Planning ahead is key to being successful at making changes to your diet, health, and wellness. Here are my top 10 tips to plan ahead for a healthy lifestyle!
Like many of you, this year, I’m working on becoming a more healthy me. Making better food choices, exercising more, going to the gym for weight lifting workouts, ensuring that I get enough quality sleep, reducing stress by organizing more, eating regularly, and remembering to take my supplements each day.
Little changes make such a big impact over time. I’d like to share with you the little changes I’m making.
10 Tips to Plan Ahead For a Healthy Lifestyle:
1. Have a plan
2. Menu plan
3. Keep frozen meals on hand
4. Make bulletproof coffee pods
5. Cut up veggies and store in small baggies
6. Ranch or other dressing/dip in small containers
7. Peanut butter in small containers
8. Pre-cut & bag fruit
9. Pre-cut pepperoni & cheese
10. Organize your day
1. Plan ahead- I know, my top tip to plan ahead for a healthy lifestyle is to have a plan . . . what?! But, it’s so true! Without a plan, you have no direction. You need to decide on a path to follow before you can begin walking. So, my first tip is to make a plan, one that is challenging enough to be a conscious effort, but not so challenging that you can’t stick to it.
2. Menu plan- With menus planned out, there’s no rush at the end of the day deciding what to make for supper. When I cook supper, I try to make extra. From this extra, I usually have a quick lunch the next day. Having meals planned out also relieves a bit of stress as the day progresses. These days, I find myself going in a million different directions and having the basics like “what’s for supper?” figured out ahead of time makes my day a little less frazzled.
3. Keep frozen meals on hand- On those days that I don’t have a prepared lunch, I used to just skip eating. I know this is the wrong thing to do. It’s for those occasions that I keep a few frozen meals on hand. In a matter of minutes, I can have a hot, filling, and yummy lunch to enjoy. No more skipping meals!
4. Make bulletproof coffee pods- My husband loves his morning bulletproof coffee. Our alarm rings at 3am. Some days, it’s a little more work than others to get his favorite morning drink prepared. By making up your own pods, this job is super simple! They are also easily transported to enjoy later, if you don’t enjoy this drink in the morning.
Simply melt the butter and coconut oil together over very low heat. Once melted, stir well to combine. We use 1 Tablespoon each butter and coconut oil per mug. Thus, I measure accordingly to melt. I tend to make these up 5 at a time. Then I scoop 2 Tablespoons worth of the melted butter/oil mixture into small containers and snap the lid on. Carefully place the containers in the refrigerator and it’s ready to travel! When ready to enjoy a bulletproof coffee, pull the container out and allow it to come to room temperature, combine it with the coffee and enjoy. When traveling, we use blender bottles to combine (just be careful of the heat buildup!) When at home, we use a Magic Bullet.
5. Cut up veggies and store in small baggies- Pre-cut celery, carrots, cauliflower, and cucumbers are stored in snack sized baggies to be enjoyed as a quick snack. After all, what’s the best part of going to a salad bar? All of the work is done! By spending 5 minutes or so one day chopping and bagging veggies, I have quick snacks ready all week long.
6. Ranch or other dressing/dip in small containers- Those veggies are fine on their own, but having a tasty dip to enjoy with them makes for a much more fulfilling snack experience. I make homemade Ranch dressing. To turn it into dip, I just add a bit more mayo and sour cream. By portioning it out, I am also controlling the amount of calories I’m consuming with my healthy veggies. 😉
7. Peanut butter in small containers- Since I love these small containers, I had to find another use for them. A great snack is celery and peanut butter, or apples and peanut butter. But, it’s easy to consume way too much peanut butter when you pull the jar out. It’s also not so convenient to travel with a large jar. Using the same small containers that I use for bulletproof coffee pods, I add one serving, or 2 Tablespoons of peanut butter for a quick treat.
8. Pre-cut & bag fruit- If you’re going to dip apples into peanut butter to enjoy, the apples obviously need to be cut up. I use an apple slicer, then dip the slices in lemon juice, then roll up in a paper towel and store in a snack size baggie. Wash grapes and spread them on a paper towel to dry, then bag ’em up. Quick and simple snacks!
9. Pre-cut pepperoni & cheese- Cheese and pepperoni are two more great snack ideas. By cutting these items up ahead of time, you control how much you will eat. As I’m working on this food prep, I find that I’m better able to control how much of each I place in the snack size baggies. In contrast, if I’m hungry and pull out the pepperoni and cheese to cut up to consume then, I tend to be a bit “heavy handed” and cut much more than I should. It’s also super convenient to have this job done. Snacking can be grab and go!
10. Organize your day- I think this is one of the areas that I need to concentrate on the most. All of the above tips only serve to save a bit of time as the day passes. How many days do I find that the clock shows it’s time for my hubby and children to return home from their workday to realize that my workday is nowhere near complete? This means I’m behind, and will have to sacrifice family time that evening in order to complete that which I should have completed earlier in the day. It also means I’m stressed, which isn’t good for anyone!
Working to complete my work earlier in the day means that bedtime happens when it’s supposed to. It’s all a cycle. Getting to bed on time means a good night of sleep which means being rested the next morning which means I get more of my to-do list accomplished which means I’m done when I should be done which means I’m not stressed which means I get to bed on time. It all works together to make a more productive, happier me. 🙂
These tips are what help me make small changes to improve my health this year. Planning ahead is key to success in most areas of life, a healthy lifestyle included!
What tips would you add to my list? I’d love to hear the changes you are making this year too!
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.
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