Before you start the Misner Plan, especially Phases 1 and 2, it is a great idea to clean out your cabinets and refrigerator/freezer, so that if you feel the pull for something not on the plan, you don’t have such easy access to it.
I remember years ago hearing Suzi Orman tell one lady who was having trouble with over spending on her credit cards to put her cards in the bottom of a coffee can and pour water over them, then to stick the can in the freezer. In the future, if she felt she could not resist the impulse to shop with her cards, she had to take the frozen can out to defrost first. Usually by the time it melt and she would be able to take her cards out, the impulse to do that which she really did not want to do would be gone.
I think that if your kitchen is all Misner Plan ready and you have to actually make a trip out to get something decadent you are craving, it might be easier to resist the craving in that moment. I have found this to be true for me.
Ivan has an article in the Classroom Corner about what to get rid of to get your kitchen ready for the Misner Plan 90-Day Challenge. You can find it here.
At the Grocery Store
After your first week of reading and re-reading the material and getting ready to join the Misner Plan, begin to watch your habits at the grocery store. What they say about shopping on the outer edges of the market is true. You are going to find your perishable foods in the produce aisle, the meat counter and the refrigerated sections. Usually all these are located all around the inner sanctum of the processed, packaged and highly preserved items. Don’t go in there!
Begin to move from cans and jars to fresh or frozen organics. You may be surprised to find that your grocery bill will drop by shopping this way. I call this the More-Is-Less Paradox.
It actually takes less fresh or frozen organic produce to fill you up. Packaged and processed food is nutritionally much less dense than fresh/frozen produce and you have to eat more of it to feel full. We can make a meal out of a head of purple cabbage and a big bag of spinach. Simple, filling and satisfying. Oh, and very inexpensive, too.
The average person needs 2000 calories per day and should consume 2 cups of fruit and 2 ½ cups of vegetables, according to the US FDA (Food and Drug Administration). On the Misner Plan, we probably eat twice that amount of vegetables, but let’s use that recommendation as a starting point.
The average price per serving for a fruit or vegetable snack is $.37 while the average price per serving for a packaged snack is $.67 (and how many times have you noticed that packaged snacks rarely come in single-serving sizes?). Healthy vegetable side dishes come in at $.27 per serving while a less healthy packaged side dish is $.31 per serving.
Look at it this way: ½ cup of grapes costs about $.46 and has 50 calories. A package of M&Ms costs $.75 and contains 250 calories!
If you are worried you are going to spend more following the Misner Plan, let me set the record straight. The daily cost for 4 ½ cups of fruits and vegetables averages out to $2.00 to $2.50 per day! Most of us spend $3.25 at least once per day at Starbucks. The More-Is-Less Paradox will surprise and delight you.
Eating Away from Home
Your new commitment to healthy living will mean that you need to do some additional planning if you are not able to eat all your meals at home. This includes going to others’ homes for meals or parties. Don’t worry – you can make this work!
When planning for the day, if you are going to be at work during lunchtime, double up your breakfast menu and take half of what you prepare in the morning with you to have for your lunch. OR prepare enough at the evening meal to pack a lunch for yourself the night before.
If you’ve been invited to visit a friend’s home for dinner, use this as an opportunity to introduce him or her to the Misner Plan! Chances are he or she can prepare one of two dishes from our recipes for you. OR let your friend know you will be bringing a side dish to share with everyone. That way you will have something to eat and everyone can enjoy each other’s company with no stress.
Going out to restaurants and overnight stays in hotels may seem difficult at first, but you will soon find as we did, that most restaurants (including your hotel restaurant) are quite cooperative when they know you are following a specific eating protocol.
Before going to a restaurant, I check out their menu online to see if they have some basic items I can request as a full meal. If there is one menu item containing chicken Cordon Bleu with asparagus topped with Hollandaise sauce, served with garlic mashed potatoes and another item containing grilled shrimp with a mango chutney, served with green beans in a butter sauce and white rice, I know I can order shrimp grilled in olive oil with a side of asparagus and green beans. I might even be able to request grilled onions and garlic chips on the side. Et voilà! A Misner Plan meal.
When staying at hotels, it does get a little bit more involved. Since we travel so much and usually are in one hotel for four days or a week, I make contact ahead of time with the hotel chef to share our dietary needs with him or her. We have never had a hotel tell us they cannot or will not accommodate our needs. As I have said before, we are not staying at the Motel 6, but we have made this work with Marriott, Hilton, Radisson, and other national/international chains.
We have found that hotel chefs especially are happy to create a meal plan for us that fits the Misner Plan. They seem to enjoy a break from the same old-same old. A few times we have had the pleasure of finding a hotel chef who has had additional education with raw foods or gluten-free cooking. In all the time we have been traveling while following the Misner Plan, we have only been charged extra on two occasions. And even that additional charge was quite nominal for one week of a devoted chef preparing our organic foods to our specifications.
It can be done and most chefs really will enjoy the chance to be creative.
Ivan and I hope these points will help you prepare to launch yourself into success with the Misner Plan. Real health is only days away as you take on this 90-Day Challenge. Our hope is that after the first 90 days, you will have experienced such a shift that the Misner Plan, or some variation of it, will become your new normal.