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evegrimm's avatar

I don't eat enough throughout the day, partly because I don't have time. Suggestions, please!

Asked by evegrimm (3714points) September 26th, 2009

I recently started back up at Uni, and am horrible about eating enough. I rarely eat breakfast (I just have a big cup of coffee), rarely have time for lunch, and then might, just might, have something for dinner. It’s not so much that I’m not hungry as it is that there’s no time to eat. And I don’t really get hungry much anymore—probably because I’m not eating enough in the first place.

(I know someone’s going to say, “Eat breakfast, it’s the most important meal of the day,” well, let me say: eating breakfast usually makes me nauseous.)

I feel like I’m missing something, here—like there’s an easy solution that I haven’t thought of.

Ideas, suggestions, thoughts, please! Healthy/quick-to-eat snacks will get lurve!

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20 Answers

Zen's avatar

Eat properly, make time.

PandoraBoxx's avatar

Breakfast doesn’t have to be breakfast food. Adjust your schedule in the morning to give you a bit of time to be up and moving around in the morning before you eat. I keep oatmeal and granola bars at my desk.

The long-term effect of not eating is a really screwed up metabolism, especially when coupled with not getting enough sleep.

johanna's avatar

Breakfast is not the most important meal. A lot of people do not like breakfast and it is fine to wait with breakfast a while – but you probably shouldn’t wait to eat anything at all till lunch. That will cause your blood sugar to drop extremely low – your brain will nor perform as it should and it does influence your performance.
Having irregular eating habits might kind of work when you are young but they tend to mess up your system a bit as you get older. Your body learns to live in ‘starvation’ mode and once you eat more you gain a lot of weight. Eating too little is just as bad as eating too much.

Try bringing granola bars, or bran muffins, fruit and juice with you. Eat it between class, on the buss or even in class.

Try to eat properly for a week and I promise you will feel differently. Probably so much better that you will want to change your habits just because you feel so much better! (I am not talking about ‘health nut properly’ – simply eating three to five times a day).

Saturated_Brain's avatar

I agree with @johanna. Just pack snacks with you and munch on them throughout the day. Granola bars are a common snack food, and they’re healthy too. You can also make sandwiches (ham sandwiches are easy enough to make) in the night and put them in the fridge, ready for you to pack for your day ahead (although I think that it would be best to zap them in the microwave and eat them before lunch/or just have them cold if you like cold sandwiches).

poofandmook's avatar

While I was still eating carbs, I would make breakfast burritos (scrambled eggs, shredded taco cheese, cubed ham, and onion). I would make a whole bunch of them, wrap them individually in waxed paper and then in foil. In the morning I could take the foil off, throw them in the microwave, and then toss them back in the foil and eat them in the car on the way to work (I folded in both ends so the eggs wouldn’t fall out, and used enough cheese so it held everything together fairly well).

I also make single-serving chicken quesadillas with my tiny George Forman grill and freeze or refrigerate them, and they’re super easy. Take apart a pre-made rotisserie chicken from the store. Soften some onions in a skillet. Throw in a good few handfuls of the shredded chicken and add some Goya Sazon seasoning (perfect if you don’t like spicy… awesome flavor). Take a small tortilla, put a spoonful or two of the chicken, a spoonful of your favorite salsa if you like, and a generous amount of taco cheese, fold it in half, and plop it on the George Foreman and close the lid for a minute or two. It nicely grills both sides and melts all the cheese. You can wrap these well and freeze them, and then stick them in the toaster oven. One is pretty filling too. Easy to eat on the go since one is a single serving.. no need to cut into pieces or anything.

janbb's avatar

I don’t like to eat when I first get up so I bring yogurt with fruit and walnuts to eat at work around 9:30; have an apple sometimes around 11, and a small sandwich at 1. Supper is supper. I think the idea of bringing small amounts of healthy food with you and eating a few time s throughout the day is an excellent one. Don’t feel you have to start eating big meals but do get some nourishment in you with some regularity. And you should eat supper, even for the social and emotional values of sitting and pausing after the day.

poofandmook's avatar

Also, Ziploc makes these containers with twist-tops instead of the usual snap-on ones, and they make a small 2-cup size. They’re great to fill a bunch of them with instant oatmeal or farina in the portion you’ll want… keep it in the cabinet, and you can just throw in the hot water or whatever you like in the morning. They’re also great if you want to make a decent sized meal, divide it up into them for the perfect single portion, and freeze them. They’re thicker plastic than usual throw-away containers so they freeze really well. Just make sure you loosen the top and put it a tiny bit askew before microwaving. I do that all the time… that way I can just grab a single portion and go.

filmfann's avatar

If you get nauseous after breakfast, it could be from the cold milk, or the acids in the coffee. Try some scrambled eggs and toast, and cut down on the coffee.
Lunch can be the biggest meal of the day (it is in many countries).
The thing is you should eat something at some point!

gailcalled's avatar

Portable foods are bananas, yogurt, dried or fresh fruit, nuts, container of low-fat cottage cheese, crackers and hard cheese, hummus and pita bread, raw string beans, cauliflower, celery, carrots, radishes, peas, sugar snap peas,

MuffinMonarch's avatar

It deffinitely seems like the best thing you can do for now is bring small portions of food with you that you can eat throughout the day while your doing anything from studying to walking or driving or w/e. You could easily bring a fruit with you w/e you go in the morning and bring pre-portioned bags of nuts, cereal, fruit, etc.

I’m sure once you start getting more food in you throughout the day period you’ll feel better when you eat. About the time, you could always eat while you study or think about what your gonna do during the week. Make eating a time for you to sit back and analyze different thing.

tinyfaery's avatar

Let me make another suggestion, you MUST find the time during the day to relax and have some time to yourself, and to eat. You are developing very bad habits and your body and mind will suffer. If you can’t find time, make time. 20 minutes to grab a snack, breathe, let your mind wander, etc., at least twice a day, is not going to ruin your life. It will make it better.

marinelife's avatar

Take things easy to eat and easy to carry in baggies with you to class. Some things that pack a lot of nutritional punch in a small space are handfuls of nuts (walnuts and almods are good choices for healthy nuts), raisins, an apple, crackers (spread with peanut butter if you have time), baby carrots (right out of the bag if you don’t have time to prepare your own), cherry tomatoes.

As for dinner, take a couple of hours on a weekend day and prepare some healthy stuff to just heat and eat during the week.

Also, finally, eating and staying healthy are critical components for keeping your mind healthy enough for school. Make improving this area the priority it needs to be. No more excuses.

wickedbetty's avatar

i highly suggest a vitamix blender. I have wanted on for YEARS but I am still a student and can’t quite afford one… I would make protein shakes and drink them on the go…

RedPowerLady's avatar

Veggies and fruits are very nutritious and are very portable. What I suggest is going to the store and buying some useful tupperware. Make sure you get one for each meal of the day, plus one for a snack. Make a goal for yourself to fill all four up each morning. Or you could even prepare 3–4 days in advance.

For bkfast you could throw in some yogurt and fruit. Or a bagel and cream cheese.
For lunch you could throw in a quick sandwich, salad, or microwavable soup.
For dinner you could do the same as lunch or you could do a pasta or casserole that’ll last 3–4 days.
For snack I’d try fruits and veggies.
It is also absolutely essential to carry around a full water bottle.

You could also carry around some trail mix with you. It is quite nutritious and easy to eat on-the-go.

I don’t know if by Uni you mean a college/university but if that is the case you should know that you will absolutely need to change your eating habits if you want to keep good grades. Otherwise keep in mind that there is a lot of fat in the brain and your body will use it if it needs to, which will deplete your resources for studying.

I agree that this is a very unhealthy habit that is developing. Your mind will suffer and so will your body from this habit. It sounds like you may be developing a form of anorexia and not be aware of it. Sometimes when a label is put on top of what you are doing it helps you realize how scary it is, otherwise I detest labeling. In the long run this will be very unhealthy for you and you will find that you are unable to deal with stress well, one major side effect of not eating enough. I think it is very important that you sit down, write out your schedule, and find a way to rearrange it not only so you have time to eat but also so you have time to relax as well. Balance is necessary. Please don’t have the mindset that balance will come later, it is important for you now. If none of this helps I would suggest seeing a counselor, most schools have them free for students. I think it is that serious of an issue.

mtirado's avatar

I feel you with the too busy! I eat on the go constantly due to the nature of my job. So I pack a “lunch” mainly a mix of healthy snacks every night and stick it in my purse in the morning, so when I go into my purse to get anything it reminds me to eat.

Also I bring my breakfast to work since I dont feel like eating first thing normally!

annetterobillard's avatar

i dont know what ?you want me ans. but as i said i know i drink too much & im never hungry .im 65 yrs old &i weight less then 70 also very healthy.

OnaBoat's avatar

Eating healthy with little time is definitely a challenge. For breakfast, I recommend getting packets of oatmeal – NO sugar added – and microwaving it. I like Nature’s Path Original, which takes 70 seconds in the microwave. If you’re feeling ambitious, add some strawberries. Either way, it’s quick and healthy.

During the day, if I get hungry, I have a Clif Builder’s Protein Bar. They’re tasty, high in protein, and relatively low in “bad stuff”. Try the Vanilla Almond or the Peanut Butter.

Lua_cara's avatar

At least munch on fruits through the day if you do not have time for proper meals. If you have no time for a cooked breakfast have a fistful of nuts ,a fruit and a big glass of milk instead of just coffee.

For lunch have some salad vegetables and yogurt.

Ok, so I am preaching now but you MUST make the time to eat healthy. Your body is a temple and you just cannot disregard it so with totally unhelathy eating habits.

Cruiser's avatar

You are missing out by not eating as early as you can. Food is an amazing source of energy and you would get such a mental boost of energy from eating early on. It doesn’t have to be a lot, a handful granola, even munching on dry cereal in a baggie would be an easy snack. Get small juice cans and pack them with your baggies of raisins, craisins or dried cherries, even those little prepacks of carrots and celery and great for people on the go.

Kardamom's avatar

Planning is the name of the game here. First, get yourself a nice cooler, I like the collapsible styles best because you can store them easier. And get some blue ice, some ziplock bags and some tupperware and a re-usable bag like the kind you take to the grocery store. You can put the non-cold items in there.

One of the best things to do, is pick one day of the week and get your prep started. You should get a variety of fruits and veggies and do all of the cleaning on this day, and with the veggies you can also cut them up and put them into the larger sized ziplock bags. Fruit tends to go bad quickly after you’ve cut it up, so either leave it whole or wait until the night before to cut it. Some easy veggie favorites: carrots, cauliflower, grape tomatoes, broccoli, radishes. Wash ‘em, cut ‘em up and distribute into large ziplocks. Then they’re ready for you to grab some of each and put them into smaller ziplocks that you’ll put in your cooler to take with you.

Easy fruits (don’t buy more than you will use in 2 weeks or they’ll go bad) : apples, nectarines, strawberries, blueberries, bananas, cherries and grapes. Wash all of them on your prep day, put them in your fridge and grab some before you head out the door in the morning, put them in your cooler with the veggies.

Snacks: all kinds of nuts (which you can divide up into small tupperware bowls on prep day) graham crackers (preferably Trader Joe’s brand which are not full of chemicals and preservatives) you can make peanut butter sandwiches out of them the night before and put them in a small ziplock, dried fruits such as cranberries, apple chips, prunes, raisins, apricots, divide portions into your small ziplocks or tupperware bowls on prep day and grab some on your way out of the house. Whole grain chips and crackers with low sodium (Trader Joe’s make lots of different varieties) put individual portions into ziplock bags on prep day. Grab a bag on the way out the door. Other good snacks include individual sized yogurt cups and apple sauce (Make sure you keep a spoon in your bag). Then find some good whole grain breakfast/energy bars that are not too high in sugar/sodium (I like Kashi brand and Cedar Lane and Soyjoy). And either buy a block of cheese and cut it up and put into individual sized tupperware bowls or get some of those already small sized, pre-packed cheese.

Drinks: individual cartons of milk, yogurt drinks, 100% fruit juice and pure, non sweetened, iced tea, don’t give in to the temptation of articicially flavored sugary drinks or soda.

Get some whole grain bread that you keep in the freezer (stays fresher longer and you can have a lot on hand) and make a cheese sandwich or a peanut butter sandwich (right on the frozen bread slices) the night before and put it in a ziplock bag and put it in the fridge. Grab it on your way out the door.

The trick with all of this is prep, convenience and nutrition. Try to avoid junk food at all cost. Buy what you need, pick a day for preparation so you’ll have everything you need ready to go for the week and then you can just grab and go. Good luck : )

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