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Halp! Must feed self with Microwave :-(

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  • Halp! Must feed self with Microwave :-(

    Hey, all. I've been off and on Primal for about two years and am trying to maintain a primal lifestyle but am having an uncommon logistics issue regarding the diet portion.

    This forum seemed the most logical place for the issue, so here goes:

    I'm in the Military and attending a 4 1/2 month training event. I have free access to the dining facility, but they are on the FDA Food Pyramid Bus and most days I can't even get a piece of baked chicken and the salad bar proudly boasts iceberg lettuce, processed shredded 'cheddar', and other 'high energy foods' designed around 'Soldier requirements' (even though in most garrison environments, even Soldiers don't have 'Soldier Requirements').

    The training is not a 'move' so while I am here I am maintaining my home elsewhere, which is relevant as it means I don't have extra $$$ to eat 'out' (and in the middle of nowhere Arizona, the options aren't very amazing in any case). I have reasonable access to groceries (military commissary) and I suppose a reasonable (but low) grocery budget, however I have no access to a kitchen and no access to a food preparation area. I do have a microwave and a small refrigerator

    This is all exacerbated by a schedule that has me generally doing Army stuff from 4am through 6-7 pm. Add in gym time and I tend to have about an hour or maybe two each day for 'myself'. I don't have a car (the commissary is in walking distance).

    I get enough physical activity.

    Any ideas on how I can make this work? The training I am here for is frustrating, non-challenging, and mostly a 'check the box' for job qualification. Good meals are about the only thing I might be able to look forward to on a day to day basis, so a handful of nuts for lunch will make for one sad panda. If not for the gym, I might go crazy.

    Thanks in advance!

  • #2
    I think I would try to find dried and cured meats like jerky, pemmican, salami, etc. Canned fish - salmon and sardines. Maybe a very hard cheese like Parmesan, not grated for eating, grated for putting on eggs.

    Eggs can be cooked in a microwave, as can potatoes.

    8 Easy Microwave Recipes
    8 Easy Microwave Recipes
    8 Easy Microwave Recipes
    8 Easy Microwave Recipes

    Scroll through the above gallery to see if anything else appeals. (those are all different recipes, even though the links look identical)
    Microwave Frittata

    Frittatas are typically thought of as a breakfast food, but they are actually a fantastic lunch option as well. The eggs provide protein and depending on what veggies you have on hand it can be an excellent way to get your daily dose of vitamins and minerals. The following recipe is just one suggestion, but feel free to play around with the ingredients and find what flavor combinations satisfy your taste buds.

    1 teaspoon olive oil
    ¼ cup chopped onion
    ¼ cup chopped red pepper
    ¼ cup broccoli
    2 eggs
    Salt and pepper to taste

    Place the butter in a microwave-safe bowl. Cover and microwave on high for 20-30 seconds or until melted. Add onion, red pepper and broccoli. Cover and microwave on high for one minute. Stir in eggs, salt and pepper. Cover and cook on high for one to two minutes or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean. Let stand for about three minutes, so the frittata can set.
    Source: 5 Healthy Meals You Can Make Using Only a Microwave | Her Campus (See page two of this article for Lemon/Garlic Brocolli and Easy Baked Apple.)

    It's a start. Good luck!
    Last edited by JoanieL; 08-15-2013, 03:45 AM. Reason: grammar, formatting, clarity, you name it
    "Right is right, even if no one is doing it; wrong is wrong, even if everyone is doing it." - St. Augustine


    Who says back fat is a bad thing? Maybe on a hairy guy at the beach, but not on a crab.


    • #3
      I know not really primal but what about lunch meat. The larger commissaries have gluten free deli meats which would be better than the regular stuff. See if they have store baked roast beef, etc. and then ask what they added. Bacon cooks well in the microwave.


      • #4
        I do a lot of my cooking in the microwave too since I have a tiny, atrocious kitchen.

        I second eggs in the microwave. They can be cooked pretty much any way you want. Bacon can also be cooked in the microwave
        I buy frozen vegetables that can be steamed while in the bag - no need for a stove or an oven.
        Canned fish?
        I also buy pre-cooked chicken, although this is difficult to find without added chemicals and soy products. It's in the deli aisle of the grocery store and is far more convenient than trying to cook raw meat in a microwave, despite the fact that it may not be the most primal form of chicken out there.


        • #5
          I suggest you get a small rice cooker. I take mine with me when I travel and use it to stew up meat of various sorts with vegetables. The one I have has an inner pot that can be put into the refrigerator, so there's no having to repackage leftovers.


          • #6
            Thanks for the responses so far, all things to look into. Deli meats is something I have done before and could work for lunch. I am hoping for something more substantial at least for dinners. I am intrigued by cooking eggs in the microwave. I don't have a microwave at home so I'm having a hard time imagining cooking anything in it besides processed frozen meals (blech).

            I'll go over the microwave recipes.

            I do realize I omitted another consideration: Sink access (for dishwashing). It's a barracks, so there is a communal bathroom down the hall with small bathroom sinks. I have a '4 cup' (read: very small) coffee pot and can barely squeeze that under the faucet to rinse after making coffee.

            Again, I appreciate the help, please keep the ideas coming. I may be able to make mealtime healthy AND enjoyable somehow!


            • #7
              When my husband has had to stay in barracks or whatever for schools or training he lives off of rotisserie chicken from the commissary. Also beef jerky, cheese, veggies he can eat raw and fruit. He also can sometimes find boiled eggs in the commissary and occassionaly shoppettes.

              By the time he gets home he is sick of all the above items, and while it may not be optimal it helps keep him in track. Plus he says it keeps him out of the DFAC lol.

              Sent from my VS840 4G using Marks Daily Apple Forum mobile app


              • #8
                Honestly, in a situation like this I'd just eat what's available to you and supplement with better choices when you have access and money for it. You said you have been primal on and off for quite some time, so a few more months probably won't be so bad. Stick to the plainest options they offer: whole fruits, juices, eggs, meats, vegetables, rice, even plain oatmeal, etc. and add in your own foods when you can. Don't stress about it but with such an active day, you don't want to be hungry, either! Eat what you like, avoid obvious nasty stuff like white bread and margarine.
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                • #9
                  Buy a 2 burner hot plate and some ceramic, metal or cast iron pots, preferably used at a consignment or Good Will/Salvation Army store. Or buy your stuff online on Amazon or Craigslist, so you don't have to run around so much looking for the items you want/need.
                  Frozen fish, meats, eggs, veggies, fruits, spices and nuts/seeds. Cook near an open window since you don't have an oven fan system. Plus you can take it where ever you go next.
                  "Science is not belief but the will to find out." ~ Anonymous
                  "Culture of the mind must be subservient to the heart." ~ Gandhi
                  "The flogging will continue until morale improves." ~ Unknown


                  • #10
                    You know, a small crock-pot might not be a bad purchase. You could put in some chicken or beef stew meat with a jar of salsa or pasta sauce and come home to a meal that is hot and tasty. (Actually, with the hours you are putting in you might need a timer to start it part way through the day, unless you can start the food at lunch.) And it would be a useful addition to your kitchen when you get home, too.

                    For washing in a tiny sink, bring a cup to slosh water into it, scrub-scrub-scrub, slosh more, done.

                    Good luck!


                    • #11



                      • #12
                        Originally posted by MEversbergII View Post

                        Yogurt is not a lifestyle.
                        As much as I love it...
                        "Science is not belief but the will to find out." ~ Anonymous
                        "Culture of the mind must be subservient to the heart." ~ Gandhi
                        "The flogging will continue until morale improves." ~ Unknown


                        • #13
                          All of the advice is lovely. Hot plates and other cooking tools are prohibited to use in barracks rooms. Fire hazard, but I think there is enough here to make a go of it.

                          I really appreciate everyone's input, thanks for that!


                          • #14
                            Microwaves tend to be terrible for cooking proteins (since it overcooks them). About the only good one is cream + butter + eggs, but you have to stir it every 30s.
                            Disclaimer: I eat 'meat and vegetables' ala Primal, although I don't agree with the carb curve. I like Perfect Health Diet and WAPF Lactofermentation a lot.

                            Griff's cholesterol primer
                            5,000 Cal Fat <> 5,000 Cal Carbs
                            Winterbike: What I eat every day is what other people eat to treat themselves.
                            TQP: I find for me that nutrition is much more important than what I do in the gym.
                            bloodorchid is always right


                            • #15
                              Well then, zap potatoes and put on butter and cheese. I could eat that every day twice a day.