Author Topic: help me fix my bad food habits!  (Read 9297 times)

lindsayk

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help me fix my bad food habits!
« on: May 14, 2015, 04:05:44 PM »
I think if i could get my food spending in line I could make better progress on getting out of debt. I spend/waste so much money on food because I eat out too much. Grocery shopping/meal planning/cooking is stressful to me. I grew up with a mom who never cooked or let us make our own food....we always ate out because it did not make a mess at home (another issue for another forum)....so i have a horrible fast food / eating out habit that im trying to break. I have a partner but we dont live together so my food budget is just for me and i usually allocate $200 a month for groceries and that also includes things like dog food, toilet paper, etc..not just food. I like simple....if i come home from work and have too many choices of things to make for dinner i feel overwhelmed and will just hit the drive thru. If im feeling stressed at work or need to get away for lunch i will leave anything i brought for lunch in the fridge and get something. I realize this is more of a emotional/psychological thing....just wondering if anyone else has struggled with it and how they overcame it? Also, if anyone has any simple AND healthier meal options.....when i do eat at home or buy groceries its still alot of crap....macaroni and cheese, meatloaf, meatballs, frozen french fries.....it just feels very overwhelming to try and kick a fast food habit, buy cheap groceries, and eat better at the same time.  :(

Ghzbani

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Re: help me fix my bad food habits!
« Reply #1 on: May 14, 2015, 04:26:21 PM »
You can't really go wrong with rice, beans and maybe some onions. Its pretty hard to get cheaper/easier to cook, especially if you forgo the onions. Just pour some of each into bowls or pots and soak in water while you're at work, get back and put them on the stove.

I had a friend in college who had a similar problem. His method was to make sure there was always something dinner like at home just 2 to 3 mins in the microwave away from being done. He'd make MASSIVE pots of spaghetti on weekends and just keep it in the fridge so it was always there when he got hungry.

 He also would shift his lunch break at work to later in the day (around 3:30 I think) so he wouldn't be hungry when work got out. You could try something similar.

lindsayk

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Re: help me fix my bad food habits!
« Reply #2 on: May 14, 2015, 04:36:42 PM »
thanks for the reply! I do really like Chilli Mac so i try to make a good amount at once to have left overs. I tend to be a little bit of an extreme personality....all or nothing....and have this thinking that "if im going to not eat out (unhealthy) then i need to eat really healthy"...so im trying to maybe accomplish to many things at once? Healthy, Cheap, Break bad habit. Ugh, hard!

simmias

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Re: help me fix my bad food habits!
« Reply #3 on: May 14, 2015, 04:40:25 PM »
My current obsession is a site called budgetbytes.  It's great for beginner cooks - she basically walks you through every step, shows pictures along the way, and is extremely budget conscious.  Many of the recipes are designed with eating the leftovers all week, or freezing enough for a week's worth of meals.  She also recommends common things you need to have in the kitchen, what cheaper brands or ingredients you can get away with substituting, and more.

For example, here's a ridiculously cheap, doesn't-deserve-to-taste-this-good, surprisingly-filling lentil soup recipe that freezes exceptionally well: http://www.budgetbytes.com/2014/01/chunky-lentil-vegetable-soup/
« Last Edit: May 14, 2015, 04:43:05 PM by simmias »

Ghzbani

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Re: help me fix my bad food habits!
« Reply #4 on: May 14, 2015, 04:48:39 PM »
@lindsayk

You're on the right track (since you're obviously interested) and I can tell you from personal experience its pretty hard to be less healthy -- or even the same level of unhealthy -- than most restaurants unless you're adding TONS of oil and salt to your food.

At least for me, I'd probably try breaking the eating out habit first. Once I've broken the eating out habit, then I'd go full-force into being super-healthy with the knowledge that "Hey, I managed to make the last change and look how much that improved my life! Lets do that again!"

lindsayk

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Re: help me fix my bad food habits!
« Reply #5 on: May 14, 2015, 04:53:05 PM »
thanks for the encouragement! McDonald's is my happy place so this will be hard!!! And thanks for the website and budgetbytes info!
Looks awesome!!

simmias

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Re: help me fix my bad food habits!
« Reply #6 on: May 14, 2015, 04:57:36 PM »
Sure!  The thing that helps me is to always have something (homemade) in my freezer that I know can be ready in 10 minutes.  I usually plan ahead and have something thawed in the fridge that can be prepared quickly, but that failsafe freezer meal is key.  I do all my cooking on the weekend when I have time and energy, freeze individual sized meals, then have the easy things ready to go for after work when I definitely don't feel like cooking anything.

SilveradoBojangles

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Re: help me fix my bad food habits!
« Reply #7 on: May 14, 2015, 05:04:04 PM »
I think that something that is often lost in the conversation about cooking at home is the need for planning. But, that said, it can be difficult to know how much you'll need for the whole week, or what you'll want to eat, or if you'll be home, and so I only plan for 2-3 meals (dinners) at a time (I have my standbys for breakfast, and take dinner leftovers for lunch). I would find two to three recipes I wanted to make, and then buy the stuff for them. I tried to find complimentary recipes that use similar stuff. I made large recipes even though it was just me, and have the leftovers for lunches and future dinners. Using this formula, I found myself almost never wasting food or eating out unexpectedly. I ended up going to the store twice a week instead of once, but it was worth it because it was easier to stick to my plan.

If this seems too daunting, check out Trader Joe's if they have one near you. They have lots of premade salads and meals and things that are very affordable, and yummy, and without a doubt healthier than fast food. Maybe as you are getting started you can plan to cook 2 times a week, and get TJs salads and wraps and things instead of fast food. Baby steps. Good luck!

Noodle

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Re: help me fix my bad food habits!
« Reply #8 on: May 14, 2015, 07:30:56 PM »
If you are the kind of person who likes to dive into a challenge head-first, by all means have at it. But there is nothing wrong with tackling the issues one at a time...for many people that is the key to real change. For instance, first cut back on the fast food habit, even if it means that you eat toaster waffles, chicken sausage and fruit for dinner (or something else easily assembled). Just try to pick from the healthy end of pre-prepared. Then get good at cooking and used to cooking and eating at home 95% of the time. Then you can work on optimizing the food choices in terms of health and budget.

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Re: help me fix my bad food habits!
« Reply #9 on: May 15, 2015, 07:17:54 AM »
Someone up thread mentioned rice and beans. Lentils are even easier than beans if cooking from dry.

Other really simple meals

-pasta (with premade sauce to start, but there are many sauces that are very fast to make)
-breakfast for dinner (eggs and sausage or bacon, pancakes, waffles, etc.
-simple stir fry (once you master basic technique, just buy whatever veges are in season)
-grilling meat. Eat some that night, then dice up rest to make a hearty salad
-tacos

Budget Bytes is a very good site to learn from. Just keep in mind many of those meals will give you dinner plus 1-3 meals of leftovers when planning.

lindsayk

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Re: help me fix my bad food habits!
« Reply #10 on: May 15, 2015, 08:45:11 AM »
thank you for all the replies and suggestions! i think im going to try and focus on trying to not eat out/fast food and eating more at home regardless of if i just live off of frozen waffles and hot dogs for a while. i think trying to go super cheap at the same time would be too much for me. i like rice but im not a big bean fan...i think i should stick with kicking the eat out habit first and focus on eating other things i still like...just at home . thanks so much!

NotJen

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Re: help me fix my bad food habits!
« Reply #11 on: May 15, 2015, 09:00:31 AM »
I recommend writing things down.

Each weekend, make a plan for what you are going to eat that week. You can include eating out in your plan. When you do your grocery shopping, only buy enough food for what you have planned to make that week.

This takes a lot of time at first, but eventually you will get into the habit and discover favorite meals and it will get easier.

During the week, consult your list to see if you are on track. It will help remind you what you have on hand so hopefuly you aren't tempted to eat out. Cross off meals as you go. Make notes where you went off course, and use them to improve next week's plan.

lindsayk

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Re: help me fix my bad food habits!
« Reply #12 on: May 15, 2015, 09:07:04 AM »
thanks, that is a good idea!!

Bracken_Joy

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Re: help me fix my bad food habits!
« Reply #13 on: May 15, 2015, 09:09:42 AM »
Start by eating whatever you want, as long as it is at home. "If you chase two rabbits, both will get away". Just do one thing at a time. I second the trader joe's recommendation if you have one nearby. They have a lot of chicken sausages and stuff like that that are really easy and fast to prepare.

Good luck.

galliver

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Re: help me fix my bad food habits!
« Reply #14 on: May 15, 2015, 09:49:07 AM »
 I'll add another choice suggesting "one at a time." And I also think the eating out/fast food makes sense to tackle first. After that, you have more control.

When you are ready to tackle eating more nutritiously, you could try adding a vegetable to your existing meals. Most people I know with a bad junk food habit aren't used to those flavors, so going straight to kale salads is a shock. Once a couple vegetables are in your diet, start experimenting with new techniques and ingredients, maybe 1-2 per week. Try grilling (fish, chicken, beef, zucchini, etc). Try stir-fry. Try making meatballs from scratch. Try making soup. Etc.

Above all, to beat your temptation, I think it's important to stick to foods you're excited about. I had homemade sushi for lunch yesterday (I love sushi) and I couldn't wait to get to it! When I have soggy leftover stir fry, the temptation to visit the cafeteria is much greater.

2ndTimer

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Re: help me fix my bad food habits!
« Reply #15 on: May 15, 2015, 09:58:55 AM »
Another vote for one at a time.  When I wanted to eat out less, I started paying attention to what we went out for and then focussed on learning to make those things so well that we didn't want to go out for them because they were better at home.  It doesn't have to be all from scratch.  If for example, you go out for pizza you might start by trying to find a GOOD frozen pizza.  Just eating that at home would save you money. 

kewper

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Re: help me fix my bad food habits!
« Reply #16 on: May 15, 2015, 10:01:05 AM »
thank you for all the replies and suggestions! i think im going to try and focus on trying to not eat out/fast food and eating more at home regardless of if i just live off of frozen waffles and hot dogs for a while. i think trying to go super cheap at the same time would be too much for me. i like rice but im not a big bean fan...i think i should stick with kicking the eat out habit first and focus on eating other things i still like...just at home . thanks so much!

I have done this recently.  I started with NO lunches bought at work.  No exceptions.  That kind of bled into NO dinners.  Now, I have a weekly meal plan.  Definitely one step at a time really works and is not too overwhelming.  Now, if you're on the road--someday -- you can go to McDonalds as a treat.  I promise you it won't taste as good as you remember!!!

frugaliknowit

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Re: help me fix my bad food habits!
« Reply #17 on: May 15, 2015, 11:17:01 AM »
Single person household here.

My suggestion is start by learning to make 2 or 3 staples that you like and that you can make well.  Mine are chicken thighs, turkey meatloaf, and broiled salmon.  If you cook about 3 times per week (enough for several meals), add salads, use leftovers for lunch to go, and have other things on hand (salad stuff, veggies, eggs, Peanut butter and jelly, canned tuna, etc.), you won't need to eat out much and will be well nourished.

Dee18

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Re: help me fix my bad food habits!
« Reply #18 on: May 15, 2015, 11:32:54 AM »
Years ago a "simplify your life" book suggested eating the same thing every week.  So Monday might be chef salad, Tuesday taco chicken.....etc.  At the time, as single mom of a young child, I found this incredibly helpful and my daughter loved it.  She loved knowing Wednesday was mac and cheese and veggies night.  I no longer follow this schedule, but it might be useful to you.  Now I more randomly cook batches, such as the yummy taco chicken in crockpot I learned about on MMM, and freeze the leftovers in individual portions.  So I always have a selection of home cooked frozen entrees.  I mix that with whatever looks good from the farmer's market. 

justplucky

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Re: help me fix my bad food habits!
« Reply #19 on: May 15, 2015, 04:38:10 PM »
I'll add another vote to "one thing at a time." Don't try to change what you're eating at the same time you're changing who is preparing it. Don't try to diet when you're trying to stop eating out. I managed to reduce my eating out from $300-$400/month to around $125 by not trying to go from eating out indulgently to eating in healthfully. Yes, it's still crazy, but it's better. The perfect is the enemy of the good if you're not the type of person who can just flip a switch and change behavior (like me). I've found the following things helpful:

  • Find easy, quick, staple meals you enjoy. I've been eating eggs, tortillas, salsa, and fruit for nearly every weekday breakfast for the past month. I can make it in about 15 minutes and at this point it's mostly on autopilot. If I get bored I can change how I make my eggs, the type of salsa I'm using, even the type of tortilla (flour vs. corn). I can even eat toast instead of tortillas if I'm feeling crazy.
  • Cook big batches when you have more time to cook. Usually I'll cook a lasagna, enchiladas, or a big batch of soup/chili on one weekend day. I'll either freeze it all or 2/3 (it's just me and my husband) in 1/3 increments. On weeknights I can then thaw, microwave, and just toss a salad or something for a side. After you do this several weekends you'll have a nice variety of frozen meals prepared.
  • Make "freezer meal packs." These aren't complete meals like I described above, but rather a way to streamline cooking. For example, I like Penne alla Vodka which has chopped onions, tomato paste, tomato sauce, and heavy cream as some of the ingredients. I'll measure those out in the appropriate amounts for the recipe and freeze little packs with them. This way I don't have to chop onions every time I make the recipe. Also, it cuts down on waste (I'm talking to you, 5/6 of a can of tomato paste).
  • Accept that you're going to mess up. Sometimes I don't plan well or the moon is in the seventh house and Jupiter is aligned with Mars and I just want some Thai takeout. I'm getting better as time passes though, because I keep trying.

Eating a $4 ready-made meal at home is better than eating a $6 fast food meal, even if it isn't the most mustachian.

lhamo

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Re: help me fix my bad food habits!
« Reply #20 on: May 15, 2015, 06:35:45 PM »
Some things that work well in our family:

1)  Pre-cooking components of other meals on the weekend.  For example, I will often:

-Make batches of hummus (super easy in a blender or food processor)
-pre-slice vegetables (carrot/celery/cucumber sticks for dipping in hummus, diced veggies for use in pasta sauce or stir fry)
-pre-wash lettuce or spinach for a salad based
-boil a bunch of eggs
-broil or saute a couple of chicken breasts
- make a batch of muffins (sweet or savory), or a loaf of bread -- good crusty bread can be great as the base for an open-faced sandwich, or the base for "pizza" (spread some pasta sauce, toppings and cheese on top of a piece and throw it under the broiler), etc.

If you have those things waiting for you in the fridge, it is super easy to put a meal together when you get home, even if it is just a nice salad.  Same components can also be used to put together a quick lunch, if you don't have leftovers to take.

2)  Learn to make home cooked versions of fast food. 

My favorite here is my home-made sausage McMuffin.  You basically need a package of English muffins, some sliced cheese (DS prefers swiss over cheddar, so that is what I use), some frozen sausage patties (can also make your own from ground sausage, but the frozen ones are really simple, and an egg.  I put the sausage patties in the frying pan, then whip up one egg and a dash of milk in a small bowl and then (this is my favorite trick) put the bowl directly in the microwave on high for 1 minute -- the egg cooks into this nice little round egg mcmuffin like shape.  It is so awesome.  My son was super stoked when I figured out how to do this -- he actually likes my version better than the McD's version at this point.

3)  Batch cook on the weekends, and refrigerate or freeze the leftovers for weekday lunches

This is how I deal with work lunches.  I'll make a big batch of something over the weekend -- chili or another type of hearty soup (lentils are a great and cheap base), large batch of stir fried something, curry, a big pot of pasta, etc. -- and then put the leftovers into individual serving containers and freeze them.   I like to freeze them because then they are solid when I put them in my backpack -- no leakage issues on the way to work.  I leave the container sitting out on my desk, and it is typically about 1/2 thawed by lunchtime.  Then I nuke for 3-4 minutes to finish off before eating.  I typically will have a piece of fruit along with the main dish for lunch.

You could also have leftovers for dinner, obviously

4)  Be ok with eating simple meals, at different times than usual

When I am home by myself and don't feel like cooking, or just have to cook for one of the kids, I will often declare it "breakfast for dinner" night and make something simple like eggs on toast with sriracha sauce (DS's favorite), or cereal, or pancakes/waffles.  Or we'll just have sandwiches, or a bowl of ramen or something really simple.  In the US I keep canned soup on hand for times like this, too (too expensive to buy here).    Last week I made DS an awesome omelet for dinner using up a piece of sausage and some veggies that I didn't have another use for. 

Hope some of these tips are useful -- good luck changing your habits!  Both your wallet and your health will benefit, so I hope you can stick with it.

NotJen

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Re: help me fix my bad food habits!
« Reply #21 on: May 15, 2015, 07:57:19 PM »
Eggs are my go-to for a quick meal.  Tonight was super-simple: asparagus and olive oil in a frying pan for a few minutes.  Pour on two eggs, sprinkle some cheese (whatever's in the fridge that isn't cheddar or american...), salt and pepper.  I love a good runny egg on top of just about anything.  I used to make fried egg sandwiches a lot, but now I'll saute my leftover greens and serve the eggs on top.

Speaking of vegetables, I'll saute just about anything in olive oil for an easy side dish.

Ever since I found an easy pizza crust recipe (http://gwens-nest.com/easy-bread-recipe/), I've been making my own frozen pizza.  It's soooo good.  You can go as simple or as weird as you want (a summer favorite of mine is peach and tomato when I've got peaches out my ears from my CSA box).

Also, I freeze anything and everything.  Don't let food go bad - freeze it!

lindsayk

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Re: help me fix my bad food habits!
« Reply #22 on: May 15, 2015, 09:43:35 PM »
you guys are all so awesome for responding! thank you so so so much! ive been struggling with this for a long time. I love all the suggestions and the consensus to just worry about kicking the fast food/eating out habit right now...even if that means still not eating super healthy or the cheapest right now. I love the idea for making my own Mcd's McMuffin at home!!! McD's is my favorite! Again, thank you so much for all the time each of you took to respond to this. So helpful!

Cressida

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Re: help me fix my bad food habits!
« Reply #23 on: May 15, 2015, 10:57:32 PM »
I'll add another vote to "one thing at a time." Don't try to change what you're eating at the same time you're changing who is preparing it. Don't try to diet when you're trying to stop eating out. I managed to reduce my eating out from $300-$400/month to around $125 by not trying to go from eating out indulgently to eating in healthfully. Yes, it's still crazy, but it's better. The perfect is the enemy of the good if you're not the type of person who can just flip a switch and change behavior (like me).

This is good advice. If you really are relying on the drive-thru, even just switching from that to frozen heat-and-serve Trader Joe's products is much better and not that much harder. If that eventually helps you kick the drive-thru habit, then maybe later start thinking about preparing stuff from scratch. Trying to make too big of a change all at once can sometimes just be discouraging.

Bracken_Joy

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Re: help me fix my bad food habits!
« Reply #24 on: May 16, 2015, 08:32:01 AM »
I'll add another vote to "one thing at a time." Don't try to change what you're eating at the same time you're changing who is preparing it. Don't try to diet when you're trying to stop eating out. I managed to reduce my eating out from $300-$400/month to around $125 by not trying to go from eating out indulgently to eating in healthfully. Yes, it's still crazy, but it's better. The perfect is the enemy of the good if you're not the type of person who can just flip a switch and change behavior (like me).

This is good advice. If you really are relying on the drive-thru, even just switching from that to frozen heat-and-serve Trader Joe's products is much better and not that much harder. If that eventually helps you kick the drive-thru habit, then maybe later start thinking about preparing stuff from scratch. Trying to make too big of a change all at once can sometimes just be discouraging.

Here are meals that got me through college and some family health crises, before I got my nutrition and budget dialed in:
Trader Joe's enchiladas (frozen, heat)
TJ's pre-made salad
TJ's "just chicken", precooked and seasoned chicken. I would get this + their frozen mac and cheese and mix together.
Costco sells chimichangas in huge bags that are individually frozen. I ate a lot of these.

When I started cooking more, I did a very easy approach to it. Rice + frozen veggies + canned diced tomatoes into a casserole dish, top with cheese and foil, bake. Eat with whatever protein I had around or add canned beans. Eventually I learned to make dry beans. Baby steps.

You'll do great =)

PJ

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Re: help me fix my bad food habits!
« Reply #25 on: May 16, 2015, 09:58:00 AM »
I'm also trying to fix my bad habit of going through drive-thru's rather than eating at home.  Breakfast bagels and coffees don't seem expensive, one trip at a time, but they do add up, and so do the lunches.  I agree that it's very important to make sure that you have stuff at home that you like to eat, it really helps when you're trying to wean yourself off the fast food.

A few things that I've found I must keep around - so basic!  Cereal, milk, bread, tomato, cheese, hummus, peanut butter.  When I come home late after an evening meeting, I'll happily settle for cereal, or toast with cheese or peanut butter, or a hummus and tomato sandwich, or cheese and tomato sandwich under the broiler. 

The keystone items are bread and milk, actually - if I run through a mental list of what's in the house, and neither of them are on the list, it pretty much guarantees a fast food stop!

backyardfeast

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Re: help me fix my bad food habits!
« Reply #26 on: May 16, 2015, 10:01:25 AM »
All great advice here!  I love how gentle people can be on this forum, and still throw the facepunches when necessary. :)

I just wanted to add that, perhaps for phase II, remember that you can start adding extra ingredients to the premade foods that you'll start by buying and transitioning too.  Someone mentioned the frozen pizza option.  We have a good grocery store one that's about 10$ for a huge pepperoni pizza.  But remember that, when you're feeling ambitious, you can start adding your own extra toppings!  Different cheeses, add some finely chopped spinach, whatever.  Same with pasta sauce: buy a jar to mix with your pasta, and then start adding extra veggies or browning your own meat first.  Buy a deli bean salad and put it over your own lettuce, or buy a rotisserie chicken and add leftover bits to a can of vegetable or bean soup.

I think thinking of this in terms of phases would be useful, and I agree with the poster who mentioned that your taste buds need to adjust too.  So after a few months of just swapping grocery store/deli items for fast food items, push yourself to just try different flavours, and, as above, transition to "cooking" habits.  Ie--don't worry about making things from scratch yet, but do get in the habit of doing a little bit of extra prep in your kitchen, the *routine* of cooking.  Then, as others have said, maybe a few months later, you pick a couple of days a week (weekends) that you'll try a recipe or two from scratch just to see how it goes. 

Recognize that what you're aiming for is (hopefully) something edible, but the main purpose is to notice how different foods are made, what the basic techniques are.  For instance, just about all soups are made the same way: saute onions, garlic, other seasonings, other chopped vegetables.  Add some water/stock/liquid (not milks/creams yet), boil until veggies are cooked.  Taste to add salt, pepper, or whatever else, and then either eat, or add milk/creams with any cooked ingredients (like leftover bits of veg or meat), simmer until hot through and then eat.  Or puree a little with a hand blender and then eat.  If you practice this sort of routine, you'll find that some variations work better than others, and occaisionally you'll make something inedible. :)  But that's ok!  I find it helpful to remember at these times that sometimes it's ok for food to just be fuel, it doesn't *always* have to be the tastiest thing ever, lol.  I just don't freeze those leftovers!

Anyway, if you practice soup, you're a hair away from stews, chilis, pasta sauces, etc.  Just go slow, and soon you'll have a repertoire of *techiniques* that you can use for any ingredients you want to use.  Good luck!  (I'm a big fan of cookbooks from the library too.  Jamie Oliver's Save with Jamie is a really good basic one, for instance)

jdgj

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Re: help me fix my bad food habits!
« Reply #27 on: May 16, 2015, 10:08:46 AM »
+1 on the eating out too much. I definitely need to change that, because my budgeted food (fast food + groceries.. when I get them) rivals that of my monthly rent payment.

I have subscribed to this thread to see all the suggestions, and hope to incorporate them into my own lifestyle changes.

Exhibit A: This morning, after returning to my town from the auto repair shop (yeah, I know, but apartment complexes and their rules -- thankfully, all is well enough for now), I was feeling a little hungry. I thought, "oh, maybe a waffle or something" -- but as I was in the middle of second-guessing that decision, I decided "no. cereal and milk."

So that's what I did. Probably ate too much, but meh. I'll not eat anything again today until I attend a cookout party at a coworker's house.

galliver

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Re: help me fix my bad food habits!
« Reply #28 on: May 16, 2015, 01:54:03 PM »
One more thing I meant to but forgot to mention: one big stumbling block for major changes (particularly diet and/or exercise plans) is that people feel "all or nothing" about it and once they mess up, they just go back to their old ways. This is why lots of diets have cheat days, and why I give myself a "rule of one". I get one breakfast and one lunch "out" (usually at the cafeteria) each week. Obviously I don't have to "use" them and it's balanced against the budget as a whole, etc. But I don't kick myself too hard if I do. I enjoy a half hour with a coffee and a croissant and MMM in the morning and letting myself do that is great for my mental health. And our cafeteria makes great pizza and sushi for enjoying occasionally. Your rule might be different, but do decide in advance what is reasonable and give yourself a safety valve. In my experience, knowing it's there and being able to look forward to it helps stick to the plan the rest of the time.


Vilx-

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Re: help me fix my bad food habits!
« Reply #29 on: May 16, 2015, 02:13:37 PM »
Something that I didn't see mentioned here yet:
McDonald's is my happy place
One thing that can hamper habit-breaking efforts is that we don't adequately realize what it is that we like about that habit in the first place. Think about it - is it only the food that you're after when you're going to McDonalds? If you could click a button and a McMeal would materialize in the workplace kitchen, so you could get it the same way as the home-made healthy food you brought with you, would you still eat it? Chances are that not. It's quite likely that McDonalds has other things to offer besides the food - like a break in the middle of a busy workday, or some time for yourself, or whatever. Identify what these other things are for you, and when trying to break your habit, take care to duplicate those effects too somehow. Otherwise it will feel like a chore and eventually you'll just give up.

jj20051

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Re: help me fix my bad food habits!
« Reply #30 on: May 16, 2015, 04:14:58 PM »
One thing that can hamper habit-breaking efforts is that we don't adequately realize what it is that we like about that habit in the first place. Think about it - is it only the food that you're after when you're going to McDonalds? If you could click a button and a McMeal would materialize in the workplace kitchen, so you could get it the same way as the home-made healthy food you brought with you, would you still eat it? Chances are that not. It's quite likely that McDonalds has other things to offer besides the food - like a break in the middle of a busy workday, or some time for yourself, or whatever. Identify what these other things are for you, and when trying to break your habit, take care to duplicate those effects too somehow. Otherwise it will feel like a chore and eventually you'll just give up.

So unfortunately yes would be my answer. I don't enjoy sitting at the drive through. I literally am looking for something that: is cheap, keeps my meat-sack happy and doesn't involve me having to touch raw food. I have a very limited sense of taste so I can literally order 2 mcdoubles every time I go.

If I had a easy button which would make me exact replicas of their burgers at home while only inserting packages of food product into the machine I'd seriously consider it.

My mustashian side is the only thing standing between me and using fast food for every meal.
« Last Edit: May 16, 2015, 04:16:42 PM by jj20051 »

Vilx-

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Re: help me fix my bad food habits!
« Reply #31 on: May 17, 2015, 01:36:25 AM »
Well, that's great! :) Wish I was as lucky as you! :D

Ursa

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Re: help me fix my bad food habits!
« Reply #32 on: May 17, 2015, 03:18:23 AM »
For healthy breakfasts I like to blend everything into a smoothie with a little milk and sometimes even yogurt!  I've mixed together everything including blueberries and tomatoes.  Don't knock on it until you've tried it.

It's an easy go to breakfast for me and once you get the combinations that work well together, it's delicious and healthy!

highcountry

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Re: help me fix my bad food habits!
« Reply #33 on: May 17, 2015, 11:51:35 AM »
I have similar issues around kitchen stuff.  So far the most useful resource I have found was The Four Hour Chef by Tim Ferris.  I had it in my head somehow that cooking always had to be a production in order to produce good results.  That book has been teaching me to cook well with minimal effort. Its not a budget oriented book (low carb and fancy ingredients at times), but it's been great for understanding how easy and stress free good cooking can be if you understand the processes and steps.


TaxChick

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Re: help me fix my bad food habits!
« Reply #34 on: May 17, 2015, 02:00:32 PM »
Six and a half months ago I found out that I have sensitivities to gluten, dairy, eggs and soy.  Before that time, I might cook a meal once or twice per month. In previous attempts to cook, I had used so much processed food, that I found I was eating healthier by making good choices in the cafeteria versus what I cooked.  Now I pretty much have to start with whole foods.  So, the change in my lifestyle was pretty dramatic. 

Now I like to use my crockpot to cook up several servings of food. I then divide it immediately in lunch size containers. Every morning, I pick one up and toss it in my lunch bag.  It doesn't take any longer to cook four chicken breasts than it does one. I will also oven roast a big pan of vegetables once or twice per week.

It has been an adjustment, but within a few days I started to feel much better. I was able to sleep better. I lost twenty pounds in less than a month and a half.