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I have been thinking to simplify my diet. The reasons are two-fold, first off, one, that I don't have to think about food, which automatically avoids getting entangled in cravings and aversions towards taste. The second being that it will be healthier for me and probably also cheaper. So I was thinking of some possible recipes for meal prepping which are both Healthy and easy to prep. I would like to eat that on a regular basis, and hopefully be done with this ever-present hassle of being concerned about food and focus on meditation/study instead. Needless to say, taste doesn't matter much but not extremely bland would be preferred.

As of now I jsut came up with these options : 1) Brown rice+ frozen vegetables+nuts 2) sweet potatoes and rice-beans. 3) Tofu- vegetables-beans ( I am a noob when it comes to cooking ).

So I was wondering if you guys have any great ideas on easy meal prepping or on eating/food in general for lay buddhists.

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  • I'm considering whether this question is off-topic. How is this related to Buddhist philosophy, teaching and practice?
    – ruben2020
    Aug 2, 2023 at 4:07
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    definitely practical tips on diet are very helpful for practice. Unless the volume on this forum is so high, I wouldn't get so nitpicky on what is acceptable for topics.
    – frankk
    Aug 2, 2023 at 12:28

4 Answers 4

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some easy quick dishes I make here: https://lucid24.org/misc/qigor/recipes/index.html

my main staple, is I get a bunch of fresh organic veggies, rotating some veggies in and out according to season and for nutritional diversification, something like this: carrots, cabbage, onions, garlic, tempeh or tofu, beets. I use a food processor, completely grind them all up mixed together with some spices, salt, apple cider vinegar. Then I freeze it. I make about one to two weeks worth at a time, stored in a freezer. ONe meal portion I put in the refrigerator 1 to 2 days before I plan to eat it.

In a pressure cooker, it takes just 10 minutes to cook. (plus another 3-5 minutes with stove turned off let pressure cooker heat it up some more). I'll usually throw in one or two uncooked eggs in the pressure cooker.

I keep a separate batch of already cooked brown rice, or qinoa in the refrigerator.

Or, I can throw in whole wheat spaghetti to the pressure cooker.

I don't think it's possible to spend any less time to prepare, eat, and wash dishes for this very nutritionally diverse meal.

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  • this is helpful, thanks! Aug 3, 2023 at 22:12
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I eat in a similar way.

  1. Every few days, I cook a pot of brown rice (3 measuring cups of raw uncooked rice). Add some salt & rice bran oil or olive oil. Once the brown rice cools from cooking, I put it in the fridge. Each meal, morning & lunch, includes one measured cup of cooked brown rice. I just eat the rice cold, even though for lunch I often warm it up by adding it to the fry pan, although this is not really necessary.

  2. To each of these meals is added lots of vegetable. I have a gas stove and I simply use a streamer. Each day, I simply steam my cut or whole vegetables. Sweet potatoes or zucchini or carrots are steamed whole. Cabbage or silver beet must be cut.

  3. When Covid happened, often vegetables became expensive or unavailable, therefore for the first time, I purchased frozen vegetables. I became particularly impressed with frozen string beans & frozen brussels sprouts; also frozen broad beans. I am not such a fan of frozen broccoli & frozen cauliflower however will purchase them if desperate. Fresh carrots are always cheap & long lasting. Yes, frozen vegetables are inexpensive & very easy to prepare in the streamer (broad beans or frozen peas must be boiled).

  4. In the mornings, I will either include 100% tinned beans (black beans, adzuki beans or chick peas; no salt; no sugar; can buy cheap organic brand) or eggs (either boiled in the vegetable steamer or fried). Again, eggs boiled in the water that is steaming the vegetables is simple & easy. When eating beans, I add either some cashews or almonds, plus brazil nuts (x 4) and unhulled tahini. No need to eat too many nuts, just a handful, even though they are tempting.

  5. While some Buddhists disapprove, for lunch I fry either fish or kangaroo meat. Previously, for around 30 years, I ate mostly vegetarian, particularly tofu, however two years ago my blood tests became low in iron & other red blood cell counts. In Australia, millions of kangaroos must be culled each year, regardless of whether or not the meat is used for animal or human consumption. Basically, the kangaroos are pests to agriculture.

  6. Very rarely, I will buy some cheese if it is on special. Cheese has become ridiculously expensive plus I am not sure how good it is for you. About five years ago, I cut cheese & many fruits out of my diet to lose weight. As you reach my age (50s), you can start to put on weight easily.

  7. For fruit I eat avocado & papaya, guava if I can find it, because they have no fructose. Rock melon is low in fructose. Also strawberries are low in fructose but strawberries I read can accumulate pesticides. Lemons & limes also have no fructose but too many of these can rot your teeth. I also buy 3 bananas every 12 days, even though they have fructose. I was surprised to learn five years ago that most fruit contain lots of fructose and if you do not burn off the fructose via exercise it turns into fat.

  8. For oils, I use coconut oil & rice bran oil for frying and olive oil & hemp oil to sprinkle onto food. Coconut oil is subject to debate but many naturopaths say it has a 'contra effect' in that it causes the body to burn up bad fats. Five years ago I had excessive bad cholesterol, low good cholesterol & high triglycerides. After including coconut oil and modifying my diet to remove cheese & most fruits plus reducing my brown rice (carbs) to one measured cup per meal, the triglycerides were destroyed & the good & bad cholesterol came into balance (the bad stays at the high limit) as a naturopath on YouTube said it would.

  9. For spices, I have a pair of kitchen scissors. I just rough cut garlic, chili or green shallots and add it to the food bowl. Unless I am frying at lunch & add garlic & pepper to the fish, plus himalaya salt to the kangaroo, the garlic just goes into the food bowl raw. Its fine. My breath does not stink (even though the Vinaya prohibits monks from eating raw garlic).

  10. For drinks, I only drink packaged coconut water & package purified water in non-plastic casks. No fruit juice, anymore. Never have drunk coffer or tea, unless someone makes me tea (but never coffee).

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    Thanks a lot for this answer. This is mostly what I am looking for Aug 3, 2023 at 22:11
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I wouldn't worry too much about diet being different from a Buddhist perspective. A healthy balanced diet like one would eat for purposes of keeping healthy is perfectly fine.

Though for mediation, it is quite important to not eat foods that are strong and pungent, as well as not to over eat. Stuff that will be a obstacle in meditation. Say for example a strong hot curry will be a distraction in meditation as your mouth and stomach will be burning and/or the spices flavours and smells will linger. If you follow the guidelines of a sattvic diet staying away from Rajasic food, i.e "black" foods (not the colour black, but foods that are strong in lingering flavour, onions, spices etc) you can't really go wrong.

I think the adequate amount of food is about a point where your stomach is full say 60% with food, 30% water. This you can also decrease over time by shrinking your stomach, though there is no need to do this unless you intend to become ordained and take the only 1 meal before noon vow.

As for meat, well vegetarianism is not actually needed though I guess eating meat in moderation is a good idea. Morality wise, as long as the animal is not killed for you, you are ethically OK to eat the meat.

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  • thanks, itd be good to keep in mind the 60-30 rule. Aug 3, 2023 at 22:13
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I find stir frys easy and fast to cook. Add some oil, add some onions and turn on the heat. When the onions are cooked, add the most fibrous vegetables and cook them. Continue to add vegetables that are less fibrous and cook those until you've cooked everything. Season and sauce how you like. Cut the vegetables of course.

There are also meal prep services where meals are shipped to you and all you need to do is cook.

And there are meal replacements like Soylent or Huel. I wouldn't do more than 1 to 2 meals of them a day.

Lastly, you may find a cookbook by Mark Bittman helpful. I don't have his ones on fast cooking, but the ones I do have are high quality.

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  • Yes, actually chatgpt suggested that too, and I am gonna go with stir frys i think, with brown rice on the side. Aug 4, 2023 at 16:44

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