Author Topic: What is a good diet for a working Mustachian?  (Read 17838 times)

clifford4970

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Re: What is a good diet for a working Mustachian?
« Reply #50 on: April 05, 2016, 12:03:56 PM »
My Wife and I's favorite item in our kitchen is the waffle iron.

We use it just about every day.  We use a waffle mix from Costco called Kodiak Power Cakes.  Has 14g Protein per serving (190 calories & 5g Fiber).  We have waffles with Peanut Butter and Fruit multiple times a week (breakfast or dinner).

We also make grilled cheese in the waffle iron.  Cooks it perfectly and we don't use butter.  Our favorite recipe is take a tablespoon of Fat Free Cream Cheese and spread it on one side of bread, sprinkle a little bit of garlic salt, add your cheese and close the waffle iron.  1-2 minutes later a perfectly melted grilled cheese.  We sometimes add sliced lunch meat.

Cooking never takes more than 5 minutes, and clean up is a quick wipe down after use, and every week, a real good cleaning.

ketchup

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Re: What is a good diet for a working Mustachian?
« Reply #51 on: April 05, 2016, 01:22:28 PM »
Crock pot meals are your friend.  Anything that makes a bunch of servings are also your friend.  Lots of meals can be made in <30 minutes too.

A good tactic that somebody else alluded to is preparing ingredients ahead of time or "recycling" leftovers.  Day 1: Make a bunch of shredded chicken.  Make a bunch of rice.  Eat chicken and rice seasoned a way you like.  Day 2: Chicken salad.  Day 3: Chicken fried rice.  Day 4: shredded chicken over baked potatoes with awesome homemade BBQ sauce.  Day 5: Awesome homemade BBQ sauce with something else.  Definitely doable with <30 minutes of work each day.

Steam-in-the-bag vegetables can be handy in a pinch on busy days (or at work).  I never bought them before because I assumed they were crappy and overpriced, but there's not too bad once in a while cost-wise.  They're a joke in the serving-size department.  One full bag (12~16oz) is about one reasonable serving for a side dish.  Microwaving "baked" potatoes is pretty quick and hands-off as well (just have to get a feel for how your microwave likes them because over or under cooking them goes badly this way).

Anything's better than store-bought frozen meals.  Worst-case, you're eating total crap; best-case you're overpaying for too little semi-OK food.

jjcamembert

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Re: What is a good diet for a working Mustachian?
« Reply #52 on: April 05, 2016, 02:27:19 PM »
We don't batch cook, but we try to make big meals most of the time that we can eat as leftovers as next night's dinner, next day's lunch, etc. It takes about the same amount of time to make more servings of the same meal, so that's an easy time saver.

For lunches, easiest thing is fish salad. For even more time savings, I used to keep all of my salad ingredients at work and assemble my salad there.

Planning is key. We try to plan crockpot or leftover meals on nights when we have activities, but cook on other nights.

tobitonic

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Re: What is a good diet for a working Mustachian?
« Reply #53 on: April 05, 2016, 04:38:22 PM »
Good food takes time to prepare. Most folks have suggested batch cooking, and that's as short as it gets without hiring someone to cook for you. My wife and I trade off cooking each night, and between cooking fresh and eating leftovers, we probably make 4-6 dinners a week. Each dinner typically takes between 1.5h and 2.5h to cook. And we have two young children. To be frank, it's a very American frame of mind that cooking should only take a half hour or some other super short span of time; in most of the rest of the world, folks acknowledge the time things like cooking (and eating!) take rather than attempting to overoptimize them. Try it; you'll live longer.

Citation needed?

LOL. You removed the citation from my post when quoting it.

2buttons

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Re: What is a good diet for a working Mustachian?
« Reply #54 on: April 05, 2016, 06:35:23 PM »
My wife and I both work 40 hours a week, standard business hours. The last thing  we want to do is come home and cook for a hour and then spend another hour cleaning up, packing leftovers for lunch the next day. We also do not want to spend extra money  or sacrifice nutrition for the convenience of not cooking.

No offense, but most meals unless you are doing the big batch meals, shouldn't take over 20 minutes. Cooking is a skill/art and its one everyone should learn, because the more you craft your skill/art, the quicker the process becomes.

To answer your question there is an absolute ton of meals you can make, but it all depends on what you like. Throwing a "big salad" together alone should take you more than 5 minutes. Pasta meals?  Most pasta is cooked in 10 minutes or less. Rice 20 minutes.  Grilling or sautéing meats 10-12 minutes.  Its like financial stuff, just plan and attempt, and correct.

Allrecipes is free.  Great place to start.   

Also, if you want a great tool and willing to spend the cash $40 - Plan To Eat.  Game changer for me for meal planning and shopping. 
« Last Edit: April 05, 2016, 06:37:33 PM by 2buttons »

ender

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Re: What is a good diet for a working Mustachian?
« Reply #55 on: April 06, 2016, 06:40:07 AM »
Crockpots are also great because they naturally lend themselves to healthy(er) meals.

Lots of natural stuff - vegetables or meat - generally will be healthier than processed stuff. Crockpots are great for "have vegetables what to do!" and just dumping them in there.

They also let you do the prep work when you want, whether the night before and thrown in the fridge or morning of. When it comes time to eat you just turn it off and serve.

ooeei

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Re: What is a good diet for a working Mustachian?
« Reply #56 on: April 06, 2016, 06:47:52 AM »
Good food takes time to prepare. Most folks have suggested batch cooking, and that's as short as it gets without hiring someone to cook for you. My wife and I trade off cooking each night, and between cooking fresh and eating leftovers, we probably make 4-6 dinners a week. Each dinner typically takes between 1.5h and 2.5h to cook. And we have two young children. To be frank, it's a very American frame of mind that cooking should only take a half hour or some other super short span of time; in most of the rest of the world, folks acknowledge the time things like cooking (and eating!) take rather than attempting to overoptimize them. Try it; you'll live longer.

Citation needed?

LOL. You removed the citation from my post when quoting it.

I think he was asking for a citation to the "Good food takes time to prepare." combined with the 1.5-2.5hr time span you then mentioned.  While you can certainly make lots of great stuff with 1.5-2.5 hours of prep/cooking, you can also make plenty of tasty stuff in a shorter timeframe.  A huge portion of the restaurant industry is based around fast cooking recipes and people love eating at restaurants.


To those of you talking about not liking batch cooking because then you eat the same thing 5x in a week, freeze the leftovers and problem solved.  We usually have 3-5 options from batch cooked meals in the freezer at any given time.  I got a $100 chest freezer off of craigslist 4 years ago and it's been great for this.  Most meat based dishes freeze very well (pasta sauce, taco meat, pulled pork, sausage to use in stir fry, roast chicken, etc), beans freeze well, soups freeze well, and even things like casserole freeze well enough that I'm happy to eat them.  Sure, casserole may not be as good as the day you cooked it, but it'll most likely be better than a lean cuisine.

If someone literally doesn't have 15 minutes to an hour on a weekday, and an occasional block of time on a weekend to do some low active time batch cooking, then they shouldn't feel bad about outsourcing their food production because they're working their asses off and probably are better served working during meal prep times.  Someone who works 40 hours a week, commutes an hour each way, takes an hour for lunch, and sleeps 10 hours a night still has 43 hours a week of free time (more than their time spent working).  For a couple this doubles to 86 hours a week of free time.  I don't think asking for an hour a day for food prep is that intense of an idea (15 minutes each for breakfast/lunch, and 30 minutes for dinner on average).  Maybe add a few hours during the weekend where you're just making sure the house doesn't burn down while something slow simmers.

GrOW

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Re: What is a good diet for a working Mustachian?
« Reply #57 on: April 06, 2016, 09:15:37 AM »
Another vote for batch cooking. Use your favorite of crockpot, pressure cooker, smoker, oven, etc, or all of them!

I would also add that the six small meals a day method works well for my family. Great for the metabolism and can really keep things from getting into too much of a routine.

Ceridwen

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Re: What is a good diet for a working Mustachian?
« Reply #58 on: April 06, 2016, 09:58:57 AM »
Another vote for batch cooking.  One of my favourite lunch is sweet potato burritos.  I always have a stash in my freezer to grab in the morning when I don't have leftovers to eat.

My base recipe was this one: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/13954/addictive-sweet-potato-burritos/

But I don't really follow it anymore because I found it a bit bland.  Now I cook and mash the sweet potatoes and add chili powder to that mixture.  For the beans, I saute onions, garlic and jalapenos, add the black beans and cumin, then mash about half of it.  On the tortillas, I layer about 1/3 cup of sweet potato, shredded cheese, then 1/3 cup beans, then fold it up and bake it for about 20 mins on 350.  Let it cool, the wrap them individually in saran-wrap and freeze in a large ziploc bag.

I let it defrost in the morning and it's usually good to go by lunchtime.  You can warm it up in the microwave, but it's even better in a toaster oven if you have access to one at work.

EngineerYogi

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Re: What is a good diet for a working Mustachian?
« Reply #59 on: April 06, 2016, 02:47:30 PM »
Another vote for batch cooking.  One of my favourite lunch is sweet potato burritos.  I always have a stash in my freezer to grab in the morning when I don't have leftovers to eat.

My base recipe was this one: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/13954/addictive-sweet-potato-burritos/

But I don't really follow it anymore because I found it a bit bland.  Now I cook and mash the sweet potatoes and add chili powder to that mixture.  For the beans, I saute onions, garlic and jalapenos, add the black beans and cumin, then mash about half of it.  On the tortillas, I layer about 1/3 cup of sweet potato, shredded cheese, then 1/3 cup beans, then fold it up and bake it for about 20 mins on 350.  Let it cool, the wrap them individually in saran-wrap and freeze in a large ziploc bag.

I let it defrost in the morning and it's usually good to go by lunchtime.  You can warm it up in the microwave, but it's even better in a toaster oven if you have access to one at work.

Those sound delicious!! I'm hanging around this thread just for more good ideas :)

Noodle

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Re: What is a good diet for a working Mustachian?
« Reply #60 on: April 06, 2016, 04:49:55 PM »
There is the classic saying--there is no such thing as cheap, quick and good. Pick two. Batch cooking is somewhat more efficient than cooking a full meal nightly, but most times it is going to involve some kind of time investment, so I get the objection.

Basically, since you have already decided that "quick" is one of your parameters, you have to decide what you are willing to give up. You can split the difference--for instance, buy produce that is already cut up (my grocery store has tons of this). More expensive than buying the whole thing, usually, but cheaper than going out to eat because you can't face peeling a butternut squash on a work night. Or you could compromise on variety. One suggestion I have made before on this forum is to use the very old system of having a "theme" each night of the week. One night is pasta night, one night is breakfast for dinner night, etc. Or you could eat more "lunchlike" foods--sandwich and a bowl of soup, for instance.

There are plenty of very quick foods to put together, but they aren't fancy. For instance, scrambled eggs, toast, and a piece of fruit. Individual pizzas on pita breads. Pasta, sauce, frozen meatballs and a quick salad. Chicken breasts on the grill + a very simple vegetable side dish (sliced tomatoes, for instance.)

LiveFreeOrPie

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Re: What is a good diet for a working Mustachian?
« Reply #61 on: April 08, 2016, 08:34:45 AM »
I have a handful of recipes I can't go wrong with that make a large quantity of delicious, healthy, inexpensive food.

The tough thing is getting tired of eating the same thing. If I were more on top of things I would freeze half of what I make right away and always  have at least two options to choose from when I add in previously frozen meals.

Dal, chili, vegetable lasagna, this amazing japanese curry, various slow cooker meals, greek baked ziti, etc.

I should post more links!

http://www.wsj.com/articles/curry-rice-with-pork-belly-recipe-1411591496?tesla=y
http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/greek-baked-ziti-0

ooeei

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Re: What is a good diet for a working Mustachian?
« Reply #62 on: April 08, 2016, 09:28:13 AM »
There is the classic saying--there is no such thing as cheap, quick and good. Pick two. Batch cooking is somewhat more efficient than cooking a full meal nightly, but most times it is going to involve some kind of time investment, so I get the objection.

Basically, since you have already decided that "quick" is one of your parameters, you have to decide what you are willing to give up. You can split the difference--for instance, buy produce that is already cut up (my grocery store has tons of this). More expensive than buying the whole thing, usually, but cheaper than going out to eat because you can't face peeling a butternut squash on a work night. Or you could compromise on variety. One suggestion I have made before on this forum is to use the very old system of having a "theme" each night of the week. One night is pasta night, one night is breakfast for dinner night, etc. Or you could eat more "lunchlike" foods--sandwich and a bowl of soup, for instance.

There are plenty of very quick foods to put together, but they aren't fancy. For instance, scrambled eggs, toast, and a piece of fruit. Individual pizzas on pita breads. Pasta, sauce, frozen meatballs and a quick salad. Chicken breasts on the grill + a very simple vegetable side dish (sliced tomatoes, for instance.)

I guess it depends how you define "quick".  There have been plenty of examples in this thread of good things that take <30 minutes and are cheap.  For restaurants 30 minutes per plate would be ludicrously slow, but for someone at home it's probably comparable to driving to a restaurant, ordering, waiting for the food, and driving home.

If "quick" means 3 minutes, the saying probably holds. 

MountainFlower

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Re: What is a good diet for a working Mustachian?
« Reply #63 on: April 08, 2016, 12:17:52 PM »
You might want to explore a ketogenic (low carb, high fat) diet which can allow you to easily skip meals without any difficulty.  MMM eats paleo, not necessarily ketogenic but certainly is at times,  and in an article about what he eats, explains that he makes a high fat avocado omelet for breakfast and skips lunch.  This is how I eat, somewhat, and find it very liberating not to be hungry all the time. 

powersuitrecall

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Re: What is a good diet for a working Mustachian?
« Reply #64 on: April 08, 2016, 12:31:19 PM »
Last year we purchased an InstantPot counter top pressure cooker, and it has led to a huge improvement in our diet.  We are cooking with raw ingredients more often and have all but removed processed foods from our diet (DW being diagnosed celiac kinda necessitated that).  The web is absolutely filled with recipes and inspiration.  Most meals take less than an hour to prepare and serve, and the mess is mostly contained to the Instant Pot itself.  We love it!

Noodle

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Re: What is a good diet for a working Mustachian?
« Reply #65 on: April 08, 2016, 04:36:49 PM »
There is the classic saying--there is no such thing as cheap, quick and good. Pick two. Batch cooking is somewhat more efficient than cooking a full meal nightly, but most times it is going to involve some kind of time investment, so I get the objection.

Basically, since you have already decided that "quick" is one of your parameters, you have to decide what you are willing to give up. You can split the difference--for instance, buy produce that is already cut up (my grocery store has tons of this). More expensive than buying the whole thing, usually, but cheaper than going out to eat because you can't face peeling a butternut squash on a work night. Or you could compromise on variety. One suggestion I have made before on this forum is to use the very old system of having a "theme" each night of the week. One night is pasta night, one night is breakfast for dinner night, etc. Or you could eat more "lunchlike" foods--sandwich and a bowl of soup, for instance.

There are plenty of very quick foods to put together, but they aren't fancy. For instance, scrambled eggs, toast, and a piece of fruit. Individual pizzas on pita breads. Pasta, sauce, frozen meatballs and a quick salad. Chicken breasts on the grill + a very simple vegetable side dish (sliced tomatoes, for instance.)

I guess it depends how you define "quick".  There have been plenty of examples in this thread of good things that take <30 minutes and are cheap.  For restaurants 30 minutes per plate would be ludicrously slow, but for someone at home it's probably comparable to driving to a restaurant, ordering, waiting for the food, and driving home.

If "quick" means 3 minutes, the saying probably holds.

Oh, sure. The OP was originally proposing a diet of fruits, nuts and Lean Cuisines, so I assumed even 30 minutes would feel excessive to him.