Our new Indie Games subforum is now open for business in G&T. Go and check it out, you might land a code for a free game. If you're developing an indie game and want to post about it, follow these directions. If you don't, he'll break your legs! Hahaha! Seriously though.
Our rules have been updated and given their own forum. Go and look at them! They are nice, and there may be new ones that you didn't know about! Hooray for rules! Hooray for The System! Hooray for Conforming!

Getting Variety into my Diet without paying $Texas

DVGDVG Registered User regular
edited August 2009 in Help / Advice Forum
Okay, so I'm trying to eat healthier, lose weight, and save dollars. These are pretty much my three primary goals in life at the moment.

I've gotten pretty good about eating foods that are good for me and I'm making good progress at the first two goals, however after three days or so of having Turkey Wraps and Baby Carrots for lunch, I tend to have a somewhat insatiable desire to eat out for something different.

So I'm looking for tips on how to get some variety in there, while staying healthy and not quadrupling my grocery bill just buying more food (With luck, never having to throw away something that's gone bad)

DVG on
Diablo 3 - DVG#1857

Posts

  • DVGDVG Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    For extra information, my shopping list looks something like this:
    Eggs
    Brownberry Flax 'n Fiber Bread
    Organic Unsalted Peanut Butter
    Simply Orange OJ
    1% milk, generally bought in half gallon sizes
    Kashi Golean Cereal
    1 Pound Low Sodium Turkey
    FlatOut Healthy Grain Sandwich Wraps
    Baby Carrots
    Kash TLC Multigrain Crackers (or some other kind of multigrain cracker)
    All Natural Cookies (sometimes)
    Kashi Fruit 'n Grain Bars
    Asparagus
    Sweet Onions
    Clif's Organic Protein Builder Bars (For post workout)
    Meat for dinner: Usually chicken, sometimes I get some Bison Meat too to make burgers with
    Bananas
    Strawberries

    So I feel like I get a good variety of stuff, but I'm experiencing that variety on a dialy basis which leads somewhat to boredom with the food. Keep in mind, also, that while I'm not single, I do still handle most of my own meals and I'm not usually cooking for anyone other than myself.

    Diablo 3 - DVG#1857
  • AumniAumni Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    Make Vegetarian Tacos.

    Generally it's a lot of beans/soy/what have you. A few cans of different types of beans, some low fat cheese and some hot sauce and whatever else you'd enjoy on a taco of the vegetable variety..

    Delicious and not too bad health-wise, although may not be healthy enough for your diet.

    Also how about making some salads?

    http://steamcommunity.com/id/aumni/ Battlenet: Aumni#1978 GW2: Aumni.1425
  • ErandusErandus Registered User
    edited August 2009
    Avocados. They have 60% more potassium than bananas, are loaded with vitamins, and have more fiber content than any other fruit on the planet. Mash them up with a little salt and pepper and just a small splash of lemon juice and smear it on toast. It goes awesome with breakfast, I just swapped to it. It's a monounsaturated fat, which is a good way to get your fats over more saturated sources like butter. Hence putting it on toast as a butter replacement. Also, raw avocado is fucking delicious on burgers.

    Speaking of burgers, try mixing some chorizo sausage in with your burger meat. Holy crap it's good. Make sure you're adding an egg and a cup of bread crumbs as binding agents to help them hold shape and not fall apart.

    Buy some blueberries and put them in your cereal in the morning. Google the health benefits of blueberries sometime. They're basically a goddamn miracle. Studies suggest they may help fight off everything from Alzheimers and some cancers to Hepitits C and high cholesterol.

    Rice is silly cheap, especially if you buy the huge bags. Get a rice steamer. They will also double as a veggie steamer for things like carrots and green beans.

    For dinners, try stir frying some sliced up chicken breasts. with various veggies. Put it on the rice and drizzle some hoisin sauce over it. It's extremely reminiscent of Sweet & Sour. Scour your grocery store's ethic foods department and try some other various sauce mixes & jarred sauces. I would suggest some Indian sauces like masala and korma, or peanut satay.

    And definitely start making some salads.

    For the weight loss you should be loading up bigger meals in the early day and smaller meals in the afternoon and evening, as well as spreading your food out over multiple small meals instead of fewer big ones.

    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • MadpandaMadpanda Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    Chunk light tuna in spring water (drained) + light spread of hummus, or probably that delicious avocado mix mentioned above, + hot sauce (i prefer sriracha) + lettuce split amongst 2 of those flatout multigrain wraps is a great meal.

    Also start experimenting with non/low sodium seasonings such as the mrs dash varieties, use salty ones sparingly. I eat a lot of grilled chicken and fish, but rotate between seasonings i.e




    Old bay - goes on anything, works best in fish
    Sea salt and black ground pepper
    Paprika and Cumin - gives a smoky flavor and unique color
    Lemon pepper mix - good for fish
    Dried onion + small amount of cayenne + black and white pepper gives a nice Cajun taste


    For salads my base is red leaf lettuce + baby carrots, and i rotate between broccoli, white/orange/purple cauliflower, bell peppers, and yams when in season.


    I would also recommend whole grain couscous, it is ridiculously easy to make, and mixing in some of the aforementioned spices with it after cooking livens it up.

    Real oatmeal (the kind that comes in a giant cylinder) is great for breakfast, add in some hard boiled eggs or peanut butter + a drop or 2 of honey (the honey is barely noticeable tastewise but without it this meal is much gummier)

    camo_sig2.png
    Steam/PSN/XBL/Minecraft / LoL / - Benevicious | WoW - Duckwood - Rajhek
  • ThanatosThanatos Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    Brown rice is your best friend. There's so much you can do with it that's healthy. Steam some broccoli, put some grilled chicken on it with some soy sauce.

  • AumniAumni Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    Thanatos wrote: »
    Brown rice is your best friend. There's so much you can do with it that's healthy. Steam some broccoli, put some grilled chicken on it with some soy sauce.

    Thanks for my lunch decision today.


    Mmmm....

    http://steamcommunity.com/id/aumni/ Battlenet: Aumni#1978 GW2: Aumni.1425
  • EggyToastEggyToast Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    This is just suggestions, so you don't have to listen to me, but here's how my diet (which has been successful for losing weight and building muscle) differs most from yours:


    Eggs
    Brownberry Flax 'n Fiber Bread
    Organic Unsalted Peanut Butter
    Bread is tasty, but since it's essentially all carbs you can't eat very much if you want to lose weight. Even the good fibery stuff isn't great. And the PB? For what, sandwiches?

    Simply Orange OJ
    1% milk, generally bought in half gallon sizes
    I know OJ is delicious and some people love milk (I don't, but I'm lactose intolerant too). Why aren't these two simply "tap water" though?

    Kashi Golean Cereal ---- cereals are OK but typically high in sugars/carbs, even the healthy stuff. But consumed dry, they're a better snack than crackers or cookies for sure.

    1 Pound Low Sodium Turkey
    FlatOut Healthy Grain Sandwich Wraps
    what's going in these that couldn't simply be a "salad"?
    Baby Carrots
    Kashi TLC Multigrain Crackers (or some other kind of multigrain cracker)
    All Natural Cookies (sometimes)
    Kashi Fruit 'n Grain Bars
    Clif's Organic Protein Builder Bars (For post workout)


    I know people say that grains are good for you, but these are really just "carbohydrates." I know they're delicious, and the idea of eating more fiber is solid, but these may be where you have a lot of "sleeper calories."

    Asparagus
    Sweet Onions

    Meat for dinner: Usually chicken, sometimes I get some Bison Meat too to make burgers with
    Bananas
    Strawberries


    OK, the rest is good. Now I don't know how tall you are or what sort of workouts you're doing, so your diet above may be perfectly fine. Those are just what I would drop from your diet that you really don't need.

    What I would add are as follows:

    Fish -- good meat variety, easy to cook. Tilapia, cod, salmon if you have a Trader Joe's nearby.

    Sweetpotatoes -- commonly called "yams" these are the orange dudes. Cooking them up just like you would a baked potato is delicious, and you certainly don't need to add sugar, marshmallows, and other goop like people do around thanksgiving. Just a touch of butter and salt and they're delicious and very good for you. Far better than a white normal potato.

    Broccoli -- it's green, it's great as a side dish steamed, and it's great as a snack raw. Mix it up with those baby carrots.

    Basically a ton of veggies -- you've got like two veggies on your list (onions don't count, since people rarely just eat a plain onion. And asparagus is often expensive. Green beans, artichokes, zuccini, brussels sprouts. Peppers. Mushrooms. I mean I could go on but I don't want to list the Vegetable entry in wikipedia.

    I'm not surprised that you're sort of bored, since to be honest it looks like your diet consists of a couple plain foods and crackers/bars. I would go against some of the advice above and not add rice, grains, or pastas, unless you're counting calories and know how much you're consuming for a day, because they're very easy to overconsume (because they're delicious). And don't let fiber trick you, either.

    A big ol' artichoke is 60 calories. A cup of cooked brown rice is 220 calories. A cup of broccoli is 41 calories; a cup of cooked couscous is 176. Just because it's whole grain doesn't mean it's good for you -- it just means it's a little less bad for you. I mostly point this out because you're talking about losing weight while also adding variety -- carbohydrate-heavy foods aren't a good way to achieve that.

    || Flickr — || PSN: EggyToast
  • MadpandaMadpanda Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    Whoops, I actually base my recommendations off the assumption that when someone says they are living healthier that includes tracking what they eat either -

    1)Manually, which is horribly time consuming
    2) Using a site like thedailyplate or fitday.com
    3) Estimation after using methods 1 or 2 manually for a long time.

    The OP didn't mention if they are utilizing one of these methods, but they should be.

    camo_sig2.png
    Steam/PSN/XBL/Minecraft / LoL / - Benevicious | WoW - Duckwood - Rajhek
  • jeepinryanjeepinryan Registered User
    edited August 2009
    In addition to what Madpanda said, if you have a smartphone there are actually quite a few apps that you can use to track your daily intake.

    I used LoseIt on my iphone for a while and it made it fairly easy to enter in all of the things that you consume, in addition to any exercises you did for the day (which in the app, essentially adds some calories to your daily limit).

    I'm sure that other smartphones would have similar apps, so you can probably track one down for a Palm or Blackberry.

  • xa52xa52 Registered User
    edited August 2009
    Carbs are not bad for you. Fucking sakes. You can eat carbs and still lose weight. Atkins was a goddamn jackass. Low carb diets are for people that don't want to lift their asses off the goddamn couch.

    And peanut butter is a good source of protein and fiber. Not to mention, fucking delicious.

    Get variety by mixing up your fruits and vegetables. I think you're close enough to Appalachia that you should be seeing some cheap and tasty blackberries in your supermarket around now. Try some sauteed greens, like spinach and escarole. Eat some squashes too, especially now as they're coming into season. Second whoever said yams as well. They're so good for you, and there are so many tasty things you can do with them- casserole with crushed pineapple, burritos with black beans and onions, baked chips with cumin and chili pepper, falafel.

    Eat some fish. Fish is easy. Drizzle it with a little olive oil, get some lemon on it, salt and pepper, some fresh herbs (dill for salmon, maybe parsley for a white fish) and bake it, serve it with brown rice and vegetables. Do you like tuna? For lunch you can mix it with a little light mayo (fine in moderation, use olive oil instead if you must), celery/onion/peas, and pasta (whole wheat I suppose).

    You can make a salad with couscous or orzo and vegetables, salt and pepper, olive oil, lemon juice, and herbs. I like, for example, couscous with tomato, cucumber, celery, red onion, bell pepper, cilantro, feta cheese, and some olives.

    Get some beans and/or lentils in your diet. Beans and rice is a very healthy meal. Bean salads (black beans, chopped onion, pepper, corn, chilis, mango or pineapple for example) make a healthy lunch, or a side for fish. Look up a recipe for dal if you're into indian food, or just do vegetarian chili if you're not.

    I'd recommend getting yourself a big pot and a recipe book for soups. Even if you're not an experienced cook, soup recipes are generally very easy and flexible. They're typically very healthy (except for the cream of bacon type of soups) and the variety is pretty much endless. You also may want to put a few food blogs in your rss reader to skim for new recipes to try.

    camo_sig2.png
  • EggyToastEggyToast Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    I'm not advocating Atkins. Atkins was "eat as much fat and protein as you want" to the exclusion of vegetables and fruits.

    But if you're looking to lose weight, replacing carbs with veggies is a simple and straightforward way to drop a significant amount of calories. As I said, whole grains are certainly better for you than simple starches and heavily processed foods, but they're not a weight loss food. If you're trying to cut, say, 400 calories from your daily intake, replacing your breads and rices with whole wheat bread and brown rice isn't gonna do it.

    A 2 tbsp serving of peanut butter is about 200 calories and the same amount of fat as a Burger King hamburger. It's not diet food. And everything that I highlighted is indeed delicious, and if you're looking to become healthy and maintain your current weight, there's probably no problems. Hence my numerous caveats.

    || Flickr — || PSN: EggyToast
  • Blake TBlake T Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    The simplest way to save money while eating healthily is to buy seasonal vegetables.

  • FiggyFiggy Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    The guy is going to the gym on a regular basis from the sounds of it, and even if he wasn't, his current diet is going to result in weight loss. Unless he's eating out every week, drinking sugary drinks from vending machines, and doing other stuff that's fooling himself, he's going to be fine.

    I second the recommendation for fitday.com though. I used that a while back and lost weight fairly steadily, and it allowed me to eat as I wanted and still stay within my dietary goals. It's a bit of a pain to set up at first if you want to be really accurate (I saved all my food as custom entries) but once you've got that underway, it's a couple minutes per day of recording.

    @EggyToast: Sweet potatoes are basically exactly the same as white potatoes as far as fat/carb content goes. They have a bit more vitamin content, but otherwise they're more or less equal. They're still delicious and a great way to add variety to the OP's diet, but don't be fooled into thinking they're somehow a magical, healthy potato.

    daniant wrote:
    Alright, looks like I'm giving up golden showers for Lent.
    XBL : Figment3 · SteamID : Figment · Website : www.nathanswyers.com
  • DockenDocken Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    EggyToast wrote: »
    I'm not advocating Atkins. Atkins was "eat as much fat and protein as you want" to the exclusion of vegetables and fruits.

    But if you're looking to lose weight, replacing carbs with veggies is a simple and straightforward way to drop a significant amount of calories. As I said, whole grains are certainly better for you than simple starches and heavily processed foods, but they're not a weight loss food. If you're trying to cut, say, 400 calories from your daily intake, replacing your breads and rices with whole wheat bread and brown rice isn't gonna do it.

    A 2 tbsp serving of peanut butter is about 200 calories and the same amount of fat as a Burger King hamburger. It's not diet food. And everything that I highlighted is indeed delicious, and if you're looking to become healthy and maintain your current weight, there's probably no problems. Hence my numerous caveats.

    Right but you are looking at this the wrong way - most people don't over-consume because they have some sort of set menu they must eat everyday, they over-consume because they are hungry.

    Your suggestions - whilst obviously excellent in terms of nutritional benefits - has a significant flaw in that it doesn't factor in GI and carb demand. Put simply, everyone needs a good spread of carbs that are low GI; this will fuel your body properly (your brain consumes more carbs than any other organ in your body) and also keep you hunger pangs down.

    tl;dr dude needs some carbs.

    I think my only other point (with respect to weight loss) would be to ensure you are eating 150+ grams of protein a day (harder than you think) as well as absolutely ensuring you have fast metabolising protein asap after a workout, otherwise your workout efficiency will suffer a lot.

    steam_sig.png
  • ErandusErandus Registered User
    edited August 2009
    Oh, look for farmer's markets in your area. You can score veggies for silly cheap prices there.

    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • AresProphetAresProphet It's so erotic when your make up runs Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    Well first of all you're spending too much money on food. If you're trying to get bang for your buck, ditch things like OJ, name-brands, and organic stuff.

    "Organic" doesn't necessarily mean it's better for you or the environment, and it also doesn't guarantee that your money is going to some local/sustainable/co-op farmer, anyway. "Organic" means you're paying a premium for substantially the same (or worse) product, and it doesn't mean you're being more eco-friendly.

    Drink water instead of anything else. I love beer and so I violate this rule proudly. But you shouldn't.

    Buy cheap house brands of grocery staples like milk, eggs, and bread. Use the money you're saving to either spend less on food overall, or splurge on more variety in your meals. For example I rarely eat fish (other than canned chunk light tuna) because in a landlocked state it all sucks and is overpriced, but if I get some screaming deals on the rest of my groceries I'll get shrimp or salmon to mix it up. If you're trying to get more protein, tuna is great until you're sick of it. Just let me know if you find a tuna salad recipe that doesn't suck, I've been trying for years.

    Shop around. I make a circuit of 3 groceries stores every time I shop, starting at the Sunflower Farmer's Market and going to the big chains from there. Learn which places tend to have the best prices on what (I can rely on one store for low prices on things like dairy and breads, while Sunflower always has some kind of protein for super cheap and ridiculously inexpensive produce).

    Stock up when you find something you like if it's a good deal and you can freeze it.

    Get a rotating stable of recipes that use reliably cheap ingredients (like chicken thighs or [insert cheap cut of beef here] or any kind of ground beast) and work out from there.

    Cook things based on what's on sale, don't buy things based on what's on a recipe list. Buying $10 worth of herbs and spices to make one meal you may or may not make again defeats the whole purpose of being frugal. This is an art that takes some time to figure out.

    Cook enough at once for about 3 portions (more is economical but if you're like me you get bored after eating the same thing 3 days in a row) or even more than that if it's freezer-friendly.

    Learn to like cooking and grocery shopping, because being frugal requires work. Being frugal and health-conscious takes even more work.

    If you can make buying in bulk work for you, buy in bulk. Myself I just never get through everything before i'I sick to death of it so I buy no more than a week's worth of anything at a time.

    That's about all I've got. Getting into good shopping/cooking/eating habits takes some time and practice. Keep working at it, don't give up, and before you'll know it you'll be a healthier, wealthier man. And the ladies like a man who knows his way around a kitchen :winky:

    I got wiring loose inside my head
    I got books that I never ever read
Sign In or Register to comment.