The Healthiest Habit to Make the Healthiest You

When I say “healthiest habits” you might instantly have thoughts of eating more vegetables, drinking more water and hitting a treadmill. I’m going to let you in on the healthiest habit that trumps them all. In fact, this one healthy habit makes the others possible. Here it is: You have to develop the habit of planning and preparing your meals.

I know it sounds really simple but think of the last time you ate something that was bad for you. Most of the time we break down and have these lapses in will power because we are stressed, in a hurry or unprepared. This is when we turn to fast food, convenience stores, or instant snacks. If you want to be the healthiest, fittest and accomplish your goals then you have to be committed to preparation and planning.

So what exactly are you planning for? If your health goals include exercise you have to schedule that. How often do you skip a workout because you just didn’t have the time or you got too busy? An anonymous quote I have been reflecting on a lot lately says, “You always have time for the things you put first.” Planning your workout and then executing that plan is a way to make sure you are putting your health first and it allows you to create the time you need.

You should also be planning meals. What’s for breakfast tomorrow? Really… do you know what you are going to eat in the morning to start your day? If the answer is “I don’t know” can you understand how easy it is to resort to a piece of toast, a bowl of cereal or a just settle for a cup of coffee with all the fixin’s? If you know that in the morning you are going to eat a bacon, egg and mushroom frittata then you can have everything mixed, chopped and ready to bake first thing in the morning. You should plan breakfast, lunch and dinner for each day so that you have the healthy ingredients you need to cook with. You should also plan what you are going to snack on. If you have no plan then you will most likely fail. To prepare you need to have all the ingredients for meals that you have planned on eating in the coming days. What can be mixed, chopped, sliced, diced, and stored to use for tomorrow’s meals? With our kids it is a high priority to make sure they have healthy food to eat at school so they have the best chance to learn and be full of energy. When we are trying to rush out the door to school it is impossible to include the fruits, veggies, etc. that we haven’t prepared the day or days before.

My wife and I spend about 30 minutes each night planning and preparing food for tomorrow. In my opinion that time spent planning and preparing couldn’t be better spent on a treadmill, bike or trail. A perfect plan executed poorly is a waste. You could have the best of intentions with your health goals but you don’t stand a chance if you aren’t willing to devote some time to setting yourself up for success. Let’s face it, life is full of unexpected bumps, twists and turns. When you are prepare, even by just devoting about a half hour each night, you can live life on your own terms and accomplish your healthiest goals.

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