The one-plate plan for someone who doesn't cook

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reubenthetadpole
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The one-plate plan for someone who doesn't cook

Post by reubenthetadpole » Thu May 08, 2008 4:43 am

I'm single, live alone, and rarely cook because I have the world's most inefficient kitchen and no dishwasher.

So when it comes to the no-seconds part of the plan, how can I do that when I'm rarely eating off a plate, but more like a sandwich out of a paper towel and a cheese stick?

It's sad, I know, but my life is sad. LOL And after being in college for the past 9 years, I've yet to get out of the student method of eating on the run.

I started the diet last week and I'm slowly trying to work all three aspects into my eating repetoire. The sugar and snacks are easy to regulate but the "one plate, no seconds" is a bit less tangible to me.
Last edited by reubenthetadpole on Sat May 10, 2008 4:54 am, edited 1 time in total.

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apple
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Post by apple » Thu May 08, 2008 6:26 am

Take a plate out of your cupboard, put the sandwich and cheese on it.

Put on some nice music. Set the table, with cutlery, napkin, water glass and wine glass. Put your plate on the table.

Enjoy your meal!

rose
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Post by rose » Thu May 08, 2008 9:36 am

I don't cook either. On N-days I have lunch at the canteen and I just take care to avoid having fries more than once a week, and I take care to have veggies, starch, proteins and fruit in my meal.

In the evenings I usually fix myself a light meal:
* multi-cereal bread (or pasta on the odd day when I'm feeling up to cooking it)
* either microwaved veggies or raw veggies (I must admit I am so lazy I usually buy the raw veggies/salad already prepared with seasoning)
* ham or microwaved frankfurt sausages or surimi or microwaved fish or whatever.
(Usually I have either hot meat and cold veggies or cold meat and hot veggies - easier and faster to prepare than heating both).

It's not unlike what you would put together into a sandwich. However I prefer to eat it in a plate because, in a sandwich, I find I eat a lot more bread than veggies. For a healthier meal I prefer to eat more veggies than bread.
When I do eat a sandwich it's usually because I was in such a hurry that I had to buy one or skip a meal.
Last edited by rose on Thu May 08, 2008 10:21 am, edited 1 time in total.
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wosnes
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Re: The one-plate plan for someone who doesn't cook

Post by wosnes » Thu May 08, 2008 9:37 am

reubenthetadpole wrote:I'm single, live alone, and rarely cook because I have the world's most inefficient kitchen and no dishwasher.

So when it comes to the no-seconds part of the plan, how can I do that when I'm rarely eating off a plate, but more like a sandwich out of a paper towel and a cheese stick?

It's sad, I know, but my life is sad. LOL And after being in college for the past 9 years, I've yet to get out of the student method of eating on the run.
Well, you've just described 99% of the world's home kitchens! You don't need a highly efficient kitchen and a dishwasher to get meals on the table and do your dishes. What you need is the desire to do it.

Don't make your reasons excuses. Unknown wise person

Here's what you do: put your food on a plate -- and wash it (by hand!!!!) when you're done eating. Eating from a plate is a far more civilized behavior than eating from a paper towel.

You could even attempt to cook in that kitchen and do the dishes afterwards. Cooking is creative and the time spent doing dishes can be a time to reflect on your day.

If you've been a student for 9 years, you're probably in your late 20s -- same age as my children. What I've just told you is a much nicer version of what I'd tell them if they asked the same question.
"That which we persist in doing becomes easier for us to do. Not that the nature of the thing itself has changed but our power to do it is increased." -- Ralph Waldo Emerson

"You are what you eat -- so don't be Fast, Easy, Cheap or Fake."

rose
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Post by rose » Thu May 08, 2008 10:08 am

Hmmm I had missed the dishwashing issue. I have no dishwasher either. However washing one fork, one knife, one plate, and one microwave container after a meal is doable (I must admit, some weeks when I feel lazy or when I am in a hurry, I only wash the microwave container because I have only one of those, and I leave the rest in the sink until the next Saturday - or until I run out of cutlery. I guess I deserve a good talking to eh wosnes :oops: ).


Edit: I realize you also posted the sugar cravings thread. IMHO having more balanced meals should help. If you display your food in a plate it's much easier to evaluate the proportion of veggies, protein and starch, and make sure that you eat about 1/3 to 1/2 veggies, and 1/4 to 1/3 starch and protein.
Also regarding starch, do have it at every meal to keep your blood sugar levels up, but also perhaps try to avoid flour that is too refined. Very white and soft bread may be tasty and easy to eat, but it is digested way faster that multi-cereal or brown bread with a crust. So you have a rush of sugar in your blood very soon after eating refined starch, which causes cravings in almost the same fashion as eating sweets would.
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wosnes
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Post by wosnes » Thu May 08, 2008 9:38 pm

rose wrote:Hmmm I had missed the dishwashing issue. I have no dishwasher either. However washing one fork, one knife, one plate, and one microwave container after a meal is doable (I must admit, some weeks when I feel lazy or when I am in a hurry, I only wash the microwave container because I have only one of those, and I leave the rest in the sink until the next Saturday - or until I run out of cutlery. I guess I deserve a good talking to eh wosnes :oops: ).
I'm guilty of this on occasion, too. Finally I got disgusted with waking up to dirty dishes every day and decided that they must be cleaned up before I go to bed each night.

Well, ya know, this isn't a major investment in time. I cook from scratch nearly every night. I rarely use the microwave. I can usually clean the kitchen in the time it takes for one group of commercials on TV, and definitely no more than two.
"That which we persist in doing becomes easier for us to do. Not that the nature of the thing itself has changed but our power to do it is increased." -- Ralph Waldo Emerson

"You are what you eat -- so don't be Fast, Easy, Cheap or Fake."

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JustAnnie
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Post by JustAnnie » Thu May 08, 2008 9:53 pm

One Suggestion.........PAPER PLATES You can buy them the size of a dinner plate and then toss them.
Just Annie

You Can't Fail Until You Quit Trying

3aday
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Post by 3aday » Thu May 08, 2008 11:23 pm

Just put it in on a plate.
Whatever it is. One plate.
We pick up takeout quite a bit and I make sure to always put it on a plate.
The amount they give me is always more than a plateful so I get two meals out of it.
Also, you can become a sandwich specialist!
We make some great sandwiches too...protein, starch, veggie, fat, and some fruit on the side.

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Post by noSer » Fri May 09, 2008 12:12 am

3 words - George Foreman Grill

I have no connection, receive no reimbursement, but the grill is ideal for small meals. You can have a great chicken breast, burger, steak, turkey, whatever, ready in just a few minutes. Just season with your favorite spices. Much better flavor and texture than the microwave. Try to get one with the removable plates, but if not, unplug and put a couple of damp paper towels in while it's still warm. By the time you're done eating, it will just wipe clean. Buy salad and a great salad dressing. I looked for a long time for a good raspberry vinegarette like our local restaurant's. Tonight I had Virginia Brand Vidalia Onion Raspberry Vinegarette. It was so good, I considered licking the plate clean, but the kids were there. :)
(Hope this doesn't sound too much like a commercial.)

Start doing this just one or two nights a week.

Invite someone over.

Clean up as you go along. While your meat is cooking, you can set the table, put seasonings away, wipe the counter, and be ready to eat.

After dinner, set the timer for 15 - no, make that 14 minutes in honor of shovelgloving - and clean up. The whole meal from start to finish will only take 45 minutes. You'll find it's not a big time investment to have a good meal. And you'll feel better not basing your meals on starches.

Have a great day!
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reubenthetadpole
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Re: The one-plate plan for someone who doesn't cook

Post by reubenthetadpole » Fri May 09, 2008 9:32 pm

wosnes wrote:
reubenthetadpole wrote:I'm single, live alone, and rarely cook because I have the world's most inefficient kitchen and no dishwasher.

So when it comes to the no-seconds part of the plan, how can I do that when I'm rarely eating off a plate, but more like a sandwich out of a paper towel and a cheese stick?

It's sad, I know, but my life is sad. LOL And after being in college for the past 9 years, I've yet to get out of the student method of eating on the run.
Well, you've just described 99% of the world's home kitchens! You don't need a highly efficient kitchen and a dishwasher to get meals on the table and do your dishes. What you need is the desire to do it.

Don't make your reasons excuses. Unknown wise person

Here's what you do: put your food on a plate -- and wash it (by hand!!!!) when you're done eating. Eating from a plate is a far more civilized behavior than eating from a paper towel.

You could even attempt to cook in that kitchen and do the dishes afterwards. Cooking is creative and the time spent doing dishes can be a time to reflect on your day.

If you've been a student for 9 years, you're probably in your late 20s -- same age as my children. What I've just told you is a much nicer version of what I'd tell them if they asked the same question.

Thanks for the lecture, mom. Suggestions are always appreciated, condescension is not.
I should also mention that I have exactly 8 square feet of counterspace, four on each side of my sink and that means that one half goes to holding my dish drainer. I also have a mere two cabinets. Often, when I'm trying to cook, I have to cut vegetables or prepare something on one side of the stove while the other side is on, which is quite difficult and not entirely safe. The dishes used in preparation and the food being prepared are competing for the same tiny amount of flat space, do you understand?
My point to begin with was that since my kitchen is so ridiculously inefficient, the littlest task takes 5x longer than it should, and THAT has turned me off of cooking since it is so time-consuming. My question was how do I get out of the mentality I've had to be in while living in this apartment and being in grad school--i.e. that cooking is too much of a hassle to be worth it. Is there a more efficient, more hassle-free way of working the plate idea that doesn't always require full-blown cooking.
Thanks for the implication, but I DO know how to wash dishes and I'm actually a very good cook. I just don't have extra hours in the day to get everything done.

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reubenthetadpole
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Post by reubenthetadpole » Fri May 09, 2008 9:43 pm

rose wrote: Edit: I realize you also posted the sugar cravings thread. IMHO having more balanced meals should help. If you display your food in a plate it's much easier to evaluate the proportion of veggies, protein and starch, and make sure that you eat about 1/3 to 1/2 veggies, and 1/4 to 1/3 starch and protein.
Also regarding starch, do have it at every meal to keep your blood sugar levels up, but also perhaps try to avoid flour that is too refined. Very white and soft bread may be tasty and easy to eat, but it is digested way faster that multi-cereal or brown bread with a crust. So you have a rush of sugar in your blood very soon after eating refined starch, which causes cravings in almost the same fashion as eating sweets would.
The sugar detox only lasted a couple of days. I'm fine now. LOL As a rule, I rarely eat bleached flour or white sugar and I avoid high fructose corn syrup (have done for years). They can't be avoided entirely, but they're not a main component of my diet or the groceries I bring in.

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Re: The one-plate plan for someone who doesn't cook

Post by Mavilu » Sat May 10, 2008 1:05 am

wosnes wrote: Well, you've just described 99% of the world's home kitchens! You don't need a highly efficient kitchen and a dishwasher to get meals on the table and do your dishes. What you need is the desire to do it.
Hahaha, exactly!.

I lived on my own for seven years and cooked for myself every time I could, if anything because there's nothing like treating yourself on a home-cooked meal.
Note that I didn't know how to cook when I first moved out; I was barely 18 and Gosh, my first meals were disgusting!, but eventually I learned -on a tiny kitchen sans dishwasher- just like most every kitchen in most of the world, really, you should see my gran's apartment kitchen, you can have only one person in there at a time and the only counter has space for only one little cutting board.
Put your TV on or the radio or you IPod and give cooking a try, if anything, just make yourself a steak plus salad, until you feel like trying something else, washing by hand doesn't take all that long, especially when you first start cooking.
Then set up yout table (or your tray!, I used to eat in my bedroom, where my color TV was) and enjoy yourself.
If you don't like cooking and find that you will never like cooking or if you simply don't have the time, well, get those Lean Cuisines out of the tray once they are cooked and arrange them on your plate, or your sanwich or whatever is that you chose to eat.
You say that your life is pretty sad because of what you just described, well it doesn't have to be!, change it for the better!.
I'm not trying to patronize you and I'm sure no one else is here trying to patronize you, please, don't think so.
I personally just see myself in you and I think that I would have hated if I would have spent seven years eating a sandwich off a towel, but we are all different!.

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Re: The one-plate plan for someone who doesn't cook

Post by kccc » Sat May 10, 2008 1:22 am

reubenthetadpole wrote:

Thanks for the lecture, mom. Suggestions are always appreciated, condescension is not.
I don't think Wosnes was trying to be condescending. She was just pointing out that it's easy to make reasons into excuses. Which it is, for all of us, so no need to take offense. And when folks are brainstorming ideas, you'll get some ideas you can use and some you can't...

I had one of those apartments too - where I could cook, do dishes, and exercise my waist at the same time, lol! I agree that it's not the most pleasant to cook/work in. I ended up doing a lot of chopping at my table in the next room, just because the space was better. So, is there ANY space nearby you can use?

How about buying pre-chopped stuff? I had a single friend who used to buy a lot of her veggies as take-out from the salad bar - she said for one person, it was cheaper than buying things that went bad. As a bonus, all of it was pre-chopped.

Do you have friends with kitchens who'd be interested in swapping cooking nights? Or, if you are a good cook, swapping cooking for space/groceries?

Would an in-sink drainer work, to free up some counter space?

What do you like to eat? Maybe look for new recipes that don't take much prep space. I have a bean chili recipe that essentially comes out of cans, takes one pot to cook, and freezes well.

And if nothing else, as a number of folks have already said, no matter how tiny your kitchen, you can pull out a plate and dump your fast food or sandwich or microwave stuff on it - even if you're not cooking, you can "plate." The bottom-line goal is just to "see" your food all in one place. You can do that.

Good luck in finding solutions that work for you.

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Re: The one-plate plan for someone who doesn't cook

Post by reubenthetadpole » Sat May 10, 2008 4:51 am

KCCC wrote:
reubenthetadpole wrote:

Thanks for the lecture, mom. Suggestions are always appreciated, condescension is not.
I don't think Wosnes was trying to be condescending. She was just pointing out that it's easy to make reasons into excuses. Which it is, for all of us, so no need to take offense. And when folks are brainstorming ideas, you'll get some ideas you can use and some you can't...

I had one of those apartments too - where I could cook, do dishes, and exercise my waist at the same time, lol! I agree that it's not the most pleasant to cook/work in. I ended up doing a lot of chopping at my table in the next room, just because the space was better. So, is there ANY space nearby you can use?

How about buying pre-chopped stuff? I had a single friend who used to buy a lot of her veggies as take-out from the salad bar - she said for one person, it was cheaper than buying things that went bad. As a bonus, all of it was pre-chopped.

Do you have friends with kitchens who'd be interested in swapping cooking nights? Or, if you are a good cook, swapping cooking for space/groceries?

Would an in-sink drainer work, to free up some counter space?

What do you like to eat? Maybe look for new recipes that don't take much prep space. I have a bean chili recipe that essentially comes out of cans, takes one pot to cook, and freezes well.

And if nothing else, as a number of folks have already said, no matter how tiny your kitchen, you can pull out a plate and dump your fast food or sandwich or microwave stuff on it - even if you're not cooking, you can "plate." The bottom-line goal is just to "see" your food all in one place. You can do that.

Good luck in finding solutions that work for you.
Good ideas, especially the prechopped vegetables idea. I had already been doing that with onions since chopping them is misery.

I think my issue is more than just my kitchen, but also just trying to wrap my head around the whole plate concept in the diet. I'm uncertain how to "test" how much food I can eat and feel full since my appetite is different everyday. And I just haven't been able to put much fuss into food on a daily basis so when I do cook, it takes longer simply because it's not my habit.

I'm rambling, I know. Sorry. :oops:

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Re: The one-plate plan for someone who doesn't cook

Post by kccc » Sat May 10, 2008 5:00 pm

reubenthetadpole wrote:
I think my issue is more than just my kitchen, but also just trying to wrap my head around the whole plate concept in the diet. I'm uncertain how to "test" how much food I can eat and feel full since my appetite is different everyday. And I just haven't been able to put much fuss into food on a daily basis so when I do cook, it takes longer simply because it's not my habit.

I'm rambling, I know. Sorry. :oops:
I don't hear rambling - I hear someone getting beyond "reasons/excuses" to the real underlying issues. Good work.

As to the appetite... I have found that as I quit grazing, it stabilized over time and became somewhat predictable. So in the beginning, be a little generous so you don't panic. The amounts will sort themselves over time.

If you need to go to mini-meals, you might do a search on plate size. Stephen Cooper did a wonderfully geeky (I mean that as a compliment!) analysis of the volume of different sized plates. So you can figure out equivalents to 3 regular plates if you like, and feel that you're with the program. (And if that's overkill to you, don't bother.)

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reubenthetadpole
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Re: The one-plate plan for someone who doesn't cook

Post by reubenthetadpole » Sat May 10, 2008 6:26 pm

KCCC wrote:
reubenthetadpole wrote:
I think my issue is more than just my kitchen, but also just trying to wrap my head around the whole plate concept in the diet. I'm uncertain how to "test" how much food I can eat and feel full since my appetite is different everyday. And I just haven't been able to put much fuss into food on a daily basis so when I do cook, it takes longer simply because it's not my habit.

I'm rambling, I know. Sorry. :oops:
I don't hear rambling - I hear someone getting beyond "reasons/excuses" to the real underlying issues. Good work.

As to the appetite... I have found that as I quit grazing, it stabilized over time and became somewhat predictable. So in the beginning, be a little generous so you don't panic. The amounts will sort themselves over time.

If you need to go to mini-meals, you might do a search on plate size. Stephen Cooper did a wonderfully geeky (I mean that as a compliment!) analysis of the volume of different sized plates. So you can figure out equivalents to 3 regular plates if you like, and feel that you're with the program. (And if that's overkill to you, don't bother.)

Well, since No-S is so drastically different from how I usually eat, I've been approaching it in segments. I got the no-sweets down in week one, and I've nailed the no-snacking bit, but the plate concept I'm still working on. It's only the end of week two, so I think I'm doing alright.
Thanks for your help.

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Airen08
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Post by Airen08 » Sat May 10, 2008 6:40 pm

I'm in your same situation. I do not cook and am single. I do good with eating around the same times each day and the same general foods. For breakfast I am a cereal and milk person. For lunch and dinner, I resort to Lean Cuisines and I haven't found one that I don't like yet. This has really helped me get my mind off of food all day long. I know what I'm eating and when. It's the easiest thing I've ever done! Now...incorporating exercise into my life is another story!!

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Post by NoelFigart » Sat May 10, 2008 11:22 pm

I often cook just for me. When I do, I certainly don't bother with a dishwasher, but I DO bother with a tasty meal. Mostly it's a morale thing I learned after I had a partner leave me.

The skillet, a cutting board and my good chef's knife are my best friends. I can cook a delicious one skillet meal for myself in jig time.

Ferinstance, chop up a chicken breast, saute it in some butter or olive oil with some rosemary. When it starts to brown add mushrooms and onions, some salt and pepper, half a cup of whatever wine you have on hand (anything works and wine makes everything taste better), and some fresh veggies (I use bell peppers a lot, but almost anything works).

It smells wonderful, tastes delicious and even a little "fancy", and it's a good morale boost when you're cooking for yourself.

If your kitchen equipment is limited, you can eat it just like that or you can add a microwaved baked potato. You have a knife, one pan, a cutting board and a plate to clean and it takes less than 25 minutes to make.

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Post by blueskighs » Sun May 11, 2008 5:48 am

OOOOOOOOOOOOOOh and don't forget those ziploc/glad steam bags ... you can steam veggies in an instant in the microwave ... put olive oil in the bag WHEN THEY ARE DONE with salt and pepper to taste ....

Wah lah .... no clean up at all.

I love broccoli carrots and red onion ...

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Post by CatholicCajun » Mon May 12, 2008 7:37 pm

JustAnnie wrote:One Suggestion.........PAPER PLATES You can buy them the size of a dinner plate and then toss them.
We eat just about all our home meals on paper plates. Yesterday for Mother's Day, we had friend shrimp, oysters, fish, soft shell crab, baked potato and bread and we put it all on paper plates, once lunch was done, clean up was a breeze, just throw the plates away! God Bless.

Sorry, that's fried shrimp, not friend shrimp, but they were real good so in my opinion, very friendly :lol:
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