Food Talk And Fabulous Finds Recipes, Healthy Cooking, and General Food Topics

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Old 06-13-2011, 10:26 AM   #1  
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Default Ideas for a busy worker/student! Help!

So last year I did something crazy and decided to go back to school full time at the ripe old age of 30. It's been hectic and diet-wise has put me in a bit of a conundrum.

On top of 4 classes a week I work full time and 6 days a week I'm usually away from home from 7am until 9:30pm. This means a lot of eating things away from home. I usually try to stop by the grocery store and pick up something that is at least semi-healthy that does not have to be cooked, which usually ends up being a sub sandwich and a small bag of chips (okay so chips aren't healthy, i know i know). If I am really pressed for time I may stop and get a small burger and a small fry somewhere.

So far this really hasn't been hurting my weight loss, but I also know that when you have a lot of weight to lose it's easier in the beginning and that if I want to continue to have success I am going to have to find a better way to eat on the run.

Every time I have asked my friends and family for ideas I get the proverbial "pack your meals" speech. Well, and maybe this sounds harsh, I'm tired. When I get home from school at night I usually I have about two hours of homework to do and then I want to pass out face down on the nearest flat surface until I have to force myself out of bed the next day. I don't feel like packing for three meals a day. It sounds incredibly lazy and it probably is, but it's true. I just don't have any energy left in me right now, lol.

So I guess what I am looking for are ideas for lunches that I can pick up at the grocery store and eat on the run that dont require much prep. The subs and lunchables are getting old

Thanks in advance!

Last edited by glassmenagerie; 06-13-2011 at 10:32 AM.
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Old 06-23-2011, 03:57 PM   #2  
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What about soup? Do you own a crock pot? I have seen models where you can actually program a start and end time.
You can make lots of chicken dishes in your crock pot and come home to a nice home cooked meal with enough left over for the next day.
Wraps with hummus and plenty of veggies and turkey.
Or a nice big salad.
Here's a site that has a bunch of delicious salad ideas.

Hope this helps a little.
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Old 06-23-2011, 04:04 PM   #3  
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Do you have one day a week off from work and/or school? I use Sunday evenings to prep 5 servings of oatmeal for my breakfasts and chop salad fixins for the week, too. Makes it easy to just grab a container and throw some salad in a ziploc each morning. Dump a small can of tuna on the salad if you like. I also preportion 1 cup servings (100ish cal.) of grapes for myself and my boys.

A whole wheat bagel thin w/ thin sliced turkey or ham with a piece of low fat cheese on is good for breakfast or lunch. Heat it in the micro for about 30 sec. Eat it with a baggie of raw veg instead of chips.

Last edited by AnnieDrews; 06-23-2011 at 04:05 PM.
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Old 06-26-2011, 11:23 AM   #4  
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I'm so impressed with you! I often work full time and take two classes a semester, but not 4. That is amazing. Make sure you take care of yourself!

One of my thoughts is that there are some decent/good alternatives at other fast food places. I would really try to stay away from the hamburger / small fry combo whenever possible. It is definitely possible to have a healthy lean hamburger on a whole wheat bun with lots of veggies, but the vast majority of ff places don't serve it that way. Fried foods are high in calories and low on taste (IMO) and nutrition.

Subway: Low calorie Sand with yogurt, sliced apples, or baked chips
With the different bread, meat, veggie, and cooking options, you can get a fair amount of variety of meals there.

McDonald's: Grilled Chicken Sand with apple fries (ditch the caramel sauce)
Southwest Grilled Chicken Salad
Snack: Fruit & Walnut Salad

I've given just a couple of examples, but it is very possible to find a decent meal at most fast food places if you pick the right things and/or modify items (no cheese, no sauce, half bun, etc). My biggest advice is to study nutritional guidelines for restaurants. You would be surprised how many calories are in some items that you would think should be "healthy". What fast food places or restaurants are most convenient to your busy schedule?

I've got a lot of thoughts about things you can bring from home. Do you have access to a fridge to store food or a microwave during the day?

But I do want to end with another thought. We are all trying to do the best we can for ourselves with the time and resources that we have available to us. You have to find what works for YOU and what will bring YOU lasting success. It is okay if quick things to grab or eating out is all you can manage right now. Just do the best with that you can. That is all any of us can do. A lot of people use stress and a busy live as an excuse to not make healthy choices. It is great that you haven't allowed yourself those excuses and are making a positive change. What you don't want is the guilt from not being able to do things perfectly right now derail you. Just remember to be kind to yourself and carry on!

Last edited by Renwomin; 06-26-2011 at 11:38 AM.
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