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Quick and easy healthy snacks/lunches - HELP!

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Old 04-07-2007, 09:37 AM   #1
Senior Veteran
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Michigan
Posts: 2,258
jmcummins3 HB User
Quick and easy healthy snacks/lunches - HELP!

I normally cook healthy meals for my family and eat leftovers for lunch the next day. However, my health has been on a downward spiral for the past several months (since shortly after finding out I'm pregnant), and I am facing a possible diagnosis of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome soon (they've ruled out everything else and every last one of my bizarre symptoms fits the CFS diagnosis), so what I've been experiencing goes miles beyond normal pregnancy stuff and is completely debilitating. I physically CAN'T do much of anything these days. I can no longer stand even long enough to peel an orange over the garbage can (orthostatic intolerance), let alone expend even a little energy without hugely paying for it for days/weeks to come (post-exertional malaise). So, I have not been able to cook dinner for my family for months now. DH is doing the best he can, but he is intimidated by recipes and works late a lot, so we haven't been eating nearly as healthy as when I was able to cook. We also don't have leftovers much anymore (fast food gets thrown away afterwards because it wasn't very good the first time around...LOL!). I am not a big fan of lunchmeat anyway and try to stay away from it when possible while pregnant (listeriosis), but it's also getting harder and harder to expend the energy to even make a sandwich, so I opt for whatever I can scavenge, which usually isn't all that healthy nor filling.

I do try to eat a lot of fruit (if it's already cut up), but it's not very filling and I'm still hungry afterwards, same thing with salad, although I've never been a big fan of salad. I try to eat things like yogurt, cottage cheese, granola bars and eat cereal a lot for lunch, but I worry that I'm not eating enough throughout the day to sustain myself and the baby (I used to eat more when I wasn't pregnant, but I was also very active then and burning more calories, so maybe I don't need as much???). Every once in a blue moon I make boiled eggs so I can eat a couple for lunch and we have egg salad sandwiches for dinner. I can't think of what else I should ask DH to pick up from the grocery store for me and find myself looking for something to eat in the pantry and the fridge and not eating anything because I can't find much that's quick and easy, and I don't have the energy to make anything or even the mental energy to be creative anymore. What other snack/lunch ideas do you have that are quick and easy and relatively healthy? I'd also take suggestions for healthy quick and easy dinners that DH can make (with leftovers would be nice!) if you have any. Our whole family has eaten so much spaghetti that none of us can stomach it anymore...LOL!

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Old 04-07-2007, 11:02 AM   #2
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 330
mjbrandon HB User
Re: Quick and easy healthy snacks/lunches - HELP!

I had much of the same symptoms as you for the first half of pregnancy, and I NEVER ate. Surprisingly enough my weight basically stayed the same, despite a slight drop during the MS months. I wouldn't worry too much about the baby, the baby is going to take what it needs.

I would suggest picking up:

Healthy Choice meals- great for a quick balanced meal, just throw it in the microwave and it is finished!

Yogurts, Cottage cheese, Apple sauce, low fat pudding cups, fruit cups, dried fruit and nuts.

Pick up some ensure or ovaltine. This will help with calories. Ensure even has a formula specially designed for pregnant women.

As far as dinners for the family, if you have a local Costco in town, I would have DH pick up things that can be put in the oven and when they come out they are finished. My freezer is full of frozen lasagna's, frozen chicken, rice and veggie dishes, chicken strips, and various other meals. It makes it so quick for me if all I have to do is grab it out, turn on the oven, and stick it in. I had these from the beginning of my pregnancy, and now we are getting ready to re-stock for after I give birth. Costco has a million and one things to choose from, (stir-fry's, casseroles, chicken cordon bleu, frozen pizzas the list goes on and on).

If for some reason you don't have a costco, your local grocery store will also have many things to choose from. They may not be the quality or have the variety that a costco does, but they will certainly do the trick.

When I was feeling really bad, I would use these frozen meals, and open a can of vegetables for me. Just make sure you are still getting those veggies.

Also, I don't know if you are finding the energy to cook at all, or if DH is able, but if he does go to the store for you, have him pick up double of everything. Then if he is going to help you cook one night, you can have him make double portions and freeze half of it to be used later. Avoid freezing gravies, and milk products. Stick to pasta, and meat dishes. I still have some meals frozen in my freezer that I can pull out and use if I am too tired to cook.

Sorry so long winded, hope it gave you a few ideas! I know how you feel.

Old 04-07-2007, 02:49 PM   #3
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 988
neshee HB User
Re: Quick and easy healthy snacks/lunches - HELP!

Hey there. I agree with what MJ said. I don't have a Cotsco (wish we did!), but we have Price Chopper. They just remodeled, and have a fair selection of foods. I would agree with Healthy Choice or Lean Cuisine, Stouffers, Hungry Man's, etc for your lunch. Just beware of sodium in these! But these are all make and eat quick lunches. I also would try Lean Pockets. They are good, filling, quick and easy. You could also have DH make up salads on Sundy night, and then you are set for the week for lunch! Hormel has canned Ham, Turkey and Chicken all chunked, cooked and lean. Just add pickles, mayo, mustard, or whatever your heart desires. Then you will have a few days worth of sandwiches at your disposal. As for suppers, OnCor Makes decent family size meals that are frozen and ready to just pop in the oven. They have a variety and usually are meats. You could load up on Instant potatoes (they have come a long way taste wise), stuffing, scalloped potatoes, etc. Frozen veggies now come in a steam just pop them in the mic, and done!! These are all things that DH can easily cook on his own. You can always opt for soup and sandwiches too, grilled cheese and tomato soup are a staple in our house. It really is amazing, and if you have the freezer space, use it. Another suggestion is to ask a family member (mom, MIL, SIL, etc) to make up some big casseroles for you. Then, you can eat, and freeze the leftovers for future meals. There are also Banquet Dinners that are boxed and have the meat, veggies, pot/pasta already in the box. DH would just have to mix and bake. Again, watch for sodium!! You don't want to be swollen and uncomfortable on top of what you are already going through! I hope these suggestions help.

Old 04-07-2007, 10:23 PM   #4
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Memphis,TN, USA
Posts: 375
LotusAwakening HB User
Re: Quick and easy healthy snacks/lunches - HELP!

one of my favorites is all natural peanut butter and no sugar added all fruit jam on whole wheat bread. super tasty and filling! or a quicker substitute: Uncrustables. they're frozen premade PB&J sandwiches that you just pull from the freezer and let thaw for a bit. i also throw frozen fruit and a cup of yogurt or ice cream in a blender. yum! there are so many variations with that. natural low sodium beef/turkey jerky is a great choice. that baby needs protein! instant no sugar added oatmeal is awesome! i eat it almost every morning with wheat toast and real butter. i eat turkey and swiss sandwiches (with baked lays). i buy both from the deli freshly shaved. there is less junk added compared to regular lunch meat. listeria is not very common at all. i was worried about it more earlier in my pregnancy but not really now. plus there is a trick: heat the meat in the microwave until it's steaming. let it cool for a bit and if there was any bacteria, the heat killed it and you're safe. bagels and cream cheese are another favorite of mine that is quick and easy. also microwave burritos with a slice of cheese melted on top are good! T.V. dinners, pizza rolls, hot pockets, and oven baked french fries topped with cheese. oh and this really fills me up and is a great snack: a large glass of milk and a Kashi brand protein bar. they're all natural and taste great! remember protein will fill you up good and some carbs with it will keep you full. hope we could help!

Old 04-08-2007, 07:42 AM   #5
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Michigan
Posts: 443
KittenPaws HB User
Re: Quick and easy healthy snacks/lunches - HELP!

hey jmcummins

Just want to tell you your not alone! The fatigue of pregnancy on top of that of cfs (or fibro in my case) is horrendous. Ive hardly moved from my bedroom the last few months. Not even enough energy to go to the restroom.

The ladies gave a bunch of wonderful ideas. One of my favorite snacks is granny smith apples and peanut butter just cuz it was quick and easy and can be done sitting on the couch (where i base most of my meal making from ). I really like the idea of dried fruit and nuts as well as any healthy snack food you can get your fingers on. Don't worry. The baby will take what it needs from your body. My MS was soo bad the first 3 months i survived on pieces of banana and gatorade and its at a healthy weight today. Just make sure you get your calcium .

Old 04-08-2007, 07:44 AM   #6
Senior Veteran
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Michigan
Posts: 2,258
jmcummins3 HB User
Re: Quick and easy healthy snacks/lunches - HELP!

Thank you for all of the suggestions! I will definitely try those. I forgot about Costco. We have a membership there and one about 10 minutes away! I love their shrimp scampi over angel hair pasta!

I have only gained 10 pounds this pregnancy (at 23 weeks), but since I have been gaining and not losing, my OB is okay with my weight gain. The baby is measuring big, so I assume it's getting what it needs (they usually do). I'm usually A LOT more conscious of what/how much I eat, especially while pregnant (I don't mean dieting, I mean making sure I eat a balance every day to ensure I'm getting the vitamins and minerals my body needs). Nowadays, I'm lucky to put much of anything in my mouth, so I appreciate your suggestions of things to keep on hand.

mjbrandon - how are you feeling these days? I am no longer able to cook, mainly because of the orthostatic intolerance, I can't stand up long enough to even peel an orange without feeling like I'm going to pass out and fade into oblivion, but also because I am constantly working against an energy "deficit" and paying for energy I expended days/weeks ago with zero left over for the current day (post-exertional malaise) but every day I HAVE to expend a little energy to get myself and DD through the day while DH is at work. If I had a little more overall energy, I'd consider asking DH to buy me a lightweight stool I can sit on to cook meals, but I am having difficulty even getting up to get DD a glass of milk without feeling like it might just kill me, so that's not even an option right now.

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