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VIOLETTE1's Photo VIOLETTE1 SparkPoints: (0)
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6/29/09 11:23 P

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We do this too now. One of the best tips for me is to make a dish for 6 people, even if it is only us 2. Then that is lunches for the week, or dinner for nights when we're too busy. A lot of recipes can be frozen and retain their taste - try soups, chilis, lasagnas, casseroles. When you make brown rice, freeze the extras and you have a quick side for another night.

Bringing my morning coffee, breakfast and lunch saves at least $10 a day compared to city prices. And I know that the food I'm bringing is healthy and nutritious. I used to have a $50 weekly budget for lunches and now the cash in my wallet stays in my wallet at work.

"There has never been a better time to DREAM."
- Cirque du Soleil 25 years

 current weight: 153.6 
6/29/09 3:44 P

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I grew up with all of this being common sense stuff. Specifically that it was part of my household on my grandparents as well ... So the idea of only eating at restaurants etc has always seemed alien to me at least. Not that I will pass up some good Chinese food out since it is a pain in the ass to make. (Well some of it is ...)

I've been told repeatedly I have some serious old fashioned approaches to foods. Including the "still working on the farm" portion concepts.

At least my slow cooker now is electric and not a large cauldron style pot sitting over a fire or wood stove. :)

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BARBARA_BOO's Photo BARBARA_BOO Posts: 9,794
6/29/09 4:05 A

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Actually, I've learned to do a lot of this stuff, and it really relieves a lot of stress. The meals are tastier, cheaper, not a hassle, healthy and ready when I need them. These preparations and methods make it much easier to eat right.

I especially enjoy the slow cooker.

Boo, Barb, BSue, Queen Legarathien of Nargothrond


~Team Leader, Separation of Church and Weight

~Team Leader, The Darker Side of SparkPeople

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6/24/09 11:56 P

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But while reading this you need to have that 1950's era educational video annoucer's voice to make it really have impact. :)

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KRISCHICK's Photo KRISCHICK Posts: 8,470
6/24/09 9:34 P

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Cooking Healthy Foods in a Hurry
Make It Healthy - Make It Easy
By Shereen Jegtvig,
Updated: March 16, 2009

he task of cooking a big meal after a full day of work might seem kind of daunting. You might be tempted to make a side trip to the closest fast food restaurant or maybe order a pizza. While that might be OK once a month or so, don't make it a habit. Those fast foods are loaded with saturated fats, sodium, sugar and calories.

Does that mean you are doomed to spend an hour and a half in the kitchen every night if you want to feed your family healthy meals? Nope. Not at all. Some tasty and healthy shortcuts can make cooking easy and delicious. All that is required is the right kitchen equipment and a little smart shopping at your grocery store to make healthy choices.
Here are some tips for healthy, quick and tasty meals:

Need dinner now because you are in a big hurry? Don't go the fast food route; stop at your grocery store instead. Most grocery stores have deli sections with lots of dishes that are ready to heat and serve. Be sure to choose foods that arenít loaded with creamy sauces or gravies, and don't buy the fried chicken and greasy potato wedges. Instead, pick up a hot fresh rotisserie chicken. These chickens are low in fat, often nicely seasoned and all you have to do is carve the bird and serve it with vegetables and a salad.

The freezer section of your store has several varieties of healthy vegetables. There are blends of vegetables with their own sauces (watch for fat and sodium) as well as brands that steam right in your microwave. My favorite is Birds Eye Steamfresh vegetables.

Make your own salad at the grocery store's salad bar or grab some greens and pre-cut vegetables. Wash the greens and fresh vegetables, toss and serve. Serve with low-fat salad dressing on the side.

What if you have a little more time to prepare dinner?

Choose fresh meats that are ready to cook in your oven. Go to the meat department of the grocery store and look for skinless seasoned chicken breasts or healthy salmon fillets. Place them in a baking dish and pop it in the oven. There is virtually no prep time and little clean up so you have plenty of time to make your side dishes.

Use a vegetable steamer/rice cooker that can prepare two healthy side dishes at once. The steamer does the work while you relax or get your other errands done. Get a steamer with a built-in timer so your vegetables will be ready when you get home.

Buy a slow cooker. Make your own hearty soup with some low-sodium broth, chunks of lean beef or chicken, potatoes, carrots, onions, garlic and celery or try an easy slow cooker recipe. You can also buy dinner mixes meant for your crock pot. But read the labels; they usually are high in fat and sodium.

Do you have a bread maker hiding on the back shelf of your pantry? Bring it out and make your own fresh bread. Set a timer so that when you get home the bread will be warm and ready to serve with a meal or a simple bowl of soup. There are boxes of bread mixes all ready to go; just add a bit of water and some canola oil and press the start button. Have fun with your bread mixes by adding extra ingredients such as a quarter cup of chopped nuts or shredded cheese. You can also substitute a cup of room-temperature beer for the water and maybe some chopped chili peppers for a little kick. My favorite bread mixes are Hodgson Millís Nine Grain Bread mix, and Honey Whole Wheat.

What about buying frozen meals?

When you go to the freezer section of your grocery store, you will find lots of frozen meals. Some are small and low in calories, others are huge with lots of calories and fat and high in sodium. Lean Cuisine, Weight Watchers and Healthy Choice offer frozen foods that are healthier than most other brands. Make them even healthier by adding some extra vegetables or salad and a slice of whole grain bread.

The best frozen meals are ones you make yourself. If you can devote a whole weekend in your kitchen (and you have a big freezer), you can try once a month cooking. As always, choose healthy recipes that are low in calories and high in nutrition. Look for recipes that use lean meats, poultry or fish and lots of vegetables.

If you don't have a whole weekend to prepare meals, but you do have a few hours, find a meal preparation store such as Let's Dish! These stores offer delicious recipes, high quality ingredients, helpful staff, and best of all, someone else cleans up. Look for a meal preparation store near you.

So you see, with a little preparation and a healthy grocery list, you can enjoy healthy, delicious and easy-to-make meals at home.


If you focus on results, you will never change. If you focus on change, you will get results. Jack Dixon

If we all did the things we are capabale of doing we would literally astound ourselves.
Thomas Edison

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