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Heligany

CR but not always able to cook

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I've been trying to follow a low calorie diet as I am housebound (so not very active) and overweight.

I'm running into issues of getting enough nutrients when Im too ill to cook (I have severe eczema and food prep often need to be restricted). I do make batches and freeze but often these run out before my skin is ready to begin making meals again.

I'm vegetarian with vegan leanings. I'm using cron-o-meter and was finding it difficult to get more than an average of 80% iron due to having to resort to sandwiches too often. I'm often low on Potassium, Choline and Vit E too.

I found myself looking at those powdered meals as a possible solution e.g. heul (seems to be far too much protein in them way more than I eat normally), ... they arent calorie restricted so I'd have to eat 2000 cals to get full nutrients, Im only maintain weight at 1500 cals (not losing weight)... so thiis seems like a recipe for disaster. Is there a lower calorie version out there?

Ive been messing around with cron-o-meter trying to DIY an alternative with a higher nutrient density to calorie.... but its difficult. For instance I was thinking of putting powdered nettles in it but I couldnt find a nutrient breaksdown for powdered nettles! Is there anywhere that has the full nutrient breakdown for more exotic stuff (Im thinking no as google cant seem to find it- but not everything is well linked for google- so if there is a 'secret site' I want to know?

The only other alternative that comes to mind it vit and mineral supplements for the 'ill days' but most of them seem to be nothing like 100% or far far over on some nutrients (to the point you wonder if its safe to take them a lot).


 

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Gordo's recommendation may be very useful to someone in your situation. I'm not sure if it's feasible, but a trip to True North's water fasting centre with Dr. Alan Goldhammer would be top notch if you have some money to spend. Of course, you can water fast without spending a cent too.

 

In regards to choline, I would encourage you to check out a few videos found here:

 

http://nutritionfacts.org/?fwp_search=choline&fwp_content_type=video

 

They are short and indicate that you likely want to be below the RDA for choline in the first place. Nuts come to mind as a good source of vitamin E, and they don't require any preparation whatsoever. Perhaps you are too ill to cook, but could make some plant based smoothies? You'll find with a good dose of plants that meeting your iron requirement should be easy. 

 

I would personally avoid the powdered meals.

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Heligany, +1 on gordo and drewab's suggestions. By the way, Ray Cronise, who experimented himself a 24-days water only fast, reports that eczema is one ailment often cured by fasting.

 

Also, it' s not always necessary to cook. My day meal is usually fresh fruits, nuts and strained kefir (twarog) + 85% chocolate. The latter is a significant source of iron, together with sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds.

 

At night you may cook already washed vegetables in bags, you only need to handle a pan to do that. Spinach and green leaved veggies are iron-rich. Plus carrots, tomatoes, ready salads, avocados, do not need any cooking.

 

Bread and canned legumes do not need cooking (I prefer legumes cooked in glass containers) and they are iron-rich. It's enough a little supplementation and you are going to meet 100% RDA. By the way, the oracle function in the golden version of cronometer lets you see all the foods, grouped by types, listed according to their contents in the nutrients you choose.

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I really dont think water fasting is an option.

I should have probably mentioned Ive been anaemic twice, the first time, Nov 2014, I had moderate anaemia it was because the eczema was so bad I was only eating about 500 cals a day, I couldnt even cut stuff up, use pans, or towards the end even open cans. In the end I gave up picking at bread and bags of salad and just started eating anything that came readymade in a packet (very little healthy stuff comes in packets it turns out). Perfect recipe for losing a few stone and gaining it back plus more. They gave me iron tablets but it took a year to get the levels ups.

Once Id got the skin more or less back on track, I was still scared to push the cooking too much in case it all went tits up again... so much lower consumption of lentils... I realise its possible to get them in tins but to be palatable they really need mixing with other stuff. I thought Id be ok at 80% of the RDA due to the lack of activity... but clearly very much not ok at 80% (its not clear how high my consumption needs to be to be enough)... A clue is that before the eczema got so bad I was eating lentils twice a day most days, in a veggie burger for lunch and in curry in evening (both homemade). Id been tending to eat rocket and tomato sarnies a lot when ill....sometimes without the tomato if slicing isnt an option. But I really thought it was enough. Anyway I was feeling increasingly breathless and having chest pain and thought it was asthma, but got a blood test in Dec 2016 and the anaemia was back and severe this time, so bad they wanted to do a transfusion but I refused- Managed to get it back up in 6 weeks with 35mg x 3 iron tablets a day and 5mg folate tablets- its borderline normal now, but I need to be on the iron for another 3 months to build up ferritin more.

I think you might be right, about lentils straight out of tins, if push comes to shove: it doesnt sound verry appetizing, but then neither is the heul stuff. Maybe I do need to just drop the idea of a 'meal' and rather than trying to take ingredients and create something just eat the ingredients... more grazing on nuts, seeds, raw veg and tinned pulses.... so almost raw vegan I guess (Blimey I never thought Id be thinking raw vegan). Smoothies sounds fairly promising, as long as I dont have to cut stuff up too much first.

 

 

Edited by Heligany

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Heligany, my whole life I cooked very little.

 

In your extreme case, where you cannot prepare things, a meal out of organic tinned stuff needs not to be unappetizing.

first, you have  lentils, garbanzo beans, black beans and all the other varities of pulses.

 

Also, you can mix'em with spices and olive oil, tabasco is a good addition, heat them in microwave and you have a pretty good course. You can experiment with spices. It is good eaten with organic pumpernickel bread, which is very healthy and nourishing and comes in bags already sliced. If you heat it slightly in a microwave it becomes appetizing.

 

In health food stores there are many varieties of crackers and many nut spreads of vegetable spreads or whatsoever other spread which on such crackers are delicious.

 

Nuts: there are so many varities. You can mix them together, my daily mix is raw almonds, raw hazelnuts and toasted hazelnuts, it's delicious.

There are trail mixes. Also, nuts and raisins mixed in the right amounts is something so good that you must apply will power to stop eating.

 

Cheese: many kinds of cheese, often in slices, you just have to cut the wrapping. Also, cheese is exquisite melt on pumpernickel or on crackers or on legumes.

 

Bananas: you just peel them, they are exceptional eaten together with dense cream.

Fruit: many fruit, you can eat them without skinning them. As discussed in this forum, skin has powerful protective compound. Presently, I'm eating all of my fruit, but a few exceptions, with its skin.

 

Chocolate, with at least 85% cocoa mass. It is an exceptional source of iron and other minerals, it is good-tasting, you just have to unwrap it.

 

There is more, much more, and you can do it in an healthy way. Remember, there are other people who usually eat like this, I am an example, because of lack of will, time and convenience. Today, I only cook my vegetables and prepare my home made kefir.

 

It may be more expensive than cooking some basic foods, but, if you choose adequately and you do not eat very much I believe you can easily contain the expenses. 

Edited by mccoy

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So any ideas on what to do about the lack of lentils on the days I cant open tins? Rice comes in microwaveable packets here but Ive yet to see lentils in packets.

When I say I cant prepare food, this also includes mixing stuff from multiple tins in other containers to create basic 'tins only meals'..... This is because while I can do very simple washing up when the skin is bad- such as rinsing out a blender or shaker- even with muliple-use other stuff tends require more intense washing up and gets left to pile up in the sink (no room for a dishwasher on the maxed out cosummer unit).

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I've been trying to follow a low calorie diet as I am housebound (so not very active) and overweight.

 

I'm running into issues of getting enough nutrients when Im too ill to cook (I have severe eczema and food prep often need to be restricted). I do make batches and freeze but often these run out before my skin is ready to begin making meals again.

 

I'm vegetarian with vegan leanings. I'm using cron-o-meter and was finding it difficult to get more than an average of 80% iron due to having to resort to sandwiches too often. I'm often low on Potassium, Choline and Vit E too.

 

I found myself looking at those powdered meals as a possible solution e.g. heul (seems to be far too much protein in them way more than I eat normally), ... they arent calorie restricted so I'd have to eat 2000 cals to get full nutrients, Im only maintain weight at 1500 cals (not losing weight)... so thiis seems like a recipe for disaster. Is there a lower calorie version out there?

Gosh, I'm sorry to hear you're suffering. Since you're struggling to get proper nutrition, and also looking into powdered easy to mix meal alternatives, have you considered moringa? https://www.africrops.com/africrops-moringa-a-solution-to-iron-deficiency/

 

Moringa alone obviously won't offer a full meal replacement, but it is eaten by malnourished and starving people around the globe. You can buy it online, help support struggling farmers, and when a cure for eczema is eventually released, and you feel better, you can grow your own moringa trees!

 

So any ideas on what to do about the lack of lentils on the days I cant open tins? Rice comes in microwaveable packets here but Ive yet to see lentils in packets.

 

When I say I cant prepare food, this also includes mixing stuff from multiple tins in other containers to create basic 'tins only meals'..... This is because while I can do very simple washing up when the skin is bad- such as rinsing out a blender or shaker- even with muliple-use other stuff tends require more intense washing up and gets left to pile up in the sink (no room for a dishwasher on the maxed out cosummer unit).

Where you live are there affordable meal delivery services like http://farmtofit.com/?doing_wp_cron=1486326190.0924029350280761718750 ?

 

I agree that fasting sounds like a bad idea in your case. Get healthy first, please. What have you tried to cure your debilitating eczema?

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Heligany, what I'd do in your place:

 

Lentils, garbanzo beans, and so on....

 

As far as I can see in health food stores and even in ordinary stores, such pulses are also sold in glass containers.

Now, if you can open one of those, you just put the glass with its content in the microwave, with a proper temperature and cooking time and it's ready. After that, you can add EVOO, black pepper, tabasco, vinegar, whatever.

I also use rigid plastic dishes when I don't want to wash. 

 

Another food which needs no preparation is yogurt (soy and milk based), also greek yogurt, soft cheese, similar soy products. You just open the container, eat from the container with a plastic spoon, throw away container and spoon. I've been eating like that for years, fruit, nuts and yogurt.

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I've been trying to follow a low calorie diet as I am housebound (so not very active) and overweight.

 

I'm running into issues of getting enough nutrients when Im too ill to cook (I have severe eczema and food prep often need to be restricted). I do make batches and freeze but often these run out before my skin is ready to begin making meals again.

 

I'm vegetarian with vegan leanings. I'm using cron-o-meter and was finding it difficult to get more than an average of 80% iron due to having to resort to sandwiches too often. I'm often low on Potassium, Choline and Vit E too.

 

I found myself looking at those powdered meals as a possible solution e.g. heul (seems to be far too much protein in them way more than I eat normally), ... they arent calorie restricted so I'd have to eat 2000 cals to get full nutrients, Im only maintain weight at 1500 cals (not losing weight)... so thiis seems like a recipe for disaster. Is there a lower calorie version out there?

Gosh, I'm sorry to hear you're suffering. Since you're struggling to get proper nutrition, and also looking into powdered easy to mix meal alternatives, have you considered moringa? https://www.africrops.com/africrops-moringa-a-solution-to-iron-deficiency/

 

Moringa alone obviously won't offer a full meal replacement, but it is eaten by malnourished and starving people around the globe. You can buy it online, help support struggling farmers, and when a cure for eczema is eventually released, and you feel better, you can grow your own moringa trees!

 

So any ideas on what to do about the lack of lentils on the days I cant open tins? Rice comes in microwaveable packets here but Ive yet to see lentils in packets.

 

When I say I cant prepare food, this also includes mixing stuff from multiple tins in other containers to create basic 'tins only meals'..... This is because while I can do very simple washing up when the skin is bad- such as rinsing out a blender or shaker- even with muliple-use other stuff tends require more intense washing up and gets left to pile up in the sink (no room for a dishwasher on the maxed out cosummer unit).

Where you live are there affordable meal delivery services like http://farmtofit.com/?doing_wp_cron=1486326190.0924029350280761718750 ?

 

I agree that fasting sounds like a bad idea in your case. Get healthy first, please. What have you tried to cure your debilitating eczema?

 

Morringa sounds a great idea, much higher in iron than the nettle powder Id been considering and the nutrition details are available to add to cron-o-meter.

 

We do have meal delivery services but they are extremely expensive (Im on low income) just taking a main meal each day would cost over £25 a week (at present I aim for £20 for a week of groceries). So its not really an option to go that route, the local supermarkets do frozen meals to a limited extent for vegans and vegetarians... I avoid palm oil too on ethical grounds- so that reduces things further still- on the whole the quality seems lacking, but there just isnt enough variety to feel Im eating a varied enough diet.

 

Ive been experimenting with huel in pancakes as a partial flour replacer and it works well... I tend to be able to manage pancakes longer into the bad phases as its just mixig in a jug and then light weight pan use for the frying- and the batter lasts lasts several days... so I can try that but its just nibbling at the edges of the problem really.

Heul on its own is pretty gross, slightly better with cocoa added- I cant see this improvng my mental health during bad phases though (it is a "huge flashing cant cope light bulb" at every meal LOL). That said its probably no grosser than boiled lentils on their own lol, it tastes vaguely like that (must be the pea protein).

 

Ive been thinking more about my DIY powdered meals... that might help me feel in control even if it is gross... Im thinking:

 

Flaxseeds: for omega oils

Pea Protein

Chick pea Flour (possibly)

Oats

Morringa for the extra punch of iron etc (and probably a more green taste).

Nutritional yeast (possibly)

Powdered beetroot (possibly)

Cocoa (possibly)

 

Im still researching though, lots of people advising against eating raw lentils and raw rice (so trying to do without those).

The ratios are going to need tinkering with and if there may still be nutrients missing... Im probably going to mix it with soy milk to drink.

 

mccoy

Lentils dont routinely come in jars in UK (there are some available mail order but very overpriced), its tins or plastic packets here (and the availability of the plastic packet is down to the local supermarkets whim).

I've been considering just boiled lentils, the problem has been lifting the pans to drain the water.... but maybe I could find a way to steam them or boil them in a cloth bag and then just lift them out of the water.... it still doesnt seem hugely appetising (and again there is the washing up thing for the pans- at the very least Id need to change the water somehow). 

Edited by Heligany

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Heligany, you might find some good brands of tinned legumes then. I agree against cooking legumes, big hassle even for me who have not your probs.

 

I tried to eat soaked raw rice, undisputably disgusting. Raw legumes might even be worse so. And the phytochemicals will probably kill you.

 

What about muesli and soy milk? you just pour milk over the muesli in a disposable container, let it soak and eat it with a plastic spoon. You may add pea proteins. You can vary type of soymilk and type of muesli. Cold or warm according to taste & season. Very nourishing, unexpensive and some of them mueslis are downright exquisite. Hi-carb though.

 

Pea protein, hemp protein, good idea,  I'm not an expert on these but vegan bodybuilders are avid consumers of these proteic staples. You might find some appetizing way to eat them.

 

Micronutrient issue is soon solved. You enter your foods in cronometer diligently for at least 2 weeks. You see the trend at the end of each week (or of any period if you have the golden version). You have displayed the micronutrients below 100% RDA. If they are just a few, you take just those supplements in adequate dosages. I'm following this proceduere. Single-type supplements allow you to dose by simply breaking the tablet. Or you may reduce the dosage by taking them alternate days or even at lesser frequencies.

Also, you might choose your priorities (for example iron) and start with that or a couple more.

 

It's very easy to be low in potassium and supplements do not provide adequate amounts. I simply ceased to worry about that.

Edited by mccoy

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I think you may benefit from watching the documentary:

Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead (2010)

Where a man documents how he cures his auto-immune disease by changing his diet.  Food prep is extremely minimal.

How badly you want to get well?  I had a coworker that reminds me a lot of your situation, kept talking about wanting to improve her health, but never did it.  She died just this month, made me sad, only in her 60's...

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Hi Heligany,

 

I still have not tried it yet, but I am interested in Plant Pure Nation. They are creating whole food plant based frozen meals. There are things I would do differently if I were preparing the food myself (for example, I have no idea why they add salt to any of their meals, but they do) but they look pretty good all things considered. The price reasonable.

 

For someone who is cooking as much food as they can themselves but could use some healthy meals that they don't have to cook, this might be a good solution for you.

 

They also have a documentary tracing the logic of their approach.

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