Tuesday, December 7, 2010

OH ALLAN, I HEART YOU

*And the title is not sarcasm

I figure I may as well put this out there for everyone to see. Just in case anyone else was wondering. In my most recent post and in  another past post you (Allan) have told me that my food choices suck. I agree. I agree they could be wholer (is that a word?) - healthier - less processed - less sugary - less and more of a lot of things.

When I started this I started on 'The box diet'. 'Box' referring to low calorie frozen entrees. It worked. It's working now. It works when I use it. I use it because it's simple.

In a life ruled by toddlers with no income, no home to call my own, no belongings to really call my own and no money to speak of I have to use what is available to me. The box diet works for me. The pittance that goes toward food is divided by 6 different people in this house. Me and my girls plus my mom, step dad and sister. My step-dad as I have mentioned is a junk food junkie. Before he moved in my mom could easily have lived on white rice and broccoli for the rest of her life and my sister lived and for the most part still lives on diet coke, snyder's pretzels, and gum.

The thing is when my step-dad moved in money for food got eaten up quicker by cookies, candy, chips, soda (he has a min. of 3 diet sodas a day and that's only the cans in our fridge . . . he also eats a butt load of fast food) and sugary cereals not to mention poptarts, donuts and a ton of other crap.

All this to say when I am 'on track' I know that my food choices could be better and more filling and more nutritious but I do with what I have. I cannot make fresh seafood, or chicken or fresh veggies because my step-dad's honey comb, diet coke and cookie addiction takes precedence.  Not right. Not logical. But true.

I just talked to my mom about using the majority of the money for good and healthy food and making my step-dad scrounge for his crap food and she was all for it. Unfortunately, I don't know if the idea will take or if she was just agreeing with me to shut me up.

So, Allan, I am 100% aware my food choices 'suck'. But please, do tell (no sarcasm or patronizing here) how  would you fix this situation? Of course all others are welcome to throw in their 2 cents also.

XO Kristen

PS: I've been following you (Allan) for a long time. I think you've followed me on and off - I think. And Princess dieter - we have been following each other for a very long time now. Just wondering, why the sudden need to express opinions in the quality of my food choices. They haven't changed from Jan. of last year up until I lost the 50lbs. When I'm 'on plan' this is how I eat. When I'm off plan, well, there's a lot more sugar a lot more fat, a ton more fast food and crap. What gives?

PPS: Thanks for the e-mail. :)

14 comments :

  1. Ha, not in oil. In water. Sorry. Tuna in oil makes me GAG.

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  2. Just a browser, not a follower, but here's my two cents:

    You spend dollars on those box meals, right? What's one cost? $2? Let's say $2 per meal and 2 meals per day. That's $4/day you have to buy healthier food.

    Frozen veggies are just as healthy as fresh. Two serving of frozen peas (at Kroger), $0.89.

    Lean ham or turkey. Buy the big one and cut off pieces. Maybe $8 for a ham, maybe 12 servings (I'm thinking a 24 ounce ham, @ $2 per pound). So you can eat two servings of ham a day for $1/serving. Canned tuna in oil is maybe $0.89. Invest in some decent bread for $3 for 10 servings, so that's around $1.50 a sandwich. Small apples are around $3 for 6. So $0.50 for an apple.

    You can have lean ham or turkey, peas, and an apple for just over $2. And if you have the time (which if you're unemployed, you do), you could find coupons.

    There's really no reason to rely on junk processed food when you can have whole, decent food for around the same price. The $0.50 or so in difference will be more than made up in your health improvements.

    Good luck. Remember, you can lose the weight, but are you learning how to eat for life?

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  3. I agree.. It can be much cheaper to eat whole, healthy food... I mostly eat a vegetarian diet.. and in the summer was actually mostly raw. Believe it or not I spent the LEAST amount of money when I was eating that way. And it is great for you. For example, you can use 1c of raw almonds to make 1/2 gal of almond milk. Then you can use the pulp to make a bunch of mock tuna, or almond pate to stuff in avocado halves. You can get atleast 4 servings of the mock tuna (made with almond pulp, cashew sauce, dulce-seaweed spice-, a little celery and scallions) $5 on almonds, and 2 avocados $2 =$7 on 1/2 gal milk and lunch for 4 days.... Pretty cheap to me :) If everyone is a junk food junkie, they most likely won't touch your food.

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  4. Girl, I get it. Your choices are limited. But there are frozen foods that include veggies and some even include fruit for under 350 cals. I know. I've eaten some of them in the past year.You can eat a frozen whole grain waffle with peanut butter instead of cream cheese (cream cheese is a condiment, not nutrition). Or a frozen Vitalicious egg/veggie/fiber English muffin. Or some other FROZEN or convenience breakfast and get veggies/protein. Or just buy eggs instead of cream cheese and eat one egg with your bagel.

    You can eat Amy's frozen dinners and get fiber and veggies. Or Healthy Choice. Or Weight Watchers.

    So, even while eating "box"--and I eat a lot of convenience foods, so I'm not dissing convenience--you can make BETTER choices. I did mention it before. :) Really, I did. And you came back with how it works for you. And Allan and I just prolly figure you can work the "box" better so you stay healthy--not just slimmer.

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  5. And I will offer this, too: Consider a part-time holiday job (even if it's evenings when someone can watch the girls) and earn food money for the next 6 months (ie, work for healthy food money and birthday presents for the girls). If it's your money, your step-dad wouldn't care, right?

    And a bag of apples and a jar of peanut butter and a loaf of whole grain muffins/bread/bagels and a dozen eggs can serve you up some good stuff for a dozen meals/snacks/plus. The previous commenter is right: you can get lots of healthy stuff cheap. Stuff your girls can eat, too (PB, apples, whole grains, eggs, apples, pears, oatmeal, big bag o' lettuce, a pound of turkey breast) for several days to w week plus that is minimal to no actual cooking. I mean, oatmeal, sandwiches, boiled eggs, fried eggs, scrambled eggs, cheese toast--no brainer and ready in minutes and ultimately CHEAPER than frozen meals.

    But if it's easier to count calories with boxes, go with boxes....costlier, but easy and boundary-ready. Just pick BETTER boxes. :D

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  6. Let's not reinvent the wheel. Look at the last post. Bagel and cream cheese, coffee with cream, 500 calories. Well how about 2 eggs, scrambled, a pita bread, coffee with Cremora. 200 calories, less money, tastier and healthier. Lunch. I get the box idea. Budget Gourmet in Walmart has $.99 cent entrees. Repeat breakfast, it is less than $1.00. Add Turkey Bacon or some ham and for a quarter you have lunch, breakfast or dinner. Less calories, less money, way healthier. Carolyn makes a lot of points. Apples are the cheapest thing on the planet. Eat one in the morning, no carbs from bagels, you are hungry as you finish the bagel. I just reread Carolyn again, and she makes a lot of sense for you to follow. As for why I said something now, Kristen read some of your posts. While we want you to get well, you are becoming LISA, BECKY and LANIE, all combined into one crazy person. You are above that crap, get your shit together, be an adult, and if you need help, ask. Stop the pity crap, get your head out of the Mexican ass, and go forward for you and your kids. Stop fucking around, it is not impossible. And clean up the blog. No more failure, start fresh, eat fresh, get well.

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  7. Here's some suggestions, since you asked: stop thinking of the junk food as "the household's food". If your stepdad were a stranger renting a room in your home and he bought all that crap, you wouldn't allow yourself to eat any of it because you'd see it as "his, not yours". Just because it's a family member shouldn't make a difference. Think about the junk your stepdad buys as not yours and that you're not allowed to eat. Once you get your mind around that, it will be easier to avoid because you won't see it as belonging to everyone.

    If you're going to have your box dinners -- which can be easier in terms of portion size -- add 2 cups of salad on the side even if it comes with veggies. That will help fill you up. Instead of buying the fruit snacks for the girls, buy real fruit so when you feel like snacking, you won't reach for the sugar gummies.

    And keep drinking your water. Have a can of diet soda, get some pickles ... both can help with easing cravings for sweets. At least it helps me. :)

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  8. Shit, son. Is that a compliment? I didn't think you gave those out. :)

    All I know is I've made my bills for years on just about minimum wage, so I have a tight food budget myself. (Just me and just bills, but that's enough when you make just under $1000 a month.) And I've lost around 100 pounds since 2006. I've kept off most of it, but there's this extra 10 pounds from November I gotta get rid of by January.

    I don't have a gym membership. I don't have more than about $40 a week for groceries. I coupon when I can, but it's such a pain in the ass with my work schedule.

    Like right now: freezing my ass off, and I'm not paying a $200 electric note. It's 6 degrees outside. But I hear shivering makes you skinny. :) :) :) :)

    I have frozen veggies and cheap lean meat a few meals, egg whites a few meals, lots of apples. I like bananas too when I catch them on sale. Bone-in chicken is really cheap and gets marked down alot because people don't like it. But it makes good soup and good roasted chicken. I can buy a quartered chicken for about $5 and have dinner for three days. Or one of those rotisserie chickens for $4 and have two dinners and two lunches. You don't even have to cook that one.

    Point is, it can be done. There's healthier food than the sludge non-food they put in boxes and you can heat in 2 minutes and call dinner. I will be a little anti-convenience here because that stuff's not food! The real food, food-food is so much better for you and will speed up your weight loss and teach you what real food is supposed to taste like.

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  9. okay, good cheap food...I second what gal above said.
    Potatoes.are.cheap. And eaten boiled are not high in calories....eat a half save a half...bone in chicken is cheap and is AWESOME roasted...a bit of oil and onion and garlic powder and bam. 50 cents per can of veggies....or even better grow a tomato bush and some peppers in containers out back. brown rice in a big bag and if you look in the deli section they have 'chubs'...the ends of lunch meats....they mark those down and are pretty cheap...pick up a turkey or tow right now when they are cheap...roast them and then put them into individual servings..you will have turkey soup for months. carrots and celery are really cheap as are onions. I know it's hard on a budget...I started a new blog....it is called the gathering place...it's about being prepared on a budget. If you want to swing by and check it out...there are all sorts of ideas...would love to hear yours as well. Hang in there.

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  10. Crockpot cooking can be some the easiest and cheapest foods on the planet. Plus? You control the sodium content.

    Lentils, beans, vegetables of all kinds can be made in a crockpot cheaply and easily. The first comment from Carolyn is dead on.

    You can do this, even on a limited budget. No judgments here.

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  11. Since you said you didn't wanna COOK cook, I didn't mention this, but I grew up POOR. My parents were middle-aged immigrants who came to this country without one cent (Castro took EVERYTHING, down to the last dime) and they had to feed 4 kids cheaply. You know what Latinos do to feed their families cheaply right: beans. Lots of them. Well-seasoned, they can be cooked in a crockpot or big pot and make enough to last several meals/days for a family of three (ie, you and the girls). As they are half-Mexican, I'm guessing they have no issue with rice/beans--a super cheap combo that we ate every day just about growing up. Add some salad and occasionally a small bit of meat (ham, fish, chicken) or fried eggs, and you have a meal. Protein. FIber. CHEAP ASS FOOD. Poor people all over the world buy budget big bags of rice, budget big bags of beans, some ham or bacon to give the beans flavor, some onions and peppers and tomato sauce, and there it is. Cheap meals for a family that heat up easily and can be frozen as needed.

    Once you learn to cook beans/bean soup....it's a no-brainer. As a 9 year-old, even I was able to do it, and I fricken am useless just about in a real kitchen. Soak the beans overnight, replace water, ute onions, peppers, tomato sauce, cilantro, whatever spices you like, dump it in, dump in the smoky meats for flavor, heat for a couple hours bam, beans. Brown rice is nutritious and filling. Add fruit or a veggie--done.

    And I agree that getting rid of candy treats for the girls is good. You do not want them to have weight issues, right? Let them eat fruit and let grandmom/aunts/etc be the treat-buyers. You get them yogurts and fruits and the healthy stuff.

    But yeah, didn't mention rice/beans, but all our poor relatives grew up fine eating that every day in assorted combos (chickpeas, kidney, black, lentils, split peas, etc).

    And I'll shaddup now.

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  12. Allan's a bit harsh, but he's dead on: I've been reading (not following) your blog for months, and it does tend to be a bit repetitive in its, "Oh dear, I binged again" content. And if you read what Bitch Cakes has to say about processed food, you may twig onto the fact that the food you are eating DOESN'T SATISFY YOU. Yes, you can control your calories; they are pre-counted for you. But trust me, you get a lot more bang for your caloric buck if you eat a banana for 100 calories instead of a snack pack.

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  13. Why is the honest truth harsh ? This is not my first time saying hello here. The post has my name in the title. You bring my in, be prepared for the truth. Even in the post after this, the next one, there are excuses everywhere. Newsflash, when my parents divorced when I was 4 my sister and I lived with my Mom in Brooklyn, NY on a tighter budget than yours. We ate every night. Yes, rice and beans, a ham hock, some greens and salt and pepper in a crockpot makes dinner for a week for $3.00. I offered three times to send the money as well, so the excuses are very limited. You can whine all day, I used to do that as well. Not a problem, my life stays the same. You want to blog and ask for some guidance, be prepped for a kick in the tush, it might get you off the mat. Vaya Con Dios baby !!!

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  14. Everyone has a lot of good stuff to say--I get the box diet is convenient and easier for you right now, and sometimes if you're hanging on by your fingernails thats what you do rather than give in and get off track. I know you've been struggling on/off lately. But these comments are good.....I think most of us can recall times when as kids we lived poor. Sometimes real poor.
    I learned from my grandparents how to stretch a food dollar, and when I need to go into that mode its an almost fun challenge(im weird I know!). It basically removes all convenience from food prep, but back then they didnt have convenience!!
    Ive been on a low carb diet the past 5+ months, and if there is ONE huge thing that it has changed about the way I eat more than anything--its that I cannot eat convenience foods, just cant. They arent on my plan. So I do a lot more shopping for groceries in the produce and butcher dept, alot more peeling, chopping, cooking from scratch and a hell of a lot more dishes to wash. But more expensive to eat this way--it isnt! I buy frozen foods for my son to make himself sometimes, and here in NY anyway, they are 3 meals for 10 bucks. Thats a tiny little portion of food for 10 dollars--if I spend 10 dollars on what I need to consume, its WAYYYYY more food!

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