Firstly, it sounds as if things have been tough and I hope your emotional health continues to improve. That said, being strapped for cash in a new country can be stressful. I wish you the best of luck.
As for weightloss, I think much of it is personal. By that I mean that some do better on higher carbs others on lower. Myself for example lost my first 50 pounds on very low carb. It worked. Now I need more carbs (usually in the form of fruit) or I get very irritable. It is a matter of finding what your body responds too without causing undue stress/hunger or causing you to raid the fridge at midnight.
That said, I do think calories matter and finding nutritious foods that fufill your needs is necessary. What purpose is the sour cream and coconut cream serving? I know you said you use coconut cream for sauces but it seems very calorie dense to me without adding much benefit (sure, toss it in the occasional curry but I would not make it a diet staple). The same goes for sour cream, it much like butter can make a 100 calorie potato a 200 calorie potato. The same goes for heavy cream - put it in coffee or tea and the calories sneak up, especially since we often do not measure it well. That tsp in coffee is actually 2 TBS etc.
That is not to say to eliminate them completely, just to be aware of how much you are using and how much of your daily budget of calories they take up. I can easily use 500 calories of heavy cream in coffee if I do not pay attention.
I have no issues with rice or potatoes in your diet as long as they do not become vehicles to add 200+ calories of toppings too (unless you are keeping track of said toppings and counting them). That said, I know I have to be careful with my carb intake so as not to overeat other foods (Choco says this is due to carb + fat but I think for me it is more psychological. Eh, either way, it just takes me paying attention to how I feel and dealing with it).
As for food on a budget - eggs are generally cheap. Eat them. They are good and nutritious. Scramble them. Make omelets with veggies and meat scraps. Make them all kinds of ways. Canned fish is not a bad idea - sardines, herring, tuna etc. Then looking for meat on sale or learning to love cheaper cuts - braising is your friend.
Soup - homemade soup is cheap as heck. Water + spices + ingredients. One thing I have done in the past is put a whole chicken in a crock pot. Add water and some vegetables (usually carrots and onions) and cook. Pull out the chicken let it cool and dice it up and add it back to the soup. You do not have to add all the meat to the soup. Half of the meat can go to other meals. How much you put in the soup is up to you. Another option is to roast the chicken first and then just put the carcass in the crock pot. You get a bone broth and the little pieces of meat still stuck to the chicken bones now become the meat in the soup.
Cream of whatever vegetable... saute whatever vegetable (celery, brocoli, whatever) with onions and garlic and other spices. Add water and simmer. Right at the end add a little heavy cream (how much depends on the quantity of soup). The cream adds body and some flavor but you do not need it to make up the majority of the liquid. Depending on the size of the vegetables you may want to blend it at the end.
Or just a general bone broth - left over bones (you can freeze them until you have enough) - toss in a pot/crock pot with a little vinegar and lots of water (can add spices and veggies for taste if you like - I remove the veggies after cooking - generally one carrot, one onion, and a rib of celery or two). Let cook for a day or two adding water as necessary. Pull out all the solids and you have bone broth. Reheat it by the cup and if you have it add some gelatin for extra protein.
The only other thing is that I would avoid the flour. What purpose does it serve besides adding glutin and other crap you don't need? (also floured meat is usually fried in some kind of crap oil you don't want)
Edit: when I say 'count' I do not mean necessarily to count every calorie. I know for some this can lead to obsessing over food and going nuts. I just think one should be generally aware of how much we are eating as it is very easy to lose track and overeat. Also, while intuitive eating (eating when hungry) works for some I am more than capable of eating when hungry, full, just after I ate, in the morning, the evening, whenever so unless I plan my daily food intake somewhat I can easily overeat. It is a matter of finding what works for you, but I think some kind of 'measurement' be it exact or just an awareness is important.
Last edited by canio6; 10-20-2013 at 07:25 AM.
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