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food tips

Blog entry posted by Andrew, Aug 11, 2011.

This article offers tips for dealing with food, including shopping and preparation. Because everyones circumstance is different, there is no one size fits all solution. For example, some people can only eat certain types of organic food, while others can eat a wide range of food. What I will cover here is what Ive found helpful for me in the hopes that it can help some of you.

Shopping in a Market. When I first became ill I was still able to shop at the market. But I had to pace myself. I never went to two stores in one outing. And when I got home from shopping, Id only carry one load of food into my apartment. I left the rest in the trunk of my car, and brought the rest in as health allowed. And, of course, this meant I had to limit how many refrigerator items I bought in one outing. I also avoided buying too many heavy items.

In Store Pickup. I recently noticed a market that has this service. With this you tell them what you want to buy via their website and a time you want to pick it up. I assume they gather the items and bag them for you. This type of shopping is offered at albertsons.com.

Home Delivery. I can no longer do my own shopping, so now I use home delivery. I order from safeway.com. If you need organic food, search Google for organic food delivery. There are national and local services. Also, see if there are food staples you use that could be ordered from amazon.com or various sites that sell food.

Food Services. There are food preparation services like Project Angel Food and Meals on Wheels. They prepare meals for you and deliver them to your home. You will have to research if/how they apply to your situation. Ive never used them.

Restaurant Delivery. This can be very cost-effective depending on the size of the meals. And it is also possible to get fairly healthy food. For example, I order steamed vegetables and steamed chicken from a local Chinese restaurant, and the portion they send is big enough for three meals.

Food Preparation. In my case, food has to be prepared with as little standing as possible. So I bought a drafting chair, which is high enough for me to sit at the kitchen counter or sink. Even with this, I eventually realized I had to spend less time being in an upright position. So I started buying prewashed lettuce and spinach for my salads. Sometimes lunch is just an unheated can of soup, rice cakes, and some V8 juice. Or dinner might be some heated frozen veggies with a small can of chicken mixed in.

Caregiver Help. Of course, a lot the problems can be solved if you have someone to help you. A caregiver can prepare meals and shop. One of my caregivers would prepare several meals and put them in the refrigerator for use over several days. See my blog about caregivers.

If you have any tips you would like to share, please add them as replies to this blog.
  1. K2 for Hope
    Andrew:

    Thanks for the post.

    Here are some additional ones I'm trying to use as I have the same issues. Although I am also trying to make my meals more nutritional so I have moved to a lot of "frozen" foods.

    1) Frozen omelettes - The "Jimmy Dean" brand has frozen omelettes that are prepackaged (2 in the box), take 2 minutes to microwave and are ready.
    2) Steamed vegatable bags - microwavable and ready quickly.
    3) "Morning Star" brand has some more nutritional, but quick kinds of meal type snacks and lunch/dinner items. (Reffered by a friend going through Chemo)
    4) V-Fusion is a drink that you only need to drink 1 glass per day to get fruits and vegetables in your diet.

    I can't think of others that haven't already been mentioned.

    Thanks for the tips,
    K2 for Hope
  2. Andrew
    Sounds good, Carrigon. Here are some more quickies I use.

    Salads. I buy prewashed premixed salads that have lettuce, cabbage, spinach, and carrots. I add small tomatoes so I don't have to stand and cut them. Or I have a salad delivered. The delivered salads don't meet the minimum cost to get delivery, so I add something like chicken wings and have those for the main meal. I tend to order Greek salads because of their variety. But Thai restaurants have interesting salads. Thai places are usually inexpensive too.

    Canned meals. I mostly use soup, because other canned meals usually dont have vegetables. I buy Progresso because they taste less bland. Examples of what I buy are Garden Vegetable, Minestrone, Lentil, Tomato Basil, or Manhattan Clam Chowder. I usually eat these with rice cakes. Other than soup, I get canned chili made with beans and turkey. I also get canned vegetables and mix them with canned chicken.

    Boxed food. Hormel makes packaged meals called Completes that dont have to be refrigerated. I cant eat these often, because they dont taste great. There is also boxed soup. The V8 brand has broccoli, squash, and some other ones.

    Frozen. Of course, there is a wide range of frozen meals. I dont know why I dont use more of these. But I do keep some frozen bean burritos on hand for lunch. Easy to heat and eat. I also use frozen vegetable combos and add some canned chicken. I used to keep a bag of frozen fish pieces in the freezer and heat them up for dinner. That worked well. My mistake was eating them so often I got tired of them.

    Breakfast. I used to eat oatmeal for breakfast. Easy to make. I would just add hot water from the tap to the bowl of oatmeal, then let is sit awhile. Boiled eggs can make a nice breakfast. I dont boil the water first. I start it all together and set the timer for 20 minutes (for two eggs). When done I run cold water over them while I go sit back down. The cold water makes them easier to shell. I wonder if I could simply put them in the refrigerator to do the same thing.

    I have to say though, I often wonder if I would be better off looking into a service that delivers complete meals. These places will reduce cost based on income. But I also think I need to look into ways I can do a better job on my own, while still working within my range.
  3. Sallysblooms
    Lots of good advice!
  4. Carrigon
    Sometimes, I have just a can of tuna or salmon and I squeeze lemon juice on it, sprinkle it with black pepper and a bit of salt and that's my lunch or dinner.

    I have to do very little kitchen prep, too. I usually end up triggering the POTS lightheaded attacks if I cook. I have to be careful. When I do cook, it's one pan or one pot of something. Usually a burger helper or tacos. Tacos take more time cause I make them with tomatoes and lettuce, but if you get canned diced tomatoes and lettuce in a bag it's not too bad.