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Packaged Foods.


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I see everyone here talking about these lovely salads and scratch made breakfasts!

I HATE to cook.  Hubby cooks dinners, but I'm on my own for breakfast and lunch.

I'd really like to find something relatively healthy that is either pre-packaged or requires very little prep work.  IE, for breakfast...I will make myself a smoothie, or hard boil an egg, or pour a bowl of cereal.  I will not cook steel cut oatmeal or make an omelet.

Any ideas are very helpful.  (Before you suggest it, I can't stand greek yoghurt.)

As some background, for the last number of months I've been doing a Bistro MD type of packaged food program.  Now that I'm off it, my weight has really ballooned...15+ pounds more.  I've been exercising the same, but my weight has gone way up.  I figure it's gotta be the food.  Bistro worked really well in regards to the healthy packaged foods, but I have decided to divert my extra cash into a personal training program.  Now I have to get the foods right on my end.

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A little more detail...

Typically right now for breakfast I am eating Yoplait or Apple Jacks with 1% milk.  I was eating Cheerios, but the Apple Jacks are nearly the same nutrition-wise as the kind I was eating and yummier.

For lunch I've been eating roast beef sandwiches with soft wheat bread and some cheese.

I have been fanatical about calorie counting and eat 1200-1400 on days I do not exercise, 1400-1600 on days I exercise, and 1600-1800 on very heavy exercise days...but still the weight is going up.

Do you think salads are too much to make for lunch? Make them before you go to work in the morning.  ( Its just tossing and adding whatever you fancy : crutons, red onion, lettuce, spinach, tomatoes, walnuts, mozzerella, chopped chicken etc. completely up to you!)  Other options for lunch are Healhy choice/kashi/amy's/smart one/ WW - Frozen meals that you just toss in the microwave and are relatively low calorie for a frozen meal + quite tasty.  Sandwiches don't take much time or preperation either. Quite simple and only take a few seconds. Bread, deli meat + whatever toppings you enjoy on a sandwich.  

For Breakfast, Kashi offers great instant oatmeal that you can just add water/milk too. Yoplait mixed with fruit, topped with bearclaw granola. Frozen delight sandwiches by jimmy dean are also really good and low in calories for a breakfast sandwich. Just requires to throw in the mircowave for a few seconds. Good luck!

You can "make" a salad in under 3 minutes.

Anyway just make milkshakes for breakfast. Egg, milk, banana, peanut butter, oats, etc. Ready in less than a minute and no prep work other than peeling a banana and cracking eggs.

Salads are pretty easy and quick to prepare, and you can make it variable by using different vegetables, ingredients and dressings. You can ask your husband to fry some chicken breast pieces if you want more than just veggies. It's pretty quick, and stays fresh in the fridge overnight.

Or what if he just cooks a little more when making dinner, so you can save a portion for the next day?

Original Post by css193:

I have been fanatical about calorie counting and eat 1200-1400 on days I do not exercise, 1400-1600 on days I exercise, and 1600-1800 on very heavy exercise days...but still the weight is going up.

I don't know much about you (height, weight, age, etc) and your diet, so I can just guess and share some ideas in general.

- Try not to be too hard on yourself. Aim for 'only' about -500 cals deficit a day to avoid your body panicking and going into starvation mode.

- You can try low carb diet for a few weeks and see if that works better for you. (Insulin resistance can be a reason for not losing, and eating less carbs for a while should help with that.)

- Pay more attention to your sodium. It causes water retention which increases your weight. (Packaged foods are loaded with sodium - one more reason to be careful with them.)

- Be patient. Results can come very slow.

- If you see no results in long term you might want to see a doctor. Some diseases (mostly hormone-related things) can increase your weight. I don't mean to scare you or anything, but I think it's better to check it out and see there's nothing wrong than struggling for a long time without knowing the reason. (I've been there and I wish I had looked for professional help much earlier.)

Wishing you all the best. Good luck!

Have you tried the Weight Watchers packaged meals? I like most of them.
Original Post by css193:

I will make myself a smoothie, or hard boil an egg, or pour a bowl of cereal.  I will not cook steel cut oatmeal or make an omelet.

You can make steel cut oatmeal for the whole week with the same amount of cooking effort it takes to make a hard boiled egg.

Before going to bed bring 1 cup of steel cut oats and 4 cups of water to a boil, then turn the burner off.  In the morning you'll have a big pot of oatmeal.

The sad truth is that you won't get great results eating packaged food, so you're going to have to change your mindset. Packaged foods are generally full of sugar and sodium, including in the preservatives, meaning that you'll always be bloated as long as they're in your diet. I'd suggest taking a cooking course and consulting a nutritionist for some advice on making wiser food choices. The first step is going to be making a mental change and realizing that spending 5 to 30 minutes more prepping your own food is really not much of an effort and will greatly improve your quality of life in the long run. I did it and it took me only two (very rough) weeks to get used to the new lifestyle so I know you can do it too.

Try toasting a whole wheat English muffin and topping it with 2 tbs. of peanut butter and sliced banana for breakfast and baking a sweet potatoe (easy to heat in a microwave) and topping it with cinnamon, raisins, chopped pecans and flax seed oil for lunch.

You say your hubby cooks dinner?  Why not put aside a portion of the dinners he makes and then have that for lunch the following day?

 

Most of the time I am alone and don't want to cook every day just for myself.  So  when I make soup, stews and chili, I'll separate the leftovers into small containers and stick them in the freezer for my alone times.  I use freezer bags too.... just freeze them laying down, and stack them in the corner of the freezer until I'm ready for one.  Makes it convenient and healthier for me, because I know control what goes into it.  You could even mark the calories per serving on the container, along with date frozen, and contents, so no guess work on recording calories for that meal.  I also package up full dinners too (turkey, stuffing, gravy, veggies... etc).  I'm not big on lettuce or any type of yogurt either.  You and your husband are going to have to have a cooking party and stock up that freezer with some single servings! 

I also cook steel cut oats by bringing them to a boil and then letting them sit over night. It's really easy and you can make a whole weeks worth in one shot. 

Check out hungrygirl.com, she has lots of great quick and easy recipes.  One that i got from her is egg mugs, you just spray a coffee cup with veggie spray, then crack your egg or egg whites into the mug, you can mix it with some veggies and cheese if you want and cook in the microwave for about 30 seconds, then stir and cook for about 20 - 30 more seconds and its done!

I happen to love to cook, but I know plenty of folks who don'tSmile So while I agree with the other posters about putting a few things together yourself, I won't add on there.

Trader Joe's sells vacuum packed, frozen, steel cut oats that are microwaveable. They come out just right in texture, and are in single servings. It's probably cheaper than your meal delivery, but just as convenient.

Eating leftover dinners for breakfast or lunch works too. I have started packing my lunch in the evening as soon as I finish my first serving of dinner. If you've got cooked veggies, you can make a no-prep omelet or egg sandwich for breakfast or lunch.

Grind a tablespoon of flax seed in a coffee grinder and mix with 1/2 cup no sugar added applesauce; cup of milk to wash it down.

A serving of dried rolled oats, a handful of walnuts, a cup of water or nonfat milk, and a small sliced apple in one large bowl, microwave 2 1/2 minutes,sprinkle with cinnemon, great breakfast. 

2 slices of toasted Ezekial type bread (multi grain high protein bread - 5 grams protein per slice) 1 tablespoon peanut butter and tablespoon of no sugar added fruit spread.  Cup of milk or non-dairy milk substitute.

Buy your fruit in those little individual serving plastic cups (six to a pack) no sugar added or packed in juice, microwave an egg (prick the yolk first) and have a slice of whole grain toast.

You can buy milk or non-dairy milk substitutes in individual servings (six to a pack) and pack those along for lunch.   The rice and soy and nut substitutes are a nice change up, but read the ingredients for calories/nutrients.  

They have individual servings of tuna fish in cans or pouches, one of those, veggies, a slice of whole grain bread, are most of a lunch. 

My grocery store has prewashed, precut veggies (carrot sticks, celery, etc.) in plastic party trays.  Buy one of those and you are set for a week of lunches.  Also check out the plastic bagged salads; some come with all the fixins, and if you thin out the dressing with vinegar or lemon juice and use less, you will be fine.   Read the labels, some have better nutrition than others.

Trader Joe's and safeway have individual salads; substitute a low cal dressing and you are set. Buy four or five and keep in the refrigerator for lunch.   Also check the deli section for low fat  individual cheeses, like the BonBel or Laughing Cow packages, or presliced sandwich cheeses.   There are low calorie sandwich meats, but I avoid those because of the salt and preservatives.

There are some cook books for little kids that show them how to put together a quick snack or meal when mom is not home -- most of what they show is very practical and might give you more ideas on things you can pick up at the store.

 

 

 

I have started buying some of the fresh prepared foods. Kroger  has their brand in the deli section...called the Perfect Fit. I found the vegetarian chili is really good.

I usually fix my lunch the night before I need it. I also have found it is easier to make a salad if I clean my veggies on the weekend. For you, you could keep this process to a minimum by just cleaning your own lettuce and purchasing the rest of the ingredients already cut up. ie: cabbage, carrots, onions, cherry tomatoes etc.

 

I usually don't feel like cooking much anymore either. Some ideas:

Have your husband hard boil a dozen eggs while he fixes dinner. Then you can have one or 2 for breakfast or lunch (easy to take). Add  a roll or bread, a piece of fruit, and a yogurt that you do like. If you haven't tried it try CARBmaster yogurt.It is sold at Smiths or Krogers. It is milder, lots of yummy flavors ,and 60 calories, it is also a little higher in protein & calcium, and usually 40 cents a peice!

For breakfast, toast with peanut butter, cheese, or cottage cheese. It is easy, fast & good. Sprinkle some cinnamon on if you like.

 

I hate to clean toilets too, but I do it for my health and that of my family.  C'mon, dear - take some of these great suggestions and make yourself some easy but healthy breakfasts and lunches.  It won't be so hard, and you might even begin to enjoy it.  Good luck!

I found this great steelcut oatmeal receipe that is so simple! In the evening, put your measure of oats in a thermos, add a measured amount of boiling water. Seal. Give it a shake, and then lay the thermos down.

the following morning give it a shake and pour into a bowl. add honey, raisins, peanutbutter, blueberries. whatever strikes your tastebuds as good for that morning.

I've been doing this for over a month now and it's awesome. I workout, shower and pour my oatmea. It can't get any quicker or easer than that!

(PS i use the quacker steel cut oats that normally take 20 to 30 min on the stove top. I find if i give the oatmeal about 12 hours in the thermos it comes out perfect for me, so i try to do this around 7 or 7:30 PM for a 7/7:30 AM breakfast)

Boil some eggs, get some lettuce, pre sliced carrots, pre cut onions/tomatoes, done. 

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