“Damn what am I going to eat right now? I’m STARVING! Crap, I don’t have anything to eat. Sounds familiar?” This is what you’re always going to be saying unless you change it. You may make good decisions, or bad decisions. But chances are high that you go to your comfort food, which usually is not the greatest. Fast food, bakery, potato chips, or sometimes candy. We all have that one go-to food that we know we can eat when desperate time comes. For me, its empanadas. There’s a local Argentinean market that sells these delicious, carb-loaded, fat-loaded, sodium-loaded ones that come with a choice of spinach, chicken, and beef. When things go down south, I usually order 12. And yes, I eat all 12 in one sitting. Now before you judge me, let me just say I don’t do this often or else I’ll start looking like a empanada. The times that I did do it was when I didn’t plan my meals ahead of time. And that’s where it’s at; planning. If you want to have structure in nutrition, you have to plan.

What I normally do is grocery shop during the week. I generally go after work, which is usually around 9:30PM. I like to go around this time mainly due to one reason: avoid the crowd. I don’t know why people go grocery shopping at the same time as other people, it’s awful and stressful. I remember one time going to Costco on a Sunday afternoon. That was so stressful. One, I could NOT find parking to save my life. I went around the lot so many times, felt like a dog chasing after its tail. Second of all, there were so many people that I felt overwhelmed and just wanted to get out of there as soon as possible. Okay, enough with my personal problems. With majority of my groceries done before the weekend hits, this gives me the freedom to spend more time on cooking, which I generally do on Sundays. I cook my protein (chicken, beef, or pork), put it in a container and store it in the refrigerator. I try to prepare up until Wednesday. This allows me to have two days before I have to start thinking about Thursday and Friday. For me, I like to keep the carbs simple: quinoa or couscous. Rarely will I have rice on weekdays. I know, very un-Japanese of me yes I know. Then, I have my go-to veggies: broccoli, sweet bell peppers, baby carrots ,cabbage, and mixed greens. I like to rotate them, so I feel like I’m not eating the same thing. My snacks are either protein bars, apple, orange, Greek yogurt, sweet potato. And that’s pretty much it when it comes to preparing for me.

The overall goal and advice for those that are reading this is to plan ahead when it comes down to nutrition. You can’t just wait until you get hungry, angry, hangry. You HAVE to read ahead before that happens and take action because chances are high that you will make bad decisions under that state of mind. Don’t get hungry and eat like 12 empanadas in one sitting. Yes, I know, awful right, but you have to foresee those circumstances. It’s hard and it should be because if it were easy, then everybody would be in shape. Why do you think there are so many diet books out there? If you don’t change those bad habits, then it doesn’t matter how much weight you lose, chances are high it WILL come back. The way I look at it is, sacrifice those 60-90 minutes and prepare 4-6 meals so you can save the delicious meals for the weekend. Because let’s be honest, the weekend is where most of our social outings are. Hint hint hint: alcohol, alcohol, alcohol….okay, you get the point. Stay tuned for more next week………………………….Kei

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