Most basic meal

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    Jun 28, 2008 9:56 PM GMT
    For the times when I am weak, which is often, what can I consider as the most basic, reasonably healthy meal that I should just default to? At present it seems to be whole wheat pasta, marinara or basil pesto, meat of some sort and a veggie. I eat this because it is easy to make. Instead of this, what should I default to? How might I improve this meal?

    PS – I am pathetic and at least I know it, lol, I am eating dark chocolate M&M’s while I write this looking for meals to lose weight. Good grief icon_confused.gif
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    Jun 28, 2008 10:12 PM GMT
    original714 saidFor the times when I am weak, which is often, what can I consider as the most basic, reasonably healthy meal that I should just default to? At present it seems to be whole wheat pasta, marinara or basil pesto, meat of some sort and a veggie. I eat this because it is easy to make. Instead of this, what should I default to? How might I improve this meal?


    I would improve it by ditching the pasta and sticking strictly to meat and non-starchy veggies.
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    Jun 29, 2008 11:04 AM GMT
    Try beans and rice. It is easy to prepare, tasty, filling and provides a complete protein. With a salad or a vegetable it provides a balanced meal that is easy to digest and provides lasting energy.

    Try to reduce or eliminate meat from your diet. Nothing good comes from eating dead animal flesh.

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    Jun 29, 2008 11:33 AM GMT
    JohnnyD saidTry beans and rice. It is easy to prepare, tasty, filling and provides a complete protein. With a salad or a vegetable it provides a balanced meal that is easy to digest and provides lasting energy.

    Try to reduce or eliminate meat from your diet. Nothing good comes from eating dead animal flesh.



    True...but keep in mind that beans are also high in carbs.
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    Jun 29, 2008 11:34 AM GMT
    JohnnyD saidTry beans and rice. It is easy to prepare, tasty, filling and provides a complete protein. With a salad or a vegetable it provides a balanced meal that is easy to digest and provides lasting energy.

    Try to reduce or eliminate meat from your diet. Nothing good comes from eating dead animal flesh.



    Go Johnny Go Johnny Go Johnny GO!!
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    Jun 29, 2008 11:45 AM GMT
    original714 saidFor the times when I am weak, which is often, what can I consider as the most basic, reasonably healthy meal that I should just default to? At present it seems to be whole wheat pasta, marinara or basil pesto, meat of some sort and a veggie. I eat this because it is easy to make. Instead of this, what should I default to? How might I improve this meal?

    PS – I am pathetic and at least I know it, lol, I am eating dark chocolate M&M’s while I write this looking for meals to lose weight. Good grief icon_confused.gif


    Original: Is this for lunch or dinner?

    If for dinner then you should consider ditching the pasta (except if it is your cheat meal...then make the pasta dish worth it). Vary up the cooking style you use to prepare your meats along with the seasonings and marinades. Also, if you feel the need to have something kind of starchy but still a better option, go for the yam/sweet potato. Bake it in the oven as a whole sweet potato or as slices (which drastically cuts down the cooking time).

    If for lunch, just cut back on the amt. Do you weigh out your portions according to your needs (i.e. dictated by your physical goal...which you stated is to lose weight)?

    You could also alternate btwn wheat pasta and brown rice. I personally like Brown Basmati rice b/c of its unique aroma.

    Hope this helps,

    O.Jock

    P.S. You do give yourself a cheat meal(s) right?

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    Jun 29, 2008 1:57 PM GMT
    orthojock saidTrue...but keep in mind that beans are also high in carbs.


    They sure are. In terms of percentage of calories, plain boiled pinto beans are 74% carbs (and the rice is 90% carbs.) I lost 30 pounds of flab by eating meat instead of grain and beans. High-carb foods don't sate my appetite, and they create huge blood sugar swings, so I overeat on a diet based on them.

    As long as there is a caloric deficit, it's possible to lose weight on any diet, but maintaining that calorific deficit is going to be a whole lot easier on a diet that doesn't leave you hungry all the time. Back when I was in weight loss mode, a midday meal of original714's pasta, meat, and veggie would have sated my appetite for about 2 hours. Replacing the pasta with more veggies would have extended the satiety time to about 5 hours.
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    Jun 29, 2008 2:24 PM GMT
    It sounds like the problem is not you don't know what to cook but it is you don't know how to cook. Find someone who knows how to cook and convince them to show you a thing or two. Go and make dinner with them a couple nights a week. Or find some basic cooking lessons at your community college or CIA. Just knowing how to properly use a knife can expand your repertoire greatly.

    Or, get a copy of How to Cook Everything. Mark Bittman is a treat to read and this cook book has hundreds of simple, delicious meals with technique explained.
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    Jun 29, 2008 2:42 PM GMT
    the incredible edible egg :p
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    Jun 29, 2008 8:37 PM GMT
    I love the incredible edible egg! lol I don't really have cheat meals now b/c I know that every meal has been a cheat meal, lol. It is fair to say that I am an emotional eater and given that I am in a little funk as I am preparing to come out to some people to feel like I am being true to myself and honest with them, I'm having some ups and downs. I'll keep this group posted so I get more ideas and the support I may need along the way.
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    Jun 29, 2008 9:42 PM GMT
    original714 saidI love the incredible edible egg! lol I don't really have cheat meals now b/c I know that every meal has been a cheat meal, lol. It is fair to say that I am an emotional eater and given that I am in a little funk as I am preparing to come out to some people to feel like I am being true to myself and honest with them, I'm having some ups and downs. I'll keep this group posted so I get more ideas and the support I may need along the way.


    dude...best of luck either way!

    I understand the whole emotional eating thing and I could not imaging trying to make a lifestyle change (referring to the diet part) all while trying to come out to friends and fam.

    You definitely have larger cajones than me! Once again, best of luck to you!
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    Jun 29, 2008 9:47 PM GMT
    Try to prep a few meals ahead of time and rewarm them in the oven or microwave when you need to.

    SUPER EASY:

    Buy a bunch of boneless, skinless chicken breasts and marinate for a few hours in a fat free italian dressing. Cook them on a Foreman Grill or bake in the oven.

    Steam spinach or broccolli with things like black pepper, garlic, fresh spices, etc. I add a pinch of salt.

    Sweet Potatoes or yams are GREAT. I scrub them, poke a few holes in them and microwave them for a few minutes until fork tender.

    Other things you can prepare ahead of time:
    Quinoa - make it like rice pilaf and add some veggies and spices
    Black Beans and Rice (brown rice if you wanna be super healthy)

    Sandwich - Roasted turkey breast, swiss cheese, tomatoes, greens on whole wheat bread

    Snacks to pack:
    Yogurt
    Almonds
    Blueberries

    There's a ton of healthy options out there. It's all a matter of discipline.
  • Timbales

    Posts: 13993

    Jun 29, 2008 11:42 PM GMT
    Drained tuna
    2 tablespoons of non-fat plain yogurt (I like Stonybrook organic)
    all purpose seasoning
    mix and put on 2 Wasa crispbreads
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    Jun 30, 2008 12:16 AM GMT
    Timberoo saidDrained tuna
    2 tablespoons of non-fat plain yogurt (I like Stonybrook organic)
    all purpose seasoning
    mix and put on 2 Wasa crispbreads


    wow....i've never tried using plain yogurt to make tuna salad...Thanks for the idea!

    I always used it to make my little concoction (spelling) of plain nf yogurt, frozen fruit, rolled oats, and flax seed (sometimes)

    I will be trying that for lunch tomorrow! Awesome!icon_biggrin.gif
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    Jun 30, 2008 12:33 AM GMT
    What's up with the endless pasta bashing? I'm definitely turning into a broken record, but there is absolutely nothing wrong with including pasta in your diet, as long as you don't go overboard with the portion size and pig out on alfredo two hours before bed time. Portion size and fats are the enemy, NOT carbohydrates.

    Original714 - I don't necessarily see your default meal as bad. It probably would just be helpful to keep other supplies on hand, so you could have more options. There are a variety of other meals that you could switch off with, all of which would require roughly the same amount of prep time. Variety is always good.

    Omelets are one option. I usually keep a supply of egg whites handy, use one or two eggs and then stretch them with extra whites. Add in some spinach, corn, peppers (or other veggies of choice), a bit of gruyere or manchego, and you can whip up something awesome in minutes.

    I'm not keen on eating tuna too regularly, as I'm concerned about mercury levels (best to vary different types of fish, as with any food). But I do keep tuna on hand. If you can get good quality, fresh salmon, it's great sauteed or grilled with a bit of rosemary, sea salt, and a dusting of brown sugar. I love it prepared that way with steamed broccoli.
  • Timbales

    Posts: 13993

    Jun 30, 2008 12:35 AM GMT
    orthojock said

    wow....i've never tried using plain yogurt to make tuna salad...Thanks for the idea!

    I always used it to make my little concoction (spelling) of plain nf yogurt, frozen fruit, rolled oats, and flax seed (sometimes)

    I will be trying that for lunch tomorrow! Awesome!icon_biggrin.gif


    I hate mayo, and have found this works well. You can use any seasoning you want as well, I find dill can be nice.
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    Jul 03, 2008 11:48 PM GMT
    A mixed salad with low fat salad dressing and a glass of V8 juice.

    Or a wrap that has vegetables and some hummous.

    These are the low fat easy to make meals I like. I am weird I actually like vegetables, and I love fruit.
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    Jul 03, 2008 11:55 PM GMT
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    Jul 04, 2008 12:13 AM GMT
    Caslon4000http://whfoods.org/new7day.php


    I love that website! Heaps of great info. I was looking at that meal plan last night.
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    Jul 04, 2008 12:24 AM GMT
    People are still thinking carbs are bad, huh?

    They're not.

    There are three macronutrients: protein, fat, and...(wait for it)...carbs. What does it mean to be a macronutrient? It means it is a nutrient vital to life. It needs to be consumed.

    But it doesn't stop there.

    Most of the calories you consume in a day (about 60%, I believe) should come from carbs. Why? Because carbs are a great source of quick energy. Although fat is the best source of energy for the body, it takes a long time to break down and be available for energy. (Think of fat as a log for a fire and carbs as kindling.) Protein is rarely used for energy. The only time it is ever used for energy is when glucose is in short supply in the body. But if you are using protein for energy, then you run the risk of going into ketosis, which is no good.

    In short, the bad rap for carbs needs to stop.

    But I'm not saying just go out and eat all the sugar and processed white flour you want. I would definitely say there are "bad" carbs and "good" carbs. Basic rule of thumb: the higher the dietary fiber content of your carb source, the better. The more fiber, the more complex the carb.

    OK, stepping off soap box now.
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    Jul 04, 2008 1:10 AM GMT
    If the goal is to put the body into fat burning mode, then one would do well to avoid kicking up insulin levels by eating foods that are 90% starch.
  • dcarm

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    Jul 04, 2008 2:08 AM GMT
    Hey!

    Just so you know, if you find a marinade you like, you can prepare ready-to-go portions by putting the marinade in the bag with the meat. provided you allow it to thaw naturally (do NOT microwave it) it seems to get better penetration than just fridging it for a few hours.

    (Tip courtesy of Nigella Lawson)

    Spice rubs on meat also work wonders! for a whole chicken breast rub, bake at 220C for 20 minutes, turing at 10 min, and voila! beautiful "crispy skinned" Chicken with no added fat! The spice rub turns into a beautiful crust.

    team those tips iwth frozen veggies and a steamer, and you're all set. Just pick your veggies with your overall carb intake and their GI in mind.
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    Jul 04, 2008 2:20 AM GMT
    If you're going to eat whole wheat pasta for dinner, just make sure you do so before 7pm. You're still somehwat active at this time (I'm sure) and your metabolism is still high enough to burn off some if not most of the calories.
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    Jul 04, 2008 6:26 AM GMT
    Of course you could lose weight by eliminating carbs because you're eliminating an entire macronutrient from the diet. That's a lot of calories you're hacking outta the diet by not eating carbs.

    Just like you could lose weight by eliminating fat.

    Just like you could lose weight by eliminating protein.

    But is that really the healthiest thing to do? No, you're not going to die immediately, but that puts some wear on the body over time. We'd like to be idealists and think the body will just start burning the fat in the absence of carbs, but many times, it will start burning protein for energy instead. A byproduct of protein breakdown is little things called ketones. High amounts of these in the blood create a condition called ketosis, which raises the pH level of the blood and causes a myriad of problems.

    If you're wanting to lose weight, instead of eliminating an entire macronutrient to cut back on calories, why don't you cut back a small amount from all 3 of the macronutrient groups? This will reduce calorie intake by essentially the same amount, but you're still getting what you need from all 3 groups.

    And if it's hunger you're worried about, the simple answer for that is fiber. Fiber is indigestible, so the body "chews" over it for quite some time, thus making you feel fuller longer. There are many carb sources that are high in fiber...whole-wheat pasta, whole-grain pita, and beans, to name a few. Oh, and of course fruits and veggies! These are full of fiber and make great supplements to meals.
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    Jul 04, 2008 2:24 PM GMT
    I never said anything about eliminating an entire macronutrient from the diet. My suggestion to skip the pasta and eat non-starchy veggies does not eliminate carbs. It simply reduces them to a level that doesn't elevate insulin levels the way pasta does. Anthropologically speaking, grain is a very recent addition to human nutrition and is not the biologically essential food that it's made out to be.