The Key to Success: Preparation

In all things, the key to success really starts with adequate and effective preparation.  No matter what you’re going to do, whether tackling your finances, advancing your career, or changing your diet, it all starts with a plan.  From the plan, you create tasks, then do the work.  The time spent in preparing for your success pays off in easier and more efficient work and quicker and better results.  When it comes to nutrition, one of the best ways to prepare is to create a menu.  I do this every week for my family.  Then, I spend one day doing some pre-preparation for meals during the week.  If you’ve never done this, now’s the time to start!  Here’s a sample menu for you (this is actually our menu this week), along with a list of the things I did this weekend to prepare for the week ahead.

Weekly Menu

Lime-Marinated Chicken & Spinach Quesadillas with Homemade Guacamole, Salsa and Beet Chips (purchased), and Fresh Pineapple

Cheesy Italian Sausage & Cauliflower Rice Casserole, Rosemary Carrot Coins, and Spinach Salad with Pomegranate Seeds

Salmon Patties, Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Baked Apples

Vegetable (Onion, Red Pepper and Spinach) Frittata, Baked Sweet Potato Wedges, and Green Salad with Fresh Pineapple

Roasted Butternut Squash and White Bean Soup w/Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

Baked Gnocchi with Alfredo Sauce and Spinach Salad with Blackberries

Sound good?  Notice the variety and color! BTW, I’m not great at eating leftovers for supper.  I just want something new each night, so to reduce waste, we take our lunch from the leftovers the night before.  One of the things that I think hinders people from eating enough vegetables is the fact that they sometimes take a bot if time to prep.  If you do most of it on the one day where you have time, it cuts your work in 1/2 during the week! This week, I spent a little more than an hour doing prep to save me lots of time later.

So, here’s what I did to prepare for the coming week, including baking bread (I bake a loaf each week) and a homemade snackable:

  1. Make lime marinade and put it and the chicken into a zip top bag in the fridge. (5 minutes)
  2. Prepare the brown rice for the casserole. (5 minutes actual time, since this cooked in the rice cooker)
  3. Cut up the fresh pineapple. (5 minutes)
  4. Make the guacamole. (10 minutes)
  5. Chop 4 carrots for the week (three sliced for the carrot coins and 1 chopped into small pieces for the butternut squash soup). (5 minutes)
  6. Chop 2 medium onions for the week. (5 minutes)
  7. Chop the butternut squash for the soup. (5 minutes)
  8. Roast Chickpeas for snacking on. (25 minutes, only takes about 5 minutes and they cooked while I did other tasks)
  9. Make a loaf of bread for the week. (5 minutes actual time, since this cooked in my bread machine)

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