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"You know, starbucks has healtheir options than muffins and breakfast sandwiches- Or at least the one I go to does. They have fruit and protein boxes, and I like their fruit/yogurt/granola parfaits."
This is true. Here in the UK we don't have the same amount of healthy options (nowhere near as many options, in fact), but I have been opting for the oatmeal lately, and putting a chopped banana in it when I get to work, sweetening it with agave. :)
WHOLENEWME79 Posts: 948
9/4/13 11:41 A
You know, starbucks has healtheir options than muffins and breakfast sandwiches- Or at least the one I go to does. They have fruit and protein boxes, and I like their fruit/yogurt/granola parfaits.
If you have a high resting heart rate (90bpm is upper limits of normal, with 95bpm being considered tachycardic), then you might cut down (but not cut out) your caffeine and reduce your salt intake. If you get a venti, get a grande. If you get a frappe, get an iced coffee. If you take half and half, try 2% milk. Don't eliminate the things you love, but do try to look for less fatty/salty/processed options of those things.
Lean cuisines and things of that natures aren't bad, but they do contain a lot of salt. But you can experiment and finds ones like you, then when time permits, try to make it yourself.
I am a full time student, work part time, and have a 50 hour a week internship I do, so I know about time. I eat a ton of pasta- But I add lean meats, and fresh vegetables to it, and use whole grain. I like cheese, so I make sure to use it if I want, but I keep the amount small and use one with a strong flavor- parmesean, or asiago, etc.
I also will get spark recipes and make a big batch once a week (I cannot do this every week), to reheat. Skillet lasagna and curries are fantastic and flavorful and reheat well.
Best of luck!
To add to this, I've just been told I have an unusually high resting heart rate - it's 90 bpm which is apparently a cause for concern.
Wow, thanks everyone :)
I just want to clarify, because I think it's come across wrong, that it's not that I don't want to/can't be bothered to make changes, but I KNOW from trying to make changes in the past that if it requires too much of a lifestyle change, then I won't stick with it. I want to get healthy, but for the rest of my life, not for a few weeks.
For example, I get the tube to work every morning. When I get off, at Green Park, there's a Starbucks right there. I get a frappuccino and breakfast sandwich. I've tried bypassing Starbucks. Am successful for a week at a time. I've tried making my coffee at work. The bottom line is, I like my morning routine of going to Starbucks. What I CAN do, is order a coffee light frap instead of a mocha, for less sugar, and oatmeal instead of a bread-based breakfast. It's not enough of a change for me to really notice, but it IS enough of a change to make a positive difference - well, when you combine it with other similar changes.
I've never gonna be the girl who makes breakfast at home. It's not even a time thing. It's just me - I like to get up and go in the morning and hang around the house for the least amount of time possible.
I definitely want to make changes. Just not so drastic that they don't stick :)
But I've honestly learned a lot from this thread, so thanks again :)
CAH-RD Posts: 992
9/2/13 11:23 A
I would never "diet" either, but since my high school days, I've been gradually changing my eating habits as I've learned. When I was in high school I dated a guy who had a car. We had open campus for lunch and we ate fast food. Then after school we'd go out and do what? Eat. Yes, I hate fast food TWO times a day (sometimes 3) when I was in high school. Not just fast food, but super sized meals WITH the 600 calorie desserts. Yikes!
Then I started wanting to change. Not because I was overweight (I was 120ish that whole time I was eating crap), but because I wanted good health.
It has taken about 13 years, but I have went from eating fast food, sugary cereals, junk foods, etc, etc to where I'm at now. We eat mostly fruits and vegetables. Have a garden. Belong to a CSA. Cook all of our meals (I used to hate cooking. Now I wish I had more time to do MORE cooking!!). We eat a WIDE variety of fruits and vegetables. We eat almost ALL whole grains. Meats are all lean. Dairy is minimal except Greek yogurt and occasional cheese. Milk is almond or coconut, but the "unsweetened" kind, which is still sweet. Most importantly we limit our processed foods and eat as organic as possible! Fast food is MAYBE max of once a year (and we then regret it) and dining out at all is very minimal.
I'm not saying you should do all this now. I'm not saying you should eat like us ever. I'm just saying that *I* think the best way to make changes when you're in your current situation is probably gradually. Do little things one by one. What do you feel you can change now?
I can tell by your wording that you have an "I want to be this, but I don't want to do that to get to be this" attitude. Meaning, you want to be healthy, but you don't want to eat healthy. It's hard. At the time, I didn't want to give up my fast food meals, but I wanted to be healthier. I didn't want to get heart disease and diabetes and cancer like the rest of my family. Small changes and I think first you need to work on changing your mind. Open your mind to other options.
Your tastes can and DO change and it doesn't take that long. I went from a diet with probably 5000+ mg sodium daily. Now when I track, I'm probably getting around 900-1500 mg daily unless we're splurging or eating something we don't commonly eat. The funny part is, I don't feel like I'm restricting sodium. Actually, if I have a bowl of soup in a restaurant I feel like salt is all I can taste because my tastes are USED to low sodium.
Anyway, I could go on and on...my overall note is that I went from being a fast food / junk food junkie to being a Registered Dietitian and a Certified Diabetes Educator who is a HUGE advocate for organic and sustainable eating. :) It can happen, but YOU are the only one who can make it happen.
SUNSHINE6442 Posts: 2,007
9/1/13 7:36 A
It sounds as though your goal is to eat healthier and ELSELTZ was correct in saying that things do not get better as you age.
Saturated fat can trigger bloat and so can wheat. Sugar also causes bloat, and sugar alcohols.
Fluid build up can be caused by too much sodium in the foods you eat or fluid can build up around the heart and lungs....your body is already warning you that you have an imbalance.
Some fruits and veggies can hydrate you just as well as water. They also can act as a natural diuretic....To reduce swelling eat oatmeal, popcorn, whole rye bread..grapefruits, oranges, strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, cranberries and tangerines....high water foods such as parsley, asparagus, celery, radishes. For breakfast, avoid carb centered meals like bagels, corn muffins, pancakes and waffles and opt for protein rich ones like scrambled egg whites with a side of fresh fruit. To incorporate protein into your snacks try an apple with a handful of almonds, a part skim string cheese, or a container of Fage 0% plain yogurt.
Drink the water....Dehydration is also a cause of puffy eyes, as well as, too much sodium.. Decrease the salt you consume, as it can absorb quite an amount of fluids inside you and leave you dehydrated. Salt attracts fluid and there are high amounts of sodium in bread and cereal...puffed rice and Kashi 7 whole grain puffs have no sodium....add some berries to sweeten. Drink some cran berry juice and dilute it with water...1/2 and 1/2 ...drink it all day this will help you be less puffy. Ocean Spray has diet cranberry with only 2 sugars.
According to the University of Maryland Medical Center....Supplementation with vitamin C can also treat water retention. Vitamin C occurs naturally in citrus fruits, berries, tomatoes, peppers and leafy green vegetables and Omega 3 nutrients can help decrease inflammation...found in Brazil nuts, macadamia nuts, flaxseed, flaxseed oil, walnut oil, walnuts, safflower oil, peanuts and almonds
Maybe start learning about 1 food a day, and remember that restaurants usually have high sodium in their foods....
If your puffiness does not go away please consult a medical professional as no one needs fluid build up around the heart and kidney and liver conditions are some of the major causes of swelling...Good Luck!
Edited by: SUNSHINE6442 at: 9/1/2013 (07:37)
Nina, I think you got more info than you bargained for!
I think the main thing, is you need to decide what you really want, and what it is worth to you. If you are really concerned that this new fluid retention is a health problem, then it is worth taking seriously.
Your comments back and forth are kindof confusing. At first, you said you were concerned about fluid retention and your health, and were really gung-ho about making big changes. now you say you never eat at home and cant/wont/don't want to bother learning how to do anything differently. It doesn't matter if you have a car. (not even sure why that's relevant). Stopping to buy fast food on the way to work actually takes longer than spreading peanut butter on a slice of bread, or grabbing a handful of nuts and fruit, or even making a smoothie if you have the ingredients handy.
You don't have to eat at home, you don't have to cook, but if you think your eating habits are making you sick, then that is just going to keep happening and getting worse as you get older. You know enough to know the difference between Oreos, nachos, and muffins vs. fruits, veggies, meat, nuts & dairy products. Start there.
I like to hard-boil 1/2 dozen eggs on Sunday and grab one on my way out the door.
the carbs/protein/fat ratios are REALLY easy.
1/2 of what you're eating is going to be a veggie or fruit.
1/4 of what you're eating will be protein.
the final 1/4 will be a starchy carb, whole grain if applicable (potato, rice, pasta)
Almost all protein will have some fat, or you will cook it with some fat. If you are like me, you will also always eat veggies with some sort of fat (olive oil, dressing)
This is literally brainless for me.
example of a breakfast that takes less than 30 seconds to prepare that is in these ratios:
big bowl of blueberries. Add some high protein/whole grain cereal (Kashi golean). Top with 1 spoonful of coconut cream.
snack: piece of fruit or raw veggies, piece of cheese, whole grain crackers.
lunch: giant salad with grilled chicken, dressing with some healthy fats, maybe a few croutons if you want to live a little.
dinner: protein with a huge pile of roasted veggies, brown rice.
Edited by: ZORBS13 at: 8/29/2013 (11:39)
Okay, that's a lot of stuff. I won't be able to eat breakfast at home, ever. I don't even shower in the morning. I roll out of bed, put my clothes on, wash my face, brush my teeth, put some mascara on, some moisturizer, grab my bag and go. Bam. 10 minutes. Microwaving an egg isn't going to happen. The oatmeal thing once I'm at work is much more doable - since I'd be pouring cereal anyway. Like I said, I'm lazy :) I live in London so there's no car or drive-thru for me :)
I honestly don't know how people think so much about protein/carbs/fat and combining certain stuff at meals. It sounds like such a headache. I probably will put peanut butter in my oats because I like it that way, but thinking about heart healthy fats etc sounds really complicated. I really don't want to become obsessed with food. Just include some better stuff in my diet. :)
I don't want to lose weight, or be 'a dieter'. I'm 27 and since I was 20 I've fluctuated between 128-133lbs at 5'8, except for the time I tried to diet. So I don't diet. Lol.
The tips in this thread have been really useful.
Listen, going from "I never cook or eat at home" to a veggie omelet for breakfast is a huge leap. Don't set yourself up to fail, you'll just kill your motivation.
Egg for breakfast? MICROWAVE! Stick whole-grain toast in the toaster.
Poached: put 1/4 cup water in a teacup or small bowl. Crack in the egg. Microwave 45-60 seconds. Your egg is done before your toast.
Scrambled: leave out the water, crack an egg in the cup and scramble it. If you want veggies inside, throw some frozen spinach or precooked veg in. Put a saucer on top and microwave 1 minute. Still done before your toast.
Other perfectly healthy breakfasts: Peanut butter or cream cheese on whole grain toast, with a side of fruit (also edible in the car). If you have a toaster oven, put some slices of cheese on your bread and set it to toast while you're in the shower. Also, side of fruit or put avocado on top. You can put anything on a soft tortilla, sliced turkey, your eggs, some fresh veggies, whatever you want, roll it up and eat it in the car.
Microwave instant oatmeal with berries is also a great choice. Just use plain oats and add your own flavor, instead of the prepackaged stuff.
Smoothies are awesome, you can throw anything in there, just again, avoid the prepackaged mixes.
Babysteps. What you want to do is get a repertoire of 3-4 super easy goto items, that you can make without thinking about it, and only add 5 minutes to your morning. (after all, stopping at the drive-thru takes at least 5 minutes) Then on weekends or when you have time you can practice with more complicated cooking.
LOVE4KITTIES Posts: 2,025
8/29/13 10:28 A
Try to get a balance of protein, carbs and healthy fats at every meal. This will help prevent hunger and will also help you get the nutrients you need.
Oatmeal with berries is great. It has healthy carbs and there's plenty of fiber and those antioxidants from the berries are great for you (frozen is perfectly fine for fruits and veggies). But...it's lacking in protein and healthy fats. You can easily fix this, though, by making your oatmeal with nonfat milk instead of water (adds protein and is a great source of calcium) and by adding a tablespoon of peanut butter (peanut butter is a source of heart-healthy fat, just pick a peanut butter without a bunch of added stuff--some brands have just the peanuts and maybe add a little salt). Making oatmeal with milk is more difficult on the stove, so I usually just put 1/2 cup old fashioned oats and 1 cup nonfat milk in a big bowl and microwave for about 8 minutes (stopping a couple of times to stir), until it's done (and done to me means thick but still creamy). I add in a little splenda to sweeten (maybe 1/2 tbsp) and then add a tablespoon of peanut butter and stir a little. You can add the berries too (or just eat them on the side).
If you like eggs for breakfast but don't have time to prepare them, you can make breakfast sandwiches ahead of time, freeze them and then just pop one in the microwave in the morning. I'd use a whole wheat bagel thin or whole wheat english muffin (or something similar), an egg, a slice of lowfat cheese and ma ybe a slice of canadian bacon or a slice of regular bacon. I've never frozen them, but I've seen instructions for doing so somewhere around here (I'll leave the search to you). The calories in these breakfast sandwiches are actually fairly low, so I like to eat some nonfat greek yogurt with some fruit as well.
The same thing holds true for all your meals and snacks...remember to mix protein, carbs and heart-healthy fats. Add a protein source (like chicken breast or even tofu) to your stir fry. I'd add some quinoa or brown rice to the grilled salmon/garlic-roasted greens. I wouldn't eat a banana by itself as a snack as there's really no protein/fat with that. Bananas are great, but they leave me hungry if I eat them by themselves. You can add a part of a banana to some nonfat greek yogurt (lots of protein), though, and have a good snack. It won't have heart-healthy fats, but you could add those with a few almonds if you wanted. A small apple with a tablespoon of peanut butter is another snack that combines carbs with heart-healthy fats and the peanut butter has a little protein in it too. I've found that this combo holds me over until the next meal better than just the apple alone.
If you like burgers, then there's no reason not to eat them. Just use a whole wheat bun (I use a whole wheat sandwich thin), 93% lean hamburger, and top with a slice of lowfat cheese. Leave off the mayo and a lot of the other condiments. If you like mushroom burgers, you can cook mushrooms in a nonstick skillet without adding any butter to cook them. Fries? Oven fries are healthy, unlike their deep fried counterparts. They are also really easy to make. If you don't want to cut up potatoes to make them from scratch, they sell bags of them in the freezer section (just watch out for how much added salt some brands have).
Edited by: LOVE4KITTIES at: 8/29/2013 (10:37)
Thanks for the input everyone. I've been doing a lot of reading and it seems pretty simple.
I woke up this morning with the intention of making scrambled eggs with tomatoes, spinach and mushrooms, but when I woke up it was dark and cold and I was tired. So I got a muffin and a frappuccino on the way to work. I realized that whatever I do is going to have to be super easy and convenient and not make me deviate from my current routine.
Since I like cereal, I'm going to eat oatmeal for breakfast, and add some raspberries and blueberries (frozen is okay right?).
I think that instead of eating a main meal at 5pm (usually fast food) I'm going to eat a snack. Probably a banana since they seem to have a lot of calories (=energy) to tide me over until I can cook something when I get home. That is probably going to be stir-fried vegetables and brown rice (no recipe needed!) or tuna steak/salmon grilled in the oven with a side of garlic-roasted greens. Not sure what I'll do for lunch. I'm not a salad girl, and I don't have time to prepare something. But I think those things will be a good start.
I ate like you in my early 20s and went from 95 pounds-140 pounds during my university years.
The first thing I will suggest is eat veggies and fruit.
The 2nd thing is to not focus on cutting stuff out of your diet, just more good stuff. You know what is good for you, right? veggies, fruit, lean meat, basically anything that doesn't come with a label or package.
The 3rd thing would be to read as much on nutrition as you can here on Spark.
I've seen you mention soup. I like to make is a huge pot every week with whatever we have on hand (leftover chicken, extra zucchini, tomato, and garlic from the garden, etc) and freeze leftovers for the week.
A pot of soup requires about 5 minutes of work; the rest of the time is just the soup simmering.
The thing is though, something like a casserole I know I would never eat. If my choice is between a bowl of cheesy pasta and a casserole I will go for the cheesy pasta. I just don't have the motivation to cook/eat something like a casserole. Whatever I make will have to be more delicious than a burger. Or I just KNOW I won't last eating healthy.
Plus because of my schedule I pretty much eat on the go all the time, which doesn't help. Whenever I try to eat dinner at home I always fail then wonder why, but I get hungry at 5pm, so I eat at 5pm, then I just don't want to eat anything else. I'm so lazy.
I don't cook every night. On Sundays I'll make a big batch of something and eat that for the week. Casseroles are pretty fool proof and generally don't take much time to prep before you stick it in the oven. You'd be surprised at how many servings of veggies you can stuff into a 9x13 casserole dish. That way, for the rest of the week you're just microwaving a portion of something healthy you already cooked.
Thanks for the links! They're really helpful.
LOUNMOUN Posts: 1,332
8/28/13 3:40 P
Try to have more fruits and vegetables throughout your day. A lot of people shoot for 5 serving per day. www.sparkpeople.com/resource/nutrition_art
Try to have a balance of food groups each day.
Try to eat whole grain cereals, breads or pasta products.
Limit processed/packaged foods. Choose things with less sugar or salt added.
Learn to prepare some food. Soup is an easy place for a beginner cook to start IMO. Search for no cook recipes.
Yeah the ankle swelling is really worrying me. I've been sick a lot too but not in the morning. In any case, no chance of being pregnant, I'm single :)
I didn't realise that canned soups had so much sodium. I thought I was making a healthy choice. Annoyed!
Now I'm on a mission to drink lots of water and cram in as many powerfoods as I can. Maybe I'll make a 'powermeal' once a day that I can feel really good about...a salad maybe, with nuts? Eggs? Olive oil? Yeah, I'm gonna be so healthy now.
A couple things helpful to know if you are specifically concerned about salt:
Canned goods and most packaged foods have LOTS of salt, it is a preservative. The ones that say "low-sodium" really mean "a lot of salt" and the ones that are "regular" really mean "a humonguous amount of salt"
Drinking extra water and foods high in potassium can help flush fluid if you have inadvertently gotten over-salted. Blueberries, watermelon, and bananas are some of the best and easiest.
Also, if you are noticing a sudden change in your water retention, I would go see your doctor. If you are on your feet a lot you could be having poor circulation in your legs, and wind up with varicose veins.
And, not to joke but it is kindof a stereotype - if you are a woman, suddenly experiencing swelling in your face and feet - any nausea? Lightheadedness? When was your LMP? Any chance you could be pg? I would see a doctor anyway about the circulation.
SparkPeople has TONS of resources that are very easy to learn from. Make sure to check out the nutrition articles and cooking videos. They get you down to basics on the cooking videos too, like how to hard boil and egg, etc.
The site can be overwhelming because there is SO much information, so just decide what you want, take it, and leave the rest.
AND it's very easy to "cook" without really doing a lot of cooking ... but it sure sounds like fruits and vegetables need to make their way into your diet to help!!
Yeah this is really helpful stuff! I like the idea of adding stuff in not taking away. I don't mind learning to cook...basic stuff. But I'm short on time too. I have an active job and work long hours. It's easier to grab and go. But the salt thing, it's baaad. My ankles are starting to swell up after a long day and I'm getting paranoid it's the salt. Even when I had a healthy soup, on the back of the can (I looked into this) I learned I was getting the daily recommended amount of sodium in ONE can of healthy vegan soup!
If you are starting to retain fluid and feel icky from your "regular" food, I think you should look into gradually moving away from processed foods and toward more natural/unprocessed stuff. That will help you cut out hidden salt and sugar that contributes to the puffiness.
The further you go on that road, the more you would need to learn some basic cooking skills, but there is a lot you can do to babystep your way into this, as the previous poster suggested.
Try switching to natural peanut butter, natural salsa or one that has a very short ingredients list. Try using whole-grain bread or crackers, especially ones with no high fructose corn syrup or trans-fat (those are big baddies that cause inflammation). If you want chocolate, buy high-quality dark chocolate, again the shorter the ingredients list the better.
If you are going to use butter, sugar, salt (which are totally fine in moderation), use the real stuff instead of artificial - it is less damaging in the long run.
I recommend the book "The Abs Diet for Women". It is more about putting good foods INTO your diet, than giving stuff up. There is a list of twelve "power foods" like almonds, berries, lowfat dairy, etc that taste good and are great for you. There are also meal suggestions that are no more complicated than making a sandwich or running a microwave.
There are lots of tasty natural foods that can be grab-n-go, you can experiment with them:
grape tomatos, seedless grapes, bananas, whole or sliced unsalted almonds, sunflower seeds, almond butter or sunflower butter, baby carrots with hummus, raisins or all kinds of unsweetened dried fruit (dried mango is AWESOME). Greek yogurt is creamy and filling, different brands have different amounts of "tang".
One babystep goal might be, to try to get one helping of fruit or veg at each meal. The "ideal" is 6+ per day, but just shoot for one at each meal and you'll be on the right road.
Hope this helps!
CMCOLE Posts: 2,667
8/28/13 1:15 P
not sure if any of these locations might help with the cooking thing:
probably lots of you tube stuff/instructions, too
AGGIEKBEAR03 Posts: 503
8/28/13 12:49 P
I know you said you do not cook but you could always take a look at the SparkRecipes website because there are TONS of difference recipes for you to try. They range from very easy to a little more complex. I am pretty sure there is a recipe in that database that you would be able to make. :-)
As far as making changes, you could always start with experimenting with only changing 1 thing at a time. For example, you could try a different type of cereal. If you like cinnamon toast crunch, maybe you could try the cinnamon pecan Special K. If you like the sweetness of the cereal, there is always Honey Nut Cheerios or Frosted Mini Wheats. For lunch you could try substituting your chips with some fresh veggies, fruit or even baked chips and instead of the pastry or cookie you could treat yourself to a small piece of chocolate (My favorite is the Lindt Extra Dark Truffles).
I hope this helps! Good luck!
I think dark chocolate and natural pb are fine for someone who isn't trying to lose weight.
I would start with aiming for 5 servings veggies and 3 fruits daily Ways to sneak them in:
-banana ice cream
- veggie sandwich toppings
- vegetable soups
-dry fruits in your cereal
-fruits dipped in chocolate
I joined Sparkpeople because I'm hoping to just eat a bit healthier. I'm already very slim so I don't want to lose weight. (Weighed myself this morning, 128lbs at just under 5'8").
However, my diet is really bad. Like, really REALLY bad. I usually have have Cinnamon Toast Crunch for breakfast, but today I had a muffin. I eat quite a lot at lunch - soup, potato chips, a pastry/cookie. For dinner yesterday I had tortilla chips and salsa and the night before that I had oreos.
I like eating whatever I feel like and could never diet. But, I think I'm starting to get salt face and puffy eyes and I think my diet could be to blame.
I can't cook at ALL, but I'm looking to make some healthy changes. Small ones, so that I don't even notice they're happening. And I still want to eat delicious food. I have issues eating salads and oatmeal (although I REALLY like oatmeal with butter and brown sugar, and also oatmeal with melted chocolate and peanut butter, but I don't think that would be conducive to my goals.
I really appreciate any advice or food suggestions!!