For the past 10 years, I’ve had a garden.  I usually do raised beds with tomatoes, peppers, carrots, and other vegetables.  I also do some herbs and spices…along with chamomile.

Why do I garden?

It’s certainly not because I’m awesome at it!  In fact, last year, I lost my entire tomato crop to some sort of fungus, which is making me wonder if I want to plant again as the risk of the same fungus affecting this year’s plants is pretty high.

It’s certainly not because it feeds my family – because, truth be told, I’m pretty much the only one who eats the stuff.  My daughter will eat tomatoes and my son love garden carrots.  But I’m the only one who likes the rest of it.

It’s certainly not because I have an abundance of time on my hands during the summer months and I just have to come up with a way to spend it.  Ha!  I wish!

It’s certainly not because it saves me money.  By the time I buy the plants and have my tomato plants attacked by fungus, have my zucchini plants attached by squash bugs…the yield is pretty low overall.  No money saved, really.

I’m in love with the process

I garden because I love the process of gardening.  I love watching things change and grow.  And….at the end of a very long, hot summer I get to have the fruits of my labor on my dinner table.

Cucumber vines attaching themselves to the supports. Nature is so cool!

I garden because it’s something my husband and I do together.  He eats nearly nothing from the garden!  Yet, he’s right beside me picking weeds and making sure we get the tomatoes out of there before it’s too late.  He also reports the first sign of critters, or anything else, that may be attacking my beloved plants.

I garden because my children are watching….they learn where real food comes from and how to grow and harvest it.

What has gardening taught me?

Gardening has taught me PATIENCE for what is possible if enough care and planning is put into something.


It’s taught me that it takes a long time, and a lot of work, for the final result to be worthy.

I’ve learned there is always next year….if a fungus attacks my tomato plants.  And, that I may need to do some research to find out how to prevent, or deal with, it if it happens again.  (Fingers crossed it doesn’t!!)

I can pretty much count on the fact that I’m going to be quite sick of the garden by mid July.  That the sweaty, sticky mess I become in the back yard most evenings will become something I dread but find oddly satisfying.

Why am I telling you any of this??

Because, like gardening, the weight loss journey is one of love/hate.

There will be times you are motivated and nothing can stop you.  But, there will also be times when a fungus attacks your tomato plants and you have to pull the entire crop.  There will be others who won’t eat vegetables from your garden and you must tend to it by yourself….drawing support from the simple fact that you are doing something great for yourself.

You will put in weeks to months of work for very slow, if any, yield.  Watching the plants slowly sprout and grow daily over the summer months, you’ll wonder what kind of success you’ll have when they start to produce.

There will most certainly be times when you must drag yourself off the couch to go pick weeds, or do some watering.  But, you make yourself…knowing that the end result will be worth it.

Finally, there will be times when you are ready to till it all under and just be done with it.  The effort it takes to maintain, even WHEN producing great fruits and vegetables, can become overwhelming and you just want it to be OVER.  Yet….you persist until the end of the season.

In the end…

In the end, the most important thing to know about gardening is how long it takes to get the results you want.  For example, even if you plant tulip bulbs, you will wait an entire YEAR to see those tulips bloom year after year.  For whatever reason, you are patient and understand the process.

If you grow a vegetable garden, you will wait months for most of your vegetables to produce something that you can actually eat.  Yet, you forge on – you put in the time preparing the soil, watering, weeding, pruning, etc.  You UNDERSTAND there’s a process involved to get the RESULT you want.

If you garden, you KNOW the fruit (the thing you want the most) comes at the END of the work.  You also know that to keep GETTING that fruit, you must continue to take care of that plant.  You don’t just pick tomatoes once and call it done.  Day after day, you do what it takes for that plant to keep producing for you.  You are A-OK putting in the time and effort to get the results what you want….knowing they are NOT immediate….but come after weeks to months.

By this time…..

It’s probably obvious what I’m trying to do here.

Everywhere I look, I try to see parallels between what we do in life and the weight loss journey.  What lessons can we learn?  What skills that we already KNOW, or already DO, can be applied to our efforts to lose weight?

Friends, this is what I try to do – show you that weight loss doesn’t have to be anything that starts from scratch.

I guarantee we all have things within our lives, like gardening, that require many of the exact same skills it takes to be successful at weight loss.  And, remember, that has nothing to do with “you didn’t tell me what to eat.”

It has to do with routines…habits…mindset!

It’s all about how you LOOK at the task at hand.

If you’re ready….

If you’re ready to learn more about what skills you already have that can help you with your weight loss journey – book a call with me.  If I can’t help you, I’ll try my best to point you in the right direction.

Find my book on AMAZON

Those of you who know me already know that I get excited about stuff that’s…well….not usually exciting. One thing I get super pumped about is food prep. I like planning. I like spending a whole morning cooking and organizing my meals for the week. I like knowing that this few hours will save me a ton of time throughout the next several days. Not only is the food prepped and ready to go, but I also don’t have to spend time THINKING about it.

You know what I’m talking about…. You are either at work at 4pm wondering what’s for dinner and remembering the fridge is bare. Or, you open the fridge and it’s full…..but everything requires actual cooking and it’s already 7:30pm. The kids (and you) need fed NOW.

Both of those scenarios often have the same outcome – heading out to get something to eat. Ugh. Going out to eat is fine, but throwing your hands up and heading to the drive-thru because you’ve not planned well is the last thing you want. When we make rushed, frustrated decisions like this, rarely are they decisions that benefit us long-term.

So, I’m going to take you through my food prep from yesterday – where I cooked and/or prepped the following:

  • One whole chicken
  • A pot of paleo chili
  • A pot of beef-cabbage soup
  • An entree of chicken, baked sweet potatoes, and asparagus
  • Snacks consisting of fresh cut veggies, hummus, and salmon
  • Boiled eggs

One thing I always thought was lacking when I read about doing all this was the “little” things that truly made the tasks easier. Once prepped enough, I came up with some of these on my own so I want to mention those to you along the way.

Soups Need Time

The first thing on my agenda was to get my soups going. The paleo chili wasn’t for me, but it needs to simmer most of the day before being ready for my family. I’m not lying when I say this is the best chili I’ve ever had. It’s “paleo” so there are no beans. The other soup was on my assigned meal plan for the week from my trainer, a beef-cabbage soup. I started my morning by browning all the ground meat for these two soups, as well as cooking the vegetables that will be put in the chili.

Two crockpots later – they are both well on their way!

TIP: For the chili, I end up getting two pans dirty: the skillet that cooks the meat/veggies and the crock pot. That’s it. My whole tomatoes, sautéed veggies, and spices go into the crockpot where I then use an immersion blender to liquify it all at once. No transferring liquids between pots = no splatter.

I Ain’t No Chicken

I then set out to cook my whole chicken. Normally, I just do chicken breasts but the dark meat has some nutritional benefits, so I did the whole chicken this time. One of my favorite kitchen gadgets is my Instant Pot. We use it 3-4 times a week, and it’s always used on prep day. I have the 6-quart pot and it’s plenty big for what we use it for. I had to search for a recipe to do a whole chicken because if it comes out too dry – I won’t eat it. So, I did some searching and settled on this one. It came out PERFECTLY!! I had more than what I needed to do my own meals for the week, so the extra will be used for whatever is cooked for the kids on night.

TIP: One of the things that the recipe calls for is to let the chicken cook in a bit of oil at high temps before starting the pressure. Obviously you need to do both sides. In the past, I’ve had one helluva time getting the chicken back out of the Instant Pot to turn it over. It’s hot! However, a few months ago, I bought these nifty little things because our oven mitts kept getting super gross and washing them never seemed to get them clean. (Okay, full disclosure – I’ve gone the silicone direction for a ton of things in the kitchen lately!) With these babies, I was able to simply reach down and removed the chicken, flip it over, and gently set it back inside the IP. I then just washed off the gloves!

Veggies & Hummus & Salmon

My veggies were then cut up while all that was busy cooking. This week, I chose zucchini (yes, I eat it raw), red bell peppers, sugar snap peas, green beans, and asparagus.

Nothing fancy here – I just cut them up and measured out 2 cups and put them in containers with a small soufflé cup of hummus. One thing I’ve noticed since I’ve been eating hummus again (besides the fact that I love it) is that many brands are super thick. Hummus is expensive!

TIP: Use a good quality oil to dilute your hummus if you find it’s too thick. I like mine with a lighter consistency and the additional oil will not change the taste at all. Also, always read the label when you purchase hummus! There should be NO SUGAR!

As for the salmon…I eat salmon nearly every day. Three ounces in the afternoon with some veggies. I’ve discovered that my Instant Pot can take frozen salmon and have it done in 4 minutes! (Obviously, there’s the additional time to bring it up to pressure.) FOUR MINUTES! I put the frozen salmon fillets on the trivet, set the timer for 4 minutes, and walk away. I use a bit of lemon pepper seasoning for the salmon.

The Dreaded SCALE!!!

Calm down!

I’m talking about a food scale.

I used to have a plastic dial-type scale but recently upgraded to a digital scale since I started measuring and weighing nearly everything I ate. My meats typically get prepped in 3-ounce serving sizes…..MUCH easier to do with a digital scale. (The scale I’ve linked about has over 14K reviews on amazon. I don’t own this one – I got mine at Target.)

My containers, digital scale (to the far right), silicone oven mitts, crock pots, Instant Pot….

Putting It All Together

I wish I could say that assembly is easy, but I find it to be the most difficult part of food prep because I simply don’t have enough room in the fridge for every meal or snack to have it’s own container. I also wish I could say that I used awesome glass prep containers, but I don’t. I use plastic. These are the best I could find, and are also economical and easy to clean. If I’m just going back and forth to the office for the day, I use these. If I’m packing for night shifts, I use my 6-Pack Fitness containers with the actual cooler as these don’t fit as well in my cooler.

However, as I look up the links for you, I’m wishing I’d noticed THESE!!! How fun! I may have to order!

Time Spent Now = Freedom Tomorrow

I can’t stress enough how much time all this will save me this week. You guys know my schedule! It’s either commit to this, or I may as well not even try. I’d much rather commit!

I feel better. It’s much less stressful to NOT think about my food all week. Plus, if some of this can double for the family meals – it’s even better.

*My book – Weight Loss that Works: Secrets to Restoring Confidence and Reclaiming Your Body is now available on KINDLE! And, it will be available in paperback shortly! I’m overlooking the proof as we speak.

*Some of the links above are “affiliate links” – meaning I get a small percentage if you order the product. This does not cost you any extra! Please note that I do not endorse products that I’ve not used myself. If I’ve not used them, the text will say so.