This month, we are going to talk about the idea of failing to prepare.

“Failing to prepare is preparing to fail.”

You’ve likely heard this saying before, and it couldn’t be truer when it comes to your health and wellness plan, especially around the topic of meal planning and food.

So, what exactly does it mean to prepare yourself when it comes to your food plan?

Below, I break down the 3 simple areas where I see clients struggling frequently. But first, it’s important to understand why some prepping and planning is essential to your health and wellness success.  

You have probably experienced what happens when you get really hungry right?

It’s the rare person that makes great food choices when starving. Our natural tendency is to gravitate towards whatever is close by or most easily available when we get hungry, and those foods typically aren’t the best for you.

Think about some time when you got really hungry recently. What did you eat? Pizza? Fast food? Burger and Fries? Wings? A quick bowl of cereal?

Having some systems in place for your food plan will really make a difference in your health outcomes. Consistency in your food plan is one of the biggest predictors of success, so here are some new systems to put into practice.

#1 POD: Plan of the Day

My dad was in the military and always used the term POD, and it has stuck with me to this day.  

What’s your general Plan of the Day with food? Do you have one or do you just wing it every day and go with the wind?

Of course, having a full blown written out meal plan is going to be the best POD possible.

However, if I don’t have an actual meal plan written down for the week (which I frequently don’t) then the night before I am thinking about breakfast, and at breakfast, I am thinking about dinner.

When I say “I’m thinking about breakfast,” I mean that I am getting a plan together in my head of what I am going to make the next morning instead of waking up behind the eight ball.

Same goes for dinner. During breakfast prep, I am thinking if I need to throw anything in the slow cooker or grab anything from the store at some point in the day.  

Just having some kind of forethought and action plan around food will help ensure your success.

#2 Travel

Whether it’s business or leisure, don’t let the wheels fall off your food plan when you travel.

Most people know exactly when they will be traveling which makes prepping for travel with food easy.

Having a few simple things in your bag during travel can make a very big difference. A high quality, grass-fed beef jerky (free from MSG), 100% fruit leathers, Rx Bars or some kind of lower sugar protein bar along with some cashews can make all the difference when you are in the airport waiting for a flight or struggling NOT to eat that Snickers bar in your room late night.

Having something with you is way better than leaving your hunger up to chance.

Plus, if you are like me and get low blood sugar easy, it’s imperative to have some kind of snacks in your room during travel so that you don’t have energy and mood dips in between bigger meals.

#3 Sports Events

I admit…I myself have been victim to the ill prepared, unknowing sport’s parent syndrome.

What I mean by this is one time we went to my daughter’s volleyball tournament that unexpectedly lasted 9 hours!! When we left that morning, I thought we would only be gone for 3 hours and had not planned to be away from the house for that long.

These types of sporting events take a lot of energy for both parents and athletes. Having a supply of food on hand for both you and your athlete can be the difference maker in their performance and in your mood and durability throughout the competition.

A bag of nectarines, some sandwiches (maybe ham and egg with spinach), apples with peanut butter packets, and pre-cooked chicken breasts and sweet potatoes are going to all be great energy givers for your crew during these longer competitions.

Of course, don’t forget lots of water for both you and your athlete so that no one gets dehydrated.

The bottom line is that waiting until you are hungry to think about food is NOT going to be optimal for your success with food.

It will surprise you how much easier a healthy food plan is when you think about it all ahead of time and PLAN for success. Like anything else you want to be successful in, a plan of action and some preparation is required to be optimal.

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