Thursday, January 27, 2011

Mid-Day Post Alert!

Hey don't run screaming or roll your eyes at me, this one isn't a rant or a plea for understanding or any of that other monthly moody crap I post in my mid-day posts.  This time I want to tell you all about my epiphany.

So we've discussed the fact that my food choices are lousy, my calories are too low, and I am getting REALLY sick of eating the same shit day in and day out.  I think I have found the reason so please allow me to paint you all a quick picture.  "Temptation" says "We need to go shopping" so I get a piece of paper and a pen and we sit down to make a list.  Cat food, litter, batteries, and bras are the first items on the list.  Well we can't eat any of that.  Next is milk, cookies, and soda (all "Temptation's" suggestions) ... okey dokey I have proven we can have cookies in the house without me having a melt-down so let him have his cookies.  But what next?

Well I try to think of shopping in terms of "meals".  What should I eat for breakfast?  I have a whole box of mini-wheats that I haven't opened yet because I got sick of them in late November so I guess I'll get some skim milk for myself and start eating those.  Fiber One bars were suggested so I'll check those out as a breakfast option too.  Lunch: tap, tap, tap goes my pen on the desk.  My lunch break is one hour long: now that I'm going to the gym every night I no longer need to spend my lunch breaks working out but I also don't necessarily want to spend them cooking.  I prefer to nuke something and watch shows I Tivo'd while at the gym the night before, then do a little crocheting when I'm done eating.  Tap, tap, tap.  Frozen dinners are easy and nuke-a-ble but they usually taste like crap.  Tap, tap, tap.  Bagels are easy to snag and munch but I'm getting sick of them.  Tap, tap, tap.  Finally "Temptation" cuts through my silent revelries with "Let's return the rice cooker, get a foreman grill and I'll make burgers."  So I add ground meat, tomatoes, onion, and buns to the list.  Tap, tap, tap.

I'll come back to lunch, let's think dinner.  Tap, tap, tap.  We've had chicken every which way from Sunday for months now so "Temptation" wants red meat.  Tap, tap, tap.  We could get steaks but every time I try to cook them they come out tough and dry.  Tap, tap, tap.  Spaghetti goes on the list but I'm getting sick of it too.  Tap, tap, tap.  Finally we hit the grocery store with a sorry-ass excuse for a list and start our usual routine, up the meat section on the right all the way to the back of the store where dairy is located, then work our way to the front of the store one isle at a time.  Except my list sucks and as I pass up the Beef-A-Roni, Mac n' cheese, chef boyardee, and frozen pizza's my eyes scan the isles lined with food and I can't see anything that sparks an idea.

Before we know it we have everything on the list and we're hitting the check-out with two bottles of soda, cookies, pudding, milk, bread, frozen pizza's, a bag of chips, (all for "Temptation") a few cans of veggies, some ground beef, a bag of tomatoes, and pasta sauce.  WOOPS!  The point I'm trying to make, you ask?  I HAVE NO IDEA HOW TO SHOP!  What I eat sucks because what I buy sucks and what I buy sucks because I spent so long buying the same-old crap that I have no idea how to buy anything else so I end up buying next-to-nothing instead!  *ding goes the light over my head as I finally realize this after three months!*

Good eating starts with good shopping, good shopping starts with a list or a plan of some kind but since I don't know what to get or make or buy I get to the store and turn into a deer in headlights.  Ok so I bought a cook-book, which you will all hear ALL about later tonight, and I think it's going to help A LOT for dinner ideas and maybe the occasional breakfast or lunch but I need someone to teach me how to shop.  Here are my limitations:

  1. I'm short on tupper-ware and, although I could buy more, I also lack the cupboard space for more than what I already have so pre-cooking and freezing lunches seems like a perfectly sound idea that I really do want to try but it's going to have to be done in moderation.  I have plastic zip-locks though so if it's something I can baggy and freeze single servings I'm all for it.
  2. I shop at Wal-Mart because every time I try to shop anywhere else I get the same stuff and pay twice as much.  Wal-Mart has shitty produce and I'm not opposed to hitting fresh and easy for produce and wal-mart for all else but I can't afford to buy things like bread and milk at fresh n' easy, or albertson's, or whole foods because it's literally twice as much.
  3. I have shitty cook-ware.  It's on my list of things to buy.  I have a stock pot with no lid, a few sauce pots with one lid, a really bad frying pan, and a skillet (the kind you plug in to the wall), oh and now I have a george foreman.
  4. "Temptation" is a food natzi except he only eats bad food so ideas must be 2-4 servings max so I can eat them by myself without having so much of them that I get sick of them (like I did the prison soup).
  5. I'm not a good cook.  I'm really not.  If it's simple and doesn't require extensive knowledge I can "wing" it or get by but cooking just isn't my forte.
  6. If it doesn't taste good my motivation to eat it will be low.  I'm the kind of person who would rather just not eat than eat something that doesn't taste good.  I can force myself to eat something that doesn't taste good but the chances of me forcing myself to cook something that doesn't taste good is highly unlikely.  Weird for a fat girl - I know.
  7. My weekly food budget is approx $100 and that has to include all of "Temptation's" crap.
  8. I am looking for lunch ideas, something new that I haven't considered before.  Dinner is too complex because of "Temptation" so I'll have to work that one out on my own with the help of my new cookbook but lunches are where I really get stuck.  
  9. I get up at 5 am most days to do school work before I have to report for work-work at 7 am so the chances of "getting up early to prep lunch" are highly unlikely.
  10. My primary focus here is how to shop smart.  Recipes are good too but I need lunch ideas that are around 400 cals or less for a single serving and don't require a lot of prep, ingredients, or time.  Frozen dinners are obvious; let's see if we can get really creative.
Well there you all have it.  I acknowledge and accept that a big part of my slump is due to eating boring food and that that is a result of being clueless in the grocery store.  I am a clean slate, open to ideas, and willing to listen.  I really look forward to reading your feedback on this one.


  1. I also shop at Walmart, and I have super crappy pans and only two burners that work! But as I can't afford a new stove, I make it work.

    I sent you a long list of suggestions in a previous comment. Just wondering why you didn't buy eggs? Unless you hate them or have an allergy, it's one of the cheapest, easiest things you can eat. Plus all the other things I listed are available at Walmat too. Or maybe you didn't like any of my ideas. My diet may seem boring to some people. To me it is fuel, I know what's in it, the calories aren't going to send me over the edge, and it makes life easier not having to constantly figure out what I'm going to eat.

    I spent $200 on food last night. All healthy, easy stuff. It should last a couple weeks.. for three of us.

    I know you won't like this and I know you probably think it's a bad idea, but I'm gonna type it anyway. You will have FAR more sucess in your eating habits if you quit worrying so much about what your boyfriend is eating and focus on yourself. He is an adult and can surely put food in his own mouth. He's not on the same track as you, and that will only suck valuable time/prep/energy wasted on what he is eating instead of focusing on your own food. Yes, this is exactly what I did. I refused to buy crap to bring in the house and started shopping for myself, if anyone else wants to eat what I'm eating they are more than welcome. Amazingly, they (my daughter and husband) are far more inclined to eat what I'm buying than to go shop for themselves and bring a bunch of crap home. And they have both lost weight. So there ya go.

  2. I'm really not sure what to say here. My husband has basically let me have free reign on what comes in the house. He doesn't require anything special on the junk side of things. He's never been fat, but he lost 20lbs right away. damn men!

    Though I will say, I do keep chips in the house and frozen pizza. The chips go in his lunch. Frozen pizza is a dinner in a bind. We just don't buy cookies, candies and other desserts.

    Sorry I'm not much help!

  3. How do you feel about sandwiches for lunch?

    Nice whole wheat bread.

    Please don't eat from cans. Frozen is the way to go if you can't get fresh food.

    If you don't have a crockpot, get one. Seriously - it was my number one tool to learn to cook cheap food (like delicious whole chicken).

    Do you eat fish? I've heard nutritionists say you should have 3 servings a week. I don't get that much but I try to have it at least once a week. Season the hell out of it and it's not too bad for dinner.

    I don't think most people do all their shopping at one store. I agree with you about walmart - good for staples but not so much for meat an produce.

    I usually build my meals around whole grains and protein. You can cook up a lot of stuff in bulk, feeze it in ziplocks and go back to it at lunchtimes.

    Planning is key. You're oh so right.

  4. My suggestion to you would be plan your dinner menus, make the usual two to four servings, and put leftovers in one serving ziplock containers for lunch.

    Also, I love me some soups. What's great about soup is that you can make a batch of it, and freeze the leftovers. What I do is I go online, find a recipe for a soup that I love from a restaurant, like Panera's black bean soup, and then try to duplicate it. I know I will like it, even if it isn't exactly the same.

  5. (part 1)

    2 ideas to start with -- one regarding the ultimate (in my opinion) cookware and one regarding the ultimate (in my opinion) healthy-ish food that is also easy to prepare, cheap, easy to store, small preparation quantity, wide-variety, and easily obtainable at Walmart.

    1) the ultimate cookware: an old-fashioned cast-iron skillet. Really. It's heavy, yes. It's "ugly", sure. But, treated even half-decently, it's tough as nails and nearly indestructible, distributes the heat more evenly than any other type of skillet I've ever owned, gives you an additional source of iron (which my understanding is good for you as opposed to aluminum pans and teflon pans), and (provided you buy a sufficiently large pan) you can cook the vast majority of meals in it... the only other cookware I ever use aside from my skillet is a large pot for boiling stuff in and a baking sheet. You can even put your cast-iron skillet in the oven provided you aren't baking at too high a temperature. Plus, even if you use your stovetop on "high", you won't warp your cast-iron -- try that with a teflon-style pan! I bought my pan really cheap at our local military-surplus outlet and bought a cheap handle-cover online so I wouldn't burn myself. There are some simple (but fairly specific) steps you go through to "season" the pan before you can use it the first time, and there is a specific way you have to handle it after you cook with it but they are also simple and straight-forward and as long as you didn't cook with tomatoes you can usually let the pan sit all day before you clean it and no-harm-no-foul. Really it's the easiest skillet I've ever owned that kept producing good results time and again. Like $15 for a really decent one. If you decide to go down this path, call me and I'll cue you in to how I seasoned and take care of my skillet; it's easy, but like I said, it is specific.

  6. (part 2)

    2) the ultimate food: lots of places nowadays (including Walmart, which probably has the best assortment I've seen) are offering entire lines of frozen pre-prepared "FOR TWO"-meals that contain just the right amount of food for 2 meals (cook both now, save 1 for later) and you either throw the whole bag in the microwave or just dump it in a skillet and cook for 10minutes. Some of the options are a little less healthy (but still more than healthy compared to eating-out or eating the typical frozen dinner/pizza/etc) like pasta-based meals, others are amazingly healthy like just frozen veggies... but here's the thing, most of the veggies are superior (by far!) to any canned-veggie or any frozen-veggie available at home when we were growing up and many include a bit of a sauce (or they were grown in certain conditions) to render them more flavorful and a whole lot more enjoyable to eat than their fresh-counterparts. I can't tell you how much I enjoy eating the *NEW* frozen veggies! And, from what I've read, most frozen vegetables have an almost identical nutritional-value compared to fresh.

    Here's a line of frozen italian "for two" that we buy (often from Walmart) a lot:

    Here's a line of frozen veggies that we buy (also often from Walmart) a lot and enjoy:

  7. Lisa: We did get eggs last night, because of the cook-book (which you'll read in tonight's post) we got a lot of stuff for dinners that is new to me. I also got the Fiber One bars you suggested, it wasn't too shabby. My comment to Roxie is also in response to your comments re: bringing home whatever I want and letting "Temptation" eat it or go hungry.

    Roxie: "Temptation" goes with me to do the shopping and he won't have it any other way. I know in a lot of households the women do the shopping and thus control the food but not ours. The one time I went alone I did just that - I bought what I wanted without the cookies and ice cream etc. Now he goes with me every time. I don't have a problem with buying cookies and stuff for him because they don't tempt me. We've had cookies and soda in this house for the entire three months I've been losing weight and I've eaten one cookie and had one glass of Sierra Mist back in November. I'm ok. But when it comes to sit-down dinners with the love of my life ... sorry but I'm not willing pass those up by refusing to cook food that we will both like. I mentioned this in a previous reply on this topic. In fact, he cooks too and, although it doesn't happen often, he's a better cook than I am. But he's not here for lunch which I why I mentioned that I was looking for lunch ideas. I can handle dinner.

    Lanie: I would have to get creative on the sandwiches. Now that we have the foreman I was thinking I could make up some turkey patties and freeze them, then just nuke em and put them on a whole wheat bun or something. Standard lunch meat type sandwiches are not my fave. I was thinking about maybe mixing up batches of veggies like you might find in a wrap you know like carrots, mushroom, artichoke hearts, etc and then freezing single servings in bags. I could take a bag out of the freezer in the morning to thaw, then put it on a tortilla at lunch with a little balsamic. Does anyone know if those kinds of fresh veggies will freeze and thaw well?

    Brandon: Yeah you can't use soap on cast iron right or it gets those pimples? I hadn't thought of that. Mom is giving us cash for Christmas when we finally make it up there to see her and I think we're going to use it to pick up a nice pot/pan set. I'm not opposed to the cast iron idea, just never thought of it aside from knowing I someday wanted to get a dutch oven for camping etc.

    I've tried a lot of the "new" frozen veggies that you get in those freezer bags and then just nuke them and they steam inside the bag. I'm not sure on the brand but I tried three or four different ones and I thought the veggies were limp and watery. I'm pretty sure I didn't try the Bertolli because I always thought they were a little on the expensive side (expensive compared to a bagel or a banana or whatever I've been eating for lunch) but if I can start cooking more dinners at home that will give me a bigger grocery budget to spend on lunches for myself (because yes, I know all of our eating out is costing a lot of money. The trick will be to wean "Temptation' from wanting to go out 3-4 nights a week so that the grocery budget can expand).

  8. I'm sure you may have heard this but I'm gonna repeat it.

    Shop primarily the perimeter of the store. That is fruits, veggies, meat and dairy (if you eat it) and pop in an aisle for pasta or rice. (plain, not mac n cheese or hamburger helper)

    Also, half your post was about what your bf eats. If he wants junk tell him to buy junk. But you buy your own thing. There is no nutritional value to cookies, etc, so no real reason to buy them, for anyone. I started out by being the cook here (my bf does it professionally so he doesn't want to do it at home) and he just would eat what I cooked or he'd have to make something else himself. He started eating healthy, he's lost 16 lbs whether he liked it or not (he does) ;)

    I'm vegan, I love cooking, I eat a 99% whole foods diet. I found that really you have to love something to make it work. If it's making you miserable you prolly won't stick to it. Maybe try thinking of it differently.

    I was not a fan of cooking and used to eat processed prepackaged crap. Honestly I once went on a 'lean cuisine' diet and gained 11 lbs in two weeks. There is SO MUCH SODIUM in that crap, when I stopped eating them I dropped it really fast. Made me retain water like crazy. Also, they are overpriced.

    I order my groceries online at (here in pa) but there are other online groceries like and some others. Check them out! Goodapples is not expensive. This is what I just ordered for this week. It's 75$ and 5$ of it was 'free' by using our shopping points:

    Kiwifruit (1368) $0.40 $0.80
    Red Holland Peppers (1502) $1.50 $3.00
    Blood Oranges (1403) $0.89 $1.78
    Broccoli (bunch) (1480) $2.79 $5.58
    Celery (1486) $1.99 $1.99
    Daiya Dairy Free Cheddar Style Shreds 8oz (17885) $5.69 $5.69
    Granny Smith Apples (1337) $0.49 $0.98
    Green Onions (1633) $0.89 $2.67
    Louisiana Yams (3 lbs) (1525) $2.97 $2.97
    Mangoes (1369) $1.59 $1.59
    Nectarines (1354) $0.79 $1.58
    Organic 2lb bag Carrots (1530) $2.79 $2.79
    Organic Green Leaf Lettuce (1668) $1.99 $5.97
    Organic Green Zucchini (1554) $1.49 $5.96
    Organic Spinach Bunch (17218) $2.49 $2.49
    Organic Yellow Squash (1665) $1.49 $1.49
    Radishes (1lb bag) (1517) $1.59 $1.59
    Red Onions (1538) $1.34 $2.68
    Red Seedless Grapes (2 lbs) (1347) $2.98 $2.98
    Seedless Cucumbers (1541) $1.99 $1.99
    Sweet Onion (1590) $1.19 $2.38
    Woodstock Farms Organic Tofu, Extra Firm (5170) $2.39 $7.17
    Bobs Red Mill High Protein Textured Vegetable Protein- TVP (4112) $2.89 $5.78
    Mori Nu Silken Lite Tofu Firm (4743)


  9. (cont...)

    I have some other stuff in the cupboard of course. gluten free pasta, beans, brown rice, canned corn and peas, etc.

    I'll probably make spaghetti with red peppers and onions at some point this week.

    I'll most likely make a garlic and oil pasta with zucchini, squash and red onion.

    I'm most definitely going to make these amazing zucchini black bean and corn and rice corn tortilla pizza things with daiya (non dairy/non soy cheese) on them.

    I will probably make bbq tofu and brown rice

    I'm in love with this sweet potato spinach curry I've been making. Will definitely make that.

    Oh and this sweet potato mash with black beans, corn and this curried chickpea gravy.

    OHhhhhh and maybe I'll make black bean and lentil chili tonight! I LOVE chili. :)

    We use tvp to make taco salads. I got these rice chips that are amazing, gluten free and vegan that we crumble on top and lots of hot sauce and red and green onions and other veggies. Mmmm. One of my faves, definitely.

    I generally have two pieces of fruit and one cup of soy milk for breakfast or one piece of fruit and a protein shake and my bf eats a fruit plate every night for a snack. So we like a lot of fruit.

    I will sometimes stop at trader joes and get hummus and eat that with celery or peppers. Those are the types of snacks we have, we do not keep junk in the house at all. The rice chips things for taco salads we buy come in a smaller type bag.

    I also make smoothies for breakfast, made with a half serving of odwalla berry gomega and a half cup of soy milk and a banana and maybe a half cup of some type of berry. Yum. :)

    If you don't have room in your cupboard for tupperware, buy more and put FOOD IN IT and stick it in the freezer/fridge. When it's empty put more food in it! ;) Therefore not taking up cupboard space. hehe.

    Wow. That was quite lengthy. Ha. I hope it helped somewhat with ideas.

    Also, a cookbook rec from me to you: Appetite for Reduction.

    It's a vegan cookbook, but it's full of mostly beans, rice, pasta, and veggie entrees and side dishes and some 'diner' salads as well. You definitely don't have to be vegan to appreciate it, it's easy, uses common ingredients and all the recipes are generally under 400 calories for a good sized serving. There is a small section for seitan, tofu and tempeh, but if you are unfamiliar/not wanting those things, you can easily make the same recipes with meat (since those three are all meat analogs)and like I said that section is pretty small anyhow.

    Also gives options for gluten free.

    Good luck!

  10. You can always buy steamer bags and put the fresh veggies inside.

    I used to do that. came out crisp.

  11. Willpower: You mentioned Trader Joe's ... are you in Vegas? If so you wanna take me shopping with you sometime because you sound like the QUEEN of good shopping and I know that I could learn a TON from you! What are steamer bags, I'm all over that idea but I've never heard of them. Can I get them at wal-mart? Are they re-usable or disposable? Not that that matters I would use them anyway but I'm curious. You make a good point re: tupperware. I feel like smacking myself in the head and saying "duh". The whole point of having it is to put food it in so I can freeze single servings and here I am worried about cupboard space. lol I'm a dork. I like tofu but I've only ever cooked with it once, I made a miso soup recipe my cousin from Japan gave me. If I went shopping with you I would have an excuse to leave "Temptation" home :). Honestly though, the cookies don't bother me. If he wants them he can have them; they don't tempt me at all. Sure they take a little out of the budget but we usually buy groceries with his check so I guess he deserves some administrative liberty from that. I use the fact that my check pays the power bill as justification for bitching at him when he leaves lights on when he's not in the room ya know? Anyhow ... if you're in the Vegas area and wanna make a new friend lemme know.

  12. Hey girl.. I am willing to help you!
    There is just me and Jack. I also shop at walmart. I love to cook. I use to use coupons. Then once I started eating healthy it got a bit harder. But I am still really good at shopping and saving a lot of money.
    Do you have a webcam? Do you use Skype? Just an idea. I could show you EVERYTHING I HAVE.
    I could type out a list of what I buy.
    I could also type out what I eat for breakfast,lunch and a few dinners..Just let me know.

  13. Regarding the expense of Bertolli... not only is each bag 2 servings, but each serving is just a tad-high in calories (it seems the average is about 400c) -- if you are used to just eating a banana or a bagel, well those are what, 100-200c? So that means each Bertolli-serving would translate to an average of 3 meals, so maybe 5 meals per bag if you are only eating 1 banana or 1 bagel at a meal.

    That's too bad you didn't like those veggies -- I think they are fantastic. Especially the ones in bags that "pop" as they cook. Next time I eat one that seems the best of the bunch I'll pay better attention to the label and try and let you know.

    The cast iron pan has to be "seasoned" before you can use it -- I always thought that was for flavoring (because of the "seasoned"-term) but turns out it's not, it's actually important to make the pan non-stick as well as so the bottom of your food won't burn and get nasty; it also helps waterproof the pan so that it won't rust. It's pretty easy to do but it is a process of applying a huge amount of grease/lard (some use crisco, but others use butter, olive oil, vegetable oil, bacon grease, etc.) and cooking for a pretty long time in a damn hot oven (I can't recall for sure, would have to look it up, but I think like 500deg for 90min.). If done correctly the brown rough pan comes out black and smooth-ish... I did a few extra layers on the cooking-surface and it came out almost like glass -- though over the last ~18months or so it's less glasslike now. Taking care of it means basically if you cook anything with tomato-juice in it you have to immediately wash it after use b/c the tomato is so acidic it will eat-away at your seasoning and expose the metal to the elements which will cause it to start rusting. You *can* wash the pan with soap and water but you should do so as infrequently as possible b/c the soap and water tear also tear down the seasoning over time. I only wash my pan when I cook with tomato products or when I cook using some sort of a sauce that gets all over in the pan and sticks a lot and makes the pan particularly nasty. Otherwise I just wait for the pan to cool a bit and then scrape it clean with my metal spatula and follow-up by wiping it down with a paper-towel and a bit of olive oil (which helps to keep the seasoning built up). When you do wash the pan (which should be done only rarely) you have to take good care to dry it by hand extremely thoroughly and then put it back on the burner for a few minutes so any itty-amounts of water you couldn't see/get-at can be evaporated off... and make absolutely certain you follow-up with a rub-down using a slightly-heavy amount of olive-oil.

    But yeah, for most typical meals they are extremely easy to care for... steaks, eggs, bacon, fish, pastas, etc... just wait to cool, scrape, wipe down with small amount of oil, done. No washing.

    I love our pan. After dealing with teflon type pans that I accidentally warped from cooking too hot or the teflon coating wore-off over time, cast-iron is a dream -- nearly indestructible, just make sure to keep them dry and their seasoning in-tact and your good-to-go.

  14. Renea: I'm so down with hearing what you get for lunches. Those are where I am having a particular problem. My new cook book has lunch ideas in it but the majority of them require some actual prep/cook time.

    Brandon: Wow, that seems like a lot of work. I have these really nice pans with copper bottoms that I got from Cherri years ago and a roomie of mine in college mentioned "seasnoning" them but I never really knew why. They're not cast iron but they're not teflon either. I used to use them all the time but I've stopped because lately it seems like no amount of oil prevents anything from sticking so now I know why - because I haven't been seasoning them. Do think the method would be the same for them that it is for cast iron?

  15. You can now find cast iron pans that come pre-seasoned so you don't have to go through all that trouble Brandon is telling you about and they have them at Walmart. Yes, an unseasoned pan takes a lot of work, but the pre-seasoned don't need all the prep work and are easy to take care of afterwards. I feel they work best for red meat, especially if you prefer your meat rare or medium because they do a good job of searing the meat and keeping the juices inside. I have 2 and rarely use them because I don't like red meat very much but hubby likes to use them for veal.

    My suggestion is to get a small (2 or 4 quart) crockpot or a NuWave oven. Yes the initial investment is expensive (although Walmart tends to have really good crockpots that are easy to use, automatic and inexpensive) but with the crockpot, you can pop in a bunch of ingredients in the morning and by lunchtime the food is ready (or start at lunchtime for dinner), and you can find really good crockpot cookbooks at Barnes & Noble or Borders, usually in the Bargain section. The NuWave oven cooks everything - even frozen meats - in about half the time it takes to cook them on the stove or in a regular oven.

    The steamer bags I use are from Glad and they are not reusable. I find them every once in a while in the Dollar store -- same brand for only $1. Usually though, I buy the Bird's Eye or Green Giant steamer veggies and microwave them for 1 minute less than suggested since my microwave is powerful and if I cook them for the recommended time, they come out soggy (took some experimenting before I got it right). But then the same thing would happen if you use the Glad steamer bags. Personally, I use the NuWave or regular oven to roast most of my veggies; keeps them crispy and crunchy.

  16. Laryssa, I have a crock pot I just don't ever pull it out because, other than beef roast and corned beef with cabbage I've never really known how to use it. I'll look into some crock pot recipes online and keep that open as an option.

    I will also be looking for the steamer bags but I'm glad that you mentioned over-cooking the frozen veg's makes them soggy ... maybe that has been my problem with them. My mic is pretty strong too so I'll grab some of those frozen veg's next time I go to the store and try cooking them for less time to see if that helps. Thanks!

  17. If you ever need a shoping buddy or cooking buddy let me know. The best shopping advice I have is the same as Willpower: Shop the perimeter. I almost never hit the isles unless I am buying noodles or salad dressing.
    I get tired of eating the same thing over and over so I look for new ways to mix things up. Like Tuna on celery, or a salad with Buffalo sauce and a sprinkle of blue cheese. Tuna is a great lean protien to eat. Eggs like others have mentioned are great too.
    Now that you have the cookbook you and Temptation can came to agreements on healthy meal plans. Chili is actually a meal that everyone seems to like and can be made super healthy.
    I hope your new cook book will help and that you can find some yummy ways to motivate Tempataion. Some times it takes a while for them to come around, I know from experience!!

  18. Tia: Always, we should hit the Korean grocery store together one of these days. I'll keep my next shopping saturday open and text you. I make a really great/healthy chili recipe that I got from the Mayo Clinic but he wouldn't eat it. He's a bean-o-phobe. And like everything else I know how to make it was enough to serve an army of 30 so I ate it 3 times a day for weeks, gave some away to friends and still had to throw some away. I think I'm gonna do an egg over a can of tuna with Frank's Red Hot for breakfast tomorrow to prep for my big 5 mile treadmill adventure.

  19. Go get it girl!! Treadmills really make me want to shoot myself in the face from boredum. So I have serious admiration that you are able to over come that!

  20. I love this idea as well: once a month cooking. I would love to try it some time

    I'm no expert but I certainly need to be. Another thing I like to do when it's warmer out is grill up everything I can outside and then freeze it for later