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Hi everyone,

 

So apparently this is where I'm supposed to ask for help with my diet, here it goes:

 

I live in Taiwan, where I rent a small apartment with not kitchen. This makes my life convenient but at the same time also very inconvenient. The problem is that I would love to cook for myself, since that is the best way to make sure your diet is what you actually need. However, this is not an option. Another problem is that most of the food I can buy is full of fat and oil which is again not good for my diet.

 

Since I'm trying to lose body fat (I have unfortunately grown quite a beer belly) I feel like I should be eating healthy, but I am having a lot of troubles coming with a good way to do this. Would just eating raw foods be an option (since I can make salads and stuff in my place)? That's one of the few options I can come up with...

 

I hope someone can help me with this,

 

Cheers,

 

Frank.

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No kitchen at all? As in no fridge/ freezer? I only ask because I've got no kitchen, but I have a full size fridge in my living room. I use my tiny bit of counter space for a double burner hot plate, and an end table for a microwave that has a toaster oven stacked on top of it. I was also gifted a crock pot. Pretty much covers everything but baking. An oven would be lovely because I do miss the ease of 4 burners but I've become very adept at one pot meals. It's do able, all of my things can technically be put away after use...even if it would be pretty annoying.

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I second porchcricket13's recommendation: a hot plate and crock pot can each make some delicious, healthy meals! Use the hot plate for on-the-spot meals; use the crockpot for make-ahead meals. Salads are also an excellent option to help bring your diet to the healthy side, but unless you're including some form of protein, you won't find them to be very filling.

If dining is too much of a hassle, your other option is to eat healthy when you're out and about. Without worrying about calories too much, try:

  • To eat at least twice as much vegetables as you eat pasta or protein.
  • If you have the option to order something baked or grilled (this goes for both veggies and meats) choose that over something fried.
  • For every beer, juice, or soda you have, make a point of drinking two glasses of water.

All of these options will help you create a healthier diet.

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I'm not familiar with your area, but do you have a local grocery store or market? A lot of stores in the US now have salad bars and deli's which you can make a salad or order a freshly prepared sandwich. It's not quite home cooking, but I imagine it is better than eating at a restaurant daily. A lot of them here also have things like diced grilled chicken, which can be easy to add to a bag of steamed veggies or a salad.

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When I was deployed to a unit in the very rural Eifel mountains (that is, rural for western european standards... scandinavians or russians might have a different opinion on this), I rented out a very small flat in nice little village close to the nürburgring. The place was really small; basically just a bed, a table, a bathroom with a shower and a kitchen. The "kitchen" was in the main room and consisted of a kitchen sink, a countertop and a fridge plus a double hot plate. That was all. And I did not live on fast-food or takeouts (of which there were none, by the way. Very rural. Just a restaurant/bar in the village). Sure, I got lunch at the garrision, but I still had to prepare meals in the evenings and on weekends. 

At the annual 24h-race, some friends from all over Germany would come over, meaning every inch of the floor to be covered in sleeping bags (read: five people in a 25m2 appartement). Even then, it was possible to cook for all five of us - just required some organisational skills regarding preparation, as your movement was somewhat limited, due to all the stuff (and people) around, but still totally doable to do a very savoury breakfeast, to cook dinner and to prepare snacks we'd eat when at the racetrack.

So... if you have a hot plate, a table, a cutting board, a knive, dishes, a pan and a cooking pot, you can cook. You might want to think of a way to protect the wall adjacent to the hot plate from grease stains, especially when frying or grilling something in the pan (or be prepared to paint the wall when you move out). 
If you could have only one piece of equipment, I'd opt for a cast iron pan with a (cast iron) lid. This is very versatile and can even somewhat simulate an oven... you can't bake bread (at least I did not try), but gratins and casseroles are easy.

Regarding salads: that's a no-brainer, isn't it? Lots and lots of vegetables. Add at least one protein source - for eample cheese (all kinds of...), tuna, grilled chicken etc and it becomes a full meal. DO NOT use store-bought dressings - they're sugar-bombs and full of additives. Just pour olive oil over the salad and sprinkle with winegar, done. Or make your own dressings: pour a spoon or two of oil into a can of sour cream, stirr up  with a fork, add some spices, pepper and garlic, stirr again, done. 

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If you're really desperate for counter space or not allowed to get a proper hot plate you can cook with a drip coffee maker.  Here's an article on it: http://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2013/11/15/245442083/coffee-maker-cooking-brew-up-your-next-dinner

And a website dedicated to it: http://www.cookingwithyourcoffeemaker.com/

 

Basically you can steam things in the basket, use the warmer on the base as a mini-hot plate, and a vast number of other things once you learn the little tricks and intricacies of a coffee maker. 

 

Here's an "oven" someone made out of a coffee maker (from cookingwithyourcoffeemaker.com):

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Corn-Dogs-Cooking-1024x680.jpg

 

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