Easy meals for Breakfast/Lunch without a lot of prep?

jenniator Posts: 475 Member
edited December 2015 in Health and Weight Loss
Hello everyone,

The first thing you should know about me is that I suffer greatly from SADS (Winter depression). Just getting out of bed every day is very difficult and it feels almost impossible for me to function properly. Every day tasks like taking a shower, feeding the cat, making my simple meals, ect have become a huge struggle and very difficult for me. I'm living in the Netherlands which is extremely hard since it's very gloomy in the winter. I am proud of myself though since I'm still going to the gym 5 days a week despite the cold, gloomy, windy, and rainy days every day. I'm a pretty simple person and alright with eating the same meals every day. I like establishing a routine and knowing exactly what I want to eat.

I had a great plan for breakfast and lunch that I absolutely loved. It was super easy and required practically 0 prep work which was really helpful with my SADS since I can barely wake up in the morning. My breakfast for weeks has been 200 grams of greek yogurt, 100 grams of fruit, and 15 grams of protein powder which was always about 262 calories. I always put grapes and berries in tupperware, so there was practically 0 prep involved. It is super fast to make in the morning and delicious. For lunch I would always have 75 grams of spinach, 75 grams of mixed lettuce, 200 grams of veggies, and 60 grams of protein. Also another super easy meal with practically no work. When my SADS symptoms got worse, I started buying pre-cut Italian veggies and 60 grams of lunch meat which was 310 calories. I do love my meals and the best part is they keep me full.

The only problem is the days and nights have been getting a lot colder lately, so it's hard for me to eat the breakfast and lunch since there cold meals. So I wanted to make a winter meal plan with warm, almost no prep, and simple meals. So far I've been thinking about soups, scrambled eggs with veggies, and maybe Brinta (Oatmeal). Brinta is a warm instant whole-wheat cereal and is pretty similar to the easy to prepare microwave oatmeal. The only difference I noticed between the two is that Brinta appears to have more protein and less calories. Brinta has 14 grams of protein per 100 grams while Quaker plain oatmeal only has 11 grams. Then oatmeal has 375 grams of protein per 100 grams while Brinta is only 347. Which would be better and more filling to have for breakfast, Brinta or Oatmeal? Or does it not matter? I was also thinking what to add in the Brinta or oatmeal. I was thinking maybe milk, protein powder, and honey, but I'm not sure. I would love any other meal suggestions anyone can give me.


  • RodaRose
    RodaRose Posts: 9,562 Member
    It does not matter, but I might go with the one that has fewer calories and more protein.
    Add nuts or raisins.
    You could add ham or leftover chicken, peanut butter, bacon.
  • jshay295
    jshay295 Posts: 110 Member
    Personally, I have instant oatmeal, a single serve yogurt and a cup of tea almost every morning and it fills me for hours. The only thing you have to do is boil a kettle and I usually use those five minutes to prepare some quick snacks for the day (varies day by day, but usually something like a banana,some almonds or walnuts and a fibre one var thrown into a tupperware container) or If Ive already done that the night before I use the time to mentally prepare myself for the day. I'm still trying to master hitting all my macros..

    I also like how I just need to remember to buy a sixteen pack of yogurt and a 12 pack of oatmeal every twelve days because I never know if I will have the motivation to go out and shop regularly.

    I have depression and anxiety so I understand how mental health can greatly impact how dedicated we are to our physical heath. Off topic but do you have medications or a venturilight? (Sp)
    Good luck, I hope someone with better ideas than myself comes along and gives you some suggestions!
  • kshama2001
    kshama2001 Posts: 27,966 Member
    My Mom has SAD and uses one of those lights. I'd have it without the Wellbutrin I take. Wellbutrin is also a little speedy, which helps me as well. I often go off it in the Spring and resume in the Fall.

    I don't like cold food when it's cold out either. Sure, try the Brinta and Oatmeal and see which one works better for you.

    I'm a meat-starch-veg fan and used to do big batches of cooking on the weekend and then have lunches and dinners all set for Monday - Thursday. (Now I work from home so cook when I want.)
  • akamran1
    akamran1 Posts: 78 Member
    Oatmeal and melted cheese or nutritional yeast as a topping for me - I can't stand cold food at breakfast any time of year!
  • Bshmerlie
    Bshmerlie Posts: 1,026 Member
    I think it's time you moved to Southern California. :)
  • jenniator
    jenniator Posts: 475 Member
    Love the suggestions and support so far! Thank you so much :)

    @jshay295: I'm not sure what a venturilight is, but I am saving up for a light therapy lamp at the moment :) I did a week of light therapy at a Psychology place for a week and it helped me so much, so I know that's what I need to feel better. But yeah it is sad how much depression can hurt your physical heath :( It's hard to deal with, especially when no one else really understands what your going through. I do have a good support system, but they just don't understand what a impact something like this has on you physically and emotionally since they've never gone through it or even heard of SADS.

    @Bshmerlie: Oh gosh why did you have to mention Southern California ha ha :) That is my home! I live there my whole life, but moved to the Netherlands 2 in a half years ago. I miss southern California to death. It really is paradise. Perfect weather year round, never too cold, not a lot of rain, no extreme wind or weather. I would move back in a heart beat if I could. I was always happy and never had any problems there. The problem is that California in general is just too expensive for us. I'm terrified of living pay check to pay check, having to get two jobs, and always struggling to keep our heads above water. I have friends and family in southern California and I've always seen them worry about money and struggle. It doesn't help that the rent is so incredibly high along with other things and the salary from jobs aren't nearly high enough to compensate. My friend even knew a couple that had to get two jobs each just to survive. I'm worried if we moved our lives there to try, that it would blow up in our face and we wouldn't be able to make it there. It's just such a high risk, especially since we don't know if we have a chance there. :( Even if we were able to make it there, would we struggle pay check to pay check and never have any money left over for ourselves to do anything fun?
  • tomatoey
    tomatoey Posts: 5,446 Member
    I'd try to go for foods high in Vit D - eggs are great. Fish, too - I thought smoked mackerel and herring are a thing in the Netherlands, true? Do you like that sort of thing for breakfast? I occasionally like it over toast and under scrambled eggs (which sort of warm it up). Other options: http://www.healthaliciousness.com/articles/high-vitamin-D-foods.php.

    For lunch, you could try caviar spread on toast or crackers (can mix with a light mayonnaise and garlic if preferred or get it prepared as taramasalata from a store), maybe with a soup, yes. Or maybe takeout sushi with a miso soup.

    Otherwise, a half-sandwich with a soup would do it for me, for a low-prep lunch. If you could find your way to cooking on a Sunday and freezing for use through the week, I think stews are nice in winter.
  • Jmgkamp
    Jmgkamp Posts: 278 Member
    Egg whites with sauteed veggies. I sautee the veggies (spinach, onions, zucchinni, peppers, mushrooms, really whatever I have in my fridge) on e a week and keep them in a container in my fridge. Then I pour some egg whites in a pan and toss in some veggies - if I'm feeling inspired I might add .5 oz of a good cheese - and I'm done. Without the cheese I'm looking at 100 calories so I'll sometimes add a piece of toast with jam for another 75 calories (using 40 cal bread). It's warm, filling, takes up a whole plate, and is delicious. I add sriracha sauce too usually. Mmmmmm
  • rdub1313phx
    rdub1313phx Posts: 3 Member
    I am super lazy when it comes to prep...I do a pack of walnut raisin oatmeal and cut a banana into it with a tbsp of peanut butter. I take it to work and keep it there...5 min to prep. I recently switched green tea for coffee...that is still a struggle for me...but it's working. I have been making soup each Sunday and usually have enough for 2 or 3 days of lunches....for snacks I just have yogurts...string cheese ..nuts and fruits. Then I have q cliff bar after a work out. I am from Phoenix AZ...I never knew of Sads...but it makes soo much sense. I also struggle in the winter...I think it's the short days that get to us.
    If no soup for lunch I will usually have a romaine lettuce wrap with deli meat hummus and various veggies....maybe get some soup or broth to sip on the side for warmth? Idk...warm lunches are hard without prepping at least on Sunday.
    Best of luck to you my Netherland friend. You can do this!! Most important thing is to keep at the gym. I pack my bag at night and go straight from work to avoid anything to keep me from going. It's only been a couple of months...but is slowly and surely paying off.
  • VeryKatie
    VeryKatie Posts: 5,949 Member
    edited December 2015
    Curious if your doctor has talked to you about vitamin D. Is that a possible contributor to SADS?

    In terms of easy meals - honestly... if you're cooking dinner, make extras and eat the leftovers for breakfast. Nothing wrong with eating non-traditional foods for breakfast. It still gets the nutrition in!

    I'm a big fan of having a BIG apple and a cup or so of cottage cheese with pepper. Something grab-able that I can take to work if I'm short on time.

    In terms of warm stuff, overnight slow cooker oatmeal is good and warm. You can also microwave eggs (did you know). Last night's dinner would warm up ;) Maybe there are some breakfast soups - made from berries and cheese or something? I'm curious and might google that. I'm thinking the slow cooker might be your friend (esp a small one). It'll be hot and waiting for you in the morning if you throw the breakfast together the night before.

    I bet there are egg bakes/quiche recipes for slow cooker too. Or that can be reheated.



    I'd try some of those and make them the night before to easily heat up a bowl in the morning.
  • BettyBoles
    BettyBoles Posts: 68 Member
    Oatmeal is a nice breakfast, I suggest take other healthy foods also like eggs, vegetable soup, fruits, sprouts etc. for complete nutrition.
  • BurnWithBarn2015
    BurnWithBarn2015 Posts: 1,026 Member
    From Holland and lived there almost my whole life till i moved a few years ago to be with my husband in California and now Las Vegas, so know all about the Dutch weather lol

    But look into some yogurts and cereals. The Dutch cereals have less sugars than the US ones and so the yogurts Specially "Magere Yogurt"
    And a fair amount of protein. So make mixtures with fruits and nuts.

    But mix your oats with cereals indeed. And Wasa crackers with cheese etc Fast and good.

    as you probably noticed Dutchies "cook" less their breakfast and eat more bread with lunch meats. And if you find some good bread with some yummie meats to go with your eggs that is all pretty quick.

    But my to go to meal in the morning was Yogurt and Cornflakes with buttermilk :)

    Hope you find your yummie foods :)