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Manic Monday ~ No-Fail Environment (Part 2)

September 19, 2016

Hello Monday!! How did you start your Monday? Was it smooth sailing or complete chaos? So, in other words....were you prepared or unprepared for the start of another week? The practice of preparation takes time. It's easy to say we will get prepared, but when time sneaks by us, we shift our mind believing we can get it all done when the time comes. The cycle continues (rushing, chaos, unorganized, mental blocks, stress, anxiety, and panic). I have found that when I plan and prepare BEFORE the week begins, my life is at a much lesser stress level than if I negate to plan/prepare. This also effects my family and how I interact with people. You see, the effort in preparation ends up being minimal compared to the effort of fighting chaos. So I look at preparation as an investment that benefits much more than my health. 

Preparation! Preparation! Preparation! That's right! Preparation is key in setting up your life for positive outcomes. In healthy lifestyles, preparation is what makes or breaks your lifestyle. Last week I wrote about kitchen preparation. This week I want to go a little further with kitchen prep. Many years ago, I trained a couple who owned a very popular bed and breakfast inn. After we discussed preparation, they went to work in their Inn to prepare their kitchen for their healthy lifestyle journey. As you can imagine, that would be no easy task when you are known for your delicious hearty breakfast meals! A few weeks into their new organized food system, they invited me over to review their efforts. Well, to my surprise, I was amazed! This pair had completely redesigned their kitchen by repurposing their cabinet usage. They had completed step 1, which was clearing out their cabinets and refrigerator. Then they collected and bought some storage baskets, clear plastic containers and large jars. My clients took ALL of the ingredients and food items that they needed to prepare their specialty breakfast meals for their patrons and designated one side of the kitchen for their business. Then they filled the other side of their kitchen with food items that would allow for them to succeed in their healthy lifestyle journey. Not only did they designate specific cabinet and refrigerator space for their healthy food items, but they made a commitment to NEVER use any of the business food areas for their own consumption. It was a moral fence they built and to adhere to. They weren't going to cross that fence. They built it, it was up and ready to keep them away from sabotage! Not to mention, within in their healthy setup of the kitchen, they had went a step further and prepared food items into categories. There was a cabinet for whole grains. Here was a cabinet for portioned out healthy snacks (nuts, whole grain crackers, etc). There was an area in which a tray was displayed with fruits like apples, pears, oranges, and bananas. Their refrigerator had one drawer for prepared lean meats, one drawer for veggies, one drawer for fruits, and one shelf for dairy and eggs. Everything in the refrigerator was already washed, cut, cooked, and ready to eat! Literally, it was like a buffet, ready to pull out and eat away! Brilliant! Considering I all too often am guilty of buying tons of fruit and veggies that waste away in my fridge just because I find myself lacking a few minutes to wash and cut up those items. Oh, and water! Drinking water can be a chore for some of us. I observed my clients reusing water bottles. They would consume one and fill it right back up. The daily goal was to drink 4-6 water bottles throughout the day. They would fill a huge pitcher of ice water and set it on the counter. They would see that water pitcher all day long and it was a reminder to keep drinking water. What a difference preparation makes! 

The fruits of my clients labor were amazing. They went on to schedule their week's eating plan by preparing food every Sunday and Wednesday evenings. Fruits and veggies were cleaned, cut, and made ready to eat, their lean meats were cooked up, and their whole grains and snacks were portioned out into small containers. Needless to say this pair reached their weight loss goal of 80 lbs combined. Did I already say preparation makes a difference? It makes a difference mentally too! You find yourself in control! That's half the battle!

No-fail environment... If owners of a bed and breakfast can establish a no-fail kitchen environment, I think we can too!

Have a GREAT week!

Rachel Zimmerman, Certified Personal Trainer and Life Coach


Wife, Mother, and Friend

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