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Help! I can't cook, but I want to eat healthier



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TINYRN2011
SparkPoints: (18,184)
Fitness Minutes: (19,953)
Posts: 106
6/23/13 2:39 P

Nope, I'm not a hospital nurse. I work at an endoscopy center and a free standing surgery center. Unfortunately, when food is provided, it's usually cookies and crackers (you should see how some doctors eat!!). There is fruit as well. I am working on bringing healthy snacks and/or a lunch on the days I work.



DIETITIANBECKY
Posts: 26,436
6/23/13 10:37 A

Are you a hospital nurse?
Many hospital cafeterias are taking great strides for providing healthy meals. They usually have a salad bar, veggies, fruit choices, lean meats, grilled chicken breasts, etc. You could buy a meal and take it home. Many of the employees at the hospital were I work do this.

Becky
SP Registered Dietitian



CMCOLE
Posts: 2,667
6/23/13 6:31 A

If you can chop things, you can throw stuff into a slow cooker, and have it ready when you return from work.

Or, you can put it in a roasting pan and cook it on the weekends, and eat leftovers.

Of course, the same applies to making a big, healthy salad.

Frozen (nothing added) vegetables (and fruits) are a great thing to have on hand.
Even canned beans can be a real blessing to add to foods (quick chilies, sauces, etc.)



OBIESMOM2
SparkPoints: (61,086)
Fitness Minutes: (40,069)
Posts: 4,472
6/23/13 6:00 A

any leftovers, Kris? emoticon

you can cook enough chicken breasts for a week in a crock pot, chop & freeze as Kris mentioned. Great for salads, steamed veggies, brown rice w/a can of beans, etc.

LOTS of stuff you can do with very little cooking. I 'cook' lunch most days at work in our microwave. I keep these things on hand:
brown rice
bulghur (Bob's Mill has one that cooks in 10 minutes)
quinoa
canned beans
Rotels

the boss just changed us from a 'dorm fridge' to a full sized w/freezer on the bottom. So I keep frozen veggies and Wholly Guacamole 100 cal packs on hand now too.



SLIMMERKIWI
SparkPoints: (122,310)
Fitness Minutes: (32,485)
Posts: 21,080
6/23/13 5:36 A

I did something similar to Clarissa tonight, too!
Mine had a little wholemeal pasta, chicken breast, and an assortment of veges - red onion, yellow capsicum, mushrooms, cauliflower, celery, carrot, Swiss chard, spinach, courgette and garlic, with a squeeze of lemon juice, and put on top of a little Mediterranean Couscous. It was yuuuuum and very filling, AND only just 400 calories with my cuppa. Those sorts of things can be chopped up ready to throw in a pan. Chicken breast can be cut up and frozen in meal-serve little bags and taken out the night before, and put in the fridge to thaw overnight.

Kris



OBIESMOM2
SparkPoints: (61,086)
Fitness Minutes: (40,069)
Posts: 4,472
6/23/13 4:22 A

that sound GOOD, Clarissa!
emoticon



CLARISSABOND
Posts: 426
6/23/13 2:47 A

I stumbled upon a very tasty technique this evening that I think might be right up your alley. I boiled whole wheat pasta. While the pasta was cooking I rinsed and drained a big handful of baby spinach and halved a few grape tomatoes. With the spinach and tomatoes still in the colander, I poured the pasta through. It wilted the spinach and warmed the tomatoes. I then flipped the drained pasta and veg onto a plate added some cooked chicken, a dollop of jarred pesto, and a little extra Parmesan. Yum, twenty minute, healthy meal. I have more plans in the works for this technique. Swiss chard, kale, rice noodles, shrimp, jarred marinara; who knows?



DRAGONCHILDE
SparkPoints: (56,306)
Fitness Minutes: (14,204)
Posts: 9,583
6/22/13 11:06 P

Learn to cook. :) If you can boil pasta or and egg, then you can cook.

Cooking is about three things:

1) Following directions
2) Measuring
3) Time

You have to follow the directions, you have to measure the stuff, and you have to pay attention to the time if you want it to turn out right. You don't have to be a 5 star chef to make simple, healthy meals for yourself. Time to venture out, and teach this "old" dog a new trick. Time to learn to cook! Sure, you don't want to cook after you get off of work. That's why you cook on your off days, or before work, and heat after work.



LADYSTARWIND
SparkPoints: (19,777)
Fitness Minutes: (15,878)
Posts: 1,132
6/22/13 10:14 P

This answer will depend greatly upon where you live....if its a larger metro area, you might be in luck! Several years ago I lived in the Seattle area, and there were several businesses which offered a "Come and Make It-Take It-And Bake It" Service.

Each week they set up several choices of complete meals....ingredients already put together in sauces, main dish type meals, meats, veggies, etc. You came in, and assembled your meals into the provided foil containers...took it home, refrig or froze it, and cooked per the instructions!! Really a good healthy variety of foods, and reasonably priced.

We accessed their services when a co-worker was doing home hospice care.... Twice a week, one of us would go get the meals for them.

Another suggestion is to find the healthiest restaurant in your area, and ask if you can "Take Out" several meals at once. (My Dad used to do this with Applebees...you just have to watch the menu items...!)
patti



OBIESMOM2
SparkPoints: (61,086)
Fitness Minutes: (40,069)
Posts: 4,472
6/22/13 9:21 P

you can do some pretty simple stuff in a Crock Pot. Then dinner is ready when you walk in the door.

steamed veggies & brown rice or bulghur





EMPRESSAMQ
Posts: 5,018
6/22/13 7:59 P

No spring chicken here either lol but I LOVE to cook and am an excellent cook. But basically because of things going on in my life, I don't WANT to cook much. Just too tired and demoralized sometimes recently and I don't want to clean the kitchen afterwards either. I also eat gluten free and haven't really ever been good at doing that.

But my salvation has been recently going to Sprouts and/or Trader Joe's and picking up precooked or packaged meals that are healthier than the ones I can find in my regular supermarket. I also buy a lot of frozen organic veggies, usually at Sprouts, sticking to ones with a low sodium count, so if I buy a precooked low sodium gluten free (no additives) protein source and quickly stir fry with some veggies with a little olive oil, I am good to go. I really don't need much more for a meal.

I drink protein shakes also, safe ones that I have researched, but you can make these quickly in any kind of blender with frozen or fresh fruit pieces, some type of liquid (water, milk, almond milk, soy, yogurt, kefir) and maybe some ice and any other ingredients you like. With ingredients on hand, this takes only a minute or so.

Lot of things a non cooking lover can do.

Edited by: EMPRESSAMQ at: 6/22/2013 (20:00)


STDWYNWEN
SparkPoints: (10,946)
Fitness Minutes: (4,491)
Posts: 545
6/22/13 6:42 P

Hi TINYRN2011

A great way to get your vegetables, is to buy the steamer packets (you'll find them in the frozen section). You can pick up the Winter or California blend, those are straight up veggies without the sauce - 1 bag can stretch two meals. Just 5 minutes in the microwave is all it needs.





SLIMMERKIWI
SparkPoints: (122,310)
Fitness Minutes: (32,485)
Posts: 21,080
6/22/13 6:19 P

I LOVE to cook (including doing it for a profession), and mostly cook large volumes of casseroles/soups, etc. to freeze in single serves. But even then, there are times that I resort to quick and easy (purchased) for a complete change.

You could always buy a Rotisserie Chook from the Supermarket and a bag of mixed salads, and/or a tub of undressed or lightly dressed, other salads, plus tomato and cucumber and canned beetroot. Have a quality whole-grain bread with high fibre/protein and low fats/sodium. Other cuts of cooked meats would work well, too, as does canned Salmon. You can get brown rice - pre-cooked - in pouches that just need zapping. I have used 1/2 of the pouch, which is classes as a single serve, and heated that, and frozen the other 1/2 for a later time.

If you choose the dressed salads, ask to look at the nutritional analysis. My Supermarket printed them off for me to enter into my Nutrition Tracker.

Kris



Edited by: SLIMMERKIWI at: 6/22/2013 (18:20)


WHOLENEWME79
Posts: 918
6/22/13 5:31 P

Well, the simplest solution would be prepacked meals. they are not the healthiest when you consider salt and other additives, but they will help you meet your calorie goals.

I personally love to cook, but I do not always have time. I end up batch cooking a lot- Often times a sparkrecipes.com recipe, and enough for 4 or 5 meals. then I pop them in the fridge and just microwave. I can add a salad or sides or something along those lines if needed.

The nice thing about batch cooking is that is really does not take any longer to cook 5 servings of skillet lasagna than it would take to make 1, and it is so nice to be able to eat something that you made and know what is in it and how it fits into your dietary needs.

Sorry I do not have more suggestions to offer. Best of luck!



TINYRN2011
SparkPoints: (18,184)
Fitness Minutes: (19,953)
Posts: 106
6/22/13 5:25 P

emoticon

So, I'm no spring chicken, but have gotten away with not really cooking much. Sure, I can boil water for pasta and make an egg, but that's about all I want to do.

After a hard day at work (I'm a nurse), the last thing I want to do is cook. Over the past 5 years or so, the pounds have been adding on. Now I really want to get back on track.

Any ideas about how I can achieve my goals with as little cooking as possible?



 
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