Bread, cereal, pasta, potatoes, porridge, grains etc This is carbohydrates, the starchy foods that pad out your dinner and give you energy.
My diet for a long time has been anything that can be quickly squodged between two slices of white bread, outside eating toast I have largely avoided white bread since this started. I haven’t wanted it, and on the occasions where it has been presented I have ended up eating the thing that is with it and leaving it.
There is a problem with white bread, it is refined grains and much of the white bread available is little more than air and salt, it does fill you up and can hide that you aren’t getting much more than that, but it isn’t slow burning energy and it isn’t very nutritious.
I don’t like whole grains generally, I think they taste bitty and horrible, I can’t even stand seeds in bread, but you do need whole grains in your diet. Porridge and ready brek is your friend. Porridge oats are amazing, I cannot even begin to tell you how amazing and how much easier the existence of porridge makes this process.
Porridge is a whole grain. When you eat porridge you are taking in something that will slowly burn, and easily give you energy for hours. The single most important thing I did to deal with malnutrition, was to introduce a new routine of porridge or ready brek when I wake up and a bowl before I got to bed.
At first each mouthful was like glue and ‘chew, chew, swallow; came into its own, but when you feel that porridge hit your stomach, level out your blood sugar and start to work, it is worth it. You can add nuts, fruit, chocolate, honey, sugar, cream, to add another dimension or to break up the monotony but I cannot tell you the difference starting and ending the day on a bowl of porridge makes.
I now look forward to eating my bowl of porridge at both ends of the day, if I don’t quite get chance before the school run in the morning(and ready brek is good because can be done in microwave in about 30 seconds) I still have the energy from the night before. The bowl I eat in the morning, gives me the energy to eat all day. If I don’t have milk, I make it up with water and milk powder and eat it like medicine.
Porridge is cheap, you can buy bags of oats for next to nothing, in large enough quantities that could make sure you have calories available on days where there will be no money. Lidl do ready brek on special regularly, at £1.35 for a box of 500g. That is a lot of bowls of food for not very much money.
An excellent and very cheap source of good carbohydrates and a way to pad out any meal. I do not buy fancy potatoes- you can buy a 7.5kg bag of potatoes for about £3-4 and they will last you the week and give you something to use as carbohydrate when you have nowt else in. Not to mention that baked potatoes, chips(not frozen chips), skins, wedges, mash, roast potatoes are bloody lovely. Potato likes butter and the addition of fats and creams, which makes them very good for weight gain. You can add flour and make potato cakes and a pan of mash is a very good thing to have about when dealing with malnutrition.
Breakfast cereals can be had from budget supermarkets for less than £1 a box, and mimic all your favourites. Fruit and fibre from Lidl, kicks Kelloggs arse and when you want those high sugar cereals, 77p a box is better than £2.99 for fix of something that isn’t giving you much. On days where money is in short supply, cereal is a good snack. I am not sure it is the best breakfast without the addition of toast, and a bit of fruit or nuts.
I am assured that if I ate muesli, I would be as evangelical about it as I am about porridge. This has not happened yet, but again, muesli is available from Lidl and other budget supermarkets for cheap.
If you can sweat an onion in butter or oil, add some rice and top it up with stock or hot water or milk, you have the basis of a meal to which you can add anything. Meat, fish, vegetables. If you are really skint and there is nothing to eat, rice is a cheap staple you can keep in your cupboards. Again, you can buy it in bulk very very cheaply which means there are calories available to you in your cupboards. And its lovely in soups, or with lots of things.
Brown rice is preferable because it’s a whole grain, white rice is a refined grain, processed. I don’t particularly like brown rice, but I know people who wax lyrical about it so try it.
Budget bags of pasta. Cheap, cost next to nothing and you can make pasta resemble a meal by adding just about anything, stirring through oil, cream, cream cheese, bacon, fish, eggs and cheese(carbonara…). Pasta costs next to nothing to buy in bulk.
Flour is cheap, with flour you can make almost anything. Semolina, pudding rice, any of the mix with milk grains…