I also do like Lin and take half a day here and there for food prep. I wash and cut veggies that can be tossed in a stir fry, a soup pot, sliced for salad, or just to munch, and store them in a ziplock bag or covered container in the refer. If you don't have time for that, there are veggie snack trays ready to eat in the produce section (also fruit trays) of most supermarkets. I make a fruit salad with oranges, apple, banana, fresh or frozen berries tossed with a little cinnamon and ginger. It's naturally sweet. Sometimes I change it up with grapefruit, pineapple or kiwi or grapes - whatever's plentiful or on special. Might add 1/4 cup chopped walnuts to the salad too. Canned fruit is fine if drained and packed with no added sugar.
On food prep day I make a big bowl of salad. That can be bought ready made too in a bag and eaten as is, or toss a few of those prepped veggies in it. Mushrooms can be bought sliced. An avocado, carrots, cucumber, a can of rinsed and drained black or white beans for extra fiber and protein, some chopped green onions, tomato, raw pumpkin seeds (low calorie, high protein), bits of cooked leftover meat or drained canned meat - a lot of different things you like can be added to salad for variety and substance. Top with a sprinkle of grated Parmesan, fresh ground pepper, and some flavored or balsamic vinegar instead of dressing to keep calories down. Low cal bottled dressing is fine too. Have to be careful of some flavored vinegars and dressings that can be high in sodium though. Balsamic vinegar is good, mild and tasty. My husband loves it and so do I. Look for salt free seasonings like Mrs. Dash or Spike or Costco's Organic no salt seasoning. There are herb mixes too, just make sure they don't contain salt.
My husband and I are big fans of homemade soups. They're easy. I always make a big batch. If there are still leftovers after a few days, I freeze them in serving size containers.
When I cook I usually make enough that there are leftovers. Some people like to make their own frozen dinners with leftovers too.
All these things make it easier to grab something quick and better for us when hungry. We don't keep any junk food in the house. It can be too tempting when hungry or stressed.
Read food labels! There's hidden sodium in a lot of prepared foods, things you wouldn't expect. Sodium and other nutrients can be added to the SparkPeople nutrition tracker so you can see your total each day. Learning your way around SP can be daunting at first, but if you do nothing else, use the nutrition tracker. You'll learn a lot about what nutrients you need more or less of. It's a great tool, one of the best trackers available on the internet, and it's free!
If there's anything we can help you with, let us know. That goes for using the SparkPeople website too.
Oh, maybe of interest to you, Dr. Joel Fuhrman's book Eat to Live has helped me improve my diet, feel better, and start losing pounds. I follow his modified life plan. I've been told by another Sparker that his Eat for Health book is good too and a little easier to start with. Dr. Fuhrman has been a guest on the Dr. Oz show several times, and Dr. Oz approves of his plan. It may or may not be for you. Whether it is or not, the books contain a lot of interesting information.
Best wishes on your Spark Journey!
"No amount of time will erase the memory of a good dog."
Pounds lost: 5.0
Fitness Minutes: (282) Posts: 5 9/30/13 7:57 P
Wayne - that can be a toughie. Processed foods are the highest in salt as a rule. You mention you are single so ready-made meals are probably the most convenient for you but not the best for you. I don't know whether you can cook or not but if not, perhaps you should learn some basic cooking so that you can prepare meals for yourself using fresh foods that are much lower in sodium. If time is an issue such as you come home from your daily activities too tired and hungry to spend a lot of time preparing things I have found that I can take part of a day once a week and cook several things up at one time (I leave them slightly under cooked so that when I reheat them, they do not dry out or turn to leather). I also take most of my grocery items and prepare them for the week ahead just after I buy them. I then package either the food I mentioned cooking/ preparing, or the grocery items I prepared, and divide them into single serving sizes and store them that way. At dinner time, if I am cooking for myself or my DH and myself, I can go to the frig and grab either 1 or 2 baggies of washed and packaged veggies, a baggie or baggies with individually sized portions of an already cooked meat, a potato or potatoes and go from there. The potatoes (or pasta or salad, or whatever I may serve with the meal) has to be prepared fresh to my liking but I can then nuke the vegetables and meat and dinner is on the table in no time. Good luck and I hope that is helpful information.
Lin from Peterborough, ON., Canada
10 STEPS TO SELF-CARE - If it feels wrong, don't do it; Say "exactly" what you mean; Don't be a people pleaser; Trust your instincts; Never speak bad about yourself; Never give up on your dreams; Don't be afraid to say "No"; Don't be afraid to say "Yes"; Be kind to yourself; Let go of what you can't control; Stay away from drama and negativity as much as possible. (unknown)
Lost 48 lbs. in 2012 & 13 but gained 30 back!
Pounds lost: 8.2
Fitness Minutes: (113,300) Posts: 5,796 9/29/13 3:05 P
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