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Healthy frozen dinners?


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Does anyone think that trying to eat 'healthy' frozen dinners (lean cuisine ect), using a treadmill reguarly, and trying to be somewhat more careful about snacking can have an impact on psycho-drug-induced weight gain? I've been very passive up till now, but with sevear back problems rearing their ugly head I need to do something.

I can't cook. And I'm at such a crippling stage of my bipolar right now that even if I could I wouldn't have the will to do it anyway.

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hi,

i think & hope you can do it!!! I cant/dont cook either. everything i eat is either already pre-made or frozen and then microwaved. except for the morning cereal and various salads.

when im at my mom's house, she does the cooking.

you do what you have to in order to eat. if frozen microwave meals are it - then thats ok. im also really big on the paper plates & plastic cups. let the normals save the environment. not having to clean up after eating is a huge relief and a task that can be extremely daunting.

good luck!!!

db

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I would just be careful of sodium levels... some are really high. There's also healthy frozen foods like Kashi, Morning Star and Amy's.

Sounds like you have a good plan. Be wary of the snacks, don't keep anything in the house that's bad for you. Maybe put up a list of the snack foods you have, so that you can have ideas when hunger strikes? Oh, and be VERY careful about "healthy" dried fruit.... hah, what a crock. They're absolutely loaded with sugar. Stick to fresh fruits and veggies.

Best wishes!

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I would just be careful of sodium levels... some are really high.

Definitely. Those Lean Cuisine meals, if I'm recalling correctly, are overloaded with sodium. The only low-calorie frozen dinners I've found at my grocery store which

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I agree with Rab that a lot of the frozen dinners are high in sodium. If you're not familiar with sodium standards, most doctors want you to eat about 2500 mg of salt a day, which comes out to about a teaspoon. Some of those frozen dinners are up around 1,000 mg, so they're using up about half of your allotment of salt for the day. Read the labels on the packages---some of the Weight Watcher ones are lower, and they are all pretty good in terms of fat.

However, a diet every day of those dinners isn't giving you enough fruit and vegetables. Can you buy a bag of those little carrots and munch on those? No preparation needed! This time of year there are lots of berries, too, and cherries in the markets. Bananas (one a day) will help keep your potassium level up, so you don't retain water and to balance out the salt in your food.

Walnuts and almonds (unsalted) are a healthy snack in moderation, too. If I'm dying to munch on something, I measure out 1/4 C. of nuts. They have a lot of fat, but it's the "good" fat and they feel satisfying in the stomach.

If your weakness is chips, or chocolate, or soda----don't buy those things. I just can't have them in the house because I'll eat them. Ditto with cheese. Sigh.

In terms of exercise, the treadmill is very good, but your body will get used to that level of exercising. You will see faster results if you vary your activities a little. Walk outside---your speed will be different and you'll get some Vitamin D from the sun. If you have access to a pool, swimming is great and is low-impact on your joints.

Good for you for trying to get into shape. It ain't easy!

olga

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Keeping the unhealthy snacks and things out of the apartment will probably be key for me. I also have a tendency towards fast food that I need to break.

I got some celery today, and some nectarines. I didn't think of baby carrots. I have cereal as well, with light soy milk [i tend to prefer soy, when I do get cows milk it's usually 1%]

I admit I do have soda's right now- but I'm trying hard to ration them. My other problem is that I don't drink hardly any water.

Sigh, why is it so easy to be fat and lazy and so hard to be healthy?

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Check out the Amy's line of dinners. They are a bit more pricey and are usually located in the health food/vegitarian section. They rock, particularly the burritos.

I agree lean cuisine is better than most frozen dinners. I freakin love the squash ravioli.

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Oh, something I like to do is get a frozen pizza and load it up with fresh and/or frozen veggies. Get a $3 Tony's cheese pizza and throw some fresh tomato slices, frozen broccoli and cauliflower and fresh oregano on it then lightly brush it with extra virgin olive oil. It takes 5 minutes longer, costs maybe $1 more (per pizza, you'll have leftovers) and is soooo much better than a plain frozen pizza.

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Keeping the unhealthy snacks and things out of the apartment will probably be key for me. I also have a tendency towards fast food that I need to break.

I got some celery today, and some nectarines. I didn't think of baby carrots. I have cereal as well, with light soy milk [i tend to prefer soy, when I do get cows milk it's usually 1%]

I admit I do have soda's right now- but I'm trying hard to ration them. My other problem is that I don't drink hardly any water.

Sigh, why is it so easy to be fat and lazy and so hard to be healthy?

Hey, did we say this was going to be easy?? ;)

No, it's hard to eat healthily if it isn't part of your training and family experience.

I know people want to go on diets and lose 2 pounds a week......but one day, you say "screw it" and you go off the diet and binge or eat a large cheese pizza or whatever.

The key to eating healthy food is to tell yourself that eating veggies and fruits and low-fat dairy or soy is the way you'll be eating for the rest of your life. How you take care of yourself in your 20s, 30s, and 40s, will determine your health in your old age.

It made me smile that you bought celery---it's one of the veggies that is high in sodium, naturally. Celery and tomatoes are the winners in the sodium contest.

One easy rule is that the brighter and/or darker the veggie, the more vitamins it has in it. Carrots are better than celery, red cabbage is better than green cabbage, red peppers are healthier than iceberg lettuce. So look for the bright colors to find the healthy stuff. Some supermarkets offer cut-up fruit like pineapple, cantaloupe, watermelon, etc. I've also seen lots of cut-up veggies: broccoli, cauliflower, peppers, etc.

But you made a good start. You really have to substitute water for the sodas. All the sugar is wreaking havoc with your metabolism. You could probably get away with one can of soda a day, but more than that and you are sabotaging your efforts to be healthy.

VE's idea of fresh vegetables on frozen pizza is a very good one. Also look for Kashi pizza in the freezer section--it's all vegetarian.

olga

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Sigh, why is it so easy to be fat and lazy and so hard to be healthy?

Because all of your ancestors ate everything in sight and were able to conserve energy to get through the hard times. We're built that way.

Sounds like you have some really good ideas!

I found the book Mindless Eating to be very interesting, as far as the "hard to be healthy" idea goes, and I'd recommend it. My friend is just starting to use it in a class on diet/psych meds at the local community mental health center, and she's getting positive feedback thus far.

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You can learn a lot about cooking by watching the Food Network. It's fun.

Rachael Ray makes me want to strangle kittens.

Iron Chef FTW

Yeah, but Alton Brown is pretty cool, and I love Diners, Drive-Ins, & Dives... But not a show to watch when trying to lose weight! ;)

I'm always an advocate of frozen veggies - not the ones with the sauces, just plain frozen veggies. They're cheap, nearly as good as fresh and so easy to prepare it's not even like cooking. Just heat them up to whatever "doneness" you want them at, either on the stove or in the microbomber. That and a little rice is practically a meal. Heck, half the time, I just throw the veggies in with the rice (and my meat of choice) in my rice cooker. Who needs cooking? That's four meals for me right there...

I also throw my agreement in with keeping the snacks out of the house. It's the easiest way to not snack. The easiest, hands down. If they're not there, I won't eat them... I mean, I have to *really* want a chocolate bar to drag my ass down to the store to buy one, and then I make myself walk for it. At least I burn some calories getting it.

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I love my rice cooker. That was about the coolest appliance ever invented. And if you *really* want to go healthy, use brown rice instead of white. A little salt (just a little) and it's very very good.

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