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Preparing meals in med school

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Meal plan in advance, make big batches on the weekend and freeze stuff so it’s ready to go. Bring your own lunch as much as you can. 

I like the blog Budget Bytes for easy and cheap recipes. 

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9 hours ago, ellorie said:

Meal plan in advance, make big batches on the weekend and freeze stuff so it’s ready to go. Bring your own lunch as much as you can. 

I like the blog Budget Bytes for easy and cheap recipes. 

Frozen meals made on the weekend are the shit. We even do this now when I am staff for the weeknights. Between an unpredictable schedule and our kids, the time to plan and prepare a meal on a weeknight can be hard to find. 

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I love making soups :). Soups are one of my favourite foods and there is just so much diversity in terms of what kind of soups you can make :)

Soups are so healthy for the following reasons:

1. you can add vegetables --> source of fibre/ vitamins.

2. add protein ( meat or chicken or legumes if you are vegetarian)---> source of proteins

3. It has a lot of fluid ---> hydration.

4. It makes you feel full, and it does not have a lot of calories.

5. It's warm, makes you psychologically feel good lol

I <3 soups :) .. 

 

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1 hour ago, PhD2MD said:

Become friends with beans. Take a few days/weeks for your gut flora to shift and stop making our gassy. After that, you've found the holy grail of ingredients in terms of fast, easy, tasty, cheap AND healthy!

Ha ha, I second this. It can be a stinky week, but it’s worth it! I sometimes soak dried and make a big batch on the weekends, but also go to cans for packing lunches or making quick dinners during the week. Lentils fill a similar niche. Canned fish (sardines, mackerel are my factories) with rice or pasta is also good for tasty, filling, convenient protein when you’re sick of beans. 

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Make a giant pot of chili on the weekend in a slow cooker. That's my lunch most days. Postworkout usually chicken and rice or potatoes or some combo of stir fry. Black coffee in the mornings until noon. Eating healthy is super simple, just need to monotonize your diet to a certain degree and drink lots of water.

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I make meal plans for the week so that I can tailor grocery shopping to whatever we’re eating that week. Generally, I try to make a enough for leftovers, so that I only have to cook once every 2 days or so. My SO and I switch off with the cooking depending on whose schedule is busier that week, so that helps as well. I also try to have lots of healthy lunch/snack foods to eat during the day (nuts, veggies, fruit, hummus, pita bread, yogurt, etc.). 

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It's something you have to prioritize and make time for. My go to meal prep items are chilli, stir fry, stews, and curries. If you have different recipes for each of these, you won't even have to eat the same thing every week (e.g. there are so many types of curries! Thai, Indian, Japanese....). Pasta, lasagna, rice and most cooked meat are freezer friendly too. You can bring a frozen pasta dish and a salad prepped the night before, or side veggies with dip. Boiled eggs and canned tuna salad are  pretty  easy  non-veg protein options. Bring non-perishable snacks (some granola bars are not bad- read the labels though), so that you're not starving and go nuts during lunch.

Nothing wrong with having to buy food- just make sensible choices- e.g. get the grilled chicken wrap instead of fried, bring your own side of veg and dip or salad instead of getting the potato wedges.

For breakfast, a quick portable one is plain Greek yogurt with fruits and granola.

Also, I've been super curious about those meal prep services-  e.g. livefit foods. Has anyone tried them? 

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10 hours ago, Egg_McMuffin said:

It's something you have to prioritize and make time for. My go to meal prep items are chilli, stir fry, stews, and curries. If you have different recipes for each of these, you won't even have to eat the same thing every week (e.g. there are so many types of curries! Thai, Indian, Japanese....). Pasta, lasagna, rice and most cooked meat are freezer friendly too. You can bring a frozen pasta dish and a salad prepped the night before, or side veggies with dip. Boiled eggs and canned tuna salad are  pretty  easy  non-veg protein options. Bring non-perishable snacks (some granola bars are not bad- read the labels though), so that you're not starving and go nuts during lunch.

Nothing wrong with having to buy food- just make sensible choices- e.g. get the grilled chicken wrap instead of fried, bring your own side of veg and dip or salad instead of getting the potato wedges.

For breakfast, a quick portable one is plain Greek yogurt with fruits and granola.

Also, I've been super curious about those meal prep services-  e.g. livefit foods. Has anyone tried them? 

I’ve tried some of the food boxes like Hello Fresh, Chef’s Plate, and Good Food, and they’re lots of fun with yummy and (generally) healthy recipes. It’s nice not having to plan out those meals, but you still have to go grocery shopping for all your other food. I also found it quite pricey compared to grocery shopping (we never continued the subscription past the number of weeks we had a discount for). Lots of them have promotions when you first sign up though - often 50% off your first one or two boxes. So definitely worth trying if you’re curious! :) 

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Accept that you can plan in Med school but it exponentially gets harder in residency especially if you’re single or with a non-culinary-inclined partner. 

With discipline and planning you’ll be fine...med school was a breeze, 1-3 call in residency made life miserable and lead to miserable weight gain too  (did you realize a potato chip bag floats in the bath tub? This is one of the serendipitous findings of residency... ;))

 

 

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1 hour ago, LostLamb said:

Accept that you can plan in Med school but it exponentially gets harder in residency especially if you’re single or with a non-culinary-inclined partner. 

With discipline and planning you’ll be fine...med school was a breeze, 1-3 call in residency made life miserable and lead to miserable weight gain too  (did you realize a potato chip bag floats in the bath tub? This is one of the serendipitous findings of residency... ;))

 

 

good to know!

It isn't easy - I did a lot of bulk cooking and freezing. In the end it saved time vs cooking each day but not surprisingly there is a lot of take out among residents ha. 

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17 hours ago, rmorelan said:

good to know!

It isn't easy - I did a lot of bulk cooking and freezing. In the end it saved time vs cooking each day but not surprisingly there is a lot of take out among residents ha. 

If you can get in a good habit with bulk cooking and freezing it s a game changer, but it can a while to get your head around sinking that much initial free time into the process, you just need to persevere!

 

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On 3/6/2019 at 4:55 PM, LostLamb said:

Accept that you can plan in Med school but it exponentially gets harder in residency especially if you’re single or with a non-culinary-inclined partner. 

With discipline and planning you’ll be fine...med school was a breeze, 1-3 call in residency made life miserable and lead to miserable weight gain too  (did you realize a potato chip bag floats in the bath tub? This is one of the serendipitous findings of residency... ;))

 

 

is the problem in residency due to lack of time to prepare or do you actually have no time to sit down and eat a proper meal like a normal person? and to what extent is that true in clerkship?

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2 hours ago, Egg_McMuffin said:

is the problem in residency due to lack of time to prepare or do you actually have no time to sit down and eat a proper meal like a normal person? and to what extent is that true in clerkship?

Depends on the residency and rotation. I would say often it is both those factors. You're working all the time so if you're at home you just want to sleep. When you're at the hospital there are times where I have had maybe 10 minutes of downtime in a 26 hour period. It really can get that hectic where you just need to shovel down food while moving to the next task/patient.  

Clerkship shouldn't be as bad. I found that staff and residents are pretty good at protecting clerks (even if you may not think so at the time). I find that clerks think they're working crazy hours but it's often a very light version of what the residency equivalent is. 

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Pretty much what blah1234 says.

Certain rotations in residency are just bad and you don't know it until you're in it. Last thing on your mind after your 26 hour shift is grocery shopping or cooking. Takeout or delivery involves too much effort. Hence, the occasional bath tub and potato chip scenario.:lol:

Self-care is important. Despite my belief that I could keep the balance, I couldn't. I'm just accepting that it'll get better...eventually...

 

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30 minutes ago, LostLamb said:

Pretty much what blah1234 says.

Certain rotations in residency are just bad and you don't know it until you're in it. Last thing on your mind after your 26 hour shift is grocery shopping or cooking. Takeout or delivery involves too much effort. Hence, the occasional bath tub and potato chip scenario.:lol:

Self-care is important. Despite my belief that I could keep the balance, I couldn't. I'm just accepting that it'll get better...eventually...

 

Yea I find self-care lectures demeaning as they assume that residents and medical students don't know how to take care of themselves like children. The working conditions simply do not allow you to be a human being at times. 

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8 hours ago, brady23 said:

Anybody have any favourite websites for recipes?

I'm trying to improve my cooking skills.

 

I used to love the New York Times cooking, but now it’s subscription only — I’ve been debating getting a subscription because I miss having it as a resource. Melissa Clark in particular has a lot of reasonably simple recipes that are easy for weeknights (I use one of her cookbooks a lot).

Serious eats has some great articles about cooking techniques and styles of food, especially The ‘food lab’ section by Kenji Lopez Alt. His recipes are often pretty good, although sometimes a bit more complicated than I can be bothered with (so I end up simplifying the steps or number of pans used, etc.)

BBC good food has a good range of recipes, but I find they’re more hit and miss — you need to be able to evaluate and adjust when things seem off.

I also follow a few cooking blogs, but they have a smaller volume of content. 101 cook books, smitten kitchen, simply recipes are some of my favourites.

Also, it’s hard to go wrong buying a physical copy of the Joy of Cooking. It’s usually the first place I go when I want to learn how to do something new in the kitchen.

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On 3/6/2019 at 7:39 PM, rmorelan said:

good to know!

It isn't easy - I did a lot of bulk cooking and freezing. In the end it saved time vs cooking each day but not surprisingly there is a lot of take out among residents ha. 

I married a non physician with a passion for cooking. Hahaha

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