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GOODHEART5 Posts: 23
9/4/13 6:33 P

I go on the internet for ideas, I have found great recipes using minimal ingredients as I don't like to spend too much time in the kitchen quick and easy is my way of cooking, just to add you will find your confidence in experimenting I too was like you, good luck emoticon

NIRERIN Posts: 14,274
8/24/13 7:57 A

i will say the library is the best place you can go. you can check out cookbooks to see what your level and preferences work with before you shell out a ton of money on cookbooks you won't like or use. if you're really unfamiliar with the kitchen, the starving students line of cookbooks is a great place to start as they don't even assume you know what a pot or pan is and that you're cooking in a dorm with maybe a hotplate. but if you're more advanced you can find something at your level. when you find what works for you, buy it.
and maybe it is just me, but whenever i make a recipe the first time it takes about twice as long as the instructions say. so i would say that even most 30 minute recipes i couldn't make in 45 minutes, at least to start.

LKS2GAB2 SparkPoints: (37,765)
Fitness Minutes: (24,191)
Posts: 1,230
8/24/13 6:50 A

When I got married I couldn't cook anything. I learned by reading cookbooks, watching Food TV. You learn really good tips from the cooks and trial and error.

ROSEMARE SparkPoints: (8,413)
Fitness Minutes: (2,605)
Posts: 14
8/24/13 2:04 A

Will try the cookbook thing myself. Thanks for starting this thread

HEALTHYJ29 SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (0)
Posts: 1,307
8/24/13 1:40 A

I have seen a few different registered dieticians. I think a good one can help but a bad one can make things more of a struggle. So if you can get a referral or if you look on the ADA website I think they have ones listed. For me following an exchange meal plan helped. You can google ADA exchange meal plans and it will give you examples. It can take time to get used to but overall creates structure and balanced meals and snacks based on your caloric needs.
I am not a fan of cooking so try to find online quick meals based on a limited ingredients. There are many 5 ingredient meals or less. Also being simple helps to create a meal that goes with the plan. For example Grilled salmon in olive oil/spices, brown rice, and mixed veggies. This would be a meal with protein, carbs, healthy fat, and veggies.

GPHOENIX Posts: 2,839
8/23/13 3:03 P

Thank you all SO MUCH! You have given me some wonderful advice. I appreciate your time. Best of luck on your journeys to health :-)

MISSRUTH Posts: 4,291
8/20/13 7:25 A

Personally, I like the "My Plate" guideline for planning lunch and dinner. And then I'd agree with the suggestion of a cookbook with meal plans. I have the Sparkpeople Cookbook and it includes meal plans in the back. I haven't seen the Spark Solution but as Becky said, it also includes meal plans. Gives you ideas of how to put together meals for the day and also recipes to try.

My only caution about a "nutritionist" is that I don't think there are many standards for calling yourself a nutritionist. They're not like registered dieticians or certified diabetes educators, who have to take classes and pass exams etc. In many (if not all) states, I could go ahead and call myself a nutritionist-- and I've had no special training at all; just stuff I've read and learned along the way.

CERTHIA SparkPoints: (22,539)
Fitness Minutes: (16,207)
Posts: 770
8/20/13 6:15 A

The tracker here on SP is very helpful when planning meals. You can quickly get an overview of how your meals/day adds up. I found it took some time to add everything to the tracker in the beginning, but now I find it very effortless to use.

I have definitely been researching on the internet tons. I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes when pregnant 5 years ago, and this turned out to be a huge blessing to me diet-wise. I HAD to learn how to plan very balanced and nutritious meals, and quickly. I could not have been more motivated, as the health of my baby was on the line.

In addition to the motivation I was offered great resources; monthly meetings with a endocrinologist and a 2 hour meeting with a diabetes nurse specializing in nutrition to help me plan my diet. Having worked as a cook for many years, I pretty much had the basis down regarding putting together balanced tasty meals, but I needed some tweaking to make them healthy and suitable for controlling diabetes as well.

You don't need a lot of cooking experience to combine a cubed apple, high protein Greek yogurt and a small handful pumpkin seeds, still it makes a healthy balanced snack/meal. For dinner my plate usually consists of 1/2 non-starchy vegetables/salad stir-fried or sprinkled in healthy fats, 1/4 lean protein and 1/4 carbohydrates (starchy vegetables, grains). I like to keep it simple. Good luck!

Edited by: CERTHIA at: 8/20/2013 (06:18)
8/19/13 9:15 P

I would begin with a cookbook that not only contains recipes; but also meal plans. You can see how the plans were "put together." The new book at Sparkpeople....The Spark Solution has a complete 2 week meal plan, 3 meals and snacks daily and all the recipes.

Your SP Registered Dietitian

BUNNYKICKS Posts: 2,433
8/19/13 7:38 P

You might try getting a good basic cookbook - Spark sells one, I also have the Weight Watchers New Complete Cookbook and it has some really good-simple-delicious recipes. There are also lots of online resources, like the website, to get recipe ideas from. Or try the local library - they always have a cookbook section, so you can try-before-you-buy... maybe flip through some back issues of Cooking Light magazine, for example...

Now this whole notion of planning out nutritious meals, yes if you are inexperienced or otherwise not confident in the kitchen, it would probably be worth it to talk to a nutritionist or dietitian to get some grounding in "what you need" - you need some basics first, and from there you can build up your knowledge by reading recipe books/sites or taking classes.

GPHOENIX Posts: 2,839
8/19/13 6:03 P

I am struggling to learn how to plan healthy, well-balanced meals. How do you learn how to prepare meals/menus for yourself. Did you go to a Nutritionist? Did you attend cooking classes? or did you scour the library, internet and any other available resource? Where would you recommend that I begin?

I would consider myself to be a fairly inexperienced in the kitchen. So I am looking for basic recipes that take no longer than 45 minutes of prep time. Any suggestions or hints I would greatly appreciate. Thanks so much.

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