Food, Health, and $$ - How We Balance The Trifecta

My trouble isn’t so much the “actual eat food” it’s more “eat actual food”… and not just drink hot chocolate or have eggs for 6 of 6 meals…
Also beef jerky if you need protein and aren’t worried about cost?

Are you me?

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Maybe. Do you occasionally have meals that you are embarrassed you called a meal? Was a jar of pickled beets dinner once? I think that was my low. I hope it was nobody else’s.

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I’ve had jar-of-pickles dinner and also bag-of-cherries dinner.

I had not a jar but a can of (non-pickled) beets for dinner once, during the 1993 “storm of the century,” or rather six days after it. It gridlocked the Deep South in snow and a half-inch layer of black ice underneath. On Day 6 of being snowed in, I ran completely out of food and hiked down a mountain to the nearest little grocery. The roof had partially collapsed, and like everywhere else, they’d been out of power for a week, but there were a scant few nonperishables still left, including a few cans of beets (the only remaining canned good). I packed the three or four cans they had back up the side of the mountain and ate cold beets for supper. The next day we got power back and there was much rejoicing, and on Day 10 the roads were just clear enough to get down, though there was no driving back up for a bit.

Edit to add link because I think I’m the old person here:

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Back on topic, fabulous food hacks that are almost too simple to call recipes:

  1. Frozen seedless grapes - these things are like crack ice cream, I swear. Plus they prevent fruit spoilage, and they’re good for you. Just throw seedless grapes in a baggie or container in the freezer and grab a handful or a bowlful whenever you want. (You can do seeded as well, but you might break a tooth.)
  2. Tofu - cube up firm tofu and freeze it to get a much firmer texture for stir-frying without having to press it. Also keeps the other half of the block of tofu from going bad until you get around to it.

My best friend uses frozen champagne grapes as a way to cool down wine in the summer. :3


This is a bad time to jump in since I’m having wisdom teeth yanked tomorrow, and I will be able to eat only mush and broth for a while. But I’m considering trying a keto-ish thing, mostly to keep my fucking teeth in better shape. I tried being vegan last year, and I ended up eating a lot of Tufurkey and pasta, which isn’t ideal. Then I cracked and had a cheese binge anyway.

So once I can bite down, I’m gonna try having most of my diet be grilled meat, fish, cheese, eggs, greens, some low-carb veggies, and peanut butter and sunflower seeds and shit. It’ll be hard/expensive while traveling, but teeth extractions are also expensive.

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I have a problem. Will you solve it?

Twice a week I work out of two separate clinics and bus in between. My two options for eating my own food from home have become unreliable to the point of skipping meals or letting my delicious thermos of food sit and go to waste while I buy lunch. Should I just buy lunch till summer and stop beating myself up?

I’m pretty sure that me skipping meals some of these days was a major contributor to the increase in nausea/vomitting/Binging. And I know that if I don’t eat properly I anger my primary disability. So fasting is not an option. The snow and sub zero temperatures make me prefer indoor time.

Actually… Why am I justifying? You guys love me, right?


I’m sorry things are hard food wise right now!
Can you elaborate on this? Is it that you’re making food you don’t want to eat, or is that you don’t have time/spoons/energy to meal prep?

Also, to prevent myself from appearing a hypocrite, I have done very badly this week on food. So my own medicine is needed. XD

I’ve been awful on food this week, so hypocrite tuning in with advice:

But if I’m interpreting correctly, the go-to bring-from-home food is just not working for you. Usually I try something new and shiny when I get into a bring-from-home rut. This includes some veggie that I love (brussel sprouts), something that’s easy to eat but fills me up (falafel and tortilla and hummus) or something entirely new (made-at-home-energy-bar-cups). If I’m struggling with wanting to eat out, sometimes I’ll figure out what the go-to thing that I want to eat out is, and see if I can replicate that in a bring-from-home way (mmmm fancy smoothies.)

Also, sometimes I cut myself slack.


When I get caught between “not eating home prepped food” and “go buy lunch,” I see if I can split the difference by either buying/bringing pre-prepped food (cheaper to buy it prepared at grocery than at lunch place).

If it’s logistically feasible, sometimes I literally wind up going to the supermarket FOR lunch items, instead of a lunch place. The choices won’t be as healthy or cheap as regular food shopping & lunch-bringing. But they still wind up being a bit healthier and more frugal.


@Oro @anomalily @FIFoFum
making myself eat home food is always an issue but controllable. The problem that is changing with my work getting busier (me and other practitioners) is that there is no indoor physical space for me to eat these two days a week.

Like I could kinda eat in the train station maybe? But not at work, and the staff changeover in the coffee shop that I have used means they don’t want me eating my own full meals. Which is fair. It was nice of them to be relaxed before

I don’t have any great suggestions but just want to say how much I love the kindness of this space. You are all my favorite.


What kind of food does the coffee shop sell? I’ve had good luck at places that only offer pastries, for example, buying a pastry then also eating my salad or whatnot.

Are there foods you could drink from a coffee-type tumbler? Broth, soup? So you’d at least get some calories/nutrition in between eating times?

In the situation you’re describing I would try to eat a large breakfast, bring broth/soup in a travel mug, and buy a small lunch in the coffee shop until I’d be able to eat outdoors. To me it’s not worth the health issues from not eating, and your body seems even more insistent on this :slight_smile:


Oh man, this is the thread for me. I struggle MIGHTILY with balancing the trifecta and I love how you put that.

My main issue seems to be getting honest with myself about how much food I actually need to bring to work each day. I spend my entire workday hangry until I finally give in and run out and get myself snacks (this is after already having eaten my breakfast, lunch, and that day’s snack that I packed and brought to work that morning). I try to at least make them healthy or healthy-ish snacks, but the cost is adding up and as I don’t bring our grocery cash envelope to work witih me, it’s unbudgeted.

Things I have tried:

  • Eating more protein (I am vegetarian, no meat/bird/fish)
  • Eating more fat
  • Severely limiting white carbs and sugar so I don’t crash
  • Keeping large stash of snack foods in my desk (this causes binging; I have put away an entire bag of Skinny Pop in a day and still been hangry. I can eat an entire bag of nuts at one sitting which is super fattening.)
  • Drinking herbal tea or water when hangry. Buckets of it. (this resulted in me not being able to make it through any of my many meetings without frequent pee breaks; also: still hangry.)

I am realizing that I just need to… pack larger portions? That sounds really obvious. But involves turning off the voice in my head that says as I am portioning out my lunch into containers, “holy shit, you fat pig, NO ONE should eat that much in one day, you are going to bust out of your clothes.” (Why yes, I do have a history of disordered eating!) As an added bonus sometimes I also get “You need to make that food last all week or else you are going to have to go grocery shopping again and you’ve spent all the grocery money already.”

Which, when you think about it, makes no sense, because if I’m going out and getting snacks because I didn’t bring enough of my main dish (generally some vegetable-intensive soup or chili or curry or stirfry with beans or tofu or similar), that is also consuming calories and eating food and spending money! Sooooo… if I’m going to eat anyway, shouldn’t it be something already made and hot and tasty and healthy instead of another fucking bag of Skinny Pop that I don’t even like, but buy because “popcorn is a low calorie filling snack”?

I’m trying to remember that historically, my hanger is WAY WAY worse when it is cold out, between spending large amounts of time shivering while waiting for public transportation, and a workplace that is also miserably frigid and no one will ever do anything about it. (I mean, when the MEN are complaining…) So hopefully this will improve as it warms up. If it ever does. Still in the teens here. In March.

Also looking forward to fruit that has flavor and does not taste like sand due to being out of season.


I have to eat a lot more calories in winter than I do in summer. Even though I’m way less active.

ETA although I’m probably burning all my calories dancing around at train and bus stops!

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My absolute tiniest ever co-worker used to bring a family size portion of pasta with her to work, plus two slices of white toast and snacks. This is how we ended up friends.

My thermos is not the dainty size because I need an ocean of food, plus snacks. And sometimes it’s just impossible to carry as much food as I need.

Low calorie snacks have no place in the workplace in my opinion

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In that case, I think that eating out is perfectly legit. Kat’s idea about pastry + your own salad might not be a bad one, but I think it’s pretty fair to buy your food out when there’s nowhere to eat that’s not freezing cold or a restaurant. And yes, you need to eat!

Yes! Bring more food that you enjoy and want to eat, and that hits all those points that matter to you: healthy, and tasty, and cheaper. If you’re worried about scarfing everything down at once, keep a bowl at your desk; you can portion out your usual amount into it from the travel container to reheat, and then if/when you’re more hungry, you can have seconds and feel freakin’ awesome. :slight_smile:

Also, I feel you on work hunger. There’s nothing like butt-in-seat time to make me want to just eat to combat the boredom and stress.


There’s nothing like butt-in-seat time to make me want to just eat to combat the boredom and stress.

Not to mention the sleep deprivation. As you know from my other journal, being awakened at 5 every day by kittens is not doing anything for my energy levels, and, well, the energy has got to come from somewhere. So body is always screaming FOOD FOOD FOOD FOOD because sleeping at one’s desk is frowned upon.