To start off, check out today’s video message to help you “get started” for your new adventure!

When I did the 21-Day Vegan Kickstart in January, I had wished for a more comprehensive list of food items to have in order to be prepared for the program.  They provide a list of ‘staples’ to stock up on, but quite honestly I didn’t find it very helpful or directly related to the first week of meals. They also don’t give you the next week’s menu until a couple days prior which is sort of short notice for those of us who need to plan our grocery shopping trips further ahead.

We just got our first week’s menu today and I like that they have added helpful hints alongside a lot of the recipes. An even better change has been the option to print out the entire week’s recipes as a PDF (last time I had to print each one individually), or you can still click on the recipe link and have NutritionMD (after first registering with the site) create a personalized shopping list for you based on the recipes you add to your shopping list. I LOVE that feature!

While doing the 21-Day Vegan Kickstart in January, I found there were certain items I just HAD to have on hand at all times to be able to whip up something in a minute if I opted to not go with the set menu. I’ve become a HUGE fan of Henry’s (fabulous produce section), and also have been surprised at the options Costco is now offering (tofu, quinoa, blue agave, gluten-free flour). I promised my friend Carla this list a few days back, and I’m sure after I post this I’ll think of more, but here goes, in no particular order.

  • tomatoes (10 beefsteak tomatoes at Costco for $6.99)
  • onions
  • cilantro (I love making Pico de Gallo)
  • garlic (cool discovery I made is frozen cubed garlic at Trader Joe’s)
  • low sodium soy sauce
  • nutritional yeast (bulk at Henry’s for  $7.49 /lb…LOVE IT!)
  • whole wheat pasta
  • tofu (Costco sells two bundled 19oz firm packages for $2.15)
  • bananas (one bunch getting ripe–for banana bread, one bunch not)
  • steel cut oatmeal (Coach’s Oats 4 1/2 lb bag at Costco, but don’t remember cost)
  • olive oil (Costco sells a 3 pack of: garlic, basil, red pepper flavored olive oils for around $13)
  • Smart Balance Organic Buttery Spread
  • blueberries (frozen or fresh)
  • almonds
  • raisins
  • soy milk or rice milk (Costco has twelve 32 oz unrefrigerated cartons, which you obviously refrigerate after opening, bundled together for about $12 for soy milk and about $15 for rice milk. It’s way cheaper than buying the refrigerated 1/2 gallons, and so much more convenient to just grab a carton off your  shelf when needed, pop it open, then refrigerate, instead of having to hoof it to the store each time you run out of the 1/2 gallon.)
  • Soy Dream Mocha Fudge non-dairy dessert (Okay, I admit it…I am HOOKED on this, and even my meat-eating parents liked it! The chocolate in it is to die for.)

As you can see I do a LOT of my shopping at Costco, which is a money saver since the reality is that going vegan will probably cost you more money, at least in the beginning. I have more thoughts on the financial aspects of going vegan, but I’m pooped out and want to finally get this posted. Yes, Carla, I’m finally doing it. 😉