Day 27: The Skinny on Feeding Myself

If I could pinpoint my biggest challenge in doing low carb for the long, long haul, it is keeping a larder of low carb food available to ensure that food boredom doesn’t set in. Part of my success, I think, has been that I can eat the same thing 3 days in a row, if not more, and this makes it possible to eat low carb, enjoy it, and not be tempted by the high carb goodies that surround me daily.

You might say: why not a little willpower, you idiot! – and you are right, but I also think that willpower is somewhat overrated – or maybe misunderstood. Many people confuse effort with results – and I have had the pleasure of working for a number of these people.

Willpower is a component to long-term weight loss when combined with smart eating choices that provide the necessary nutrients, and are enjoyable enough to lessen the need for willpower.

Significant weight loss will never be effortless – but it can’t be a never-ending teeth-gritting herculean effort either. 

For most of us, that will fail in the long run.

My problem is cooking in a house where I’m the only one on a low carb diet. I need to cook a lot of high carb meals for the kids, yet still cook my own stuff. As time is short, I cook large quantities, hoping others might eat some, which they do, but not consistently. This means I end up eating the same thing too often, promoting food boredom, promoting cheating.

that’s my slippery slope.

I’ve heard that Nutrasystem for men has proven successful in that men are attracted by the simplicity of the approach, and the elimination of cooking – and maybe even shopping. I’ve never met anyone who succeeded on Nutrisystem, though I have known a number that tried, but my point here is that their plan is geared to eliminate the problem of what foods to pick, how much to eat, and time to cook.

I don’t think Nutrasystem is sustainable – are you going to eat microwaved TV dinners for the rest of your life? – but I do think there’s something there. 

The notion of meals on hand – easy to grab and eat, with enough variety to sustain.

So my thoughts on this lead me to single-serving freezer meals. Rough outline: Cook a few times weekly, choosing carefully to ensure variety. Package in single-serve portions, and freeze. 

I know – a big ‘duh!’ from the masses that think this is friggin obvious, but I never said I was a genius.

I started yesterday by freezing up a few portions of the London broil with Brussels sprouts. These can be lunches or dinners next week. It was a lunch on this day – and much enjoyed.

The food boredom set in when coming home. My wife had to work, and I was left to watch the kids, try and feed them, and feed myself. I had some ham and cheese on some low carb bread, but didn’t really enjoy it. I like ham in limited amounts, as flavoring – as a sandwich, it’s not my first choice.

Meanwhile, I cooked up ravioli for the kids. Ugh.

The evening ended with what I’d call ‘cheat containment’. I did have some ravioli, but not too much – and one piece of candy. I brought all the yummy candies to work to fatten up my coworkers, so the temptation was somewhat lessened. 

The containment worked, as today’s weight is 206.0 – down 0.6 from yesterday, and 8 lbs. from the start of 214.

Anyone out there have successful strategies for cooking and freezing? I’m all ears. Post a comment or send me an email if you’re shy about posting.

3 thoughts on “Day 27: The Skinny on Feeding Myself

  1. O.K., I do a lot of freezing of meals. I am retired so I have time and I do all he cooking and I cook mostly all low carb. My daughter and my two grandsons live with me (ages 7 and 14) but there are some days I wake up and I would rather be poked in eye with a sharp stick than turn on the stove – so here is what I do….

    One Sunday a month I rent movies I’ve been wanting to see and spend the whole day preparing meals and freezing them. I put a huge roast in the slow cooker, a huge pot of soup on the stove, two big meat loaves, a couple of mac and cheese casseroles ( I use dreamfields -I know. I know but it works for us) and whatever else hits my fancy. I also make up a bunch of low carb waffles as well. The waffles I freeze on a cookie sheet and put them in a freezer bag so that I can pull out whatever I will need for the morning. With the soup I line the soup bowl with plastic wrap and freeze it and when it is frozen I pull it out of the bowl and vacuum seal it. That way I can pull off the plastic wrap and microwave in the bowl I’m gonna serve it in. I have a limited amount of casserole dishes so I do the same with them. I line them with the plastic wrap and freeze them – then vacuum seal them. Same thing. I take them out of the freezer, take them out the vacuum seal bag, pull of the plastic wrap and plop them right into my casserole dish. Easy peasy. The roast is cut into meal size servings and done the same way. Towards Sunday afternoon I usually start swearing because it is a lot of work but usually a glass of wine helps keep me on track. I tell you what though, the rest of the month I am SO grateful that some days I can pull something out of the freezer and only have to fix a vegetable or salad to put on the table and I’m DONE.

    Hope this helps,

    P.S. Oh, when I am cooking something from scratch, I try to cook a lot of it and make some home made TV dinners from the leftovers. Great lunches. This is getting harder to do with a 14 year old who has grown 5 inches over the summer and has the appetite of a lumberjack LOL.

  2. Hi,
    i have shared your experiences these past few weeks but have also learned new tricks from you that I have not tried like “blt rollups”, which I am really hooked on now. Please know that I read every one of your blogs with interest.

    i, too, freeze low-carb foods. I use a vacuum sealer for almost everything. One of my favorite things to do is to make meatball/hot sausage casserole (sliced homemade meatballs and sliced cooked italian sausage) and put low-carb marinara sauce on it and top with grated cheddar cheese– put in a freezer-proof plastic container with lid and it’s really easy to just pop the lid off and nuke it for a very filling, satisfying meal. I also freeze individual portions of meat loaf like Linda does. Crab cakes are another thing I make up in advance and just nuke to thaw and then broil. Buy canned, pasteurized lump crab meat and find a recipe on the web and leave out the bread crumbs then freeze individual portions into small containers that hold one crab cake each. These are great when you have a yen to eat and very low carb. I also buy a head of cauliflower or broccoli or a bunch or asparagus and blanche it and then vacuum seal individual portions that I can just remove from the bag and microwave quickly or roast in the oven. Chili without beans is another thing I enjoy frozen. I freeze that and soup in vacuum sealed bags. Another thing I have found is great for snacking is to buy an individual thin-crust frozen pizza and then top it with more cheese, pepperoni, black olives, mushrooms and bake it and only eat the top off it and throw the crust away. It helps me to still be able to enjoy pizza the low-carb way. Frozen cooked shrimp is also my best friend. I can just grab a handful and put them in water for about 15 mins and they thaw and I enjoy them with a mayo/low-carb ketchup sauce I mix up. I also keep frozen bulk sausage in the freezer which can be quickly defosted in the microwave and fried up for breakfast.

    Like Linda, who posted before, I also freeze left-over roast beef and throw it into a skillet and fry it up until crispy and top with whatever cheese you like. I, like you, get very tired of the low-carb menu but having something good in your freezer really helps. Another thing I am never without is small individual containers of cauliflower soup (steam a whole head of cauliflower and then season the way you would eat it with butter, salt and pepper. Then put it in the food processor or blender and add chicken broth until it is the consistency you prefer. I also add a little tarragon and if you like it spicy you might add a little hot sauce. This freezes very well and it is easy to nuke quickly and have a nice mug of it in on a cold evening. I also make batches of green beans flavored with ham and freeze those in individual containers.
    Keep the blogs coming. You have no idea how much we all benefit from them.
    Best of luck,

  3. Linda & Bonnie,

    Thanks – you’ve given me a lot of ideas. I think I need to get out my recipe books, get some more of those Reynolds freezer bags that go with that little freezer bag vac they make, and start making more freeze meals.
    You both sound more disciplined than I am in this.
    You’ve both inspired me to think: with just a little solid meal planning, I could move mountains – of fat.

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