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Planning Ahead

Friday, October 11, 2013

I run into trouble with staying on track when I do not plan ahead for meals.

I don't have to plan each meal specifically.
Rather, I just need to have in mind a group of the foods that I will eat for breakfasts, lunches, and dinners that week, and make sure I have those foods in the house, readily available.

I also like to have some foods already prepared - a large pot of soup or a salad or some other dish that I can go to quickly for a meal.

So for me, planning usually involves selecting a few recipes for the week, shopping for the ingredients, and cooking some of it ahead of time.

I don't do well cooking when I am hungry or when I am tired after a long day.
i much prefer to cook in the morning and have a meal ready to just heat up for dinner.

The worst thing I can do (and have done many times, I'm sorry to say) is to stand in front of the refrigerator or the pantry, holding the door open and trying to decide what I can grab to eat right now because I'm hungry (and probably tired too).

That always leads to trouble.

I plan well in other areas of my life, so I certainly understand how important it is.

When I'm going to teach a class, I don't wait to decide what it will be about right before the class begins.
No, I have an outline planned for the entire semester, and I generally know what I will be doing for each class well ahead of time. i plan individual classes days in advance so I can be sure to have all the materials ready that I will need for the lessons.

When I'm preparing to take a trip, i don't pack my luggage just before I'm ready to leave for the airport.
No, I take time to think about the weather and the types of activities I'll be engaged in while on the trip. I usually think about what I'll need for several days ahead and give myself time to do the laundry and shop for special items I might want to take with me.

So, when I'm trying to eat healthful foods, and stay within a calorie count for the day and lose some weight, how could I possibly expect to succeed without planning in the same way?

I really need to stock my pantry and my refrigerator once again with foods that will fit in with my plan.

I need to cook some meals ahead of time - and have them waiting for me in the refrigerator.

Then, when I find myself in that mindless, hungry state, standing and holding that refrigerator door open, I won't have to think at all. I will have done the thinking earlier. And there will be some really good choices right there in front of me.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Loved the blog. Everything you said was right-on. Loved the examples. You can tell you are a teacher. LOL.
    1653 days ago
    Awesome thought and planning. emoticon emoticon emoticon
    1653 days ago
    Some of us fail to plan ahead. Others don't even get that far. All we can do is have meals that are easy to make ready at the drop of a hat. emoticon
    1654 days ago
    What words of wisdom.
    For many years I have done batch cooking so there is always something in the freezer to microwave & have on the table in ten minutes. This posting made me realize that DH does not know this, he impulse buys food when he doesn't want to cook. He probably thinks ttat is my food, or for my lunches...I need to introduce him to the habit of shopping in our freezer. It will save us money, too!
    Since I started quite recently to prep food for salads I have found meal prep so easy, a handful of this, a handful of that, sprinkle with a handful of fresh herbs and by the time the protein is ready we are sitting down to eat.
    And when I am looking in the fridge for something to eat, I can always see a jug of soup waiting for me in the fridge door, & a jug of green smoothie if I want something sweeter, along with a handful of hard boiled eggs, some serving sized fruit jellies or chia puddings.
    On my prep days I cut up my veggies, make dressings, yoghurt, stock; hardboil eggs, cut chicken, fish & meat into the right sized portions, put into individual baggies with marinade or spice rubs. They go into the freezer in a plastic bag of assortments to add variety into my week and come out a day before if I remember, so the defrost helps the marinade soak in, otherwise, still tastes great. I also cook several servings at once, I didn,t realize that steak heated in the microwave could taste so good, the trick is when you are grilling it fresh to take it out before the piece you are planning to eat there and then. Heating in the microwave completes the cooking
    I know, a no brainer, but I thought it was genius at the time I figured it out.

    1654 days ago
    You're so right!

    And I'm like your SparkFriend Bookaphile -- I also need to close my mouth before I stuff in unprepared snacks! How easily I can go to the pantry and pull out a handful of "healthy" nuts, after already reaching my calorie limit for that day!

    You're on the right track. Best wishes for sticking to your plans!
    1655 days ago
    This is a great blog: I "liked" it!! For me too, standing in front of the fridge and asking myself what I would like to eat never results in a good answer!

    Arsenic hour will always be walking in the door from work, will power all used up for the day: and that's when I most need my big comforting pot of soup in the fridge, ready to heat up a bowlful in the microwave while I get into my comfy jeans.

    Your analogy to prep for teaching and prep for travelling struck a chord with this former teacher/traveller!!
    1655 days ago
    emoticon plan. Keep positive. emoticon
    1655 days ago
    That's a great analogy between the way you prepare for your classes in advance and how the same approach would help with eating.
    1655 days ago
    Sounds like a emoticon plan and with the weather cooler here - I might just try it!
    1655 days ago
    Good for you! We've all heard the saying "fail to plan, plan to fail" and it's true. We are so much more successful when we plan our chance of a weak moment choice (and I've had more than my share of those). emoticon
    1655 days ago
    I agree with you. I love the idea that I don't decide what to pack my suitcase last mute, so why would I decide what to feed my body last minute.
    1655 days ago

    I routinely prepare a veggi-full stock of my own chili that maxes out at about 350 calories for 1 1/2 cups. Cooked and premeasured, I have a weeks worth of lunches plus a few bowls to freeze. I add different items to go with it each day to accompany the main dish. I could care less if I eat the same thing 5 days a week. Since I work LONG days I switch out when I eat what. Sometimes my main dish is my mid-morning snack if the day is crowded.

    Alas, when I get home this same organization is lacking and we frequently eat out...the gray-haired diner types!
    1655 days ago
    Excellent blog! I hadn't thought of it in those terms, but they are hugely appropriate! I usually plan my meals, but I need to close my mouth before I stuff in unplanned snacks!
    1655 days ago
  • 144AUTUMN
    you can do it!
    1655 days ago
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