Eating well when there's no time

Discussion in 'Teacher Time Out' started by dizzykates, Jan 28, 2008.

  1. dizzykates

    dizzykates Habitué

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    I am sorry, but I have been thinking about this a while and I need to say something. I am really having a hard time with people at work who are constantly eating their microwave soup, lean cuisines, granola bars, or nothing and then commenting how wonderful my lunch looks and how healthy it appears. Then they go onto "if only I had time, I could eat like that too" and it ends up somewhere around how they can't lose weight as it is and if they ate like this they would be even more over weight. I'm sorry, is there not a correlation between eating good, non-processed, varied foods and a healthy weight? And how about if you spent the time in the kitchen cooking instead of driving to mcdonalds or arby's for your dinner tonight because that is all you have "time" for?? I am not blessed with tons of time, I work fulltime too and I'm new in this position, I have a lot to learn. I also take two graduate courses and have a home to keep up. I just make different choices. For example, I cooked a chicken in the slow cooker all day with some carrots. I came home sliced some bread an threw some salad in a bowl. Wonderful meal. Guess what I am having for lunch tomorrow? The leftover chicken is now off the bones and simmering in a pot with the rest of the carrots and an onion, I will be having soup the next few days. Followed by spaghetti or something to finish off the week. It's NOT hard!! You just have to think about it and go grocery shopping periodically. My husband is shocked that we have good food each night. I kid you not, the phrases "Where did this come from? and We have that?" have come out of his mouth. If you have the right ingredients you can make almost anything. Grr...throw in some brown rice, salad, and fresh fruit and people are really impressed.

    :sorry: I just had to vent...:thanks:
     
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  3. terptoteacher

    terptoteacher Connoisseur

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    It's all in the planning. You can have healthy good tasting food for lunch if you plan for it. Like you said, left overs are great, but if you don't plan your week of food, you won't cook and you won't have left overs.

    My mom taught me to plan for a week's worth of dinners and buy for them. Make sure meat is defrosted the night before so that it's ready for you when you get home from work.

    (not that I do what my mom said to!!! My dh cooks!)
     
  4. GlendaLL

    GlendaLL Aficionado

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    Good for you, dizzykates! I am curious if you grew up with a good cook in the house. My mother was one of the best cooks ever! So, lucky me, I picked up a lot of her good cooking habits. Now, I prepare a nice evening meal every night for the two of us.

    Maybe you could share some quick cooking tips with your co-workers. It really does just take some pre-planning and basic cooking skills.
     
  5. dizzykates

    dizzykates Habitué

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    My mom always cooked and we didn't eat out much. However, she is also a single mom who kept us in sports, church and doing chores. She worked full time and we had a house with a yard. I don't know...I just wish people would think about what they want in life. Do you want good food? Make it a priority. :)
     
  6. Danny'sNanny

    Danny'sNanny Connoisseur

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    I get this at class too.

    One day, all my classmates will say "Oh, you're so much skinnier than me, I wish I could be your size"

    The next, they're munching on bags of doritos they got from the vending machine, saying "How do you have time to cook dinner every night?!?"

    Ummm...yeah, I didn't just magically become this size. I work at it. I plan healthy dinners ahead of time. I chop tons of veggies at the beginning of each week, so I don't have to later. And I don't visit the vending machines. ;)
     
  7. MissFrizzle

    MissFrizzle Virtuoso

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    I always thank God for a crockpot. :D I can't afford to eat out and I don't want to be unhealthy so I really plan out meals for the week on Sunday. I usually cook 2 or three meals and then have leftovers that I fill in with a salad for the rest of the week.

    I like to cook, so it's not bothersome.
     
  8. little317

    little317 Groupie

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    I got a Magic Bullet at Christmas, so I have made some yummy shakes to take with me.
     
  9. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    Man, I have got to get me a crock pot!
     
  10. bettyb

    bettyb Companion

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    The crock pot is the best! The food cooks all day and is fantastic. There is a four ingredient cookbook that I use that helps a lot. I agree it isn't hard to be healthy. It's just a different way of thinking.
     
  11. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    I agree that people w/ hectic lifestyles could eat healtheir if they really wanted to. They have to decide whether to spend their valuable time to prepare good meals or spend that time on something else. No offense to anyone, but I think some (notice I said some) people are a bit lazy in this department. Getting fast food on the way home 4-5 days a week isn't good at all. I can eat a little healthier myself & I'm continuously working on that.

    I'll conclude w/ this, health is the MOST IMPORTANT thing on this earth. If we don't have good health, we don't have anything because we won't be able to do anything. We'll be sitting up in some hospital.
     
  12. bettyb

    bettyb Companion

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    I mix yogurt with wheat germ, ground flaxseed, cinnamon, chopped walnuts, and fruit (like a banana). It takes a few minutes to stir it together, but it is very tasty. I use the Yoplait yogurts that already have fruit in them. My husband thinks it is better than dessert.
     
  13. dizzykates

    dizzykates Habitué

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    mmm...I love yogurt! I pour it over fruit or mix it in smoothies all the time! I was at the store last night and saw all sorts of frozen pizzas and precooked chickens going home at 7 at night. I guess they needed to eat. I am glad I'm not the only one who experiences this and that there are others out there who realize it's a choice. I totally agree with the comment about health is the most important thing you have. I think unfortunately people take it for granted. Life isn't necessarily meant to be easy, besides, life has gotten "easier" with all these fast foods, drive throughs, and technology right? What about thinking about all the hard labor we have given up since having walk everywhere and tending large yards and gardens are a thing of the past.
     
  14. TeacherShelly

    TeacherShelly Aficionado

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    You can try out a free menu at the site !

    I've had a really tough time making dinner each night since starting full time student teaching. I have twin girls in kindergarten in a different district, so I have to pick them up from daycare on my way home. With the meetings and planning with my MT after school, by the time I get home it is 4:45. I've been up since 4:30 doing my schoolwork and lesson preparation, plus making lunches and breakfast before leaving at 7:15 for school, so (poor me! :p ) by the evening I am fried.

    Until January I was just half-time and made our meals. I am very big on nutrition, especially for my kids. So I had to search for a solution. I finally subscribed to "Dinner Diva's Menu Mailers." They send a weekly menu along with a shopping list each week. It's $10 for three months of menus. Luckily the dishes are tasty (besides balanced and healthful) and I only have to go shopping on Saturday to have everything I need. The best part is not having to think, "What's for dinner?" I know what it is, and I have all the ingredients on hand.

    They have different menus (vegetarian, heart healthy, regular, carb counters...) and every week's menu has a bonus soup recipe and at least one slow cooker day. That's what I use on staff meeting day when I get home late.

    I hope this is helpful to some who really value homecooked meals made from scratch but need some help to pull it off. AND, you always have leftovers for lunch tomorrow :)
     
  15. Mrs_R

    Mrs_R New Member

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    For those of you who use a crockpot and leave it on all day, does it freak you out?

    I won't leave the house with the dishwasher/washer/dryer, etc. running. I guess I am afraid something will happen. I have a crockpot, but I only use it if I am going to be home.

    Just wondering!
    Thanks.
     
  16. little317

    little317 Groupie

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    My dad is like that. So growing up, my mom was forbidden to use a crockpot. I'd like to invest in my own though.
     
  17. TeacherShelly

    TeacherShelly Aficionado

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    Yes, I leave mine on all day. I put it on my cooktop (ceramic kind that is a solid piece of glass) without anything near it. It gets warm to the touch, but not hot. I know it could be a problem but I just try not to worry about it.
     
  18. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    My cooking, laundry and dishes would never get done :)--I almost always throw a load of laundry in before I go in the morning and I set the dishwasher to run after everyone leave.
    I do use my crockpot about once a week or so, but confess to being one of those people in the checkout with a deli chicken about once a week as well (those nights when I get home from a late meeting at work and have to be out the door with one of the kids 15 minutes later).
     
  19. silverspoon65

    silverspoon65 Enthusiast

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    My new years resolution was to not eat out during the week anymore. i live alone so I was the queen of take out. It's not good for the wallet or the waist. But I agree, after being lazy for so long, I was surprised at how easy it has been to get back into cooking. I made soup last week that I ate for several meals. Sunday I made ham and cabbage for a few meals. Tonight I made a pasta salad that I will take with me for lunch at work for the rest of the week.

    I also try to keep a couple frozen things on hand too. Still healthier than take out, and cheaper.

    Oh yeah, and I love my crockpot and I do leave it on when I leave the house. I also love my rice cooker!
     
  20. dizzykates

    dizzykates Habitué

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    I leave my crock pot on and I don't really worry about it. I run the dishwasher, washer and dryer too because then it's ready for the next step when I get back. I figure we leave computers, tvs, radios, and lamps plugged in (heck, I leave a lamp on if I am coming home after dark) and I don't worry about it.

    By the way..I got huge complements about the soup tonight :) Not to mention that it was really nice because I am now sick...
     
  21. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    I think when people are commenting that they would make themselves food like yours (the original poster) if they had time, perhaps what they mean is "if they knew how." I'm only guessing. I am not the greatest of cooks, my best friends being rice-a-roni and anything that comes out of a can. I often wish that I could pull together healthy meals, which I can and have, but it takes me so long to do it because I don't really know what I am doing, and struggle when I do it. I am going to guess that the people commenting to you might be in a similar situation???? But, you have definitely inspired me to buy a crock pot and see what magical thing happens. I already told my husband I want to buy one (I figured he wouldn't mind too much, because this at least means that I might be attempting to cook more). Oh well, I have to come up with something better than Taco Tuesdays and Spaghetti and sandwhiches the rest of the week.
     
  22. little317

    little317 Groupie

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    I've heard a lot of you mention the rotissorie chickens. Those are good for a quick meal, and you can use any leftovers to make different things like chicken soup or cut up chicken on a salad. If you go into the produce section there are all kinds of prechopped salad items.
     
  23. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    How many of you actually make recipes you see off the cook shows? For example, the show by Nigella Lawson, who's had the shows, "Nigella Bites", "Nigella Feasts", & now "Nigella Express" has always stressed the idea of Maximum flavor w/ minimum effort. She cooks meals that don't take long to make.

    I also like the Barefoot Contessa & Everyday Italian. The Barefoot Contessa's meals are pretty time consuming & don't seem the healthiest, but Everyday Italian makes quick & healthy dishes!
     
  24. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    Rachel Ray! That's my girl. She makes 30 minute meals. Once in a while I do try to make some of her stuff, but cooking takes so much energy (in my opinion). Exhibit A: My hamburger helper dinner tonight. Am I proud? Not at all. Am I full? You better believe it.
     
  25. Mrs_R

    Mrs_R New Member

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    This cracked me up! Love the sense of humor! I am one who eats to live, not lives to eat. If I am full, then I am usually happy.
     
  26. bettyb

    bettyb Companion

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    The cooking shows usually have too many ingredients for me. When a recipe calls for a lot of stuff, I pass on it. I do try to eat only healthy foods. I love to make pizza using lots of vegetables, plus the steam bags for veggies are pretty good.
     
  27. Dzenna

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    I am a Rachel Ray girl myself. I have made many of the recipes.
    I also use the rotisserie chicken for a last minute ingredient. I make a quick chinese chicken salad, chicken tostadas, and chicken pot pie.
     
  28. TeacherShelly

    TeacherShelly Aficionado

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    Yes! Rachael Ray's 30 Minute Meals cookbook really is true to its name. (Sidebar: why isn't it "it's" name? It is possessive. It is the name belonging to it. Am I pedantic?)

    The meals take 30 minutes to prepare, including prep!
     
  29. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    Because in order for it's to be correct in that sentence you stated above, you have to be able to replace it w/ "it is" since it's the contraction of it is & have it still make sense w/o adding/deleting/changing any words.

    So would this still make sense?: (No it wouldn't)

    Rachael Ray's 30 Minute Meals cookbook really is true to it is name.

    I'm not the type to correct people unless they ask! :)
     
  30. MissFrizzle

    MissFrizzle Virtuoso

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    I used to be worried about leaving it, but then I did a test and stayed home all day while somethig cooked. No problems.. so now I put evertyhing in and I'm out the door.
     
  31. runsw/scissors

    runsw/scissors Phenom

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    I just got a job at a maternity clothing store. On the counter they had some protein bars for sale that sounded pretty good: S'mores, Chocolate Pecan, etc. I am really thinking about getting just a few to have at school in case I get up late and don't have time for breakfast or something. They cost nearly $2 though. That seems kind of high to me, but they are pre-natal so they'd be healthy.
     
  32. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    Wow! That's too much money for this mama.
     
  33. TeacherShelly

    TeacherShelly Aficionado

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    I learned this waaay back in junior high and I do follow the contraction rule. But what is the possessive use of the apostrophe? "Shelly's name really rings true." "It's name really rings true." I guess its is a possessive pronoun that does NOT require an apostrophe (his, her, its, their, your, my ...). There, now, I think I can sleep better tonight. Hahahaha! Pedantic me.
     
  34. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    Yes! It "its" is a possessive pronoun, so you do not use a contraction. You only use a contraction is you mean to "it is." "Its name really rings true" is the correct way to spell "its" in this sentence (looks like you have that figured out now, though).
     
  35. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    I asked my friend about crock pots (she has one), and she says they are not all that they are "cracked up"to be. She says it changes the color of chicken, and she can't stand to even eat the chicken unless she makes a sauce for it... Now I'm not so sure I want to buy one.
     
  36. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    I personally don't love the texture of chicken done in the crockpot, but use it a lot for beef and pork. I also like to make soup--lots of chopped up veggies, some stock and seasoning. I set it to cook at night and have soup ready to take to work for lunch in the morning.
     
  37. TeacherShelly

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    :) For some reason it feels good to my brain to think about this.... In "Shelly's name is so pretty," the apostrophe is not used as a contraction, it is possessive. THAT is the point where my junior high brain said, wait a minute... Possessive pronouns don't need possessive apostrophes. Ommmmmmmmmmm....
     
  38. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    Oh, got it! ;)
     
  39. TeacherShelly

    TeacherShelly Aficionado

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    :hijack: Sorry, I don't know what got into me .....

    Back to eating well when there's no time....

    Anyone shop at Trader Joe's? I find some of the best "throw it together quickly" ingredients there, often organic, and almost always affordable! Check it out if you have one.

    For example, they have pre-grilled chicken strips seasoned with salt and pepper, in the freezer section. They have an organic marinara sauce that is DeLiCiOuS for $.99 in the canned goods. Throw these things together with pasta and a vegetable for a very quick and easy, healthful meal with leftovers for lunch.
     
  40. Ms. I

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    I love Trader Joe's! I especially love all the goodies in the frozen food aisle. I like their chicken burritos, taquitos, Joe's vanilla sandwich cookies, etc.

    Henry's Marketplace is similar too!
     
  41. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    I know many people who shop there, but I haven't tried it yet. I would like to, though.
     

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