was getting expensive, so lately I have been trying to make a plan ahead of time.
What I do on Sunday afternoon is look at our calendars and see who is going to be home what nights (we are usually both home most nights unless John is traveling, sometimes I go out to dinner with friends). We both also work from home, so sometimes I’m home for lunch or I eat out when I’m out in meetings. So once I figure out what days I need to cook for, I start flipping through my cook books to get ideas. I know Mondays are my double run days, so I need something easy to throw together on that night. I will also double up recipes so that we have leftovers for lunch.
- The Essential Instant Pot Cookbook: I got this for Christmas from my parents and I love it. John bought the Instant Pot on Amazon Prime day, and while it is a very handy kitchen appliance, it can also be very overwhelming when you are first starting to use it. This cookbook has a way to cook every single type of food – even cake – in the Instant Pot, so right away I was more comfortable using the appliance itself thanks to this book.
- Run Fast. Eat Slow: Most people know & love this cookbook, and I will agree with that general consensus. The recipes are easy to follow, don’t have a ton of ingredients that are hard to find in a regular grocery store, and all of them are easy to modify.
- How To Cook Everything Fast: If you know me, you know that I HATE waiting. For anything. Patience is a virtue I do not have. Therefore, I love this book. Especially if you are getting more comfortable in the kitchen, it has a lot of good tips on how to cut up certain meats/fish, wash them, and other basic cooking techniques – but FAST.
- The Runner’s World Cookbook: This book is very similar to Run Fast East Slow, but just with some different ideas. Most all the dishes are quick to prepare and don’t have complicated lists of ingredients. The soba noodles with chicken is one of my favorites lately.
- The Abs Diet Cookbook: This one I inherited from John. While we don’t necessarily follow “The Abs Diet” (I don’t actually know what the diet is all about) – the cookbook is great. It is kind of marketed towards dudes, so the recipes are easy, hearty and filling. The chili in this cookbook is one of my favorites hands down. I also like that it teaches healthy methods of cooking.
- One cookbook I don’t own, but love and recommend is Joy of Cooking. My dad has this cookbook and it is one I always loved. It has a lot of great cooking methods and is just an all around great resource.
You can of course, also find great recipes on the internet. So many free blogs and Pinterest galore. Paleomg and Fed & Fit are 2 of my favorite blogs for recipes. I also love looking up vegan recipes for delicious ways to cook vegetables. If all you can have are vegetables, you learn how to cook them WELL.
I would love to know any cookbooks that are your favorites!