"Always be prepared" is the Boy Scout motto. At least, I think it is. I could think of another motto but let's not get political.
Anyhow, always being prepared is, for me, a very important part of a successful eating plan.
I was going to say "diet", but dieting sucks. "Eating plan" is much better. Yet "Be an eating plan Boy Scout" just doesn't have the same ring to it.
I find it is so much easier not to go off track not only when you're not surrounded by what you don't want to eat, but when you're surrounded by what you do. I can't imagine being a parent and having to stock, say, cookies or ice cream for your kidlets. It's not only a matter of having the good stuff (not the good good stuff, but the -- oh, you know what I mean) around, but having it ready or reasonably ready to be eaten.
I do my grocery shopping once a week because it's mainly just me and I don't want to buy a bunch of things only to have them go bad before I can eat them. Plus my tastes change from day to day (thank you, advertisers!) and what sounded really good last week won't necessarily be tempting to me four or five days later. This weekend I bought all kinds of stuff, so much that I almost had trouble getting it all into the fridge. Mostly because it was things like a big pack of chicken breasts that needed to be depackaged, marinated, grilled, sliced up, and stashed away, or a couple of pints of strawberries that needed to be hulled, sliced, and put into a tupperware bowl.
And that's what I mean about being prepared. I've mentioned before my big box o' meat, where I put various sliced, grilled meats I've made up for the week. I discovered last night I have three containers of meat, explaining why the fridge was so crowded. My job is fairly involving mentally, so most nights I'm so tired when I come home the thought of having to now prepare a meal from scratch often puts me over the edge and I go pick up fast food or a pizza. Actually, it's usually before I even leave the office that I start convincing myself I should eat out that night -- because there's nothing ready to go. But now, if I don't feel like cooking I have something healthy I can heat up and be ready in minutes. That keeps me on track.
In addition to all the grilling and cooking of meat yesterday -- six big chicken breasts and a 3.5 lb pork tenderloin which will be soooo tasty for today's lunch -- I also did all the aforementioned strawberries and cut up a cantaloupe to boot. While the strawberries mostly went into one container, the cantaloupe went into three smaller ones, the perfect size for a daily lunch. The 1.5 lbs of cocktail shrimp got separated out into five baggies, comprising five breakfasts this week. The better part of three peaches were cut up and will also be today's lunch along with the pork. If I'm really feeling like Suzie Homemaker, I'll even get the mini carrots into their own baggies for the week as well.
Lest you think I am totally and absolutely awesome, I'm not. Well, I am but in a different way. Seriously though, I normally don't do quite so much lunch prep -- I will have to separate things out each night usually -- but lately preparing my lunch every evening has been tiresome. It's easier if I can manage the time to do a lot of it at once. And so far, with this paleo challenge, having food there and ready has made all of the difference.
So be a diet Boy Scout! Help yourself stay on track by putting aside a small amount of time to do what you can ahead of time. Not only will it save you time in the long run, it will also save your ass!