Say bye-bye to the drive-thru and hello to home cooking.
Fast food has become a major part of the American diet, and a news report from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reveals just how many adults eat it.
Think about your dinner last night. Did you sit down to eat with family or eat on-the-go or perhaps in front of the tv?
We all have those nights when work ends up being quite late, children need to go to practice, the dog needs walking, and the thought of cooking a meal on top of all that sounds dreadful. The drive-thru for many becomes a quick option, but to what expense?
Although drive-thrus are convenient and fill your belly in no time flat, many people do not realize how this continuous choice is harmful to their health.
Fast foods and takeout meals are often high in saturated fat, trans fat, sodium, cholesterol, preservatives, and contain an excess of calories in their large portion sizes. Quite often they are considered “dead” foods because the benefit of natural enzymes, fiber, and fresh ingredients that your body needs is limited or removed in favor of “shelf-life”.
Between 2013 and 2016, about 37% of US adults consumed fast food on any given day, according to the National Center for Health Statistics. “On any given day in the United States, an estimated 36.6% or approximately 84.8 million adults consume fast food,” said Cheryl Fryar, first author of the report and a health statistician at the CDC. – Source: https://www.cnn.com/2018/10/03/health/fast-food-consumption-cdc-study/index.html
They are also lacking in the much-needed vitamins and minerals your body needs to stay healthy. Too much over time can lead to many health problems including obesity, heart disease, and high blood pressure.
Choosing to eat and prepare real, home cooked meals is a great way to help with maintaining a healthy lifestyle and lowering your risk of health problems including obesity. Home cooked meals often have fewer calories, less fat, less carbohydrates, less sodium, and more vitamins, minerals, and nutrients the body can use.
Despite the popular belief that home cooked meals are time consuming, hard to make, and expensive – it could be quite the opposite if you plan appropriately!
Here are some tips for saving time on home cooked meals:
- Online grocery shopping – Have groceries delivered right to your door!
- Prepping food – Prepare your ingredients and/or meals for the week ahead of time. This is a great time to have the family all get involved!
- Use leftovers – Pack them for lunch the next day. If you’re feeling adventurous, come up with a new recipe using them!
- Freezing – Recipes like soups, stews, lasagna, muffins, burritos, beans, fruits and vegetables all freeze and reheat well.
- Buying seasonal produce from local farmers – Seasonal produce is picked ripe, containing a richer flavor, and is in abundant supply so they often costs less.
- Meal subscriptions – Receive recipes with all the ingredients in the mail. Preparing each meal often takes less than 30 minutes.
Cooking does not need to be complex or require lots of ingredients and steps. Quick and easy meal recipes are also in abundance!
Here are 10 great quick and easy meal ideas:
- Chicken, Pasta and Broccoli Bowl
- Mini Naan Pizzas
- Easy Veggie Scramble
- Marinated Grilled Chicken
- Cheesy Pasta with Spinach
- Chicken Asparagus Stir-Fry
- Crockpot Chili
- Tofu stir fry
- Baked Ziti
Become inspired by your kitchen! Make cooking at home a family event and get everyone involved. Have your children pick out new recipes and try new foods.
Your body, waistline, and your family with thank you for introducing more home cooked meals into your diet. Say bye-bye to the drive-thru and hello to home cooking!
Authored by Healthy Hands Cooking’s Jan Pinnington, CNC