Fail to plan and you plan to fail.

Meal PlanningOne of the keys to my weight loss success has been my weekly planning. Each Sunday, I spend time thinking about the week ahead and create a meal plan. I take plenty of factors into consideration: work schedule, appointments, current weight loss goals (and the carb range I want to try and stay in this week to meet those goals), foods I’ve been craving, pantry items in need of being used up, items on sale, etc. Then I shop for my groceries and come home to prep what I can.

By taking this time to plan, shop, and prepare on Sunday, I am able to go on ‘autopilot’ through the week. I have discovered that the less time and opportunity I have to contemplate my eating during the week, the more likely I am to stick to my plan without deviations. The last thing I need is to be tired and stressed at 6PM on a Wednesday evening and asking myself, “Hmm, what do you feel like eating?” The answer would NOT be a healthy one.

Since I eat breakfast and lunch at work, I start by deciding what I’d like to eat for those meals. Am I feeling like I want something sweet or savory for brekkie? Do I want a snacky lunch to graze on or a hot and hearty meal? The answers change week by week and this helps me have variety and still honor my inner foodie by indulging in the items I’ve been craving. I usually eat the same thing all five workdays, mostly because I’m a bit lazy. I’d rather cook one thing and portion it out into five containers and call it a day, KWIM?

Once I’ve decided on the breakfast and lunch menu, I choose 7 dinners. For the most part, I’m choosing the proteins and then stocking the fridge with the variety of vegetables and condiments I like to have on hand to hit my favorite flavor profiles. Again, allows me to entertain my foodie lovin’ ways within healthy perimeters to keep me from binging on unhealthy/less wholesome foods.

Finally, I choose my evening snack options. Yes, I eat a snack after dinner and it’s usually after 7PM (sometimes as late as 9PM). Still, I’ve managed to lose over 100 pounds. I just had to accept that I am an evening snacker. Even though ‘they’ say it is not a healthy habit, I know myself and if I deprived myself of an evening snack, I would feel super restricted and that would lead to a binge. My advice… make your own rules. Better yet, ditch ‘rules’ altogether.

This morning was a Sunday morning like any other; I planned, made a list, hit up my local Aldi and Walmart (working on a budget people), then prep cooked and portioned my food to take to work.

This week’s meal plan:

B: Lemon & Ricotta Muffin and coffee (4 carbs)

L: Creamy Cajun Chicken with Dirty Cauli-rice (3 carbs)

D: Protein, vegetable, cheese and condiment combo (<18 carbs)

S: Pistachios and 90% dark chocolate OR a chocolate mug cake with raspberries and whipped cream (10 carbs)

I have 5 muffins wrapped in Press n’ Seal and 5 plastic containers filled with the chicken and cauli-rice. Easy. Done. Yum.

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This week’s dinner options include:

Sunday: Roast whole chicken with roasted sprouts dipped in creamy dressing

Monday: Cheese omelette with 1/2 avocado and a big artisan salad topped with cheese and creamy dressing

Tuesday: Steak with bacon wrapped jalapeño poppers

Wednesday: Seared sea scallops with 1/2 avocado and a big artisan salad topped with cheese and creamy dressing

Thursday: Cheeseburger sans bun with goat cheese stuffed baby bella mushrooms

Friday: Take out (wings or grilled chicken nuggets)

Saturday: Spinach & feta flavored chicken sausage in a cauli-rice ‘risotto’

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Does that look like a diet to you?! I’ve lost over 100 pounds eating this way. Honestly, I love food. I want to love and enjoy my food every day for the rest of my life. This truth must be taken into consideration as I manage my weight and my health through nutrition; no food plan could work if it didn’t satisfy me (as my lifetime of failed ‘diets’ has proven).

So there it is, this week’s plan for mind, body, and spiritual nourishment… (because eating chocolate every night is my idea of heaven).


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