Cooking Thread Spinoff # 1,000,000 :) - Cooking for 1, Picky Eater, Trying 4 Health

Discussion in 'Teacher Time Out' started by chicagoturtle, Aug 12, 2012.

  1. chicagoturtle

    chicagoturtle Fanatic

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    Aug 12, 2012

    So.

    I have been "playing" with the same 10 - 15 pounds for a few years now. I probably need to loose about 45 pounds. I am pretty muscular on my lower half- so my doctor would be okay with 35 pounds.

    I have been following Weight Watchers on and off- but I have trouble sticking to it long term. i do REALLY well for awhile and then I loose it.

    I live alone and I will say I have had much better success in the past year or so with learning to cook- but I have a long way to go. I can follow the WW recipes from their site and apps and use cookbooks, but I end up sometimes having MANY DISASTERS:woot:. I also find it hard to make "just the right amount" either I am sick of something and end up wasting food cause I just can't eat anymore and order out or I don't make enough of something and end out of food.

    At my disposal I have:
    Crock Pot - (Smaller size) I think 2.5 quarts. I tend to use it on Sunday nights as I don't like to leave it on when I am not home.
    Oven/Stove
    The "Broiler" in my oven is towards the floor- which is not how it was on my old apartment. It makes it difficult to use.
    Microwave (But I'd like to get away from using it).
    George Foreman
    Cuisinart Chopper (That I really need to learn to use).
    Blender
    Various dishes, pans and pyrex.


    What I will NOT eat:
    Cow Products
    Pork Products
    Turkey that is "Smoked" or anything "Smoked"

    What I will eat:
    Dairy Products (I am trying REALLY hard to limit consumption).
    Variety of Vegetables/Fruits and I have experimented with many
    Vegetarian Beans /Rice
    (I use canned- as I have had trouble making beans- I'm that bad- but I am willing to try again).
    I will cook/eat Chicken- but it grosses me out, so I wash my hands like I have OCD with it.
    I have cooked Salmon.
    Deli Meat
    Hummus


    What I like to eat/ have experimented with-
    Soups in the winter or Gazpacho in the Summer - I make a lot of soup
    Fruit
    Greek Yogurt
    Some Vegetables
    Guacamole
    Chipotle Burrito Bowls
    Turkey/Cheese Sandwiches
    Quinoa
    I will make salad- but I sometimes feel like the lettuce even when cleaned in a salad spinner tastes "dirty"
    Junk Food (Chips, Candy, Popcorn, Ice Cream)
    I try to eat whole grain instead of white foods (brown rice, 100% Wheat Bread).

    I am trying HARD to eat certain products organic. I prefer to use real sugar in small amounts in my coffee to fake sugars. I probably could be certified as a Cheese Addict and I would be totally fine eating only Grilled Cheese sandwiches.

    I shop mainly at Trader Joes and Whole Foods, but I also go to some of the local Mexican Groceries and Farmer's Markets when I can. I will also shop at Target. I try to avoid Dominik's/Jewel, which are the main supermarkets in the city.

    My resolution for the school year is going to be eating healthier more than not and try not to waste food. Meaning eat what I buy and not go out to lunch/order food and order dinner etc. I also want to make sure I eat a snack at the end of the day as it is a HUGE problem for me if I leave work late and then by the time I take the bus home I'll get off and be so hungry that I just want to stop at the Taquaria or pizza place etc.

    Typical Breakfast
    Oatmeal, with banana or fruit- made with water.
    Coffee, with a bit of cream and sugar. I am going to try to substitute with a non-soy creamer and see how that goes for the next few weeks.

    Lunches usually include:
    Soup or Quinoa or Broccoli Macaroni (mostly WW recipes)
    Greek Yogurt
    Sometimes for lunch- sometimes as a snack
    Fruit
    Piece of Cheese

    Dinner is usually "lunch" like more soup or more mac and cheese or more Quinoa and some veggies- but mostly I get in a rut and order out. I also stock up on frozen salmon from Trader Joes, and will eat veggie burgers (but only certain types) and chicken patties - grilled.

    A few things I have done to make things easier. I hate cutting onions- so I realized you can get them pre-chopped.
    I tend to cook/do laundry on Sundays- but I have experimented with changing this so that I go to the store on the way home from work on Monday and then cook Monday and Tuesday. (Though this means I might order lunch on Monday).

    Basically if anyone has any recipe suggestions that might fit my picky eating habits, are Weight Watchers friendly/relatively healthy, filling, easy to cut the recipe down and are not to complicated, I welcome any suggestions.

    Thanks for anyone who has gotten this far! And for any suggestions.
    If you are familiar with WW- I have the lowest level of points to spend per day (26). I am fairly active- but I slacked off from May - July. So I tend to get extra points for exercising.

    Thanks.....
     
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  3. mollydoll

    mollydoll Connoisseur

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    Aug 12, 2012

    Run to Amazon and get the book Appetite for Reduction. I was a tester and have made almost everything. The recipes are easy, tasty, inexpensive, healthy, nutritionist reviewed, and WW friendly.

    The recipes hit a lot of your likes.

    I love the pea soup, falafel, tamarind tempeh, salads, Chimichurri tofu (great for lunch wraps). So much great stuff.
     
  4. chicagoturtle

    chicagoturtle Fanatic

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    Aug 12, 2012

    Thanks for the tip :) going to amazon right now.

    I have both PCOS and Endometriosis so I have decided to try to avoid soy. I used to eat a lot more tofu.

    I love falafel and mediteranean dishes. Like I'm really picky, but at the same time I will eat "ethnic foods."


    I should add I have a very low spice tolerance.
     
  5. waterfall

    waterfall Virtuoso

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    Aug 12, 2012

    I am way more picky than you! I have the same struggle with cooking just for myself. I have a hard time making the right portions and I really dislike leftovers, but on the other hand it's kind of annoying to spend so much time cooking one meal that you're done with in 10 minutes. I am trying to eat less processed foods and get more nutrition in. I HATE vegetables and only eat them because I know I should. I don't think you'd be interested in my favorite recipes because I really like spicy :)

    For cookbooks I'd recommend looking into Devin Aleksander or the Biggest Loser books. For an avid cook, these are NOT the books for you- they're really simple, basic recipes. For someone like me who hates cooking and wants something done quickly, they're great. They also take many popular "junk" foods and provide recipes for much healthier versions. Again, for an avid health nut who only eats veggies and tofu, not the best choice, but for a "foodie" like me it's more realistic options that I actually want to make/eat!
     
  6. mollydoll

    mollydoll Connoisseur

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    Aug 12, 2012

    There are a lot of soy free recipes, and all of them can be adjusted to taste. I'm a spice wuss myself, so I cut chile amounts and use mild curry powder.

    The legume/grain recipes are great.

    Theppk.com blog has some sample recipes.

    The falafel is nice because it's low far, baked, and quick. Of course it isn't as tasty as the full fat, fried authentic falafel, but this one is perfect for a healthy lunch. I eat it with dill hummus for lunch.

    (veggies and tofu aren't always healthy. It all depends what you do with them!)
     
  7. chicagoturtle

    chicagoturtle Fanatic

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    Aug 12, 2012


    Cooking for me is very time consuming. It will say a recipe takes an hour and it takes me 2. Okay maybe not that much longer- but it takes me longer as I sometimes have to look up how to cut the vegetables etc. I would like to say I like cooking- and I make it fun by putting on Pandora- but it does take a long time.

    A lot of people in this city do go to the grocery store daily (many people rely on public transportation- and I am one of them), but it can be one more thing to do after a busy day at work, you know?

    I don't LOVE vegetables either, but I have found a lot I do like. Some I will only eat cooked in soups.

    I have a lot of south beach diet books, I did that VERY successfully- but had trouble sticking with it long term- but I don't like eating the artificial stuff anymore. There are some strains of cancer through my family and I just don't like the preliminary reports of aspartame, sweet and low, splenda etc - even IF they were only in rats. Though choosing to stick with real sugar could lead to other problems with the PCOS- diabetes- so it is a struggle to know what is right.

    So what I am asking I guess is do the versions of the Biggest Loser etc use a lot of "artificial sweeteners" etc to make the recipes taste good?
     
  8. chicagoturtle

    chicagoturtle Fanatic

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    Aug 12, 2012

    Yes- I always cut down on the spices (even black pepper).
     
  9. waterfall

    waterfall Virtuoso

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    I honestly don't make many of the desserts. I don't have that big of a sweet tooth and usually crave salty stuff, so the splenda isn't a problem for me. The regular recipes are all "real" ingredients. Devin Alexander's book usually recommends lower fat cheese, but even if you used the full fat it still wouldn't be that many calories since it's all about the portion. You should be able to google some recipes of hers (just search her by name) and see if it's things you'd be interested in. She has one dessert in there that I make sometimes and it doesn't have splenda or anything in it, but I think some of the others do.
     
  10. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    Aug 12, 2012

    Me, too!

    I'm a very picky eater. I like things that are good for me, but I also like things that aren't good for me. I also love to cook, and I'm pretty good at it as well.

    I count calories, and I don't worry about the other stuff, except for purines and protein, since I'm limited on both of those due to gout and a kidney issue. I wouldn't mind leftovers if I could freeze them, but I don't have a deep freeze, just the regular freezer on my fridge. It's small and stuff doesn't keep well in it.

    I do grow a small garden in the summer, but the drought this year ruined it. I didn't get very much at all. I live in the boonies, so I only go to the grocery every 4-6 weeks for a stock up trip. I'll run to the local grocery for perishable items once every week or two.

    I've recently found some "cooking for one" places online that have had some good ideas. I also found that I could modify some "cooking for two" recipes or share with my mom. (She lives across town, and she also lives alone.) I'm not on my regular computer, which is where I have the bookmarks saved, but I'm sure you could find some sites by searching. That's what I did to find them originally.

    Planning meals ahead of time helps me. I try to take the time every Sunday afternoon to plan my meals for the week, just to make sure I have things taken out of the freezer or that I have all the ingredients. I'm not close enough to a store to just run out and get something if I find that I'm out of something at the last minutes. I don't even drive past the one grocery on my way to work either.

    Sometimes I'll not be in the mood for something on the day I had it listed, but most times it's an easy switch with something else. If I don't have some kind of plan in place, I'd just eat canned soup, cereal, or a sandwich every night.
     
  11. chicagoturtle

    chicagoturtle Fanatic

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    Aug 12, 2012

    I have become less picky over the past few years.

    However I am one of those "I have a standard meal" at ethnic restaurants people.

    For example at Thai places I generally get Pad Thai.
     
  12. mollydoll

    mollydoll Connoisseur

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    Aug 12, 2012

    I'm not diabetic, but I will get unpleasantly sick if I eat more than ~10-15 g of sugar at a time. I suppose it all depends how much you can have safely.

    I just use sugar. One cookie isn't that high in sugar; I just can't eat half the batch. I also cut the sugar by about 1/3-1/4th in recipes by just leaving it out. If you are used to super sweet tastes, it needs getting used to, but tastes adjust.

    I also replace half the oil in muffins with unsweetened natural applesauce. This adds some sweetness to help with the reduced sugar.
     
  13. Jayneorama

    Jayneorama Rookie

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    Aug 12, 2012

    So, have you heard of Wildtree? It is a line of 'healthy' convenience food, with no MSG, trans-fat, fillers, artificial flavoring, coloring, sweeteners, etc. All-natural ingredients go into everything, and if you find a consultant, you could get it shipped directly to you, and keep staples on hand to make quick and easy meals.

    You can look up consultants at wildtree.com that can tell you more.
     

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