Let’s be honest, cooking and eating at home will always be healthier than eating out, unless you are eating at a Canyon Ranch Spa under strict supervision. Restaurant food is higher in fat, sodium, carbohydrates and portion sizes because they are catering to the Standard American Diet (SAD). When 60% of U.S. Adults are either obese or overweight do you think you should be eating like the average American? That answer should be obvious. The number of times adults and children eat out is directly correlated to their degree of being overweight or obese. Parents who eat out frequently have children who eat out frequently which is a set up for childhood obesity and eating disorders that last into adulthood. (Scary, right? ) Eat at home and teach your children to eat at home.
No excuses: Preparing a meal at home takes no more time than stopping for take out food.
Eating at home is cheaper by far. Record every dime you spend on restaurant, coffee stops, and take out for one month and multiple that by 12 months and plan a nice vacation with the savings of eating at home. I think you will be surprised by how much you actually spend. Think of this as an investment in your financial and personal well being.
Fast food ideas:
Prewash and cut vegetables on your day off to eat all week.
– Toss vegetables in a stir fry with single frozen chicken breasts thawed in the microwave and sliced
– Sauté chopped vegetables with canned tomatoes, ground turkey and taco seasonings for tacos or taco salad (2 meals from one sauce)
– Add vegetables or fruit to every meal
Buy some prepared real food
– Buy bagged pre-washed salad greens, coleslaw, baby carrots, for super fast salads
– Pick up a rotisserie chicken or turkey breast and salad mix on the way home from work
– Make extra dinner servings for lunch the next day
– Make a double serving of freezer friendly food and freeze for a last minute meal
Fish thaws and cooks quickly.
– Wrap fish fillets (tilapia, cod, mahi mahi, salmon) and cut up vegetables in foil and bake 15-20 minutes while you read emails or do yoga to unwind
– Pan fry thin fillets and wrap in tortillas with packaged cole slaw and store bought salsa
Learn a few easy crockpot meals
– Vegetarian chili: 1 can each of pinto, black and kidney beans, 1 can of tomatoes, 1 onion rough chopped, garlic powder and chili powder
– Salsa chicken: frozen chicken pieces and 1 container or can of your favorite salsa
– Shredded Beef: Round steak cut into chunks with 1 can of tomatoes with green chilies and 1 can of water
Use low sodium canned or frozen legumes, vegetables and pasta sauces in a pinch. Fresh is always better but even canned real food is better than take out.
Stay tuned for strategies to use if you must eat out.