“A goal without a plan is just a wish.” – Antoine de Saint Exupéry
I just love this quote, because it exemplifies how we often have a goal we want to achieve, but don’t clearly delineate the steps to achieving that goal. As a non-food example that I have personal experience with, I have often had the goal to “be more organized.” I pretty much deluded myself into thinking it was a goal, but without clearly deciding on the habits or behaviors I needed to establish in order to achieve this goal, it was merely wishful thinking. For example, now I sort through the mail daily, recycle junk mail, and put mail that needs attention in a specific place. This is a specific habit that I established in order to achieve my goal of “being more organized.”
The same is true when you’re trying to eat healthy. We like to say “I’m going to start eating healthier.” We like to think this is a goal, but without proper planning, it’s easy for this goal to get derailed and be simply a wish. It’s really hard to make good food decisions when you’re starving and stressed and the only options are the various varieties of chips or candy bars in the vending machine!
In order to address this, prepping your own food and anticipating what you need to prep is so incredibly helpful. I’m sure we have all started the week off feeling motivated, making our lunch on Sunday night, only to be exhausted and ordering takeout by Thursday night. I find that the key to success is truly setting aside some time on Sunday for food prep. And it has to go beyond simply making lunch for the next day.
I’m going to fill you in on what works best for me. Everyone is different, has a different size family to feed, and a different schedule. So we all need to figure out what works best for us individually, but here’s what I prepare on Sunday:
Breakfast to quickly reheat in the morning: Veggie Egg Bake, Sweet Potato Pancakes, or Paleo Banana Pancakes. If you’re really ambitious, make a really large batch of one or both of these pancakes recipes and freeze them. That way, you’ll have quick breakfasts for weeks.
Hardboiled eggs for snacks: I hard-boil up about 4-6 eggs that I can bring with me for a high protein filling snack. Hardboiled eggs will keep in your fridge for a week.
Prepare 1-2 one-pot meals: Good examples include chili, spaghetti squash with veggies/tomato sauce/meat or beans, bean or meat vegetable stirfry, fish soup or other soups or stews.
Planning Ahead for the Week
Make sure to have the ingredients for another meal during the week that could then produce leftovers for a least one additional dinner or lunch. Crockpot meals are great for keeping things simple!
Make sure to have fruit on hand that is easy to transport like apples, oranges, and clementines.
Preportion some nuts into snack bags or containers for snacks on-the-go or to have along with your lunch.