March 27, 2012 at 3:00 pm #19009
Hey guys hope this is the right spot for this post. Anyway I need to start eating healthier. I’m not really looking to lose weight, just to feel better and be healthy. I hate veggies so naturally I don’t eat many. I basically only like asparagus, broccoli, corn, carrots, and spinach, but I am willing to try something better. How can I incorporate veggies more? Also I am gone 12 hours a day so I really don’t have time to cook full meals. I guess I just need suggestions on healthy snacks I can start with, and maybe simple lunches or ideas what I can go get at lunch. It usually just winds up as soup haha so I need more of a variety. Sorry if this sounds dumb, as I probably should have figured this out by now, but I trust you guys have stuff that actually tastes good and is good for you!March 27, 2012 at 3:17 pm #19011
Have you thought about juicing? Its a nice way to get a lot of nutritional benefits and you can add in familiar and even sweet flavors like Orange and ginger to get the benefits. And if you like the taste of spinach, let me tell you that spinach juice is AMAZING. A whole bunch juiced gives you like 2 glasses and its no hassle to down that right up.
I also really liked these ideas: http://thehairpin.com/2012/03/how-to-bring-your-lunch-to-work-a-guideMarch 27, 2012 at 3:28 pm #19013
Those mini carrots you can buy at the grocery store are an awesome snack. Also unsalted nuts are a great healthy and filling snack. We joined a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) and it has been a great way to get more veggies into our diet. Basically you pay a farmer up front for a share of his crop (good or bad) and each week you get a bundle of fresh farm picked veggies. We’ve been eating all kinds of stuff we had never thought to try. Kale, swiss chard, leeks, etc. Since it’s pre-paid for we make our selves eat it- otherwise we’re throwing money away! Most of the food is so fresh all you need to do is sautee it with a little olive oil and salt and peper or bake it and it’s delicious. Check out the link- it explains some about CSA’s.
We also do Meatless Monday’s in out house. It’s a rough day but you eat a lot more veggies- you have to work to stay away from just eating pasta all day. The Meatless Monday website has some good veggie-full recipies you could try.March 27, 2012 at 3:29 pm #19014
Ha ha I read that hairpin post about pecans a few Weeks ago then went straight out and bought a show cooker. I recommend them! I am a very lazy vegetarian and it had been a great help.April 1, 2012 at 12:38 pm #19786
You said you hate veges, but i am gonna give you a cooking option for veges, a sure fire way to enjoy them! My parents love to grill, so what they do is chop up a bunch of veges, baste them in olive oil and salt and put them in the oven for 30-45 minutes to bake them. They are absolutely delicious! We usually use sweet onions, asparagus, brussel sprouts, eggplant, peppers, sweet potatoes, chickpeas(not a vege, but they taste delicious when baked in the oven), and i think some others. But you can adjust the veges to your liking, we didn’t use carrots, but i have had carrots grilled the same way, and they are equally delicious!
Other healthy options is to eat fewer red meats, opt for for chicken and salmon or any other fish, you can get some great fish/meat rubs and marinate them. Eat whole grains, i LOVE Dempsters bread, especially the sunflower flax loaf. They have lots of options so go crazy! Nuts are good too, i usually it roasted nuts, as in raw form they make my throat all itchy. But i recently tried raw cashews, awesome! Of course as healthy as nuts can be, you need to eat small amounts per day, as they still contain a lot of fat.
Lots of fruit, you can do fruit smoothies with fresh or frozen, make a large batch and drink it throughout the week.
Greek yogurt is apparently really good, my mom and brother eat it all the time, it is lower in fat and i think higher in protein. You can mix it with some fruit and honey. I have tried cottage cheese with honey and frozen berries, very good! Cottage cheese on its own isn’t the greatest flavor, but mixed with other ingredients can be made delicious.
Since you have long work days, i would suggest on weekends, if you aren’t working, to make large quantities of food, as you can then freeze them and re-heat them throughout the week. Or use slowcookers that cook the meals throughout the day, so when you get home a meal is ready! And i guess picking snacks such as your fav veges, nuts, fruit, granola and yogurt etc.
Basically in order to eat healthy don’t eat foods/drinks that are high in sugar, try to get as many natural ingredients as possible, decrease the use of butter and go for olive oil or canola oil when you bake or cook, but use small quantities don’t lather your food in the oil as it kind of defeats the purpose of using it:P Anything processed is a no-no. It really takes a lot of will power to make these dietary changes, the cravings come and go, so what you are doing is great! Good luck!April 1, 2012 at 2:33 pm #19788
i would try to get into seasonal eating… you only mentioned 5 veges you like, which im sure isnt the case if you tried more. only eat what is in season, that way it is fresher, cheaper, and more nutritionally dense. also, if you dont like something, try to make it a different way. there is basically no vege I dont like, but there are some that I only like prepared a certain way.April 1, 2012 at 7:39 pm #19794
Dandy- I had a high metabolism growing up so I got into the awful habit of not eating vegetables. I have turned that habit around quite a bit, but as with any life change, my top advice to you would be to take it slow and gradual, and don’t beat yourself up! Behavior takes a long time to change, and feeling bad about yourself when you aren’t perfect doesn’t help. I can’t tell you how many friends I know who suddenly decide they’re going to train like rambo and eat like a rabbit and well, it doesn’t stick of course and all that ends up happening is they feel bad for not sticking to it.
What’s worked for me is to gradually add veggies into things I already like. Or have them as part of a meal I like. Just little things to start making them more palatable. Like I’ll order a chili with veggies in it, or I’ll not ask that the veggies be taken off a sandwich I am ordering. If a meal comes with two sides, I’ll get fries for one because I love them and life is short, but as a trade off I’ll get steamed veggies as the other side. It sounds small, but I’m telling you, if long-term health is what you’re looking for, you’ve got to not be drastic about things.
Eventually I learned to love many vegetables. I love eggplant, peppers, broccoli, mushrooms, and kale. But there are still some I still don’t like, like olives (yuck!), or cauliflower. Diversity in veggies is really good for you, but you can’t force it.
Also, if you’re trying something for the first time (or any time really), do your best to eat it fresh and when it’s in season. It will usually taste much better and be better for you.
Oh and, my last tip would be to not shy away from frozen veggies. I usually only buy groceries and cook for myself, so I know that buying fresh veggies can sometimes end up being a waste because they go bad so quickly. The methods of freezing veggies nowadays supposedly locks in more nutrition than how they used to do it, plus it lasts much longer in your freezer. So if I’m feeling like I need some veggies, I’ll heat up some frozen veggies and toss the in with what I’m cooking.April 1, 2012 at 8:54 pm #19796
I’m not the healthiest eater in the world but I do love vegetables. As snacks, I tend to go for raw carrot sticks (no ranch since I think white sauces are gross) or apple slices with a little peanut butter (yum!). For dinner options, I love to add a romaine side salad with diced tomatoes, shredded italian blend cheese, croutons, cucumber chunks, and italian dressing. If I add some grilled chicken on top of the salad, it becomes a meal in itself. I don’t do meatless meals. I buy Tyson Grilled and Ready chicken strips in the freezer section when they are on sale and I have coupons. Usually about $5/lb and all you have to do is put them in a nonstick skillet for about 5 min and they are ready to go on top of a salad.
Another veggie dish I like for dinner is green beans and tomatoes sauteed in a little olive oil and seasoned with salt, pepper, and a little parmesan cheese. It’s a great side dish for baked chicken.April 1, 2012 at 8:56 pm #19797
For those of you who are very anti-processed food, those Grilled and Ready chicken strips are 100% preservative-free and low fat. They keep for awhile because they are frozen. It’s one of the healthiest coupon items I’ve ever discovered.April 8, 2012 at 9:48 pm #20376
With my commute to/from work + time at work, I’m away from the house for about 12 hours/day myself, but in the past few months I’ve been trying to slowly make the swap to “eating clean” and ridding my diet of too many processed foods. I *am* trying to lose weight, BUT I feel a lot better on the days that I don’t stuff my face with crap.
My favorite way to combat the “too little time” ordeal is to cook a couple big meals once every week, portion them up into separate tupperware containers, and store ‘em in the fridge or freezer so all I need to do is re-heat at work or when I get home. My favorite way to make sure I get a lot of veggies is to make meals that “hide” my veggies or otherwise taste unhealthy. Some quick recipes I like to make off the top of my head are…
Breaded Zucchini Sticks (BTW, these taste like fried food, but they’re baked, and AWESOME!)
1. Cut one zucchini up into matchstick shaped pieces.
2. In a Ziploc bag, mix 1/3 cup Italian seasoning breadcrumbs, 2 tbsp parmesan cheese, salt, pepper, and a teensy bit of garlic powder.
3. Coat the zucchini with breadcrumbs. I’m lazy, so I do this “Shake ‘n’ Bake style,” basically by throwing the zucchini in the bag with the breadcrumbs and shaking it ’til they’re covered in breadcrumbs.
4. Spray a cookie sheet with olive oile cooking spray, arrange zucchini sticks on the sheet, lightly spray the sticks with a little more cooking spray, and bake in the oven at 450 for about 20-25 minutes ’til they’re golden brown.
Broccoli Pasta With Chicken
1. Bring a pot of water to a boil. Add 1lb. pasta (“short” pastas like penne, bowties, or rigatoni work best) and the florets of a few heads of lettuce to the boiling water. This isn’t an exact science, but I’ll typically use ~6 heads of broccoli for every pound of pasta. Cook the broccoli and pasta according to the pasta directions, and before you drain, reserve about 1 cup of water from the pot.
2. Drain the pasta. While you are draining it in the sink, put the pot back on the stove and sautee a few cloves of garlic in olive oil. Keep the flame on low!
3. Add pasta and broccoli back to the pot. Start mixing, and as you go, add parmesan cheese to taste (I probably use about 1/2 cup) and the reserve water, and mash the broccoli up. It’ll sort of coat the pasta. Add salt and pepper to taste. Sometimes my family will add some yogurt to make it “creamier” without the added calories from real cream.
4. To make it a balanced meal, add grilled chicken. For 1 lb of pasta, I’ll usually grill up a dozen or so of the frozen chicken tenderloins we get in bulk at Costco, adding a little salt/pepper to them before chopping them up into bit sized pieces and mixing ‘em up with the rest of the ingredients.
Dirty Rice With Ground Turkey
1. In a large skillet, saute in olive oil (about 1TBSP) 1 clove minced garlic, 1 finely chopped white onion, 2 finely chopped stalks of celery, 1 finely chopped red bell pepper, and finely chopped 1 green bell pepper. I normally add them to the pan exactly in that order.
2. In a pot, cook 1 cup of rice in chicken broth according to package directions. Add salt, thyme, paprika, cayenne pepper (all to taste depending on how much spice you like), and one bay leaf to the rice when you cook it.
3. Once the veggies in the skillet are starting to look cooked (~10 mins), add 1 lb. of ground turkey and a bay leaf to your skillet. Once the turkey is crumbled, browned, and mixed in with the veggies, add salt, thyme, paprika, and cayenne pepper (again, to taste). Continue to cook until meat and veggies are thoroughly cooked (~10 minutes).
4. When the rice is done cooking, add it to your skillet. Mix the whole thing up and adjust spices to taste.
5. Depending on how lean the turkey you use is, you might need to add a bit more olive oil to the whole thing. I usually get the “93/7″ turkey, which is nice because it has that little bit of fat that sizzle in the pan and kinda makes the grease “feel” just slightly greasy and adds to the flavor of everything, but it’s still a lean meat so it’s really not bad for you at all. If you get the “99/1″ turkey, it’s a bit more dry and adding a little olive gives it that “grease” that it lacks, but olive oil is wonderful for you (in moderation, of course – at most, this entire dish uses 2TBSP of oil).
Hope these recipes made sense/appeal to you/help out a bit! The last two make a ton of food, enough to feed you for at least 5 or 6 meals each. They sound time consuming, but they’re really not! About 30 minutes apiece, and you’ve taken care of dinner for an entire week (or, if you’re feeing a family, less).April 8, 2012 at 9:52 pm #20377
Hm, can’t edit the above post, but it should read that I try to hide my veggies OR eat veggies cooked in a way that taste unhealthy but aren’t (such as the zucchini sticks above, which I also forgot to mention that the bread crumb mixture will be enough for ~3 zucchinis, so you can simply store the excess until you make more!)
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