Being successful in your nutrition venture (or any venture for that matter) involves being prepared. Oftentimes when we’re ready to start a new “diet” or food plan, we buy the foods on our list of acceptable things to eat, but we often miss the big picture. If your plan calls for baking lots of chicken and you don’t have a stove, that could be a problem. If your plan calls for steaming veggies and you lack a good pot and steamer, another problem.
Answer these questions with sincere honesty and see how you fare.
1. Do you have good pots and pans, knives, spatula, blender, food scale, tupperware, small cooler/lunch bag, shaker bottle, food processor/chopper?
2. Do you have stocked the following items at all times?: Oats, natural peanut/almond butter, olive/coconut oil, beans, vinegar, various nuts, protein powder, fish oil.
3. Do you have stocked in your fridge/freezer?: Extra-lean beef, chicken breast, salmon, eggs (omega-3), pasteurized egg whites, 3 varieties of fruit (fresh or frozen), 5 varieties of veggies (fresh or frozen), flax meal/flax oil, sweet potatoes, brown/jasmine rice, real butter.
4. Do you have the following items in your pantry?: Potato chips, granola/cereal bars, low-fat cookies, crackers, chocolates, pop, 3 types of alcohol, box food (potatoes, cake mix, hamburger helper).
5. Do you have the following items in your fridge/freezer?: Various sauces, margarine, juice, baked goods, frozen pre-packaged dinners, bagels, left-over pasta.
6. Do you have bowls of candy, chips and other snacks sitting out in plain view?
7. When you have parties or guests, do you serve them what you think they’ll want, or what you think is healthy?
8. How often do you shop for groceries? (2-3 times a month, once a week or a couple times a week.)
9. If someone points to a food in your house, do you do if it’s composed primarily of carbohydrates, protein or fat?
10. Do you prepare meals in advance to take with you to work, school, vacation, etc?
11. Are you hesitant to throw out unhealthy leftovers or gift foods that don’t fit in your plan?
(Adapted from Precision Nutrition)
Makes you think, huh?
First, check all your kitchenware. Make sure you have appropriate cookware to make the foods that you’ll be eating the majority of the time.
Check your pantry. If you get the urge to make cakes and cookies from pre-packaged mixes, don’t buy them. (If you argue that you like to have them on hand in case you need something for a party, then buy it when you need it, or make it from scratch. Making from scratch is a little more difficult and you can’t just whip something up as easily.)
When I have parties or get-togethers, I serve what I would like to have available. We just had a party for my daughter and we served mini turkey roll-ups, fresh veggies, mixed nuts and some pretzels and mini PB&J’s too. Not perfect, but better than the hot dogs, chips, and pasta salad at most parties.
Personally, I like to use glass storage and tupperware like Pyrex instead of plastics.
The first step to success is planning ahead and being prepared. Take a day to look over your kitchen and make sure you are setting yourself up for LONG TERM success.