Amy Doyle creating her todo listIf plain old everyday life makes it hard for you to stay on track with your health and nutrition goals, you’re not alone. I have the same challenges.

There’s a scripture that says “Little foxes spoil the vine”.* One of its applications, is that it’s often not the big things that take us out, it’s the little, unattended to things, like distractions or details. These “little foxes” can keep us from bearing fruit with our efforts.

Here are two of my own personal hacks I use to round up these little foxes to reduce stress, stay on track with my nutrition, and keep myself from feeling pulled in multiple directions. I hope they help you too.

Stress-Less Planning:

Sometimes when we fail at something, it’s not because we lack motivation or willpower, it’s because we fail to plan ahead. One of my personal hacks is to use a VERY organized “To Do” list. I organize my To-Do list by breaking it up into different categories:

  • Home
  • Work
  • Kids
  • Emails & Calls
  • Errands
  • Meals
  • Husband (Yes, I have a category for my husband—communication and making time for each other are everything.)

By breaking down my To-Do list into categories, I can plan my days better and block schedule—meaning I block out certain chunks of time for each category on the list. So, instead of being at the mercy of every email that hits my inbox all throughout the day, I have certain times I’ve blocked out to answer most emails.

2. Five Core meals:    

Staying on track with your nutrition also involves planning. Each week I look at our family schedule and plan our meals for the week. I also designate some nights of the week for certain meals I know my family loves (Hola Taco Tuesday!), and I know that every Sunday I’m going to make a big meal, which I can use to make leftovers with during the week. This also saves money on groceries and helps prevent the buying of impulse items. For me, that means any snack that’s dill pickle flavored!

One hack I use with my patients who either have severe gastrointestinal concerns or those patients for whom finding the time to cook is difficult, is what I call “5 Core Meals”. Core meals are those meals that you know fall within your personalized nutrition guidelines, are easy to throw together, and that you actually enjoy.

The hack here is to always keep the ingredients on hand to make any of these 5 Core Meals. This can be super helpful when you’ve had a stressful, busy day and you’re tempted to order out or grab something that you know is not good for you. For some meals, you can even batch cook and freeze the extra to pull out when you need them.            

These planning hacks can help reduce the feeling of overwhelm and keep you from getting derailed by a crazy day.

*Scripture reference:

The little foxes that spoil the vines,
For our vines have tender grapes.

- Song of Solomon 2:15