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FAITHP44 Posts: 6,412
7/18/13 12:41 P

I can be very lazy when it comes to food preparation - I identify with the comment about having vegetables in the fridge unwashed and unpeeled.
In the summer I buy bags of salad ready prepared and have tomatoes, beets etc on hand. I also buy packs of small salad potatoes and cook up enough for 2 or 3 days so they're ready for eating. Then all I have to do is open a can of tuna and dinner's done. Very occasionally I'll treat myself to a spit roast chicken which will probably last me 3 days if I pig out on it a bit! otherwise I have to remember to get chicken or salmon out of the freezer before I go to work.
In the winter it's the slow cooker. I used it so much when I was having chemo as I would come in from work really exhausted. I had to get one that was big enough to cook the potatoes as well as I'd come in from work too tired to start thinking about spuds!
Thankfully all that's in the past and I'm nearly retired, but I can still be pretty lazy and use these strategies to ensure that I eat healthily.

Edited by: FAITHP44 at: 7/18/2013 (12:41)
MATTHEW0498 SparkPoints: (32,853)
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Posts: 1,377
7/18/13 12:26 P

I can be the same way and it's tough. Try not having bad food choices in the house to help direct you toward the right choices. Also, find a way to reward yourself for making the right choice. Good luck! emoticon

FITGLAMGIRL Posts: 2,045
7/17/13 2:57 P

I always have some go to food in the house, so I don't fall off track. Also, pre-planning dinner is a huge help. Not sure if it's the actual meal or snacks that you struggle with, but if its dinner pre-planning is key or if snacks have healthy snacks ready to grab in your house.

Good luck!

COSMOANGEL SparkPoints: (8,084)
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Posts: 51
7/17/13 2:18 P

One thing that has helped me, is I have a "mini" dinner before I leave work. I make it high in protein. For me its usually a protein "shake". Two scoops of protein powder in a cup of skim milk. It gives me some energy and fills me up, so when I get home and feel exhausted , the hunger is not driving me to eat "convience foods".

JHAACK39 SparkPoints: (12,340)
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Posts: 281
7/16/13 2:58 P

Knuckles and Anarie are on it.
Have a plan.

I found I was throwing a lot of food down my gullet because I needed to eat. Everyone needs to eat, even those of us that want to lose weight.

But, when it comes down to it, popping a pizza in the oven (or worse, phoning in one) sounds delicious, appetizing, and easy.

Cooking something doesn't. In the end, though, it will take about as much time to cook some rice, cut up the leftover chicken from the night before, cut up some vegetables, transfer them to a pan...add some sauce and enjoy. Sure, there's a few extra things to clean up, but it gets easy.

Even easier:
-use the precooked, precut chicken
-use the frozen, predicted veggies

Udon noodles are cheap, and take 3 minutes in boiling water to cook. While the water's heating up, I throw chicken in the skillet with the frozen veggies and something like a peanut or chili garlic sauce. I've got a new induction cooktop. The whole thing takes 5 minutes.

Or I just cut up a bunch of extra veggies when I make something and throw them in a ziplock/plastic container. Then I've got onion/pepper/corn/whatever else "relish" that can be added to anything. Black bean smooshed on tortilla, deli chicken if need be, and my relish...into the microwave. Done in seconds. All using paper plates.

CAMEOSUN SparkPoints: (86,566)
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7/16/13 2:24 P

Salads are easy & you can add tuna, nuts, etc. for protein. We usually keep a large bowl of it available in the fridge. Also, to combat exhaustion - adding exercise to your daily routine really does do wonders. As the body tones it gains energy & metabolism increases to burn calories. Even 10 minutes can do wonders. Squats, semi-squats, hold on to a chair & work the legs. Push ups. I do mine against the bathroom counter after morning shower. It's easy to get some exercise in.

MISSRUTH Posts: 4,125
7/15/13 8:30 A

I SO agree with the planning ahead. I plan a month at a time-- anything that takes longer to cook or is more complicated, gets done on the weekend. Week nights it's something quick (throw some chicken breasts on the grill) or something I've got stashed ready-made in the freezer that just needs to be heated up.

Food needs to be not only available, but accessible. No point having lots of fresh vegetables on hand, only to leave them unwashed & unpeeled & unsliced in the fridge. Faced with all the work to get them ready to eat, or just grabbing a box of cookies.... it would be very tempting to go for the cookies. So I do all that prep work on the weekends too. I can slap that Tupperware container of veggies on the counter and start eating while I fix the rest of supper.

KKKAREN Posts: 12,458
7/15/13 2:46 A

I do batch cooking on the weekends and freeze it. Maybe you are so tired and out of energy at the end of the day because of your bad food choices. You are what you eat!

JANIEWWJD SparkPoints: (373,689)
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7/14/13 10:51 P

If you can, cook all your meals on Sunday and freeze them for the week. That way, you will always have something healthy ready to stick in the microwave and eat.

ANARIE Posts: 12,981
7/14/13 2:11 P

Having a plan is key. You won't go for comfort foods if you've already planned for something really good to be waiting for you when you get home. Do batch cooking, or plan to have your bigger meal at lunch and have a yummy sandwich, an omelet, a salad, or something else very quick to make at dinner. Or look up "quick and healthy" to find recipe websites, cookbooks, or magazines. Look especially for magazine articles with "cook once, eat all week" plans-- you cook a roast or buy a rotisserie chicken and make tacos one night, pasta another, etc. I've seen some that use the crockpot to do the roast, even, so your time in the kitchen is like 20 minutes for 5 dinners.

The other great advantage of planning ahead is that you save money. If you plan meals once a week or once every few days, you can take advantage of grocery sales and also make sure everything gets used up. This fall and winter, I lived 6 months on less than $350 in groceries (including feeding friends fairly often), and a big part of the reason I could do that was that in all that time I threw away two green onions, half a bunch of cilantro, half a green pepper, and about a quart of milk. Everything else got used. Now, I do hope I never have to be quite that thrifty again, but still it made me realize how much I normally let go to waste.

Planning is good. Be sure to plan things you like just as much as the "comfort" food for the times when you're going to be tired. If there's anything that you eat just because it healthy but you don't really like it, schedule that for lunch or weekends when you're not starving or low on willpower.

LADYSTARWIND SparkPoints: (65,829)
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7/14/13 12:57 P

I'm with a really healthy snack before your commute home.....
I think you will find it re-energizes you and lets you "reset" the start to your evening!!

When I worked in a higher stress job, I also found that snacking, then doing my exercise before I got home helped me. My choice was swimming/water aerobics---it was SO totally different from my day--and required my full attention--that the day's stress took an instant back burner... You don't even need to focus on how much exercise you are getting--don't try to exhaust yourself--just do something totally different than what you do during the day.....

Another idea might be taking a class right after work that you are really interested in--again, something unrelated to what you do for a living!! Art, Astronomy, Geology, Crocheting.... Eat some healthy food before you get involved....

Edited by: LADYSTARWIND at: 7/14/2013 (13:02)
LADYCJM SparkPoints: (56,678)
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7/14/13 12:55 P

I agree with the others. Either set up the crock pot or make and freeze make on your day off.
If you have meals that you can pop in the microwave and have ready in a few minutes it could help.

Another thought would be to have an end of day snack ready that you could eat just before leaving work, something high in protein with good fats and a small chicken and avocado whole grain wrap.

When I worked 12 hour shifts, I would eat dinner before leaving work...then I wasn't starving and exhausted when I got home, just tired and ready to relax before bed.

GOALWTIN7 SparkPoints: (2,121)
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7/14/13 11:13 A

I hear you. Sounds like me before I retired. You need something to unwind after work. How about a long bath or a 15 minute workout tape or walk to relieve the stress of the day. Look forward to one of those things to feel good at the end of the day.

I would have dinners already prepared so you just have to heat it up and you already know what you are having. I would put it in your tracker in the morning so you are committed to eat only that food. A healthy comfort food could be a stew with meat and veggies. I make enough for a few days even now so I don't have to cook when I am hungry but just heat up. You can make pasta with lots of veggies and protein, just make sure the veggies and protein are pre made (I saute the veggies in olive oil and have chicken made and cut into pieces. That way you just boil the water for some pasta and throw everything together quickly.

Develop a new habit after work. Good Luck

NIRERIN Posts: 13,454
7/14/13 10:44 A

i agree that you need to make grab and go options that are healthy. if you like leftovers, make dinner for tomorrow night after you eat tonight's dinner. so basically you come home, reheat the dinner you made last night for tonight, eat dinner, make tomorrow's dinner, make any other snacks you might need, and go to bed or do whatever else you have to do.
try to use the grocery store for prep where you can. buy baby carrots instead of regular carrots that you have to peel and chop. look around the produce section for precut and washed options. besides salads my local grocery store often has packs for stew and stir fry that all you have to do is toss in the pan and cook. it's not as cheap as plain veg, but it can be quicker than buying and chopping peppers, onions, carrots, broccoli and whatever else happens to be in that little saran wrapped styrofoam tray.
depending on what your comfort choices are, make them better for you. in other words, if you love mac and cheese, have mac and cheese. but make sure that you're getting at least a portion of veggies in there. it can be as simple as making the blue box stuff as directed, but right after draining the water you toss in a box of frozen chopped spinach or broccoli. you can also do this with fresh veg and depending on your preferences onions, peppers, cauliflower, butternut squash, yellow squash, zucchini, mushrooms, carrots, eggplant, or any of the dark green leafies. so you're still having your comfort food, you're just making it a little better for you.

CBLENS SparkPoints: (47,498)
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7/14/13 10:42 A

yup, hear you, I keep a variety of protein bars on hand and try to grab for one of those, but like zzyyggy3, good old PB&J is a good standby.

ZZYYGGY3 SparkPoints: (50,482)
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7/14/13 10:22 A

I know the feeling. When I feel that way I turn to cereal, or eggs, or sometimes cold chicken if I have that on hand. Also keep some salad makings, and cold meats around. Or when all else fails the old stand by peanut butter and jelly sandwhich, or peanut butter and apples. Not the best of choices but better, and less expensive then deliver.

KNUCKLES145 Posts: 14,782
7/14/13 9:29 A

try figuring out what you are having for dinner ahead of time, so you don't get home tired and exhausted with no idea what to eat. I like to keep a few healthy frozen dinners on hand for times like this or maybe set something up in the crock pot before you go to work.

eat a healthy snack on the way home from work?

NOWPLZ SparkPoints: (988)
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7/14/13 9:20 A

I commonly have long exhausting work days. I can be doing so well making good food choices through out the day. At the end of one of these long days my sense goes out the window. My exhaustion just says "whatever, I'm hungry and tired", and I eat not so good comfort choices. This has been a life long problem for me. I would appreciate any ideas that may have helped you! emoticon

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