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View Full Version : No time to cook?


Neal Winkler
01-28-2008, 08:40 AM
What advice would you give to a person that works an average 12 hours per day(five days per week), sometimes a little more, and doesn't feel they have the energy or time to cook when they get home? Furthermore, they are very rushed in the morning and most of the time eat lunch at their desk, so breakfast is hard and preparing something for lunch is a no go, along with leaving the place of work to get a meal. They've basically been living off prepackaged microwave meals.

Other than quitting their job for one that has more free time, seems at some point they would just have to make some concessions and find the will power to take the time to cook proper food by getting up earlier ect. But do you folks have any other strategies, advice, whatnot?

Mike ODonnell
01-28-2008, 09:17 AM
Make their own prepacked frozen meals on the weekend....cook a ton of chicken up and freeze it. Get bags of frozen veggies and steam them the night before. Carry olive oil with them.

The mainstream can live off bars, fast food and microwave meals but it's obviously not the best options. Eat healthy when they can, make good decisions when they can't. (As I have had my share of $1 Double Chesseburgers from McDonalds...but no fries or soda.)

Other than that it is really lifestyle choices as 12 hours a day working seems excessive. There is always plenty of time in a day....it's just how we choose to fill it and what we think are priorities. That and most people who get alot done, learn that working smarter does not mean working longer.

Having dealt and deal with people in the working world, I understand their mindset. If weight loss is the goal, then at least getting them eating the right zone-ish portions is a good first step. Getting them more motivated with the weight coming off and trying to get them to eat healthier. Sometimes it comes in stages...not all at once. If you force too much, they may feel like quitting and then never see success. Plenty of people can lose weight even on those prepackaged meals like nutrasystem (it's all zone stuff). Is it the healthiest? Maybe not. Do they get healthier by losing fat? Yep. Can they make better choices in a month from now? Sure. It's the long term that matters.

Garrett Smith
01-28-2008, 11:12 AM
Bags of salad or other veggies (broc/caul/baby carrots), shake dressing inside the bag, eat out of the bag. Veggies solved. Can be done multiple times a day.

Can of wild tuna or wild salmon, open, mix in bowl with olive oil and other herbs/spices, can be mixed with veggies.

They'll need to get into the cooking and prep (and freezing) on the weekends. There was a good article on T-nation recently about prepping food in advance, I can't remember who wrote it.

Yael Grauer
01-28-2008, 12:15 PM
Luckily raw foods are pretty good for us. Grabbing food here and there isn't necessarily bad as long as you are grabbing healthy things--fruit, salad, salmon, raw milk, etc. Mug warmers are good to heat up leftovers or take the chill off of refrigerated food. My boyfriend got me a crockpot for Christmas and it was the best present ever--I'd get one of those. Put some food on, go to work, then go home and eat dinner! You can make coconut milk or raw milk smoothies with protein powder, greens, etc. in the mornings and make lunches ahead of time (or use leftover dinners). Good luck! I work over 60 right now (some weeks closer to 80) so I can commiserate!

Eva Claire Synkowski
01-28-2008, 01:00 PM
some at the office ideas ive become a heyuge fan of:
1) coconut milk + egg white shake;
2) sliced turkey (organic, no nitrate, etc.) with a cut up avocado;
3) hard boiled eggs already peeled (cage free too, at trader joes)

as dr g said, the bag of salad is a great way to add veggies, although i often use those "berry green" new chapter veggie packets he recommended, too.

dinner's are often some type of egg scramble - very easy, one pan clean-up, and quick. robb had a fantasitc one (http://robbwolf.com/?p=16), but ill just even do an egg/spinach omlette.

Mike ODonnell
01-28-2008, 02:37 PM
Bags of salad or other veggies (broc/caul/baby carrots), shake dressing inside the bag, eat out of the bag. Veggies solved. Can be done multiple times a day.

Can of wild tuna or wild salmon, open, mix in bowl with olive oil and other herbs/spices, can be mixed with veggies.

Dr G has a great idea there combining the meat and veggies...also those tuna/chicken/salmon now come in fresh sealed packets...so you just open it up with your hands (no can openers needed).

Or a favorite...beef jerkey dipped in almond butter...Mmmmmm.....although watch the fats don't get overdone if they are trying to lose weight.

Scott Kustes
01-28-2008, 03:54 PM
And let's not forget that you can combine IF with the crockpot above and not have to deal with eating while at work. Could shorten that workday.

Jonathan Owen
01-29-2008, 08:18 PM
I feel your pain! The days that I work, I have had to discipline myself to make getting up and making the days food part of the routine. Lately, olive oil has been a huge help when in a time crunch. Like Eva, I do a lot egg scrambles before work. The Foreman grill has been very handy to quickly cook that days protein, and I usually throw it into tupperware. I am forced to eat more fruit probably than I should, but I feel with an abnormal schedule you have to make it work by making concessions. Going hard zone(weighing and measuring) has actually made me more efficient and faster at getting my food ready.

Allen Yeh
01-29-2008, 08:38 PM
A lot of good suggestions already.

-Weekends are key to prepping most of your food ahead of time
-coconut milk shakes+assorted powders is quick easy and a good way to get in a lot of fat/protein and veggies. A shake I've been doing lately is:
-1 can TJ's light coconut milk
-3 scoops of whey
-2 tablespoons milled flax
-broccoli or spinach
-3 tablespoons of cocoa powder
-1 tablespoon of cinnamon
-frozen berries from TJ's