OK, back to more lessons from Made to Crave.
Besides the idea of being empowered, the other big take away I took away from Made to Crave was to be determined. Be determined about what to eat.
For most of my life, I just ate whatever sounded good, whatever was convenient. What I learned, though, was that I need to be intentional about choosing what I eat. If I leave choosing what to eat when I’m hungry to a whim, good choices won’t happen very often, if at all.
The concept of being determined is actually quite simple. Decide in advance what you will eat for a meal, and eat only that. The struggle for me came at meal time, though. I had bad habits to break and craved those not-so-good-for-me foods. I would decide ahead of time that I would have a spinach salad and an apple for lunch, but when it came time for lunch, I would find myself not wanting a salad and fruit. My palate was still set on unhealthy.
But I had my goals to think about. Wanting to reach my goal gave me the strength I needed to stick with my plan and have the salad. And every time I made a good choice, I felt my resolve to choose healthy become stronger. Eventually, over time, making healthy choices has become easier, and the tug towards the not so good foods has decreased.
Made to Crave suggests advanced meal preparation. Ideally, all the food you would need for a week would be prepared and portioned out into serving sized containers. Then, at meal time, a serving of whatever is on the menu is pulled from the refrigerator. And, voila, lunch, without having to fight with yourself over what to eat!
I could never quite get to that point, though, of getting all my meals prepared in advance. I do think about a weekly menu, however, and plan my grocery list around that menu. Then, I usually prepare base items, like baking chicken, making a pot of soup, or roasting some vegetables. I also keep frozen veggies and fresh fruit on hand. The actual meal may not be put together, but knowing what my meals will be makes for quick meal assembly and no fuss about what’s for lunch.
I’m also a snacker, so I have to be determined about what I snack on as well. I never leave the house without a healthy snack in my bag. I know me, and if I get too hungry, anything in front of me is fair game. I bring easy to carry snacks, like Lara bars, almonds, or raisins.
What do you think about advanced meal preparation? What will you determine to eat today?