Let’s face it. We live in a society that is fast and furious. We want convenience, we want flavor, we want more time to do the things we enjoy. You work all day, your tired, hungry, the kids are hungry, what do you do? Many times that means we forgo preparing healthy meals. After all, it is so easy to just order out your favorite Chinese food, or have a pizza delivered. You can even DRIVE THRU one of the hundreds of FAST FOOD restaurants out there and pick up a quick meal. If this sounds familiar, you are not alone. It is estimated that fast food restaurants serve over 50 BILLION customers a day!! Incredible! Is this the best way to eat? Of course not. Here are some more statistics for you:
According to an article by North Ohio Heart/Ohio Medical Group:
- Fast food restaurants in America serve 50 million customers per day.
- In 2015, Trans fats, which is found in most commercial baked goods and fried foods, were officially deemed by the FDA to cause high cholesterol– the leading cause of heart disease in the U.S.( offically deemed by the FDAmed by the FDA)
- According to the American Beverage Association, American consumers on average drink more than 54 gallons of carbonated soft drinks each year, making carbonated soft drinks the most popular beverage in the U.S., almost three times more popular than bottled water, milk or coffee.
- McDonald’s sells an average of 75 hamburgers every second.
- 44 percent of people report eating out at least once a week.
- On any given day, 34 percent of children between ages 2 and 19 consume fast food.
- McDonald’s has more locations (35,000) than the combined total of Burger King (14,000), Wendy’s (6,500), Taco Bell (6,200) and Arby’s (3,400).
- The average American spends an estimated $1,200 on fast food each year.
- Children consume an estimated 12 percent of their calories from fast food.
- 20 percent of all American meals are eaten in the car.
- More than half of the money Ohio residents spend eating out goes to these restaurants.
I LOVE food. I LOVE convenience. I also LOVE eating healthy. I have to eat healthily. I have been working on my health, primarily through nutrition for some time now. The food I was eating was slowly killing me. I was very sick. I was in constant pain, chronically fatigued, I had brain fog, lethargy, Basically, I felt like I had the flu ALL OF THE TIME. I didn’t have the time or energy to live the life I wanted because convenience had taken away that choice.
I was forced to make changes in my life or I would probably end up like my Mother, who passed away at 59 years old. She was a beautiful woman, one of the most loving women I have ever known. My poor Mother was sick all of the time, and on so many medications. She carried a large tote with her all of the time, it was loaded with medications. I truly believe her body could not function on its own anymore, so it gave out. I was frustrated because I didn’t know how to help her. I thought she was just complacent, she had just accepted she would be forever ill. I felt so helpless and sad, not knowing how to help her. She passed away suddenly, at home, alone. I miss her every day. But the saddest part was that even though she was still physically alive, the Spirit of my Mom had departed long before her physical body succumbed to her poor health. She was so unhappy, miserable, sick and ANGRY! She didn’t know how to heal her body, she followed her Doctors directions, but sadly never got any better, only worse. I am not saying there are not some good medications out there, there are true life-saving medications available, but the pharmaceutical companies have noticed we want a quick fix, we want it now, no matter the cost and they are happy to oblige.
The blessing out of all this, and I thank my mother for this gift, I vowed I would not surrender my health to traditional medicine. I knew that medications were not the answer, as I saw how they slowly killed my Mother. It helped me discover my gift as a healer. It sparked a passion for me to learn all I could about healing the body through Holistic measures. I love what Hippocrates wrote so long ago (and so true still today) “Let food be thy medicine, let medicine be thy food” That is the journey I am on today.
So what does all this mean to you? Well, I LOVE FAST FOOD! Not the type of fast food you are thinking of, rather, I love convenient food. Thankfully, I have discovered that we do not have to sacrifice our health for convenience. There is an abundance of healthy, LIVE, FAST FOODS out there! We only need to change our way of thinking.
I like to cook, I love trying new dishes. But like most folks, I don’t have the time to prepare new, creative dishes all the time. I don’t really even like to cook very much. I admire my friends who are always creating new, delicious meals, I wish I was more driven to do so, but I’m not. Like most of us, I am a creature of habit. We create habits in our routine and they become ingrained in our daily lives. Some habits are good, while some are habits we need to break. I think one of the best habits you can break, is dependence on traditional fast foods. So let’s take a look at some ways you can eat deliciously, conveniently and nutritiously.
FAST FOOD FOR ME AND YOU!
How much easier does it get? If you stock your home with fresh fruits and vegetable, you can quickly make a delicious, nutritious BEAUTIFUL meal. I made this breakfast of fresh fruit in minutes, so can you!
Pound for pound, it doesn’t get any better than fast food the way nature intended. Grab an apple, enjoy the crunchy sweetness of one of the most convenient foods nature has provided. Apples don’t need refrigeration, they have a long shelf life and are packed with amazing nutrients. Eating RAW food is the greatest way to nourish our bodies, as all the nutrition stays intact.
Nuts and seeds are so good and so good for you. Healthy fats are essential to good health. I always keep a supply of healthy nuts and seeds available for a quick snack. They are crunchy, filling, they also have a long shelf life and do not require refrigeration. Keep a supply of them in small storage containers to take with you when you are on the go. They are not messy and will do the trick when you need some FAST FOOD.
I have developed some wonderful “good habits” in exchange for my old “bad habits”. Preparation is the key. You need only carve out a little time each week to prepare your kitchen with healthy foods that are quick and accessible. Here is a list of things I do to assure I can grab a QUICK HEALTHY meal or snack anytime night or day.
- Make a list when you shop for groceries, remember planning a little goes a long ways.
- Buy whole, organic foods when possible.
- Keep your home stocked with fresh fruits and veggies. Farmers markets are a fun and inexpensive way to shop for your produce.
- If you are not sure how to shop for healthy food in the grocery store, try shopping on the outer perimeters of the store, that is where you will find the least processed foods. Most everything you find in a box, bag, carton or can is processed and you should steer clear of it.
- Prepare and cook once a week in larger bulk to save time. I cook a couple meat selections and a pot of grains weekly to have handy for salads and other dishes.
- Quinoa and brown rice are great by themselves, or add some veggies, meat and make a delicious rice/quinoa bowl.
- Hard boil some eggs while doing your cooking. You can make your own version of Starbucks “Protein Bistro Box”. You can get these user-friendly boxes on Amazon.com and fill them with your favorites. They are easy to grab on the go.
If your health isn’t reason enough to quit the JUNK FOOD habit. Take a look at your pocket book. Check your bank account for how much you spend on eating out, make a commitment to bringing down the expense by buying fresh, whole foods.
Going cold turkey is not for the faint of heart. If that is too much to fathom, try cutting back on your FAST FOOD purchases. It is easier to ADD IN good food choices that will CROWD OUT the undesirable. When you do opt for eating out, try cutting back on the number of times per month you eat and reduce the size of your order. Steer clear of options to up-size and embrace healthier options when they’re available. For instance, opt for grilled over fried chicken and pair your meal with a bottle of water instead of a fountain drink.
Remember, little changes of habit can go a long way. As you start to reap the benefits of your NEW fast food habit, such as saving money, weight release and more energy, you will be more motivated to continue making changes. Those changes will become habits you will want to keep.
I LOVE FAST FOODS! Fresh, whole, organic fast foods, and I think you will find that you do too!