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This is not OT and I hope that many of you understand and agree.

Fo those who may not know about healthier eating (and healthy lifestyle changes) and depression, these two web articles for your perusal.

"Depression and Diet"
http://www.webmd.com/depression/guide/diet-recovery

"How to Treat Depression by Eating Healthy Food"
http://www.livestrong.com/article/253790-how-to-treat-depres...

Long story short, I am fixed income and often a slow and frustrating cook in the kitchen. Cooking and shopping healthier barely takes much more time, but either because of the perceived (not necessarily actual) extra effort, I often cook and eat poorly.

One of the areas in my life that declines when I am struggling with depression is maintaining a healthy and nutritious diet. In general, one of the first things to go when I hit a slump is proper planning as I often just follow impulses (impulsive eating, immediate gratification, "why cook when I can eat a bag of chips, box of cookies!").

Ordinarily I enjoy eating a lot of healthy foods so it isn't the struggle as many people sometimes deal with. My main issue with eating poorly is that I will grab convenience food because there is little to no preparation and cleaning involved, or I will grab high fat (high salt, high sugar) foods because they are "comfort" foods, or I get cravings for junk foods.

And since I am on a fixed income, eating healthier also means grocery shopping and cooking at home. If I am mentally or physically worn out, lengthy sessions in the kitchen (or trips to the supermarket) is not something I want to do.

I also have physical medical issues that I am supposed to monitor and handle appropriately (overweight, borderline hypertension, blood cholesterol levels) so eating healthier is important for other necessary reasons. Also I have a dependent living with me who does not have the same (mental and physical) health concerns as I do, but fortunately would be cooperative with a sustained healthy diet. I understand that many people need to struggle with the taste preferences of family members and I admit to be extremely fortunate that I do not have to endure stress with unhappy eaters.

Tonight, I'm frying inexpensive rib-end pork chops (four thin-sliced chops for $3.01, or $0.75 each), making some rice, and trying to pick a very fast and easy (minimal preparation) side dish of any type. With proper planning and preparation, I might have made chicken, or gone vegetarian with something tasty, low fat, and healthy.

Folks here, how do you cook/eat? what do you do?

Lois Carmen D.
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I struggle with healthy eating, too. I eat way too many carbs, although I try to eat more whole grains. I buy lots of frozen vegetables and some canned fruit so it's always available without spoiling. I eat a lot of soups and stews, and try to remember to freeze individual servings for future use. Since I have problems with salt, cooking my own helps me control the amount of sodium somewhat. I have cut way back on meat consumption--it's expensive. I have found that boneless, skinless chicken thighs work well in many recipes.

I also like the recipe ideas in the booklet you can download from: http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/public/heart/hbp/dash/index....
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