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Diet - Eating healthy

  1. Jul 16, 2008 #1
    Lately I've noticed Ive been eating really bad food. I'm always eating things out of boxes/bags and washing it down with sugar.

    My typical day goes like this, with the / meaning OR:

    Breakfast: [insert cereal brand] + 2 cups of OJ / Poptarts / Donuts / Icecream (yes icecream)

    Lunch: Chips / KD (Kraft Dinner Macaronis) / canned Tuna / one of the breakfast items

    Dinner: [rarely a real dinner] / Pizza / Fishsticks / 5min rice / Burgers / Fastfood / French Fries

    +multivitamins and lots of water

    This is what I have grown up for the last few years. I've been getting these "hyper" moments and I think its related to the food. I do go to the grocery store but honestly don't know what to buy, so I do the same thing over and over. Can anyone reccommend some dishes or web pages with food ideas?
     
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  3. Jul 16, 2008 #2

    Monique

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    Few years?? Start with cutting out all the processed stuff. Cereal is great, but don't eat the sugary stuff. For lunch a sandwich tastes great with lettuce, tomatoes, mustard and cheese. For diner try making your own stir-fry: simple and quick.
     
  4. Jul 16, 2008 #3
    Get rid of the two cups of OJ for breakfast. Substitute water and an orange. Scrap the poptarts and donuts.

    Scrap the chips during lunch.

    Your trouble seems to stem from a reluctance to cook. Is this true?
     
  5. Jul 16, 2008 #4

    turbo

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    Cut out all the high-fat, high-sugar stuff. Really - chips, donuts, poptarts, ice cream, French fries should be rare treats, not staples.

    A healthy day could start out with oatmeal (REAL oatmeal, not the prepackaged sweet stuff) or a poached egg on toast with a small glass of juice (don't overdo that) and/or a piece of fruit. Fruits and berries go well with oatmeal Lunch should be light enough so that you don't crash in the afternoon. Consider something tasty but light like a tuna salad sandwich (easy on the mayo) with some lettuce, with unsweetened iced tea. Make your own iced tea with teabags and cold water in a jar and get some Rubbermaid water bottles to take your tea to work/school. Buying bottled iced tea is ridiculously expensive and most of the available ones are sweetened. You can roast a chicken breast for dinner. Scramble an egg in a bowl, roll the breast in it to coat it with egg, and roll the coated chicken parts in bread crumbs mixed with curry, paprika, black pepper, and other seasonings as desired. Roland brand Panko bread crumbs are very light and they make a crispy crust on your chicken. The egg wash will keep the chicken moist so even white meat comes out juicy. Make lots more chicken than you will eat for supper because you can use it for sandwiches for lunches. Never waste the energy to heat up an oven to bake chicken parts without throwing in a few potatoes to bake, and perhaps a pan with yellow onions and garlic. These can be combined with the baked potatoes and a little butter, salt and pepper to make a really tasty accompaniment to the chicken. I could go on and on, but you see where this is going. You have to learn to cook for yourself, and watch your own diet.
     
  6. Jul 16, 2008 #5
    If you could eat at a fancy restaurant, what kind of meals would you get? You can probably think of a few recipes to try based on that.

    Instead of pop tarts and donuts you can try weaning yourself onto frozen bagels - buy a dozen, cut them in half and then freeze them. They are then ready for you to pop them in the toaster in the morning. Fruit yogurt is sweet and filling too. You can eat it out of the tub every morning with muesli and only dirty a spoon... (if you live by yourself!)

    For dinner it's often faster to cook something at home than it is to go out, even for fast food. If you make extra dinner then you can often get one or two lunches as well. Do you have access to a microwave and fridge at work/school? You can also buy single servings of canned soup to take with you.

    You can also try turning dinner into a social event and invited friends over to cook something together. This makes cooking a lot of fun and you can also learn some recipes and techniques from your friends. If you see somebody eating something tasty-looking from tupperware, consider making them your friend!

    When you are shopping buy fresh vegetables with one or two recipes in mind. If you have leftover vegetables you can often use them up by sauteeing them and adding them to pasta sauce (spinach, mushrooms and zucchini are especially good). In my opinion pasta and rice meals make the best microwaveable leftovers.
     
  7. Jul 16, 2008 #6

    Moonbear

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    If you need recipe ideas to get over the resistance to cooking, check out the Food Thread on this page. There are both easy and complex recipes throughout that thread, including homemade substitutes for that boxed Mac and Cheese (I think that's in that thread) and probably instructions in there somewhere on how to cook your own hamburger, etc.

    For lunch, canned tuna isn't that bad, the rest isn't though. You can make a decent sandwich out of any meats or veggies, so no need to resort to the same canned tuna all the time, or boxed mac and cheese.

    For dinner, avoid the frozen food aisle! :biggrin:

    Do you know how to cook? Are you avoiding cooking because you don't know how, or because you're just not motivated to do it?
     
  8. Jul 16, 2008 #7
    Congratulations! Your diet parallels that of a typical American!

    There are things you need to know about to see if a food is decent or not:

    Protein:

    - You need your protein! I'll exclude the list of all the uses protein has for your body, since I'm sure you know it's important. Just make sure each day you get at least .3 times your bodyweight in protein, and much more than that if you work out! Oh, and get your protein from animals, not plants. I know I'll probably piss off a vegetarian saying this, but meat protein is much richer and superior (higher concentrations of important amino acids) than plant proteins.

    Carbohydrates:

    - No simple carbs! The difference between simple and complex carbohydrates is the time it takes for them to break down. Simple carbs break down quickly, giving you a short burst of energy (think sugar), and leaving you pooped afterwards, whereas complex carbs take much longer to digest, give you constant nutrients to keep you fueled for the day, and are generally healthier for you (many whole foods are good examples of this). Another good think to look at is the GI of the food (glycemic index), which tells how quickly it's digested (100 fastest, 1 slowest). The slower the better.

    - Eat your fiber! It makes you feel more full, and makes trips to the bathroom go faster. Many foods have fiber, but a supplement does just fine (like Benefiber).

    Fat:

    If I hear another soul tell me they got a food because it's fat free I'm going to scream at the top of my lungs. FAT IS NOT BAD FOR YOU, JUST BECAUSE YOU EAT SOMETHING CONTAINING FAT DOESN'T MAKE YOU FAT ANYMORE THAN EATING A CARROT MAKES YOU A VEGETABLE! Roughly 10% of the fat you eat gets turned into carbs (sugars); the rest goes to things like testosterone production.

    However, there are fats that are bad for you. Saturated and Trans fats are bad for you, period. You need only look at studies to find that out. What are good fats? Monounsaturated and Polyunsaturated fats.

    So there you go. Read the nutritional values on the back of what you eat, have a few looks at a GI table, whatever suits you best; now you can't say you don't know roughly what to look for in foods.
     
  9. Jul 16, 2008 #8

    wolram

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    Baked potatoes are my staple, they go with every thing even salad, so i buy a big bag of baking spuds that last for about two weeks, then buy stuff to eat with them daily.
     
  10. Jul 16, 2008 #9

    turbo

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    Good bachelor food is: Baked potatoes with baked unpeeled garlic cloves. Split the potatoes and mash up the innards a bit, then nip the ends of the cloves and squeeze the garlic into the potato halves like squeezing toothpaste. Add a bit of salt and pepper and top with some sharp cheese. Put them back into the oven to melt the cheese and enjoy. It is so easy to bake chicken the way I described above that it's a shame not to do that while you've got the oven hot to make these potatoes.
     
  11. Jul 16, 2008 #10
  12. Jul 16, 2008 #11

    Monique

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    I always 'bake' my potatoes in the microwave: really easy and fast, it tastes good too. Time it one minute per average sized potato, when the time is up turn all the potatoes around and do another one minute per potatoe.
     
  13. Jul 16, 2008 #12

    Evo

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    Cooking for one can be difficult. If you aren't into cooking, it's even worse.

    Sandwiches like Monique mentioned can be very satisfying and healthy.

    For dinner, the frozen food section will often have single serve portions of fish ready to be tossed into the microwave or frying pan, just cook with a bit of butter and lemon, a dash of herbs if you are creative.

    Also, most grocery store meat departments have pre-prepared single portions of meat and chicken dishes ready to be cooked, along with cooking instructions which gives you variety and you don't have to worry about a recipe, and the deli has cooked foods that have healthy choices.

    Think frozen for vegetables. These come either plain or seasoned and you can buy either individual portions or a big resealable bag. Those frozen skillet dinners like the Bertolli ones are sooooo tasty!

    http://recipeeps4us.blogspot.com/2008/01/review-bertolli-frozen-meals.html

    For breakfast, cereal, fruit, & eggs are all easy. Also, there is now an assortment of frozen breakfast foods available. Frozen isn't bad anymore.

    When you consider that when you buy pre-prepared or frozen individual portions, you have no waste, there aren't a bunch of ingredients to buy that you only need a tiny bit of, the cost isn't any higher than buying a fat laden burger and fries. Of course, sometimes we NEED a fat laden heavenly thick burger and seasoned curly fries. :!!)
     
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2008
  14. Jul 16, 2008 #13
    Lean cuisine.
     
  15. Jul 16, 2008 #14
    It's fairly easy to eat right. Here are some ideas from my plate:

    Breakfest: Turkey Sausage, Organic Wheat Waffle, Bagel, Two Eggs, OJ, Apple Juice

    Lunch: Ham Sandwich, Organic Mac n Cheese with added Chicken or Tuna, Milk, Blueberries, Raspberries, Banana

    Dinner: Chicken Breast, Stir Fry Veggies, Blackberries, Red Wine

    Snacks: Pretzels, Natty PB, Vanilla Yogurt


    I am super lazy and I think this is fairly balanced. This is my normal diet give or take. Try to limit sugars, sodium and fats. It's easy really. You can still eat some ice cream or cookies, just pick some that are organic and compare nutrition labels to get lesser of the evils.
     
  16. Jul 16, 2008 #15

    turbo

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    Disgusting stuff. Some ladies that I used to work with ate that crap, and the whole break-room reeked when they opened the door of the microwave. Reading the list of ingredients was slower-going than a chapter of War and Peace. Please do not put this crap in your body! It's easy to cook healthy stuff.
     
  17. Jul 16, 2008 #16

    Moonbear

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    NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!! Stay away from the pre-prepared frozen foods, and ready-made yuck in the meat section or deli. That stuff has so much crap and chemicals added, you might as well eat the McDonald's. It's not that hard to get a piece of meat, add some seasonings that you can identify (salt, pepper, garlic, onion as simple basics) and broil or pan fry it (no fat needed). No need to buy that preservative-laden garbage. Just buy a box of Ziploc (or similar) freezer bags, so when you get 3 or 4 chicken breasts in a package, you cook one and freeze the rest for another week. Same for pork chops, steaks, etc. A few packages of meat will last you the month if you freeze single servings. Frozen vegetables are fine, but since it's summer, there are so many fresh, why eat frozen now? You don't even have to cook your vegetables. Get some that you can eat raw, or make a tossed salad...lettuce, tomato, cucumbers, carrots, mushrooms, celery can all be eaten raw. Or, just put a little water in a pan, add carrots, or zucchini, or asparagus, or any other vegetable that's in season, and lightly steam it. Eat while still crunchy...yum! No cooking or very minimal cooking, and much healthier than anything in the frozen food aisle. Or, grab some fresh fruits...peaches, pears, apples, avocado (technically a fruit, as is tomato) and have them as dessert.

    Yes, as Monique pointed out, baked potatoes are quick and easy to make in the microwave. Running the oven in summer is not so pleasant. In winter, I'll bake them in the oven if I have the time. In summer, I often toss the potato on the grill. 40 min to an hour later, it's done to perfection. :approve:

    If you prefer rice rather than potatoes (or want to mix it up), I never go wrong with this approach...put a splash of oil in a pot (maybe a teaspoon), add your rice (1/2 c is more than enough for one person), get the rice coated with the oil somewhat, add a bit more water than rice (i.e., 5/8 c water with 1/2 c rice), turn the heat on high and bring the water to a quick boil, as soon as it boils, give it a quick stir, put the lid on the pot and turn the heat down to the lowest setting, cook for 18 min exactly. Your rice will be perfect every time.
     
  18. Jul 16, 2008 #17
    My recommendations:

    Eliminate refined sugars, restrict simple sugars except for fruits, minimize the use of flour based products, eat many raw or lightly steamed vegetables and limit the intake of meat products, infrequently eat eggs, soy and optionally some fish.
     
  19. Jul 16, 2008 #18

    lisab

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    Cut out the high fructose corn syrup - the stuff is pure poison.

    It's tough to do, though. It's everywhere.
     
  20. Jul 17, 2008 #19
    If you eat like this for years and years it will increase risk of serious problems like diabetes, heart problems, and so forth. Obviously this is not going to happen overnight, but if you keep eating junk food as a major source of food it for 5 years, 10 years, 20 years, then you are heading for trouble.
     
  21. Jul 22, 2008 #20
    I guess I should have mentioned I'm at school most of the time, so most of these options don't apply.
     
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