Amy Culver - The Queen of Lean
September 26, 2007    

Failing to plan

Getting back outside

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Amy Culver

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Failing to plan

“If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.”  I don't know who first said that, but it has become one my most frequently uttered mantras.

I wish I could tell you that I hardly ever think about food and that it just doesn't matter much to me anymore.  But the truth is exactly the opposite.  I think about food more than ever.  I just think about it differently.  In order to get through life without slipping up in all the usual places I HAVE to think about food – A LOT.

First and foremost, I plan all of my meals for the week.  Breakfast and lunch are pretty easy as they are usually the same day to day.  Dinners take more effort.  Just yesterday, as I got ready to work on the meal plan, I mentioned to my husband that it was the most difficult chore I have all week - dinner plans are tough enough even when you aren't concerned with calories and nutrition.  Once it’s done for the week though, it’s a huge relief.  Also, since I already know in the morning what dinner will be that night, I can plan the rest of my food day around it.  If I know dinner will be a little on the heavier side, I keep a tighter lid on my snacks during the day. 

Of course, right after I make the meal plan, I make the grocery list.  I cannot stress enough the importance of a grocery list.  Make it and stick to it.  Stay away from those impulse purchases that not only expand your waist, but deflate your wallet.

For some of you, this may all be a simple matter of course, but I take it a little further.  When I go on vacation, I plan my meals for the week of my return before I leave.  This is very helpful.  There is always so much to do to get back into the swing of things when you get home that food planning often takes a back seat.  This means that the culinary indulgences of vacation can end up stretching into the first few days when you're back at home.  You may end up continuing to eat out until you get caught up rather than jumping right back into your usual meal plan.  By planning ahead, I can shop for as much as will stay fresh (while we're gone) before we leave so that I only need to pick up the most perishable items when we return.  This means a quick trip to the store and I'm ready to go.  I plan quick and simple meals for that week to allow me time for all the other catching up I need to do.

Oh, and I hate to remind you, but the pumpkins are in the stores – and you know what that means – turkeys and trees are just around the corner.  It’s never too early to start your battle plan for the holidays.  I started making notes for myself over a month ago.  For example, last year I made way too much of my give-away goodies and ended up eating much more of them myself than I usually do.  So, I made notes to myself about how to more accurately determine just how much baking I need to do.

I know, some may think I'm a little obsessive, but consider this:  I'm an addict, you all know that.  I'm going to be thinking about food all the time anyway, right?  Why not structure that thinking to be constructive and supportive of a healthy lifestyle?

LIGHT BULBGetting back outside

Now that the temperatures are starting to drop into a more comfortable range (at least here in the Southwest) – let’s get back outside!  Evenings are a great time to take a nice walk with your loved one and have a chat about your days, your plans – drop a few early Christmas hints…

My hubby and I are planning to buy bicycles in the next couple of weeks.  I'm looking forward to some fun (and healthy) quality time together.  I'll let you know how it goes.

Check out my latest newspaper article

Have you been thinking about changing up your exercise routine?  My latest newspaper article has tips, be sure to check it out on my website - click on the "Articles" link.

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