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Healthy ready meals?

Postby SummerSun on Wed Aug 14, 2013 9:13 am

I am currently bedbound with severe M.E. I have carers that come in to do meals etc. Breakfast and lunch not too much of a problem but they have 20 mins in the evening to prepare a meal for me and my son. This is nearly always frozen food in oven or ready meals in microwave. Any ideas on any alternatives. I have developed sensitivity to wheat and yeast so no bread or pasta??? Many thanks!
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Re: Healthy ready meals?

Postby mittens123 on Wed Aug 14, 2013 10:20 am

I'm also intolerant now to wheat. I have no energy to get food in the day and I am putting on weight due to lack of activity. I just end up grabbing a mars bar which I know I shouldn't do. Any tips please?
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Re: Healthy ready meals?

Postby karen owen on Wed Aug 14, 2013 10:26 am

HI,
I HAVE FOUND RAW FOOD IS THE BEST WAY TO EAT WITH M E, i'VE HAD M E 11 YEARS NOW, BUT WAS ONLY FINALLY DIAGNOSED A YEAR AGO, I HAVE SEVERE FOOD ALLERGIES TOO, INCLUDING WHEAT, DAIRY, YEAST, POTATOES, RICE AND SO ON AND ON AND ON. RAW FOOD IS INCREDIBLY QUICK TO PREPARE, I DID A FEW GREEN JUICE FASTS AND THEN WENT ONTO EATING RAW VEG, THE CHANGES HAVE BEEN DRAMATIC TO SAY THE LEAST, I NO LONGER NEED STICKS TO WALK, CAN SWIM AND DO GENTLE YOGA, I WOULDNT GO SO FAR AS TO SAY IM BETTER, I STILL HAVE BAD DAYS/WEEKS BUT I BELIEVE WITH THIS HORRIBLE ILLNESS SLOWLY SLOWLY CATCHEE MONKEY IS THE KEY , GOOD LUCK
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Re: Healthy ready meals?

Postby lisalouise999 on Wed Aug 14, 2013 10:46 am

I feel that drastic changes to anyone's diet is not recommended. If you try to balance out all the things you eat to the saying "all things in moderation" then you are probably on to a winner. If there was a diet cure for ME then it would be widely publicized and people would be leaping out of their beds shouting I'm cured!

I find salads are an easy thing to prepare in the 5 mins a day I feel well enough to stand still, I chuck it into tubs then tuck in when meal times roll around. You can do things like grill a chicken breast, or buy a roasted chicken at the supermarket, to go with it. My husband mainly does this, then there is something to eat when he gets home from work without him worrying I'm going to burn the house down. Tinned soups, or your carer could whip up a batch of soup and put it into tubs then just microwave when needed. You can even get fancy carton soup with no preservatives etc in if you are worried about that. They last a few days and Tesco ones can be frozen. Tesco are doing lots of gluten and wheat free frozen things now which is helpful. Microwave jacket potatoes (7 minutes for reasonable sized one, or 10 mins for two) you can do tuna mayo or salmon, beans, etc. You can even get frozen fish in Tesco that you microwave from frozen that is not bad at all.

I sound like I am advertising Tesco lol! We have one near our house now but I'm sure other shops are doing very similar things too.
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Re: Healthy ready meals?

Postby karen owen on Wed Aug 14, 2013 12:02 pm

I agree, changing food drastically is not recomended, in my haste to reply I didn't explain that, I started by introducing one green juice a day and over a period of six months gradually changed to eating mostly raw food (THE QUICKNESS OF BEING ABLE TO WASH AND CHUCK SOME SALAD OR VEG ONTO A PLATE CANNOT BE EMPHASIZED ENOUGH). Protein is also important, nuts and seed are also quick and easy , as are soups and broths. Most importantly just dont eat processed foods of any description. Sorry if I gave the wrong impression that one should immediately change their diet, it is a slow and arduos journey but one worth taking to regain some quality of life!
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Re: Healthy ready meals?

Postby Sue Luscombe on Thu Aug 15, 2013 10:52 am

[quote="SummerSun"]I am currently bedbound with severe M.E. I have carers that come in to do meals etc. Breakfast and lunch not too much of a problem but they have 20 mins in the evening to prepare a meal for me and my son. This is nearly always frozen food in oven or ready meals in microwave. Any ideas on any alternatives. I have developed sensitivity to wheat and yeast so no bread or pasta???

Hello SummerSun
I am so sorry to hear how difficult it is for you with your meal - when it has to be prepared and cooked by someone else, and often different people, (perhaps with different cooking skills?) in only 20mins and to be wheat- and yeast-free.

What about your food shopping? How easy is it to buy frequently and do you rely on online shopping, or one person, or many others for this? All these factors will determine what is going to be easiest for you. Do you have easy access to fresh foods; Salads then become a quick meal. What about adding then a hard boiled egg or omelette, or fish or meat? Of course to be wheat-free they need to be without breadcrumbs, flour in sauces etc. What sort of microwave have you got? Higher power ones and combination ovens can do two jacket potatoes in about 20mins.

In addition to potato, other wheat-free meal basics are rice and wheat-free alternatives such as GF pasta and GF bread. Try a risotto with suitable veg and chopped meat, or kedgeree with fish and chopped boiled egg. However, using frozen foods at times is probably going to be a necessity, because of time and shopping constraints. Certainly the vitamin contents of some veg are probably higher in frozen food, rather than being several days old by the time they are used if purchased from a supermarket. There are many places that sell ready meals from supermarkets and companies who specialise in home delivery which are gluten, (wheat protein), free. So, for variety, look at other brands and sources. Check online for ingredients before buying.
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Re: Healthy ready meals?

Postby Sue Luscombe on Thu Aug 15, 2013 11:17 am

mittens123 wrote:I'm also intolerant now to wheat. I have no energy to get food in the day and I am putting on weight due to lack of activity. I just end up grabbing a mars bar which I know I shouldn't do. Any tips please?



Hello mittens123,

Many find that their reduced ability for activity leads to unwelcome weight gain - you are burning up fewer calories. The extra effort in preparing “healthy foods” also means it’s easiest to just grab something, which can end up being high-processed and calorie-dense snacks. Then you end up feeling bad for doing it; a recipe for feeling lower and more fed up and more at risk of repeating it again as consolation.

A lot of my work as a dietitian is helping people change unwanted eating habits to improve their health and self esteem. I suspect you are aware which foods are healthier, (more fruit and vegetables to fill you up), and that telling people just to eat these in a good balance seldom resolves the eating habit in the long term.

If weight control were easy we would not be having such an increase of obesity. In the States there is a weight management register which has followed over 10,000 people to try and answer the question of what really works. So far important themes to support weight loss success have been:

• Have a breakfast
• Self monitor
• Regular meals
• Low fat diet.

Support is also really important - from family and friends. Have a look at more practical advice on weight management on the British Dietetic Association website: http://bda.uk.com/foodfacts/Want2LoseWeight.pdf
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Re: Healthy ready meals?

Postby SummerSun on Thu Aug 15, 2013 3:27 pm

Thank you for your response :)

I currently can only have shopping once a week and order online which is why I have been relying on frozen food and ready meals. My carers are great but with the time they have there is no time to prepare fresh ingredients and then cook a meal. The egg idea is great and will see if they can do omelettes. The jacket potato is also a great idea. I suppose I was worried about the amount of ready meals I'm having but could maybe get some frozen veg as an extra and maybe alternate between a ready meal and then an omelette or jacket potato so I'm not having the ready meals everyday.
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Re: Healthy ready meals?

Postby Sue Luscombe on Thu Aug 15, 2013 3:48 pm

Thanks

Unfortunately you are limited in what you can do, with such practical constraints. Adding extra frozen veg to ready meals sounds a great idea. Varying quick meals from scratch with ready meals is a good way to increase variety. Ready meals have had a very bad press this year because of the horsemeat scandal, and concern over what does go into them, so your hope to eat less of them is natural and understandable. Good luck and I hope there may be others who are in similar situations who may give you more quick meal ideas.
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Re: Healthy ready meals?

Postby goblinff on Thu Aug 15, 2013 5:00 pm

I know we're not supposed to be answering questions from fellow CFS/ME people. But hopefully this will be taken in the spirit intended:

would it be possible for part of the 20mins to be used to say chop up fresh veg etc & put sufficient ingredients in a slow cooker for several meals at once (one that switches itself off when done) one night, then the next day when it's cooled down, the carers put that cooked food in the fridge, and plate up portions and microwave them? Or even portion them up and put them in a freezer then use them later? The downside is you have to plan ahead and also end up eating the same stuff over & over... The upside is that the cooking time is outside the carers' 20mins time frame, also it's quite hard to mess up slow cooker food so even someone without cooking skills should be able to manage to follow a recipe (there's books available), and it's usually well cooked so easier/ less tiring to chew, you control what goes in it, and it's a cheap way of cooking.

(I do hope this is possible, cos I was horrified at the ramifications of how you have to live foodwise, & after thinking about it, it's what I'm planning to ask social services to do if they decide I can have help soon).
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