My dad used to always tell the kids in our family over and over and over again:
"If you fail to plan, then you plan to fail."
He always used it in reference to, well, everything. Everything from homework, to school dances, to Friday night hang out with friends, to planning church activities. Never once did it cross my mind that that same phrase could be used in reference to a healthy lifestyle.
So here I am telling you: IF YOU'RE FAILING TO PLAN, YOU'RE PLANNING TO FAIL!!
Eating and living a healthy lifestyle is completely about planning. It's about thinking ahead. It's about knowing those times when you are going to be so hungry that you just want to bite someone's head off. It's about planning your lunch, your day, your week and beyond. Because if you are planning ahead and preparing for those times, you can look at people, (especially those close to you, like your spouse and children) with a little more love and patience and not even bat an eye at all those foods that can turn into enormous temptations.
I have found that eating the plant strong way means that I am often, 95% of the time, thinking about food. Thinking about my next meal and where I'm going to get it from. How I'm going to prepare it. What I'm going to do if I go somewhere and can't find something that suits my liking. What can I feed myself that will also make my husband and kids happy. These kind of thoughts are almost constantly going through my head. So I really have to make sure that I am planning. Because, yes, we live in a culture that really revolves around food.
To be truly successful with the plant strong way of life it certainly takes some prep work. It's a fantastic idea to keep pre-chopped veggies in the fridge and close at hand. Fruit is also another fantastic fast food to keep around. You can pre-cook rice and quinoa and freeze them for another day. Sometimes putting in a lot of time on one day can save you a LOT of time on the following 4-5 days. For example: it's often a good idea to chop up a few extra things on the weekend or your free day so you can quickly throw together a plant-strong pasta, pizza, or stir-fry for a quick and easy week night meal.
I also like to keep quick "snacks" on hand. Because, yes, even for me, there are times that I just don't feel like reaching for a stick of celery. So I'll make a big batch of plant strong granola bars, or some energy bites to keep in the freezer. I also keep a bag of "NO SALT" and very little oil tortilla chips (they do exist! Just read the labels) around with some homemade salsa and refried beans. These are all pretty much staples around our home. We could eat them like there was no tomorrow.
Eating plant strong does not need to be hard. I recommend keeping it as simple as you can, just stick to the basics...but that's a post for another day.