Are you rushing to eat in a fast paced world? Grabbing a pop-tart on your way out the door? Getting lunch out of the vending machines? Rushing through the drive thru to get dinner on your way home?
Everyone’s life has become super busy and we are all rushing around. Most of us no longer eat the way we used to.
In some places, there is a McDonald’s on every major corner, if not some other fast food restaurant. Watching TV, you see a commercial for some kind of food place almost every time commercials are on. They all urge you to eat there because it’s good, you can get it fast and cheap.
With so many distractions and family obligations, how do you eat healthy in a fast food world? It’s not an easy thing to do but is possible with planning and knowing what to look for. I’m not saying fast food can’t be consumed occasionally, but it should be less often than we are all are doing now.
Much of our food is so very highly processed. True, it only takes five minutes to cook them. But they are often high in sodium, sugar and carbohydrates, among other things that are not digested quickly. I believe this is one of the reasons for obesity in our population.
What To Do If You Are Rushing to Eat in A Fast Paced World
The Truth About Whole Grain
Because food is so processed these days to make it more convenient for the way our lives are, it is actually not as good for you as it once was. Recently the FDA changed the food pyramid to reflect how we eat these days and how food is now made. They are suggesting more whole grains and vegetables.
Wait? Isn’t this exactly what we were told as children years ago?
Whole grain claims in our packaged foods are deceiving these days. With all the new diets out there for low carb, no carb, low fat, no fat, etc., foods say they are whole grain but are just as processed as their white counterpart. They are made with enriched wheat. This process takes out all the nutrients and other things that take time to digest for a healthy life.
Remember. Any time a food is “enriched”, it is processed. Something was taken out, and then something was added. Funny thing is, usually the added vitamin or mineral was originally taken out in the processing in the first place.
Reading the ingredient is a good way to find the real whole grain product. Real whole grains usually are more expensive than the over processed product. But this is because manufacturers can make the enriched version cheaper and faster. To eat healthy you have to read the labels of everything you consume.
Healthy Choices at Fast Food Places
The truth is that you really can’t eat healthy at any fast food restaurant. They aren’t designed for those trying or needing to watch what they put in their mouth.
But you can make better decisions.
Don’t’ eat the bread if you can stand not too. It’s along the lines of the South Beach Diet. But the processed bread is where a lot of your weight gaining properties are. Don’t get anything fried. This includes French fries, onion rings or even fried chicken. Get tea, unsweetened if you can, or water. Avoid the desert and the salad dressing, both have sugar in them. And I don’t just mean in the toppings.
Watch Super Size Me for a real eye opener. The movie is about McDonald’s but you can bet that all fast food restaurants are basically the same. Limit how often you eat fast food to once per week, if even that. Get a wrap at Subway instead of a toasted sub. Less bread and just as filling with all the fixings you want. When you get pizza, get vegetables on it so you aren’t just eating bread, sauce, cheese and pepperoni.
Remember just how bad fast food is for you – your waistline and your cholesterol. Even if you are a teenager, you should be thinking about how it will affect you later in life. Starting early will make it easier on your body as you age.
Eating at Home
The best thing to do is find a way to cook meals most nights of the week. This can take planning and team work.
Have at least one non-meat dish every week. It doesn’t have to be fish or seafood either. Try a large salad with plenty of veggies, some fruit and whole grains like quinoa. You could make a Roasted Beet, Snap Pea and Carrot Quinoa Bowl!
Don’t use fast cooking rice to go with your meals. Those are again loaded with carbohydrates, which take your body longer to break down and will make you hungry sooner than you should be.
Plan weekly meals so that you can cook casseroles and other easy to reheat dishes early in the week for days you will not have time to cook.
Utilize your crock-pot and get a recipe book for it. You can make just about anything in a crock pot these days and have a good meal when you get home.
Have salad a few times a week with dinner, but watch how much dressing you put on it. Or easily make your own vinaigrette.
Have fruit for dessert. If you indulge in other desserts, do so just once in a while. You don’t want to feel like you are depriving yourself of anything. Try making my Red, White and Blue Dessert 🙂
How I Eat Healthier in a Fast Paced World
Personally, I cook big on the weekends so we can enjoy leftovers during the work week. I change them up a bit so we aren’t eating exactly the same thing every day.
I also freeze dishes and soups. When I know we are going to be too busy to cook, I grab a couple of those.
I hope these tips help you eat healthier in our fast paced world. Share your comments on how you find ways to eat healthier. You can write them in the space below or send them to me on the contact form on the side.