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Joined: 15 May 2008
Total Posts: 20

PostPosted: Thu Jun 19, 2008 9:35 pm    Post subject: No Time to Cook Reply with quote

So my husband and I both work from 1pm-9pm full time. One top of that we are volunteers in youth ministry at our church, which takes up a bunch of our time. I never have any time to cook and if I do, I never have any time to cook anything healthy. We end up eating microwave meals every day. Then we get sick of them and we turn to the fast food. Any suggestions on what I can do to eat healthier?
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Joined: 11 Mar 2008
Total Posts: 91

PostPosted: Fri Jun 20, 2008 12:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My hubby and I were in a similar situation where we worked all day and then were so tired we didn't feel like cooking and got tired of microwave meals and so then would eat out.

We've come up with a compromise situation where half of our dinners we will cook at home and we pick things that are easy and that we can do prep work on the weekends when we do have a bit of time. The other nights we do eat out but we choose things we know aren't as bad (i.e. grilled chicken salads, chicken taco).

We also have added mixed greens salads to our dinners because they are easy to throw together and help you feel full so you don't need to cook as much dinner food.

For veggies, I like the BirdsEye Steam Fresh as you can just pop them in the microwave while you are boiling water for pasta or grilling up some chicken.

For meat, I know it's a bit more expensive but when you are just trying to cook and then relax, buying chicken breasts in the single portion (I think from Perdue) takes the thinking out of what you need to get done.

We also like the Uncle Ben's rice that can be cooked in 90 seconds.

So we cut corners with some food prep that uses the microwave but is combined with meals we make ourselves.

When we don't have a lot of time, we grab fruit that is already cut up, etc. as well.

We are getting ready to start taking our lunches to work again but we're going to do a similar compromise. I will probably spend a couple hours Sunday afternoon prepping as much as I can so that during the week I can just reach in the fridge and grab and go.

I hope some of those suggestions help Smile
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Joined: 15 May 2008
Total Posts: 20

PostPosted: Fri Jun 20, 2008 6:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks! That is a big help!
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Joined: 20 Jun 2005
Total Posts: 519

PostPosted: Wed Jun 25, 2008 3:37 am    Post subject: Two ideas... Reply with quote


I know the feeling...what I use to do when I worked 2-3 jobs is cook on the weekend.

I'd pick one day - usually Sunday - and cook several things. Like soup or pasta or lasagna.

Then I would freeze it in little containers that held one serving.

In the morning, during the week, I'd grab a few containers to take with me for lunch and dinner. I always had variety because the things I made had quite a few servings.

Now what I do is make a menu for the week. And a grocery list.

When I go grocery shopping, I pick up items on the list and anything else that I see that I could use, such as fresh veggies.

I cook the whole thing of steak and put the leftovers, in single serving containers, in the fridge. They make great lunches or dinners for the next evening. Sometimes I freeze the extras.

I often take the extra veggies I buy and cut them up and freeze them while dinner is cooking. I do the same thing with fruit. (The fruit can be added to cereal, ice cream, or made into fruit smoothies.)

When I need to, dinner is cooking, I put on another pot of water, sometimes broth, and take out baggies of frozen veggies and throw them in. Add some spices.

Whola! Veggies soup! If I have left over meat in the fridge, I often add that.

I eat dinner, the soup (which literally took 5 minutes to prepare and to cook) cools. After dinner, I put it into containers and freeze.

The goal is to have some easy to eat meals in the fridge and the freezer that I can take to work for lunch and dinner.

I hope these ideas will work for you, at least some of the time.

Soon to be slender Sara!

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Joined: 18 Dec 2007
Total Posts: 1097

PostPosted: Wed Jun 25, 2008 1:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sara and Sharon - those are both AWESOME sets of tips! I'm going to keep this post bookmarked for whenever I need some food prep ideas!

Thank you!

All the best,
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Joined: 06 Jun 2006
Total Posts: 398

PostPosted: Wed Jul 02, 2008 10:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I grill a lot. I know some people think I am crazy when there is snow on the deck and I am trudging through it to get to my grill. Very Happy

I like to take chicken breasts and throw them in ziploc bags with some marinade. I just throw them in the freezer and pull it out 1-2day before I want to cook it. This also works with shrimp and fish (if you are a fish eater.) Then when I get home from work I can just toss them on the grill. If I don't want to grill I can toss them in the oven and cook or if I am really in a hurry in a non-stick pan. I have really good non-stick pans that don't even require oil most of the time.

Also I do like Sara for lunches. Sunday evening is time to make lunches. I pre-make salads in serving size ziploc bowls or cut up veggies and toss them in the ziploc steamer bags. Then I make a main dish. Pork tenderloin is my current favorite because it is so full of protein and low in fat. I found a fantastic Jerk marinade at the store and I just marinade it over night then cook and separate into ziptop bags for serving sizes.

We have a good size fridge at work and I apprehended one of the drawers in the bottom for my foods. I keep it full of ready to eat snacks. Lunch meats, sliced cheese, pudding cups, string cheese, cottage cheese (I like cheese) and fruit. This way I have options and I don't get bored. I find when I get bored of my food I wonder off the path.

Finding time to plan your meals is one of the most important things you can do to change your lifestyle.

Marathon runners don't worry about the conditions, they just run anyway
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Joined: 25 Jun 2008
Total Posts: 98

PostPosted: Thu Jul 03, 2008 4:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In of those conversations with the hub last night...I brought up the kids attitudes about eating out, how we grew up, etc.

Then I suggested that we work a little harder when it's just the two of us alone for the evening...

Basically, if it's just him and I, we don't always plan ahead time wise.

For example, last night, we ended up being out and about until nearly 10pm. We had to eat out.

Tonight, we KNOW we will be out and about. I am going to go home early, cook dinner, and pick him up at Metro. He will eat while I drive. Smile One less meal out!!!

When we have any of the kids with us, we always plan ahead and have sandwiches and snack foods cuz the food bill for eating out with them is um, uncomfortable.

So we are now committed to making the effort even when it's just the two of us!

In for a "Penny", out for a pound!
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Joined: 18 Dec 2008
Total Posts: 14

PostPosted: Mon Dec 22, 2008 9:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

When you have some time(maybe over the weekend) try making a bunch of different meals for the week that keep will in the freezer so you can just warm them up when you both get home.
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