Wednesday, April 27, 2011

No time to cook?

You may have noticed that I've been lagging a little with the posts. That's because I've been working...a lot...and researching, and spending time with my children, among life's other activities. While trying to keep up with my busy schedule, I found it difficult at times to follow the diet. I'm sure many of you are faced with the same dilemma. Many of these weeks I was able to cook all of my meals on Sunday, or Saturday, whichever worked best with my schedule, and freeze them until I could thaw them for my family and I to enjoy near dinner time. For lunch, I would simply pack a lunch for the next day before going to bed every night. This worked really well for awhile, until my job required me to work on Saturdays too, and then on Sundays I had activities with extended family, so my whole week's worth of meals was blown because I couldn't cook. What do you do when you simply can't prepare meals? I had to learn to be creative, and it took a little time to become acclimated to the foods available to me because I was so used to cooking. Here are a few tips:

1) Visit a grocery store salad bar. You are able to choose your own toppings, healthier lettuce and vegetables instead of what you typically find in salads prepared for you, and you can grab it and go! Plus, you can grab as much or as little as you want, along with some fruit if you like.

2) Subway has a great tuna sandwich on flatbread with only mayonnaise, no onions. I learned about this from a fellow migraine sufferer. You can also enjoy their veggie sandwich on flatbread.

3) Don't be afraid to make eggs for dinner. They cook very fast and provide lean protein. Serve with vegetables and whole grain bread. Serve with fruit too if you like!

4) My taco recipe cooks very fast. To make it faster, leave out the shallots and add a little more garlic powder. Don't forget the cumin!

5) Kids don't mind having cereal for dinner (healthy cereal) - in fact they'll love you for it. It has calcium, whole grains and protein if served in milk. Serve some fruit with it and you have a great meal.

6) Fruits and vegetables don't HAVE to be cooked. Kids will eat raw fruit as a treat, and we should too. They'll also eat raw vegetables if dipped in ranch, so make plenty of my ranch dressing to have on hand for healthy eating.

7) Chipotle isn't too bad as fast food restaurants go either. Their food is made without by-products and hormones. Avoid the Barbacoa and limit the onions and salsa, and your meal shouldn't be too bad for you. Oh, don't forget to avoid the sour cream too. I wouldn't do this too often, though. Save it for a once-in-awhile treat, maybe after your headaches are fairly well under control. Their meat is basically still seasoned and marinated. However, it is much better than "fast food," as it is quality food, from what I can tell.

8) Maybe you have time in the morning but not later in the day? Put a pot roast in the crock-pot, or vegetable-beef stew, or anything else you have a recipe for, so that it is ready for you when you come home.

Take food with you when you can't cook, and when you only have a little bit of time to cook, cook something fast. I found myself cheating too much a couple of times, and I wound up in bed. Don't let this happen to you.