Outwitting roomies and keeping well on a budget

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Nov 09, 2011 5:33 AM GMT
    To be blunt: I feel I need nutrition help.

    See, I live with three other people, my bf, another gay guy, and a straight girl. (Let's say C, M, and A) C is a good cook when he has the supplies and time needed, though his job as a waiter means he usually isn't available to cook. Myself, I have the ability to do some simple things, but I don't trust myself with something new.

    M and A, though good roomies are a problem with what I want to do. They are in the mindset of poor collegiate age people, and are willing to eat about anything and buy food on a whim. As an example, they bought plenty of leftover resse's candies and chips on the last walmart trip.

    What I'm seeking is: advice on how to influence what gets bought for groceries even if I'm not around, links to simple but very healthy recipes, or a place full of them and suggested search parameters, and lastly, what I need to try and ban. It should be noted that once I lose the weight, I want to start packing muscle. Thank you in advance for any advice!
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    Nov 09, 2011 6:40 AM GMT
    I'm a poor college student so maybe I can help with roommates.

    I recently bought a Ronco rotisserie and it's one of the best purchases I've ever made. It makes the best chicken ever and it's super healthy. For example a whole 4 lb chicken is only 1800 calories and that feeds me for a few days.

    My roommate who's horrible at cooking uses it all the time. He uses it more than the stove now because it's so easy to use.

    I'm on the paleolithic diet and buy lots of frozen vegetables to go with the super awesome chicken. I like frozen because it's easy and there are so much choices so I never get bored.

    I'm trying to gain lean muscle but I've actually been losing about a pound per month even though I cheat a lot. Maybe I should stop but it tastes so good icon_razz.gif

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    Nov 09, 2011 7:00 AM GMT
    What's a paleolithic diet?
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    Nov 09, 2011 7:08 AM GMT
    It's basically a low carb diet. Also called the "caveman diet"

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paleolithic_diet

    Lots of meat, vegetables and unlimited fruit.
  • Latenight30

    Posts: 1525

    Nov 09, 2011 2:25 PM GMT
    You may just have to have your food and their food. Let them eat what they want and you make good choices.
    Having good equipment in the kitchen makes cooking for everyone easier. Maybe find out if the local kitchen supply store offers cooking classes. Being able to cook now will forever (feed, server-insert pun here) forever.
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    Nov 09, 2011 2:36 PM GMT
    firebird06 saidTo be blunt: I feel I need nutrition help.

    See, I live with three other people, my bf, another gay guy, and a straight girl. (Let's say C, M, and A) C is a good cook when he has the supplies and time needed, though his job as a waiter means he usually isn't available to cook. Myself, I have the ability to do some simple things, but I don't trust myself with something new.

    M and A, though good roomies are a problem with what I want to do. They are in the mindset of poor collegiate age people, and are willing to eat about anything and buy food on a whim. As an example, they bought plenty of leftover resse's candies and chips on the last walmart trip.

    What I'm seeking is: advice on how to influence what gets bought for groceries even if I'm not around, links to simple but very healthy recipes, or a place full of them and suggested search parameters, and lastly, what I need to try and ban. It should be noted that once I lose the weight, I want to start packing muscle. Thank you in advance for any advice!


    Unless they're spending your money, why do you care what they eat? You don't have to eat it. You didn't mention whether grocery money is pooled. If it is, maybe insist that things like candy are not "food" and if they want them that should not be split out of the food budget. If you're the only one who feels that way, opt out of the arrangement and tell them why.

    Is part of the problem that you get tempted when there is naughty food in the house? If so, ask them to keep junk somewhere other than where regular food is stored. If you aren't faced with looking at it, it won't be on your mind.
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    Nov 09, 2011 2:57 PM GMT
    njmeanwhile saidUnless they're spending your money, why do you care what they eat? You don't have to eat it. You didn't mention whether grocery money is pooled. If it is, maybe insist that things like candy are not "food" and if they want them that should not be split out of the food budget. If you're the only one who feels that way, opt out of the arrangement and tell them why.

    Is part of the problem that you get tempted when there is naughty food in the house? If so, ask them to keep junk somewhere other than where regular food is stored. If you aren't faced with looking at it, it won't be on your mind.

    I wondered this, too. To the OP: Unless you're eating communally, can't you keep the food separate and prepare your own most times? That doesn't preclude having some family meals together, but don't the college & work schedules by their very nature mean you're all often eating at different times anyway? And is your BF the waiter & good cook "C"?
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    Nov 09, 2011 3:03 PM GMT
    As a matter of fact whenever my boyfriend, C, goes shopping he usually ends up buying for the household, and M and A pay him at a later time for the food. But I see the point that is raised here, I'll see if buying my own food will negate any bad choices they make. icon_smile.gif
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    Nov 09, 2011 3:04 PM GMT
    Blah, so tired of hearing of that stupid paleo diet.

    I guess I do not understand. . .do you guys put your money together and shop as a collective, or do you each buy your own groceries? If it is the latter, I don't see the problem. . .just buy what you want. If it is the former, I feel like you could suggest planning out meals to have throughout the week (that are easy and simple) that might motivate them to not splurge on unnecessary crap.
  • vintovka

    Posts: 588

    Nov 09, 2011 3:15 PM GMT
    If you are all pooling resources I would say there are two strategies:

    If they are into eating healthy but just lazy you could try to get them excited about the challenge of hunting down local deals for healthy foods (farmers markets etc.) If they are really just completely lazy but not averse to eating healthy, buy the staple foods from a delivery service like "peapod"--the added expense of delivery can be offset by the economy of scale in buying more at a time.

    The other option is opt out. In either case you can't force them to live by your diet. I live alone, but my mother lives in the area and sometimes coomes to let my dog out for me--she constantly brings candy to my house as a sign of affection. After attempting to explain to her that I didn't really want it around I eventually just gave up and learned just not to eat it. (I think she might eat it when she comes to visit.)
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    Nov 09, 2011 4:24 PM GMT
    vintovka saidIf you are all pooling resources I would say there are two strategies:

    If they are into eating healthy but just lazy you could try to get them excited about the challenge of hunting down local deals for healthy foods (farmers markets etc.) If they are really just completely lazy but not averse to eating healthy, buy the staple foods from a delivery service like "peapod"--the added expense of delivery can be offset by the economy of scale in buying more at a time.

    The other option is opt out. In either case you can't force them to live by your diet. I live alone, but my mother lives in the area and sometimes coomes to let my dog out for me--she constantly brings candy to my house as a sign of affection. After attempting to explain to her that I didn't really want it around I eventually just gave up and learned just not to eat it. (I think she might eat it when she comes to visit.)


    My family does this too. I come from two ethnicities where chunky = healthy at least in the older generations' mindset so they have been trying to fatten me up my entire life. Also I hate to waste food, even if it is something I don't want to eat, so I am constantly trying to offload snack foods so I'm not tempted by them.
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    Nov 10, 2011 4:22 PM GMT
    adrian18884 saidIt's basically a low carb diet. Also called the "caveman diet"

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paleolithic_diet

    Lots of meat, vegetables and unlimited fruit.


    Ish.

    Paleo is agnostic about macronutrients (ie it´s not specifically "low carb" - it´s just no grain or legumes). In the Robb Wolf variety I do you can eat fruit, but it´s not meant as a filler..
  • Bowyn_Aerrow

    Posts: 357

    Nov 10, 2011 6:16 PM GMT
    You cannot dictate the diets of others, thus banning foods that come in the house is not going to be possible. You can try, but do please expect the natives to revolt - there is this thing called a 'blanket party' Trust me, you do not want to be the guest of honor at one. icon_lol.gif

    Just because there are 12 bags of left over Halloween Candy doesn't mean you HAVE to eat any candy.... icon_wink.gif No one is holding a gun to your head... Or are they?

    Of course it also doesn't mean you HAVE to deny yourself all of it. A piece of candy or two a day is not going to get you fat. Consider it a treat and make it an award for having eaten veg or fruit over fast food deep fat lard (french fries). Its called moderation, all things in moderation.

    Since you have decided to become a "food fanatic" and are setting all of these limits on yourself, then if you want to eat healthy and have healthy food in the house then you should do the shopping and do the cooking.

    If everyone shares meals, thus shares the expenses, perhaps its high time to draw up a shopping list and elect an 'official shopper', a person who collects up the money and does the week's grocer trip. Instead of being a controlling, "shop the way I want you to shop" type person, turn it around and make it into a helpful "Here, let me take the time out of my busy schedule to do the house grocery shopping.

    Don't shove it off on your S/O either, that's just rude and will plant seeds of resentment in your relationship.

    The Store list is the most important tool to sticking with a diet. Make a hard list - those items you absolutely positively must have, if there is left over money AFTER you have gotten the stuff you must have, then get the secondary stuff. Carry a calculator and write down the prices of stuff as you collect them, this way you know how much you have spent in the cart.

    It is far, far easier to point at the recipe and say 'Well I didn't have the money for candy, cake, soda, ice cream.... whatever' than it is to say 'I think you all eat like pigs, so I decided to clean up your act for you.....'

    Even then you can't be all Nazi when it comes to the food, you will have to temper nutrition with some treats and snacks, your housemates are not committed to your fanatical lifestyle.

    As for cooking, its one of the easiest things to do on this planet. you chop and cut up ingredients, throw them in a pot or a pan, apply heat - TADA - cooked food.

    Herbs and spices are your friends. Most of those jars and boxes will have a short list of what that particular herb/spice is used for. Poultry, Fish, red meat, etc. If you are still having trouble, then I suggest Google.

    Recipes - again, Google is your friend.

    Cooking is not a science. Baking IS a science. Cooking you can wing, you do not need exact measurements, you do not need all of the ingredients.

    Since there is at least one cook in the house, join him when he cooks, offer to help, learn from him - he most likely will enjoy the company and enjoy passing on his 'trade secrets' to an eager student.