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Need help getting nutrition (micronutrients)

Discussion in 'Lifestyle Management' started by bspg, Aug 19, 2017.

  1. bspg

    bspg Plant Queen

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    My diet is terrible right now and I'm trying to figure out how to improve it. I'm eating a lot of microwave meals, snack bars, and hummus -- things that take very little/no preparation. I have very little vegetables, fruit, or meat (complete protein) each week and I feel sick and terrible.

    Two big obstacles in my way of eating better:

    1. I'm mostly couch bound and have little stamina for cooking/preparing meals. I definitely don't have the stamina for cooking every day (or even most days).
    Batch cooking is something I could *potentially* do but it would ruin me for days afterward so not sure if it would be truly helpful.​

    2. I despise cooking. I really hate it. it's not my thing and never has been. It's a perpetual chore that I get zero enjoyment out of and I'd much rather clean or do other work around the house, given the option.

    With both of these factors working against me, I'm not sure how to incorporate better nutrition into my body. I bought a big tub of "Garden of Life Raw Meal" recently, with the hopes of making meal replacement smoothies, but I had a serious allergic reaction to something in it and had to go to the ER :( I don't know what I reacted to (I'm guessing it was one of the enzymes in the mix) but I have no way of knowing for sure.

    Does anyone have ideas for how to make this easier or how to better supplement my nutrient intake? I'm desperate for a way to eat better that won't completely ruin me.

    ETA: Just for clarification, I'm hoping to get more vitamins, minerals, fiber, and beneficial compounds in my diet, since I'm mostly eating processed stuff now.
     
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2017
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  2. Shoshana

    Shoshana Northern USA

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    I find this is difficult as well. There are not many healthy meal replacements.

    But, I would ask,
    if you are able to chew and to digest....and to tolerate or enjoy....

    Yogurt?

    Or nuts ,or ground nuts (nut butters with nothing else in them) ?

    Cans of cooked beans, such as baked beans, red kidney beans, chickpeas or black beans?

    Hopefully others will have more ideas. I struggle with this, myself.
    Sometimes I eat pureed meals made for toddlers. Not the best, but not the worst.
    Expensive though, and not filling either.
     
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  3. AndyPandy

    AndyPandy Making the most of it

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    When I'm not up to preparing meals I throw a whole lot of healthy stuff in my NutriBullet. Gets me through bad days.

    I also rely on my slow cooker for easy to prepare big batches of food. I pick the recipes that just require you to throw everything in together without pre cooking. Come back hours later and it's done.

    Best wishes Andy
     
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  4. bspg

    bspg Plant Queen

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    I agree @Shoshana, meal replacements are a crapshoot. That's why I was really excited for the Garden of Life stuff. :(

    My stomach really doesn't like yogurt, but it might be due to a SIBO infection I'm dealing with.

    Nuts and seeds are good. My snack bars are full of seeds and I eat pistachios from time to time.

    I can't eat beans often as they make me very bloated. Hummus is made with chickpeas though and I do eat that regularly.
     
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  5. arewenearlythereyet

    arewenearlythereyet Senior Member

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    I also eat a few ready meals out of necessity, but I save this to the evening when I have the least energy. Here are a few of my standby foods for during the day :

    Nuts like salted roasted almonds or cashews
    Peppers, carrots raw with a little Mayo to dip in them or the obligatory houmus
    I batch poach chicken breasts in the oven and portion freeze them cooked so I can defrost overnight and eat cold
    I also make egg ham and cheese popovers in batches in muffin cases. These freeze OK as well so you can have an egg per portion which is a good standby breakfast if standing is tricky for frying eggs etc
    Live yoghurt say 100-120g per day
    I also snack on pumpkin seeds or fried broad beans as a stand by high protein/ fibre snack
    I occasionally treat myself to a banana
    85% dark chocolate ( a couple of squares) good source of magnesium and manganese
    Dried prunes or apricots occasionally (once or twice per week)

    I pace the batch cooking and try and do 1-2 weeks worth at a time. If it's not freeze friendly I don't bother. I used to like cooking but it is a chore now.

    Just remember your body only sees food as sugars, amino acids, fatty acids, fibre etc, once it's digested ....most of the dirty/clean food stuff is just a load of lifestyle crap from stupid self hacked blogs written by idiots who know nothing. There is no guilt needed from eating a ready meal as long as it's relatively balanced in food groups. You don't need much in the way of fresh stuff to get the essential nutrients you need. I think a third of a pepper has all the vitamin c you need for the day.
    My main issue for me was stopping myself reaching for carbs, so the above helped me keep my diet less sugar/ starch heavy.

    Im sure others have some ideas too
     
  6. lnester7

    lnester7 Seven

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    Green smothy that taste like mango

    I buy frozen mango ( or peaches)
    Buy power greens pack: contains baby kale, Aragua, baby spinach.
    Buy orange juice ( all organic)
    Put 1/2 cup mango, 12oz orange juice,
    1c greens. Blend for 60 seconds.

    2) bake avacado with eggs.
    3) avacado on top of whatever.
    4) blue berries, berries....
     
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  7. bspg

    bspg Plant Queen

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    Wow, everybody is responding at once! :wide-eyed:
    Thank you all for your replies.

    @AndyPandy can you give me an example of what you throw in the NutriBullet? This is the type of thing I was hoping to do with the meal mix.

    @arewenearlythereyet I like your suggestions. I tend to agree about the "clean eating" thing. My concern is getting more vitamins, fiber, anti inflammatory compounds into my diet and less processed crap (fillers, preservatives, etc.). Sorry for not being more specific in my original post!

    @lnester7 that smoothy sounds delicious but I think would be too sugary for me and cause me to crash. I tend to do better with low starch/sugar and higher fat. I do love avocados (and they are amazing in smoothies).
     
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2017
  8. Old Bones

    Old Bones Senior Member

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    What I do to ensure adequate nutrition without cooking would only work for someone who has access to fresh food, and who would be able to purchase or borrow a "slow juicer". I got mine, a Hurom, using Air Miles.

    Every morning, I run a huge mound of 12 - 15 fresh vegetables, fruits and herbs through the juicer. I add back all of the pulp, plus a couple of scoops of collagen peptides for protein. There's no way my digestion would permit eating this many raw foods, but since the juicer essentially pre-chews it, this seems to help. I have histamine/mast cell issues, so choose the items carefully. Antihistamine herbs such as watercress may help me be able to include avocado for healthy fat, and banana for carbohydrate. It's actually quite tasty, and I haven't grown tired of it.
     
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  9. bspg

    bspg Plant Queen

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    @Old Bones that sounds lovely and if I had more stamina I would love to make fresh vegetable juices. I drink V8 sometimes and it's delicious! It also helps with POTS sometimes.
     
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  10. Timaca

    Timaca Senior Member

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    Frozen vegetables could be an option for you. Also grocery stores do carry quite a few pre prepped raw vegies too. Or your can get a salad on occasion from the salad bar at some grocery stores.

    Sweet potatoes and yams can be baked, made in a slow cooker or Instant Pot and then you have them on hand for several days at a time.
     
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  11. Richard7

    Richard7 Senior Member

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    I find all this stuff difficult too. I was barely vertical yesterday.

    What seems to work best for me is roasting stuff. I roast meat and vegetables. I never skin anything anymore just rinse and slice the veges into chunks and cook. So there is very little vertical time involved. And no need for any precision.

    The meat does not have to be a roasting piece. I have also roasted sausages and black pudding they need less time ( about 30 minutes) so you just add them later.

    I have also "roasted" eggs cracking eggs into a roasting pan with the potatoes in the last 10 minutes or so. As they roast the potatoes shrink (because they loose water) so you can just move them to one side and add some eggs.

    I have a romertopf which I will use this afternoon for a couple of kilos of pork. The advantage of the romertopf is that it holds the moisture in an leaves you with maybe a litre or so stock. But it is also heavy and a bit of a nuisance to use.

    The next few days I will have a lot of choices. If I have no energy I can just eat the leftovers maybe with some mustard or sweet miso as a condiment. If I have more energy I can add greens and make a salad or heat some stock and maybe a make a soup or stew.

    I also find tuna really useful. Here, in Australia, the cheapest brands are pretty cheap this may not be the case for you. I will heat up curry paste and coconut cream and some quick cooking veggies or cold roast vegies in a saucepan and add the tuna just before eating. Or just add it to a salad, or eat it out of the tin and have some raw veggies.

    If eggs are ok you can also cook a lot at once by putting a dozen in a large saucepan and either adding boiling water from the kettle and just leaving them until the water is cold, or brining cold water to a boil and then turning the power off and leave them for about half an hour.

    I have had many meals just sitting at the kitchen bench eating the things that could have been assembled into a meal. Or things that provide the macronutrients but make no sense together. I am off dairy at the moment but cheese and yoghurt used to be useful zero prep belly fillers.
     
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  12. Richard7

    Richard7 Senior Member

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  13. AndyPandy

    AndyPandy Making the most of it

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    @bspg you can put all sorts of stuff in the NutriBullet.

    Fruit, veg, nuts, seeds, water, green tea, coconut milk, almond milk etc etc

    You can also add green banana flour, psyllium, chia, protein powder - the combinations are endless.

    When you buy it they give you a recipe book but I just have whatever takes my fancy. You can probably find recipes on the internet too.

    I also love roast veg and will make up a tray of mixed veg and freeze whatever I don't eat at the time.

    Soups cooked in the slow cooker are also great and again you can freeze what you don't use straightaway.

    Also rice bowls - microwaved brown rice with a small tin of tuna or salmon and whatever cooked or raw veg or fruit is to hand - baby spinach, broccoli, tomatoes, mushrooms, cauliflower, sweet potato, zucchini, corn, avocado - there are lots of options.

    Best wishes Andy
     
  14. AndyPandy

    AndyPandy Making the most of it

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    My current lowish carb, no milk, no flour pancake favourite is banana pancake.

    You can do most of this sitting down.

    Mash half a banana. I use a half to lower the carb content but you can use a whole banana.

    Beat two eggs with a fork. Combine banana and eggs.

    Tip into a smallish oiled frypan. Cook on medium heat. Turn when underside is lightly browned. Cook second side.

    Serve with berries, coconut, cinnamon, slivered almonds. Maple syrup if you aren't worried about carbs.

    Delicious.
     
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  15. AndyPandy

    AndyPandy Making the most of it

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    IMG_2902.JPG

    Something I prepared earlier...
     
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  16. ghosalb

    ghosalb Senior Member

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    Dr. Joel Furhman has determined/calculated Aggregate Nutrient Density Index (ANDI score) of different categories of foods....He has a website I think called immunity solutions...I got his book thru Public television fund raising shows..you will be surprised with some of the score of common foods and not so common foods....It opened my eyes....based on these scores, I created my own nutrient rich diet which don't need lot of cooking per week plus gives me something to do....in case you are interested, here it is....it has helped me specially for cognition
    strawberry, blueberry, oatmeal, green tea for breakfast......kale, collard, chard (max ANDI score) boiled and mixed with spicy lentil, banana, small amount of dark choc. for lunch, ......tortilla bread wrap with coconut butter, lettuce, avocado, vegetable juice for snack......cooked cabbage and scrambled egg, other curried vegetable(rotate different vegetable to get as many types of nutrients as possible) for dinner......add onion, garlic, ginger and other spices in most cooked meals ...lost weight and feel better compared to regular bread, egg, meat, fish and low vegetable meals. Wanted to try for a month but doing it for almost three years now because I don't feel like going back to old diet. Very little cooking and lasts for days without going bad....cook twice a week
    Good luck...happy minimum cooking....
     
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  17. bspg

    bspg Plant Queen

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    Wow, so many replies! Thank you everyone! Some of these ideas sound awesome and are likely doable for me.

    Thank you! :hug:
     
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