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Food options needed.

Zero Knievel

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When I got back from NEXXT, I went on a diet and am now back under 170.  The problem is that I have to change how I eat…specifically portion sizes.  I can literally have a cup of Greek yogurt and a cup of coffee and be “full” for several hours.  Maybe a hard boiled egg and coffee.  It’s easier to feel a little hungry than to deal with the aftermath of eating too much.  Heck, a standard dinner plate holds more food than my stomach can handle.


I have a follow up with my PCP the week of Thanksgiving…I go in for blood work Monday.  My endoscopy indicated GERD and hiatal hernia…not bad enough to demand immediate intervention, but I’ll be inquiring about my treatment options.


Dining out is near impossible for now.  Need to keep it simple and small portions.  I’m wondering what prepackaged items in the store would do well as “on the go” meals for work or travel.  Real food, not processed junk, if possible.

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Broccoli florets or baby carrots and a single-serving cup of hummus.  Can of cut green beans, drain and dump in a little Italian dressing (good hot or cold).  Can of black beans, can of corn, drain and mix with a can of Rotel in a plastic storage bowl.  Peanut butter on a rice cake (watch for added sugar in the PB).  That's mostly borderline survival food, but it isn't horribly dirty except be aware of sodium in canned beans (brands differ) and the sugar levels in the corn.  None of it will leave you "slugged" and in a carb coma.


If you can get fresh stuff, a cucumber and some cherry or grape tomatoes and a few leaves of basil is awesome.  Better if you can slice the tomatoes and the cucumber and let them self-marinade together for a while.  Add a little cheese if you need the fat and protein.  Apple, pear, banana for a snack.  Unsalted nuts.  Just wander around in the produce department and grab a couple things that look good, whatever is fresh.


That's on-the-go stuff as you asked, sort of the "crap, I'm not going to have time to make a real lunch, I'll just grab something that isn't fast food".  With some preparation and cold storage options, you can do a lot.  Veggie sushi?  It can be amazing...

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Isn't cucumber/pickles with tomato together no go for some reason? Just asking.


I'd like to add preparation of vegetables can be pain in the ass, same for your own lunch in general, so perhaps make enough for 2-3 days.

Typical restaurant food is just slightly less poisonous than fast food. No go for me. 

I did have beef filet mignon from some Argentinian restaurant last Sunday, and it was excellent, no side effects. But that's exception. 


You can grill all kinds of vegetables, plus some grilled proteins of your choice=excellent lunch. 

OR you can alternate with veggies from steamer. 

WHat about muesli with some fake milk? Just make sure there is no sugar added, and forget corn shit that makes 99% of cereals on the market. Don't eat it under any circumstances. 

oh, yea, make sure fake milk is unsweetened.


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Hmmm, I don't know about the cucumber/tomato thing.  I'll do a little searching.


Finding decent granola/muesli without all kinds of additives can be a challenge.  If you find a brand that isn't entirely compromised with sugar and can keep some with you, or reliably find it again when you need it when traveling, that's a score. 


Sugars and oils on nuts and dried fruits are often overlooked.  I left dried fruits off my "grab something quick" list because they're so unpredictable with additives.  Like granola, If you're not shopping at the same place every day, you may not find the same brand you normally get and you'd have to read labels... negating the "quick" part.  


It's hard to beat plain old oatmeal.  Cut up some fresh fruit to cook it with to add flavor and sweetness.  Whole fruits are better than the equivalent amount of sugar that they contain, unless you're doing stupid amounts of grapes or something.  Stick with apples, the fiber is good for you.


Beans.  There's not a whole lot of things as good for you as beans.  Maybe broccoli or blueberries.  Beans are satisfying and easily prepared in many ways.  Canned ones can even be fairly clean, some brands have low-sodium options.  Gotta read the label.  

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I'm always happy when a friend decides to use food as medicine instead of drugs and surgery.  I've been eating mostly whole plants for around six years I think.  It's had great benefits.


Simple "snack" or "go" ideas:


Nuts.  High calorie, so be careful, but a good whole food that provides good energy and great nutrition.  Peanuts are so so, others are higher in nutrition.  As Mike said though they are often modified with shit.  I buy mostly raw and unsalted.  You can find many options without oil.  Same with dried fruits, but you have to look at the ingredients.


As Mike said, Hummus, but try to make it.  The store stuff is at best full of zero-nutrition oil, and often other junk.  Garbanzo beans/chickpeas (you know the difference?), lemon juice, tahini, very little salt, paprika, cumin, garlic.  Blend.  Reserve the bean water and add it back in to maintain consistency while blending.


"Hummus" can also be anything.  I make a Mexican one with black beans, onions and Mexican spices, to eat with air-fried pure corn tortillas.  Sounds and feels like junk food, but if you make your own chips, it's still real whole food.


Find some real-food tortillas and just put beans, avocado/guac, and hot sauce in them.  Great instant meal.  Sam's Club sells whole wheat and flax tortillas that are tasty, and mostly whole food, fairly low calorie.  I use these for a quick burrito that's tasty.


Purple Carrot and a few other makers of real whole food are now selling microwavable frozen meals.  Even Fry's (Kroger) has seen the writing on the wall with more and more people demanding food instead of processed shit, and there are many options.


I often make a large portion of a bean stew, put it in disposable restaurant to-go tubs, and refrigerate or freeze it.  I can take it anywhere, like camping, or a job site.  Get creative, look up recipes, whatever works for you.  Beans, onions, broth, and whatever other things go with the theme.  It can be basic American, Cuban, Mexican, African.  Add giant white corn, or barley (see my oat comments below), or other grains, potatoes, whatever.


Keep in mind that food package fronts lie, the truth is on the back.  "Made with 100% whole fruit!"  Yeah, made WITH, before they added sugar, salt, and oil.  It's so fucked up.


16 hours ago, IcePrick said:

It's hard to beat plain old oatmeal. 


I believe that standard oatmeal is kinda junky.  They've stripped the nutrition layer off to make it cook fast.  I'd look for steel cut buckwheat and oats, which still have this left on.  It cooks fast in the Instant Pot, and probably 45 minutes on the stove (guessing, I use the IP to make it).


Oats and buckwheat don't have to be sweet.  You can make a tasty curry or other spicy meal with them.


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2 hours ago, SwampNut said:


I believe that standard oatmeal is kinda junky.  They've stripped the nutrition layer off to make it cook fast.

Just trying to understand this, we use Walmart 100% whole grain old fashioned oats.  It says under ingredients: whole grain rolled oats.  1/3 cup in bowl with same amount of water, 2:15 minutes later in microwave, add cinnamon, dash of oat milk, eat.  Are you saying it is junky oats?

BTW-I have read that rolled oats stays with you the longest, steel cut is second best and then on to the junky stuff. 

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The more you process them, the higher the glycemic index climbs (I've read the study results on this), the higher the calorie count for a given volume, and the lower the fiber. There's a smaller difference between steel cut and rolled, than there is to the more-processed variety.  I don't think it's a HUGE problem, but if I'm making the effort I might as well go with the best.  I also prefer the more meaty texture versus the softer and smoother rolled version.


I don't have any opinion or knowledge on "stays with you," but I've been told the opposite of that.  I just don't know.


"Kinda junky" may have been a poor choice of words.  "Less than ideal."


Oh, also, for travel, you an always just put them in a liquid of your choice, say...oat milk, keep in the fridge, and then take it with you.  Use some sort of closable container you can drink from, easy.  If you use a non-dairy milk there's no danger of spoilage in the short term.  Coconut-based milk is the longest-lasting as it's aseptic.  It's even sold on the shelf, not the fridge.


Steel-Cut Oats

Also known as Irish oatmeal, steel-cut oats are most closely related to the original, unprocessed oat groat.

To produce steel-cut oats, the groats are chopped into pieces with large steel blades.

Steel cut oats have a coarser, chewier texture and nuttier flavor than rolled or quick oats.

They also take longer to prepare, with average cooking times varying 15–30 minutes.

However, you can soak steel-cut oats beforehand to reduce the cooking time.

Rolled Oats

Rolled oats, or old-fashioned oats, are oat groats that have gone through a steaming and flattening process.

They have a milder flavor and softer texture and take much less time to make than steel-cut oats, as they have been partially cooked.

A bowl of rolled oats takes 2–5 minutes to prepare.

Rolled oats can also be added to goods like cookies, cakes, muffins and bread.

Quick Oats

Quick oats or quick-cooking oats are rolled oats that go through further processing to decrease cooking time.

They’re partially cooked by steaming and then rolled even thinner than old-fashioned oats.

They cook within a few minutes, have a mild flavor and soft, mushy texture.

Quick oats are not the same as instant, packaged oats that sometimes contain other ingredients like skim milk powder, sugar and flavoring.

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I should have been more specific when I said "plain old oatmeal".  Think what your grandmother used to make when you were a toddler, not the stuff in the packet with brown sugar and cinnamon, or anything that has microwave instructions... with one exception below.


Anything that is "instant" or in a package with flavored powder is going to be fooling yourself that it's healthy.  There's actually a different method, where the groat is cracked instead of cut and/or rolled.  I like Coach's Oats, which are toasted first and then done in this manner.  I have no idea what the toasting does for it nutritionally, but they cook quickly and have a very robust texture to them.


The biggest problem - nutritionally - with oatmeal is what people do to flavor it.  This is the perfect application for a banana that's a little past what you'd normally eat - mash it up and mix it in.  Really, any fresh fruit cooked in oatmeal will be pretty good.  A scant handful of pecans on top makes it yummier.

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Pure dehydrated berries go great in oatmeal, such as cranberries.  Agreed on nuts.  Flax seeds too, that's Moriah's favorite.  Small amounts of honey go a long way.


Buckwheat groats are almost always in my oats, about 50/50.


Now I know what I'm getting when my bag of oats is finished.




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Wait, am I reading it right, yogurt added to the oats?  Huh.


We've switched to coconut and other nut-based yogurts, with lower sugar and lower junk.  They are good.  Often better tasting and creamier.  Moriah has some dairy challenges, and there's decent evidence that dairy isn't great all around, so why not.


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On 11/13/2022 at 11:22 AM, SwampNut said:

"Made with 100% whole fruit!"  Yeah, made WITH, before they added sugar, salt, and oil.  It's so fucked up.


An example of this fuckery:  I was looking at various oat crunch blends, to top off coconut yogurt.  So good.  I'm looking at an option that says something like naturally flavored and sweetened with oats and berries.  "Sugar" is not on the label.  Ingredients are oats, rice syrup, berries....wait a minute.  What is rice syrup?


Pure worthless sugar.  It's just sugar.  On top of that, rice sugar has a much higher risk of arsenic contamination than cane sugar.


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