Eliminate the “Uh Oh Effect”

Your challenge for the next 21 days is to plan your week in advance, make some extra protein, and eliminate that “Uh It’s 5:30 and the day has been crazy, school, library, grocery store, post office, and you just realized that the chicken you pulled out of the freezer is still frozen! ARRRRGGGH! What’s a mom to do? Guess we’ll have to run and get something on the way to soccer…

This is what we’ve dubbed the “Uh Oh Effect.” It’s what causes most cases of “drive thru on the way syndrome.” I know this, because I have lived and sometimes am still living this. I have the best intentions of fitting a family meal in between the scheduled places we need to be. The problem is that I am not that good at planning, so my half-hearted attempts at getting something ready completely backfire and my family ends up paying for it. They, of course, don’t realize that they are paying for it, but think that it’s awesome to go to the pizza buffet. Now it’s not a bad thing to have pizza every once in a while, but when we do this 3-4 times a week we are teaching our family that this is the way to eat.

The only way to eliminate the “Uh Oh Effect” is to plan. UGH!!! I am so baaaad at planning. When do I fit this in? Seriously I need to do one more thing? Yes, yes you do. I do too. The amazing thing about this kind of planning is that it will make your life so much easier! It will bring your stress level down immensely, provide a better family morale, and teach your family how to live a healthier lifestyle.

Okay, so how do we do this planning thing? You’ll need to pick a day that you have at least an hour to use. Sit down and plan your week’s menu. The days that you have very little time between things, assign a meal you can cook in the crock pot or something that is already made and frozen (turkey meatloaf works well for this).

It’s also important to plan for your meals throughout the day. It is sometimes difficult to come up with a protein for your meals when you haven’t planned well enough. One of the things that I have found that works best is to make extra chicken breasts while I am making dinner on a weekend. Just grill up three or four times as much as you would normally use for one meal. You can then separate them into serving portions and either freeze or place in the fridge for later. These can be added to salad, tortillas, veggies, just about anything!