Modern life can be really busy. What we eat is often a balance between time, energy, cost and reward. A good recipe may well be worth extra time and effort, but it is something that many people struggle to do all of the time. Cooking eats into limited down time due to our society’s insane idea of how much we should work. In this place pre prepared food has filled in the gap much to the detriment of our health. In line with this idea many people chose to spend more time on food prep. I am looking for a balance between the two extremes. Small changes are easy, like switching milk for almond milk, and giving up bread in place of low carb tortillas. I don’t really need to lose weight (5’ 4" 128 lb), I like the idea and benefits of this lifestyle, but my first attempt went badly. I thought I had done my research and was prepared, but the insomnia and racing pulse are not things I can live with. What I did learn was that I think I can go higher in carbs, probably 40 grams. My goal is some weight lifting, a little cardio and to make small changes to my diet that are easy to implement and live with.
I do not really like the time it takes to cook. Cooking it not just the time in the kitchen, it is going to the store, planning and thinking about what to eat, and finally the time actually preparing the meal. In this vane I eat a premade breakfast burrito, which only needs microwaving, make a sandwich for lunch, have some fruit, cheese or nuts as a snack and then make a frozen pizza or something equally easy for dinner, and this results in around 60 to 120 carbs a day. I want to include more vegetables in my diet.
I don’t like a lot of the easy meal ideas that are often repeated for keto, I don’t really like cauliflower or avocados. Another struggle is that greasy food often gives me heart burn, so for years I reduced the amount of oil I cook with, so that is a habit that is hard to break.
I am looking for ideas that are not too snack-like for breakfast and dinner. Anything on a tortilla is easy, but even low carb ones do add up. Tacos and fajitas, and quesadilla all lend themselves to easy meals. High fiber pasta is not a terrible option if you can fit it into your macros. Al Dente Carba-Nada and Fiber Gourmet pasta do not normally make lists of keto friendly food, but are the sort of thing I think am looking for. I know why most people don’t eat them if you only have 20 net carbs. I am looking for ways to make this transition easy, and not terribly time consuming. I am not looking to be told that the ingredients are terrible, and not something you would eat. I am looking for a better option not necessarily the best option, something to balance my time and energy, small changes that are easy for me to implement and live with. For me turnips and radishes have been a better potato substitute than cauliflower. Precooked chicken is easy; finding sauces without added sugar is not too difficult this sort of idea.
A lot of people are selling meal plans and shopping lists and a lot of them do not look interesting, so I am trying to figure out how to moderately come close to macros, and make my own plan. For instance I could take a day and make up the dry ingredients for a baked good recipe that way on another day I could just add the wet and bake them up. That involves trying and finding recipes that I like, which has been really hit or miss, mostly miss.
So what are your favorite resources for meal planning and prep? What premade products do you recommend? I live in a city and have most of the more exotic stores that people living in smaller communities don’t have, though that is not to say they are not out of my way to go to. (I tried quest pizza and didn’t like it.) I am trying to figure out where my time and money is best placed to make my food choices easiest.