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Make Life A Little Easier

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I have been thinking about things to do to make life easier through the week. We all complain how short on time we are. I do it and there is just me. I can’t even imagine people with kids! Trying to feed others healthy food? OMG! What a chore that must be! But after talking to a friend recently and combining her concerns with some of my own, I have come up with some ideas to help with the weekly food issues. This might help bring some healthier options to the table rather than running through the drive-thru.

  • Make a breakfast casserole on your time off so that you can just reheat in the mornings and have something ready. Or you can take it with you and reheat at work. This is much better for you than a bacon-egg-cheese-biscuit from a fast food place!
  • Make a batch of oatmeal for a few days. You can make it ahead of time and put it in serving-size containers and just snag one as you’re heading out the door. Oatmeal is cheap and filling! And you control the flavors. You can also cook it in the crockpot if you’d like.
  • On your time off, go ahead and make a big pot of rice. Rice is easy to reheat and it goes with so many dishes. If you cook a protein and throw some frozen veggies in the microwave and add the warmed up rice to it, you have an easy dinner.
  • Make a double pot of chili! Chili is not only good in a bowl, but it is good topping things. Top a potato, rice, corn chips, salad with some chili! It’s a good, cheap, and pretty low-calorie way to go. If you want, you can freeze individual servings of chili or you can store it in the fridge and eat on it all week.
  • Make soup and let that keep you warm! One of my favorites is my infamous vegetable beef soup. It is low in calories and is so satisfying. I don’t mind eating this a lot during the week. I like it with cornbread or crackers. It’s easy to reheat and can be eaten with the leftover rice as well if you want to add some starch to make it hardier.
  • Why not make a big batch of spaghetti? If you don’t want to eat it all week, freeze it. You can easily reheat it. But if you make it yourself, you have control over what is going in it and the calorie count. I love reheated spaghetti. You can also bake it the second night with some topped cheese.
  • I also like to keep a 5 lb. bag of potatoes in the kitchen. Potatoes are good roasted or baked and are good topped with other things. They’re very filling.
  • Another idea is to make sure to keep some things on hand that are easy to use and might help make a quick meal. I like to keep frozen pearl onions in my freezer because they help add flavor to things such as beans. I also like to keep frozen corn and broccoli in the freezer. It’s just me so I can eat whatever, but if you’re hunting for a side veggie, most people can handle some whole kernel corn. I also like to keep some canned beans in the cabinets. I can use those on their own, flavored with the onions, or I can add them to soups or chilis and such.

These are all low-calorie foods and are pretty easy and tasty.



About Amy

Recently I came to an ugly realization–I am middle aged. I didn’t really think so but then I doubled my age and thought, “Hmmmm…some of people don’t live to that age. I must be middle age.” This epiphany came in the third quarter of my 39th year. So I am surviving middle age…it’s scary.

2 responses »

  1. I love your timesaving ideas, Amy!

    As an aside, I wanted to add that 1/3 cup of prepared rice equals the calories of one piece of bread–a hundred calories. Same goes for a half-cup of cooked pasta. Portion control was my greatest trouble when I started my food plan. I was aware, but I didn’t follow it as carefully as I do (I use a scale and cup measures, which I’ve used to start eyeballing realistic portions). I’m a big believer that corn and potatoes need to be treated like starches (why I go with Grains as that part of my food plan) and legumes (peas, soybeans, beans–though not french or green beans) are treated as proteins. I guess it comes from my decade as a vegetarian, looking for complete proteins from vegetable sources and dairy to supplement the eggs I ate.

    I’m a big fan of oatmeal for cold mornings: I use 1/2 cup of regular rolled oats at 1 cup of water, salted, (150 calories), maybe two tablespoons of raisins (60 calories), and about two tablespoons of walnuts (100 calories). Microwave it for between three and five minutes, and it’s done. Filling until lunch for me, and it’s less than a fifth of my daily calories–plus I feel great all day. No binge cravings oddly enough.

    At the beginning, when I had trouble feeling full? My lunches were salads with nonfat cottage cheese and/or salsa in order to get a flavorful, creamy-dressing and a filled stomach. Eventually, I ended up enjoying salads with just salt and pepper.

    I definitely agree that making our own food is a fantastic idea. When I eat what I make, I know what I put in it. I can avoid the triggering effects of high-fructose corn syrup and the hidden salt, sugar, and fat (my top three addict acting-out foods) that are part of the American processed diet. We have a sweet tooth as a nation, and the cloyingly sweet flavors of most processed foods are too much for me these days.


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