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Improving eating habits (maybe tw)

Hi lovely people Smiley Happy

 

I sometimes enjoy cooking, but i find that when I’m stressed/sad/ tired (even a little), it’s one of the first things to go out the window. I will feel too lazy to prepare anything when I’m hungry and just snack on whatever’s around.. ever since I left home and it became my responsibility to feed myself I’ve struggled with this. It’s not even the healthiness (or lack thereof) of the snacks that bothers me, just the irregularity - the fact I’ll be too tired for breakfast so I’ll procrastinate eating until lunch, then I won’t eat a full meal for lunch because it is too much trouble to prepare, and then a few hours later I’ll be suddenly so starving that I can’t even focus on cooking anything. it’s the worst!!

 

does anyone else struggle like this? I want to really emphasise it’s not a part of a body image issue for me, but just tiredness, a feeling of laziness, and getting stressed when I think about all the effort it takes to plan, cook, eat and clean up afterwards. Also, especially when I feel depressed, I despise grocery shopping with a passion lol. Lockdown definitely does not help. 

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Re: Improving eating habits (maybe tw)

Hi @lemurien 

 

It sounds like you're really struggling right now. Which is completely normal with the way this year has gone. I'm not sure what your circumstances are like however would it be possible to do your food shopping online - like woolies or Coles online (this way all you have to do is pick it up from the shop). As for the actual cooking I found that searching new recipes online gets me excited to cook, making something I've never made before means I will want to cook it and try it. Otherwise I would suggest maybe setting a meal plan out for the week or even meal prep (having options in the freezer for when you don't want to cook). This helps to know what you have to cook when, and if you don't end up cooking you can put an already made meal in the microwave. Is this something you could be interested in? What type of meals do you enjoy cooking?

 

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Re: Improving eating habits (maybe tw)

Hi @lemurien, this is something that's been a huuge problem for me. I'm sorry you're struggling with it 🙁 it's such a tricky thing lacking energy and motivation to do the things needed to eat, and it can be a problem that compounds on itself because when you haven't eaten properly it can sap your energy even further... (Energy you need to get food... A vicious cycle)

 

Have you heard of the concept of executive functioning (/executive dysfunction)? It might help for better understanding what's happening for you... Basically executive functioning is your ability to do things like start tasks, switch between them, keep track of what you're doing, and plan and organise things. So one element of executive dysfunction is it can be really hard to get started doing something (even if it's something you need and want to do). We have a thread here from a little while back where people talk about struggles with executive dysfunction and support each other/share advice if you wanna have a read or join the conversation 🙂

 

Here's a few things I've found helpful:

-order online click and collect (or delivery) groceries

-focusing on just achieving one thing in a day (which might be doing an online grocery order, or picking it up, or washing the dishes). (I know this isn't always an option)

-buying nutritious/low prep food (frozen precut veggies, sliced deli meat, single serving tuna can, microwave meals, already diced meat, fruit/veg you can eat with no prep eg cherry tomatoes- weird suggestion but I love them)

-buying food I really like

-really, really simple meals (and ones you can just repeat), with very low prep and few dishes (I can share some ideas if you like)

-asking for practical help from people I trust

-eating something is better than nothing- doing what I can. Drive through? Snack? Deconstructed sandwich? Cereal for dinner? Definitely better than not eating

-scheduling in times to eat with others eg dinner with a housemate once a week

 

Good luck ♥️

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Re: Improving eating habits (maybe tw)

@lemurien  I can relate to your experience so much. It's rare that I eat a lunch or dinner that is 100% prepared at home. It's hard for me to find the motivation to prepare something. I often just eat frozen meals or something from a meal delivery service. When my sister was in hospital and I was in charge of making food for myself, I often didn't feel like preparing the food and wanted to do other things instead.
Have you thought about setting meal times for yourself, or getting someone else to eat with you? I've also tried having a few options about what to eat in advance. We also have a thread about help for food and eating issues.

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Re: Improving eating habits (maybe tw)

@lemurien Oh I know this one!! Smiley Tongue

I have very similar issues.

 

Do you think cooking in bulk might work? As in cooking food that will last a while. When I properly cook, I cook enough that I have a lot of leftovers. At least two thirds of my cooking stays in the fridge for later.

That way you can cook more when you're able to and cook less when you're not.

 

I also try to have heaps of ready made/ easy to make foods hanging around.

(For example ramen noodles and miso soup powder. I just put them together in boiling water and microwave them)

Other options are packaged/ canned soup, and plain microwaved pasta.

 

With packaged snacks I try to keep them all together in the same place. That way when I really have no energy I don't have to spend ages looking around the house.

 

Anyway, hopefully one of those suggestions helps! Good luck!

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Re: Improving eating habits (maybe tw)

@LeapofFaith actually with the recent restrictions, I've started ordering my groceries and it's so much better! The delivery fee, and unpacking them, is a pain but I have housemates to share it with so it's not too bad. New recipes excite me too! Maybe I need to go looking for some, do you have a favourite website? When I'm in a motivated mood, I like cooking one pot/pan meals, I love how all the flavours end up coming together (and also the fact there are less pots and pans to wash Smiley Tongue)

@hellofriend Exactly! It's a very vicious cycle! Oh my goodness, yes to everything in that thread. Showering, responding to text/facebook messages, doing new things at work, everything!! And actually, it makes so many parts of life feel overwhelming, that I get an anxious/depressed feeling because it seems like life is so difficult to handle. And I so relate to not knowing if I have it or if I'm just lazy/incompetent. I'm going to really have a good look at that thread and the suggestions - except it's kind of funny, even seeing a nice big list of helpful hints to a problem I'm having, that I really want to read, my brain goes "noooooo". So I might need to solve my executive dysfunction before I can solve my executive dysfunction Smiley Tongue

@WheresMySquishy I'm sorry you have had the same problem but it's comforting knowing so many people know the feeling. I can imagine as well, having your sister in hospital would be a stressful experience that would make the stress of preparing food seem like way too much. I'm starting to wonder if I should make a daily schedule, including mealtimes to take all the stress out of deciding what to do next. But the idea of making the schedule and trying to keep to it also sounds so stressful!

@Tiny_leaf can I just say, every time I see your username I imagine such a cute tiny little plant lol, it makes me smile. Yesss, leftovers are the best. And thank you for the ideas of easy food. Miso soup is so comforting, I should buy some packets of it. Keeping all the easy foods in once place is also such a good idea, it is so infuriatingly frustrating when I'm super hungry and I don't even know where I left my snacks lol.

Re: Improving eating habits (maybe tw)

@lemurien 

I love the https://www.taste.com.au  website they have so many recipes. Also because they are connected with Coles and will add all the ingredients to your online order!!!

 

Hope you are doing better!

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Re: Improving eating habits (maybe tw)

What has worked for me is canned food (only if you like to eat it). My favourite canned food recipes are canned tomatoes with canned chicken breast or canned fish. Easy to make and no cleaning.

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Re: Improving eating habits (maybe tw)

Hey @lemurien I totally relate. I'm not exactly a chef myself but I can say that I have found some good food delivery services that don't cost heaps and come frozen (not sure if I can say specifics but yeah type ready made home cooked meals into google and some ideas should come up)! When I have them I usually get a decent size and have it over a couple days with brown rice. I also got into the habit of making sandwiches with healthier breads and keeping my favourite ingredients around like hummus, avocado, eggs etc. Sandwiches are a great option because they're very diverse and if you can make toasties it adds to the enjoyment Smiley Very Happy If you're the kind of person who's happy to eat the same meal a few nights in a row would it help to set yourself a cooking day or evening a week where you force yourself to prepare stuff?