Preparation is the second half of Planning. I talk a lot about how we need to have a plan for everything that we know and for some things we don't know. However, the best laid plan cannot come to fruition without effective preparation. Too many times we plan but don't prepare and come home to find that we are either too tired to cook or we don't have the necessary items on hand. This makes it so much easier for us to grab something quick, easy and often unhealthy.
This weekend I took all the food that I eat in a week and laid it out on the table so you can get an idea of what I am talking about. Now, I'm not saying that you need to eat what I have in this picture. What I'm demonstrating is an example of what advanced preparation can look like. I have meals prepared in baggies, pre-portioned and ready to grab and go. That's how I can be successful.
Now, the next thing that you might tell me is "Oh Kathleen, I couldn't possibly do all that, it takes too much time". Well I'm squashing that one because it took me just a little over one hour to cook and bag up everything here, including laying it out and taking pictures. I use my Sunday afternoon to do my grocery shopping and then immediately come home and start preparing. It's worth the couple of hours to shop and prep back to back and it leaves me in a success mode for the week. I've even prepared enough so that I have food to last me through the weekend. I have no excuses to go off plan now, do I?
The other things that I do is brown up some hamburger for others in the house and make a few extra chicken breasts or one casserole that I can throw into the oven or my son can fix on those nights when track practice runs longer than normal or the husband has to work late.
There is nothing like the feeling of control and confidence when I can come home and know exactly what I'm having for dinner and all I need to do is reheat it in the microwave or pop it in the oven and cook it up. Quick, easy and healthy, that's my style.