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Old 01-04-2013, 05:15 AM   #1
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Planning ahead... Suggestions?

OK. I know my biggest downfall for staying on plan is that I tend to grab something unhealthy as a quick fix for hunger/need to satisfy.

I've been working this week to prepare so that I am ready with low-carb options when needed.

- Washed and stored greens and herbs
- Made deviled eggs
- Baked low-carb cheesecake
- Stocked up on seltzer and flavored water
- Shopped for basic low-carb item
- Individually wrapped and stored steaks and chicken breasts

I'd love to hear your favorite "get ready" strategies for optimal success!
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Old 01-04-2013, 06:15 AM   #2
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I menu plan everyday. It is a thing I do first thing in the morning (and sometimes the night before) and aside from making a coffee, it is the thing that must be done before anything else. No 'winging it'.

I also carry an 'emergency snack' with me which is usually macadamia nuts.
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Old 01-04-2013, 06:40 AM   #3
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I plan my menus a week in advance and do my grocery shopping based on those menus.

Then I always make sure that I have my food ready the night before--not necessarily cooked, but thawed if it needs to be thawed, eggs hard boiled if needed, etc.

When I wake in the morning, I always know what I will eat that entire day--I never just 'wing it.'

This is because in order to manage my weight, I know that I need to watch both carbs and calories, and planning is essential. Keep in mind that I've been maintaining for almost 2 years, and this is how I planned during weight loss and how I continue to plan.
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Old 01-04-2013, 07:09 AM   #4
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I try to make sure I have Something in case of emergency, almonds, boiled eggs etc. I haven't done that this week since i'm recovering from surgery and it shows by what i've been eatting! Grrrr! I'm hoping to be able to get in the kitchen soon and prep me some Good food!
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Old 01-04-2013, 07:42 AM   #5
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Speaking as someone who has been maintaining her weight loss for 7+ months now, I am in full accordance with Leo41's strategies. Planning is definitely key. I enter every new day with an almost exact idea of the foods that I'll be consuming. I'm a very big details-type girl, so that sort of stuff doesn't fall under the umbrella of tedium for me; it is quite the opposite, actually—I have a blast doing it! I find it very fulfilling to plan my meals, but there definitely exists a fine line that can easily be crossed. If such activities begin to breed obsessive or worrisome behavior, take a step back. You have to know your limits.

My point being: track and plan, if your personality allows such activity without breeding obsession or guilt.

What I often do is buy a large pack of protein, whether it be a big pack of pork chops, chicken quarters, breasts, etc. and slowly work through the protein as the week goes on. That 10 pack of chicken breasts will be pan-seared breasts on Monday, chicken nuggets on Tuesday, baked on Wednesday, etc. Sometimes I just make the same meal every night if I really like it. :P It really just depends. The idea is to always have some sort of protein on-hand, thawed, and ready to go. If you're going to cook something later in the week, plan for it and take it out of the freezer plenty of time in advance. Don't let yourself get caught without food! It'll take some time to learn how to do, of course. Even now, I sometimes will mess up and still have a frozen roast on Thursday that I was wanting to cook that night.

That's where cans of tuna come in.

I also like to make big batches of stuff on Saturday or Sunday and then eat off of them that week for work lunches or dinners. Pork shoulder works well for this.

Hopefully that helps.
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Old 01-04-2013, 07:56 AM   #6
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Lots of awesome ideas!

princessmommy, hope you're recovering smoothly. Sending healing thought your way. Glad to see you are well enough to post.

Is there such a thing as over preparing? For me, there is. If I have a plate full of deviled eggs handy, I would eat them at once. So what I do is have things handy that need some preparing at meal time. I don't snack much ( unless it's in my face) so I cook my protein and veggies at each meal. I also eat out on the fly a lot and I get a salad often.

If after all this you are caught unprepared, throw out the bun on the burger and don't order fries. If it’s just a gas station or convenient store, get cheese or nuts. Good luck! Happy New Year!
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Old 01-04-2013, 09:53 AM   #7
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I've struggled with meal planning forever but since I started using the meal planning feature on my favorite recipe site (food.com) planning seems much easier since my favorite recipes are all in one place and easy to add to my plan. So if you're like me and feel overwhelmed by meal planning then maybe a digital format would make it easier.
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Old 01-04-2013, 10:26 AM   #8
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Honestly I could not spend that much time planning our food choices, I simply do not have the time for that right now. So I just make sure that EVERYTHING in my house is very close to "low carb" (I do buy crackers for the kids instead of cookies but I've honestly never liked crackers so no problem there. Then also came in handy during flu season around here!!). We have pepperoni, nuts, homemade lc truffles, lc muffins (usually frozen) along with lots of fresh veggies for snacks.

I pick a meat each week and do up a number of meals with it. Baked a ham and have ham steaks, ham mock mac n cheese, etc. I buy whole chickens and make meals until I'm down to the bones...and then I make chicken stock for LC soups...I still have chicken curry over cauli-rice & cauliflower pizza in there from last week (cauliflower was going bad, LOL)...and after this w/end, I'll have 4-5 different meal choices in there for the week.

I know it sounds a lot of work. But really 2-3 hours of cooking on a Sunday and doing the dishes is a LOT less time than cooking 4 or 5 nights a week and doing pots/pans every night Plus my DH doesn't always know when he'll work or for how long so it is VERY easy for him to grab a choice from the freezer.
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Old 01-04-2013, 10:40 AM   #9
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I also like to plan my meals on the week I am off ~ I work 6 on 8 off ~ and I buy lots and lots of groceries and cook tons of food when I'm off I love to cook

By my 2nd day off I usually have at least 3 meals in fridge to choose from - like today there's :

leftover ribeye and broccoli
Sausage and cabbage
Cheri's southwestern soup
Chicken I cooked to make bone broth
bone broth

And I'm only on day 4 of being off ;0 Like I said, I love to cook !

When I'm on my work week, I try to have a few things cooked in fridge and take those things the 1st few days I work. I also keep beef sticks, tuna, HB eggs, string cheese, and things like that to take . Grapes - I love grapes.

Hope this helps !


Also ,...... do you have a pressure cooker ?? We do, and it will cook frozen meat in 90 minutes- you can throw it in and put your veggies and walk away..... very tender too ! Or a pot of beans ......
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Old 01-04-2013, 02:01 PM   #10
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Make salad jars and/or put ingredients you routinely cook with in ball jars. Having a salad? pull out your jars of shredded cheese, cooked bacon, green onions, etc. These come in handy for preparing main dishes as well. Make a quiche each week with the leftover ball jar ingredients If you google jar salads you'll see lots of ideas along these lines. Some people make oatmeal for the week this way too.
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Old 01-04-2013, 02:39 PM   #11
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I plan my meals for the day each morning but my first meal is almost always the same (coffee, eggs and cheese) so that one's taken care of. I find that if I stock the house with salad fixings, cheese, eggs, lo carb veggies and various meats and fish I can always come up with something good.

I also keep coconut manna, coconut oil, fat bombs and various baking stuff like coconut flour, almond meal, chia seeds and flax seed meal on hand, so I can whip something up in a hurry if I want to.

I eat lots of salad since my husband is a vegetarian and it's something we both enjoy in our very different diets.
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Old 01-04-2013, 03:11 PM   #12
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I have found that for me, the single most important thing to keep me on track and eating at home is to have ALL of my staples on hand at all times. Their is nothing more irritating than deciding that I want to make dish A and discover that I'm out of one specialty ingredient. I buy things in bulk. I order my almond flour online and get it for half price. I buy my sweeteners in bulk also. I keep unflavored and vanilla whey protein powders on hand for baking. I buy my meats at Costco in the frozen food section so I can just pop whatever meat I want to have out for dinner. They are individually packaged for ease. I keep chicken, salmon steaks, trout fillets, hamburger patties. It's so easy to plan my meals this way at the beginning of each day.
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Old 01-04-2013, 05:33 PM   #13
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I always pull out whatever protein I am going to fix for dinner to thaw during the day in the fridge in the morning before I leave for work and then I just have to worry about a veggie/side. I always keep cheese sticks and blocks of various types of my favorite cheeses in the house so I can cut off a piece, containers of full fat greek yogurt, pre-bagged portioned out nuts, Atkins bars to throw in my purse (they stall me or make me crave, they do some people).
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Old 01-05-2013, 07:22 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by walkingwoman View Post
Make salad jars and/or put ingredients you routinely cook with in ball jars. Having a salad?
Love this idea! Quick question - do the ingredients keep longer in bell jars than ziplock baggies??
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Old 01-05-2013, 07:54 AM   #15
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I'm a food hoarder and come by it honestly being raised with depression era grandparents. It's also a 50 mile round trip for any serious shopping although I'm within a couple of miles of a small town mercantile that carries basic groceries. We have a extensive garden so in the summer we have loads of produce and I freeze quite a bit for the winter months and I keep the crispers full of salad fixings. For the most part, I can wing my menus on a daily basis because short of some bread on hand for sandwiches for the kids everything in the house is relatively low carb.

Over the past two years I've picked up so many good ideas and recipes off these boards it's become fairly easy to maintain a supply of LC staples to draw from and prepare a wide variety of meals. Plus, I love to cook and generally have the time to do it unless I'm working a lot of overtime. I know I would have to have a different strategy if my family was younger and required constant attention or if my work schedule wasn't compressed.
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Old 01-05-2013, 08:00 AM   #16
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You know what's been a stumbling block for me for planning? Not having enough or the right kind of storage containers! This sounds stupid, but I've found myself eating more than I intended because I wasn't able to portion out the dish into separate containers.

So part of my "process improvement" for 2013 is to go out and get enough food storage to actually make my planning work.
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Old 01-05-2013, 10:13 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by someonelikeyou View Post
Love this idea! Quick question - do the ingredients keep longer in bell jars than ziplock baggies??
I think they do and they look appealing in your fridge They are fun for parties too. I make my own salad bar by putting ice in a long container and put the jars in. Guests can help themselves and they are great for salads and/or potatoes, etc.
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Old 01-05-2013, 02:55 PM   #18
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I make alot of meals ahead of time. I like to have egg salad on hand, some type of hamburg casserole dish separated into small containers, or my chicken strips rolled in mayo/hot sauce and parmesan cheese then baked, veggies and shredded cheese, etc...
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Old 01-05-2013, 04:40 PM   #19
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Quote:
You know what's been a stumbling block for me for planning? Not having enough or the right kind of storage containers! This sounds stupid, but I've found myself eating more than I intended because I wasn't able to portion out the dish into separate containers.
Canning jars come in many sizes and they are inexpensive. They keep food fresh and you can microwave in them. You can also use them as blender jars--depending on the size of blender you have. I love canning jars!

An added bonus is that plastics (ALL plastics, not only BPA) may leech estrogen like compound into our foods. Glass is safer/cleaner and day to wash in the dishwasher.
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Old 01-06-2013, 07:08 AM   #20
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Oh yeah, I never use plastic for anything food-related anymore! All my storage and microwave containers are glass now.

I always forget about canning jars - I need to get some!
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Old 01-06-2013, 08:45 AM   #21
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I have moved to jars as well for much of my storage but the freezer still presents a problem. I wrap what I can in wax paper and then in bags but my meat comes already frozen and in plastic. Don't know what the solution is there?

Here is the best jars I think I have found so far....
Attached Images
File Type: jpg jar.jpg (16.2 KB, 2 views)

Last edited by clackley; 01-06-2013 at 08:47 AM..
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Old 01-06-2013, 11:33 AM   #22
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Walmart had the canning jars for 7 bucks a dozen! I bought a tray that they all fit on and just take the tray out rather than each container. Makes it super convenient to doll up your meals.

eta there is a local company that makes cheese cakes in the short jars. Super cool and nice sized too.

Last edited by walkingwoman; 01-06-2013 at 11:35 AM..
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