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The "Big Four"

I’m a big believer in the saying: “Failing to plan is planning to fail”, especially when it comes to nutrition.  Some of my worse eating experiences have happened when I was starving; I go to the cupboard or the fridge, and find nothing, or should I say nothing that I should be eating at that time.  As a result, I ended up loading up on processed foods or too many carbohydrates, anything to curb my hunger pangs.   I have since learned my lesson!

The Solution: the “Big Four” – Planning, Shopping, Preparing, and Cooking.  They have been key to my success with nutrition.

Every Sunday morning, I take an inventory of what’s left in the fridge of the week past, and from there, start meal and snack planning for the week to come.  And yes, you read correctly, I did mention snack planning.  I have found that snacks are what get us in trouble most of the time.  Good examples of healthy snacks are celery (with or without almond butter), peppers, organic berries, apples, peaches, organic raw cheese, nuts, sliced ham, etc.

I’m then off to the grocery store to pick up everything that I need for the week, although I often have to go back mid-week to pick-up some more berries.  Unfortunately, when they are not in season and you purchase them in the store, I find that they spoil very quickly so I don’t buy too many ahead of time.  Sometimes, they have already spoiled in the container at the store so make sure to check them before you buy them!

During the week, I try to make it a habit to always review our meal plan at night before I go to bed.  This way, I can be prepared for the upcoming day.  I thaw any meat that is necessary for an upcoming meal, prepare snacks and lunches for the upcoming day, and if I have time or I’m not too tired, I will start the prep for our next dinner.  With a two year old in the house, anything done ahead of time will help when supper time comes!

Finally, if time allows, Sunday is usually the day when I pre-cook everything that I can for the upcoming week (and then store it in the fridge), or anything that can be cooked in big batches and then frozen, in order to simplify future meals (i.e. spaghetti sauce, chilli, etc.)

By following this plan, not only has our nutrition been great, but it has taken all the stress away at meal time. 

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