Planning for Success

Cookies for teachers and staff?!  These are words that in the past would have sent me down to the kitchen at school to get one or two. I know that I’m on a low-carb diet but a treat once in a while is ok, isn’t it? Especially when I’ve had a stressful morning? The problem is that I get to the point where I define  a stressful time as a student not having done their homework or me dropping my dry-erase marker more than once during class, thereby justifying my treat. A treat every day is no longer a treat, it is a habit.

But today, Day Two of my Whole30, is different. Wonderful looking Christmas cookies set out for teachers in the kitchen did not tempt me (well…much). I looked and I walked by. Victory!

I did not want to derail my commitment to eating 100% healthy foods for the month of January. My long-term health is more important than the short-term pleasure. I have friends and blog readers who are watching me.  And I did not want to waste all of the effort I put in to preparing for this healthy  month.

Yesterday, I followed the example of It Starts With Food and Well Fed and prepared a lot of food for the next several days. Changing habits takes a lot of forethought and energy – energy that may not be there on a Thursday evening when you come home exhausted from work and are tempted to order out for pizza or mix up a quick box of mac and cheese.

Yesterday, I

  • made chicken bone broth in the slow-cooker,
  • precooked 4 pounds of ground beef (half with onions and celery, half with onions and green peppers),
  • baked 3 pounds of boneless chicken thighs
  • roasted and shredded a spaghetti squash,
  • soaked and dehydrated some mixed nuts,
  • cut up about 6 different kinds of vegetables for snacks and cooking
  • made a Power Vegetable Salad for lunches for the rest of the week

Most of the ground beef is now packaged and in the freezer for use over the next couple of weeks. The rest of the food is in my fridge waiting for me to transform it into dinner (or breakfast or lunch) in the coming days. Now, on those days when I am tired I can quickly stir fry some of the cut up vegetables, add some spices and either the beef or chicken, and have a healthy one-dish meal in less than 20 minutes

Today I started out the day with a broccoli and egg scramble (cut up broccoli that was conveniently in my refrigerator thanks to yesterday’s work).  I packed a container of my Power Vegetable Salad topped with diced chicken (both made yesterday) and an apple for lunch. I packed a second container of the salad for supper because I will not be home tonight until 9 pm. In the future I will try to plan my Wednesday meals better so that lunch and supper are not the same – but I’m just getting started.

Tomorrow will probably start off basically the same – both for breakfast and lunch – although I may use a different vegetable in my scramble. I’m ok with repetitiveness over the course of a week for those two meals; it makes life easy and I only have to put energy into supper. Next week I’ll switch it up a little and have different (but repetitive) breakfasts and lunches.

NOTE: Even if you are not doing the Whole30, if you are trying to eat a healthier diet you can benefit from making up some of your meals in advance. It will keep you on track even on days when you are too tired to think. I highly recommend Well Fed – a cookbook which will help you through this process. You can download a sample of the book from their website.

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  1. WOOHOOO on walking by the Christmas cookies! ^_^ I am hoping to be able to get a copy of “It Starts With Food” within the next few weeks. My initial reaction to the Whole30 was skeptical, however, with each day that I look into it and, I’m actually getting excited to kick it in gear! I went to their website yesterday and printed off a few resources and shared them with Jim. Hopefully I’ll be on the journey myself here in a few weeks!

  2. At my school, the custom is that teachers bring in treats on their birthdays. In addition, there are many other days when, for whatever reason, the staff lounge has donuts, cookies, and other delicious yet unhelpful items. I am trying to avoid the staff lounge as much as possible, although I can’t avoid it entirely because it is also the location of the photocopier…

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