I, too, find preparing ahead of time vital.
Things I like to prepare and have on hand. Good, right out of the fridge:
Pressure-cooked roast beef
I also make yoghurt, and sometimes mascarpone cheese.
Half 'n' half
Frozen and canned vegs
Canned fish: tuna, salmon, sardines, mackerel
I keep ground veal in the freezer. Easy to throw into the skillet w/ butter, salt, pepper, and a bit of onion powder/granules. I cook one pound, put that into two jars. Keep one in the fridge and one in the freezer.
Canned salmon is good in a salad, or with marinated vegs. Or for salmon patties.
I like eggs, esp. yolks, and enjoy how quick and easy they are to cook.
If your food plan includes cheese and nuts, that adds variety.
Coconut butter is popular.
I use whole leaf stevia extract, and make gelatin creams, rennet custards, and gelatins.
Gelatin can be made with almost anything. Tea or coffee, with or without cream.
Having gelatin on hand for a filler is nice, esp. if you are recovering from going off plan.
Beef or chicken broth, esp. bone broth is very satisfying and balancing. I find it helps take away that odd feeling of "wanting something, but what?"
I like marinated vegs at the end of a meal. To me, the vinegar is refreshing and helps take away the desire for eating more, or for eating sweets.
I also find I have to make myself drink water, as it is easy to mistake thirst for hunger. Often, after a glass of water, I realize I was thirsty, not hungry.
As for mind-set, or frame of reference, I agree with the others who have said that we just have to decide we are going to live this way.
Thanks for the very useful thread topic. It always helps me to state again to myself, yes, this is how I live, because I want:
to feel well,
to respect my choices,
to like myself,
to be able to move easily,
to have less pain,
and to look nice, not "dumpy".
I have had seasons of LC being very easy, for years, and some rough patches, too.
For me, reading and understanding more and more of how metabolism works, what helps it, what hinders or disrupts it, makes me want to stay on my food plan.
I like not having to worry about what some food is going to do to me, after I've eaten it.