Long lasting fruits/veggies for a working m... - Healthy Eating

Healthy Eating

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Long lasting fruits/veggies for a working man's diet

HmcR profile image


I'm still new here, my first post actually, and I decided I wanted to help myself get better with regards to health and eating habits.

I work around 10 hours a day and I currently suffer from a lack of motivation and energy whenever I have free time. I always want to lounge about and just escape my thoughts into anything that is not productive, gaming or any form of procrastination.

So I began thinking that a healthy mind would be in a healthy body, so I'd start with that. I used to workout before for around 3 years continuously but have not for the last 5 years. I would like to first start with a healthy diet and some light exercise every now and then before delving into a full on lifestyle.

So, my first question is, since the nearest proper supermarket is a good 30 minutes drive from my place, what fruits and veggies have long fridge lives and are healthy/versatile for direct eating or simple recipes?

Sorry for the long first post and thanks in advance for any answers.

20 Replies

Is your job very physical? I find that when I'm working outside all day (usually 5+3 hours in 30-degree heat) I need 10 hours sleep (plus a large amount of fat and protein). Your fatigue might be a completely normal reaction to hard work.

You say fruits and veggies: are you vegetarian or vegan? Or are you avoiding meat for some reason? Again, if you have a very physical job this could cause serious issues. Besides, one of the best things about meat is that it freezes with no loss of flavour or texture! I assume you have a freezer, or at least a freezer section in your fridge?

Anyway ... to answer your question: there aren't many choices. Chinese cabbage, pumpkin, celery, onions, garlic. Apples and pears if you keep them cool. I can strongly recommend growing your own for a much wider selection - this is very easy to do in boxes: see


for some ideas.

I woukd dispute your assertion that a vegetarian diet could cause ' serious issues' for someone with a very physical job. I properly balanced vegetarian diet should provide everything needed. As an example my son and his partner build mountain bike trails for 10 hours a day during summer. They are never unwell and are both vegetarians. A bit depleted on coming home but weekends go camping and canoeing.

Meat protein whilst convenient is not necessary to our diet.


Well, I only said "could" - the OP mentioned fatigue and I was simply suggesting that a vegan diet could well produce that outcome.

I was really referring to a vegan diet specifically, but even with a vegetarian diet it's harder to get adequate (and balanced) protein and fat - you at least have to include plenty of dairy-based foods and eggs, and you have to pay that much more attention to what you're doing. Meat isn't necessary, but some animal-sourced protein and fat is.

I stand by my assertion that it would be very hard indeed, if not outright impossible, to maintain a highly physical job on a vegan diet. The sheer volume of food that you'd have to eat would preclude the possibility. There's a reason ruminants spend their entire lives eating.

Anyway, we're still not sure if the OP actually is vegetarian/vegan or a manual labourer :)

in reply to deejames

I'm not even a vegetarian and when I started work on renovations I got very tirwd sore stiff and needed to eat a lot more protein.. Had a few days if eating eggs and chicken breasts and felt amazing within no time so peoples needs change and if you're an expert vegan you'll probably eat that ectra tofu when you need it most but a lot of people vegan or otherwise aren't so expert and need things they don't realise they might need. Its not a slight kn vegans competence to eat enough protein its judt that everyone messes up and suggestions and reminders arw helpful.

Jerry profile image

Hi HmcR, well done for joining us and introducing yourself, now I'm not surprised you lack motivation after working 10 hours, so don't give yourself a hard time.

I would have thought that you should be able to buy fresh fruit and veg locally without having to drive 30 miles to a large supermarket. Also frozen veg could be a really good addition for you as frozen veg is healthy and You just cook what you want.

So I think you need to look at what you can buy locally that is fresh and suits you and re-evaluate how you shop, instead of thinking that you have to visit a supermarket. I love local fruit and veg shops.

I also agree that a healthy body and a healthy mind is the ultimate goal of most of us and the secret is not to delude ourselves into bad eating and or life style habits...

If you have a good look at the forum you will see various 'Topics' and there's lots of tips on healthy eating, so you're in good company on here.

Jerry 😊

in reply to Jerry

Local fruit and veg shops? What is that,? That doesn't exist here. We have corner shop newsagent and grocery shops which sell mostly packaged food and a tiny shelf for vegetables which are usually rank. And then we have big towns with big shops like lidles and markets for veg are rare enough and a lot of open air markets are shut down because of covid. So where are you living that you have little vegetable shops locally? It sounds like a fairytale.

Jerry profile image
JerryAdministrator in reply to

Hey they exist here I live on the edge of a small town and there’s a shop that sells lots fruit and veg I bought some wonderful strawberries and raspberries in there yesterday.

in reply to Jerry

Yeah I know! you said that. I'm asking where is it? They don't exist anywhere I've been even in France they used to exist and all the small shops are gone.

Jerry profile image
JerryAdministrator in reply to

When I lived in Bristol there were lots of independent veg shops and as not everyone has wanted to shop in supermarkets since the pandemic the local shops have grown in popularity in lots of parts of the UK I thought. Mine have around here and I've only been here a couple of years.

in reply to Jerry

Oh lucky you. The big shops have decimated local businesses here. Their is a vegetable co cop but you have to sign up for it monthly and I can't afford it any more for the small amount you get from it. All local and not organic certified but organic enough. The straw the horses shat in can't be garanteed organic so even though the horse eats organic if you put his poo on the fields the subsequent vegetables aren't organic. But the hydroponic Israeli grown in tunnels pumped with liquid organic fertilizer it organic ..makes little sense. Anyway that aside there's only like newsagent grocery shops here. You don't have centra over there...don't think you've got the same thing. Its not like tesco express smaller than that but better than a newsagents. The have grapes strawberries apples bananas for fruitm lettuce brocolli carrots turnips and something else for veg. Mince and chicken and steak for meat .. And everything else is in a box. Its very monotonous but then I realise some people have always shopped there. I'm very spoiled. I dream of chorizo and artichokes and pecorino and sprouted lentil Thai salad and olives and...all the middle class hipster nibbles to which I am acostomed. Tofu and dried shrimp stir fries. Seven sorts of pesto. All the twaddle that makes vegetables nice. I mean I still rather eat a plate of boiled veg than whatever is in the boxes lol!!

Thanks for the replies everyone, I just wanted to clarify that my job is not really that physical but it does involve a lot of driving around in 45+ degree Celsius heat and sometimes a little bit of heavy lifting is involved.

Also, I am not vegetarian but I wanted to include fruits and veggies to my diet as they are almost non-existent. My breakfasts are usually wrapped sandwiches of boiled eggs with black pepper or omelettes with hot sauce, basically whatever I can get from a roadside cafeteria whilst heading to work in the morning. Lunches are all either fast food (McDs, Subway, KFC, etc..) and my dinners are very random. I basically am not heading into the kitchen at all as from 6 AM to 7 PM I am outside for work and when I am back the thought of doing something makes me want to faint.

So as you can see my diet basically is a lot of carbs (wraps, sandwich bread, rice) and a lot of protein (eggs, meat, fried liver, chicken, fish occasionally, etc..) so I feel it is not really that balanced. I just wanted to improve my breakfast and dinner with something easy to do at least to avoid having to go for junk foods. Hence, I am looking for something that wouldn't require for me to drive more every day (long lasting) and something easy to eat directly (quick snack) or good for an easy recipe (dinner).

Again thank you for the well thought-out replies and your consideration :)

TheAwfulToad profile image
TheAwfulToad in reply to HmcR

45 degrees? Are you serious? Where do you work, the Sonoran desert? :)

If that wasn't a typo, it's hardly a surprise you feel tired. Humans don't perform well in extreme heat - I'm frankly surprised you can move at all.

Dunno if it'll help, but Kenyan distance runners apparently have a secret recipe: copious amounts of weak milky tea. Either way, you're going to need a lot of liquid, preferably not plain water. I take milky coffee (I don't much like tea) with me to the farm, and it really seems to help.

Even places like subway and McD have halfway-healthy food. For example you could just skip the bread in subway and eat a pile of salad and meat. A wrap is not the worst meal in the world, and again if it's a fast-food outlet there's usually some sort of salad available. Eggs, fried liver, etc are perfectly OK in the context of your lifestyle. It's good to add a few vegetables whereever possible, but your diet doesn't sound THAT bad.

HmcR profile image
HmcR in reply to TheAwfulToad

It was not a typo, unfortunately :) I live in the UAE, all gulf countries have feverish summers and warm winters. Today's weather in Ajman, one of the cities in UAE, was 42 degrees celsius, which is kinda nice compared to last week :)

I do drink a lot of Karak tea, which is indian Chai. It is made from tea, condensed milk and a lot of spices but mainly cardamom is the secret ingredient. I do also drink lots of water whenever possible.

Will consider the salad options though, it is tempting to go straight for fries but I will try to consider the healthier alternative. Thanks man

TheAwfulToad profile image
TheAwfulToad in reply to HmcR

Wow, I can't imagine that. I've passed through the UAE but never exited the airconditioning!

I do know that an active body behaves in such a radically different way at that sort of temperature - for example your muscles have more trouble using fatty acids for fuel - that all the usual bets are off, ie., what's "healthy" in a temperate climate isn't necessarily healthy in yours. The chai sounds a good idea (I like that one myself, although I prefer it with the sweetness dialled down!). It's just my opinion, but apart from salads vs. bread and chips, you're probably doing better than you think.

PS if you don't already, wear a keffiyeh or a hat :)

in reply to HmcR

The veg won't be the problem. Keeping the food safe in a 45 degree situation for hours will be though. If you use species and yoghurt on things it helps keep them. But I'd get a flask and a cooler bag with lots of ice. Then you could just do a few trays of veggies in the oven and throw on a chicken breast ir lamb chop and portion them into boxes for the next few days. Resdy to go hot or cold. And they will have microwaves at those truck stops. So all you really need is a nice minifridge! Can't imagine that heat its barely 17 degrees here and I'm boiling like a lobster!

in reply to HmcR

I just gift this in my email inbox from my veg delivery shop. Thought it might be useful! blog.greenearthorganics.ie/...


Here are some of my fruit and veggie tips:

Apples are hands down are the best for long term. They can be refrigerated, they can be left out. Either way, they pack a ton of vitamins and energy boosters. Every hear of "An apple a day, keeps the Dr away"? well, apples are full of some many good things and will be able to last a long while.

Carrots are just awesome. They can be eaten raw or cooked, last super long in the fridge and are great for long term. They are inexpensive and will not go bad. They are full of vitamins and will help with eye sight. Pair with peanut or almond butter, and you have an amazing treat, snack.

Celery is great too. It holds up well. Plus its satisfying to eat as its crunchy.

Raisins, Dried figs, Dried dates, Dried apricots all are wonderful options too. They don't need to stay cool and can be eaten anywhere.

Nuts like almonds, cashews, peanuts (or any) can be eaten anywhere too for energy and nutrition.

Peanut butter is a great way to get protein and healthy fats. Plus its delicious. Try to use natural peanut butter as it doesn't have added sugar. But all peanut butters are fine too. Natural peanut butter will get soft out of the fridge, where as brands like Skippy, JIF won't and can be eating with apples, carrots, celery etc.

Good luck on your food journey.

HmcR profile image
HmcR in reply to david1976

Those are some very fine tips indeed. I had considered apples before but got bored of having only one kind of snack. The others, carrots, nuts, dried fruits and peanut butter sound great and could provide a much needed variety to my diet.

Is it true though that nuts could contribute to higher cholesterol or could lead to more weight? I get that everything in moderation would be good for you but I just want to lessen any weight gain possible.

Thank you again on the recommendations, appreciate it :)

david1976 profile image
david1976 in reply to HmcR

Nuts are cholesterol free and really low in saturated fats, so they won’t raise cholesterol and may actually lower it with the polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats. Of course they are high in calories and fat, but moderation of course.

I'm in a similar boat re shopping. Its ten k away and no trains since lockdown. Here are things I buy for a long haul. Butternut squash sweet potatoes purple ones too...beetroot (carrots but not in plastic they should have muck on them and they will last all winter in a dark cool place with the mud without the mud they sometimes don't last a week.) Parsnips they don't rot they just dry out and if yoj wash them well and hang them up they dry and you can use them in soups and stews. Taro. Celeriac. Cabbage can last a time. Yellow turnip or swede.... Cumquats Passion fruit. Apples. Frozen ..blueberries raspberries strawberries blackcurrants blackberries rhubarb advoacdo halves, brusell sprouts brocolli spinach kale mixed peppers peas French beans mangw tout cauliflower ..... Things which don't last and need to be eaten within a day or so... Lettuce lambs lettuce spinach peaches nectarines strawberries and all berries except cranberries and gooseberries last a longer time. Things that will go in a week peppers tomatoes aubergine courgette mushrooms ... You can buy those and cook them or blanch them and frewze them and they're not so bad frozen since rheyre already squishy. If I get lettuce kale spinach I line them up with talks down and put them in a vase of cold water like a bunch if flowers which helps keep them longer. That's alk the vegetables I can think of. I haven't been able to shop for veg since the lockdowns dropped the transport. So all they have in the corner shop is very limited. I am dying to buy a ton of veggies now!

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