Scroll down for an update to this post.
Could you say what an average day of meals is for you please. Do you not eat sweets, chocolate or puddings at all? I know you eat rice pudding, what about bread? thanks I plan to copy you if that's ok, I live alone, and don't eat a balanced diet now the children have left home. I can't be bothered to cook for one. Thank you.
Cooking for one is much simpler than preparing food for a family. Stating the obvious, you can eat whatever you like whenever you like, and in the quantities that you think is right for you. Though beware, the temptation to stuff ones face when no one is looking is ever present, therefore some restraint is essential to maintain a healthy body. I can only talk about my diet from the point of view that I do not have any food intolerances and I am not allergic to anything. I am no expert on nutrition, and I do not endorse any weight loss diets.
DL, it's easy to get into the mindset of convenience food, thinking that it's too time consuming to cook for one, but really it's not that difficult. It's also easy to stick with the same old same old, day after day, not good. You will often hear me say I can't be bothered to cook, so what I do is prepare a meal that requires no cooking, or get one of my home made veg stews or curries out of the freezer and zap it in the microwave. I don't use my oven at all, not sure if it even works. I use the hob gas rings, the grill, and the microwave.
To start simple easy cooking I suggest you forget about all the traditional meals you were brought up on, the meat and two veg, the breakfast fry ups, the fish and chips, the burger or sausage and chips. By all means eat them, but only once in a while. All the other days you need to make up your own new recipes. I hesitate to say the word recipes, because I don't follow any written down recipes, my meals are made up of whatever I have in.
You need to tap into your creativity, with only yourself to think about you can eat whatever you like. Chuck your recipe books out, invent, invent, invent.
So, back to the questions, one at a time.
What is an average day of meals.
I start the day with a mug of coffee, I sit and relax with it for 20 minutes. My breakfast follows. I never skip breakfast because I know I will begin to feel wobbly in an hour. At the moment I am having half a bowl of bran flakes, and I make a topping in the mini chopper with seeds, nuts, porridge oats, and dried fruit. If I have any fresh fruit I will put that on top as well. I have some rice milk bought for 20p so I am using this at the moment. Normally I would use soya milk. Sometimes I will make hot porridge in a pan on the hob, if I fancy it, with maybe a banana, or a few tinned peach slices on top.
If I begin to feel hungry about 11 or 11.30 I will have a top up breakfast, or an early lunch. A top up might be a banana with yogurt, or a piece of toast, or a couple of cream crackers with soft cheese.
Lunch is anytime between 11.30 and 1pm, depending how hungry I am. I always listen to my stomach to tell me when I need food, never stick to rigid meal times.
What do I have for lunch. It varies day to day, what I fancy eating and what I think I ought to eat to get the right nutritional balance. Simple lunch, beans or spaghetti, and scrambled egg on toast. Sometimes just scrambled egg. I always buy seeded or wholemeal bread, don't like white, don't bother with bread rolls, always a thick sliced loaf. If I have salad in I will have a plate of whatever salad ingredients I have. Green leaves, tomatoes, mushrooms, cucumber, spring onions, pickled onions, tinned salad beans, cheese, two boiled eggs, a piece of shop bought Value quiche, anything, just chuck it on, no cooking required. Sometimes I will have a portion of home made veg stew from the freezer, zap it in the microwave. A potato in the microwave with a topping of your choice is easy and takes 5 minutes.
Dinner happens around 5 - 6 pm. I eat a lot of steamed vegetables, which are cooked in a pan with one of those baskety things in it. One pan, everything goes in, cut up hard root veg and put it at the bottom with the sprouts, and softer veg at the top. It only takes five minutes, very easy cooking. If I have any mayo, or grated cheese, I will add this on top. I might make veg gravy in a mug, but only very occasionally if I fancy it. I often eat just veg for dinner, but sometimes I will add something grilled, frozen Quorn or a veggie burger, just to give it a bit of variety. I only buy those things when they are on offer.
One meal I like is mushrooms and an onion cooked in oil in a pan, then two eggs added and scrambled. When I make a veggie stew I will add pasta or couscous or rice, maybe a tin of tomatoes or baked beans, or chick peas. I also add any fruit I want to use up. You can put anything in a stew, the possibilities are endless.
After dinner I am usually stuffed. It is a good feeling because I know it will soon pass because there is no stodge in it. I don't wrap food in pastry to make pies, don't make pasties, or pizza, or quiche, don't smother my food in packet sauce mixes. It is not necessary to mess around with food, roasting, basting, baking, simmering for hours. For a single person like me it is a quick in and a quick out of the kitchen. I know some people will disagree with me, they like messing about in the kitchen, but for the purposes of this post, the questions came from DL, a single lady.
Next question. Do I not eat sweets, chocolate, or puddings at all? I eat sweets very very rarely. When I see them I sometimes fancy them, but they scream out to me SUGAR NO NO NO, POISON. I might look at the ingredients on the back of the packet, then put them back, yuk. The only time I might indulge is when I am on a walk or a long car journey, I'll have a few in my pocket, usually mints to keep my mouth fresh. I do sometimes eat chocolate, but I can go a long time without it, 3 - 4 months. Then I have a treat because it tastes nice. I don't have a pudding after a meal, I don't need one because I am too full. I don't make custard. Having a pudding after a meal is not necessary, people do it because it's a tradition. Yes, you have noted that I do eat rice pudding. I sometimes fancy half a tin at night, an hour before I go to bed. I have a couple of tins of peach slices in my cupboard, I might have some with my cereal, or with yogurt as a snack. Not too often though because it's full of sugar. So, no puddings after a meal here.
Next question. What about bread. I buy seeded or wholemeal, usually a loaf. I don't buy fancy bread unless it is reduce on a yellow sticker. I don't buy white bread. I make sandwiches, cheese and salad. I make toast. How much do I eat, not much at all. Maybe two slices a day. Last night I had toast with blue cheese on it, I was hungry after my 3 mile walk. I occasionally buy a pack of butter, but I limit it to 3 or 4 times a year. Some days I eat no bread at all. A loaf will last 8 or 9 days.
You didn't ask about drinks, but I will mention it. I have one mug of coffee in the morning, I don't drink tea at all. I might have a second mug after a lunch of beans on toast, because it just finishes it off nicely, and I sometimes have a coffee at Crafty Club. During the day I drink diluted fruit juice, hot or cold. Sometimes from a carton or sometimes cordial from a bottle. It has sugar in it so I use sparingly just to give the water a slightly fruity taste. I occasionally like a mug of hot chocolate at night, maybe twice a week. My alcohol intake is minimal. I buy a bottle of wine every 3 - 4 weeks, make it last 4 days, and a 4pack of cider every 6 weeks.
If I go out anywhere in the daytime and I know I will be hungry, I take food with me. A sandwich, boiled eggs, drink in a bottle.
Phew, have I covered it all, ha ha. Feel like I have run a marathon. DL, as a single person there are a lot of corners you can cut when it comes to food preparation. Experiment, time yourself in and out of the kitchen. I hope I have given you some ideas.
After reading all of your comments, I have decided to add this video, as it might be helpful to some people. The BBC has made three programmes with Doctor Rangan who has been staying with three families to try and help them sort out their unhealthy life styles. I urge anyone who is trying to lose weight to watch these programmes.
Thanks very much for popping in. Merry Christmas to one and all. I'll be back tomorrow, talking to myself probably, ha ha. Toodle pip.