When we started our wellness journey a few years ago we decided to start eating more whole foods. We started eating out less. We have had our issues with nights spent driving through or eating out. Our worst time for fast food is mostly when my husband was deployed or away for training. Kids always want to eat and Mommies don’t always want to cook. Every time I would think, “Why did we do that to our bodies? “
Why you should avoid fast food:
- Fast food is empty calories: since it is mostly fats, sugars and other strange additives, your body thinks it burns through them very fast leaving you hungry for more or very tired.
- Low Nutritional value: there are not enough vitamins in fast food to keep your body running properly, it will not give your body the energy it needs to work off the amount of calories in one meal. Eating a low nutritional diet regularly will stop your organs from working properly causing harmful disease, like obesity, diabetes, heart disease.
- The food is not fresh: it is cooked in a plant far away, frozen then shipped to your local feed trough location only to be place in a freezer then thawed while cooked. Our bodies need real, whole, colorful, chemical free foods in order to thrive.
- It is expensive: You can get healthy produce that will last all week for the same price it takes to feed a family of 6 one fast food meal. (We won’t even talk about how many meals I can make on one sit down restaurant visit for my hungry family.)
- Waste: Fast food accounts for about 40% of all food waste and trash in the landfills. Did you know that McDonald’s has to throw out French fries if they sit for more than 7 minutes without being ordered? There are way too many hungry children to be throwing out French fries or any food at all. All fast food joints use very environmentally unfriendly containers and cups. Think about it like this, they take frozen food out of disposable containers then put the recooked food back into new disposable containers. How is that good for us?
Now that we talked about how it is bad for us. I want to go through few ideas that help keep us out of the drive thru and save money even on busy nights.
- Meal Planning: If you plan ahead you will know what is for dinner every night. This also helps you save money because you can put all needed ingredients on your shopping list.
- Schedule left-over and/or fend for yourself nights: This way your left over food is not wasted and you have a night off of cooking from scratch.
- Create a shopping list: This way you will know what you need and only buy needed items.
- Get everyone involved: Assign nights to other family members, even children. Cooking should not fall on only one member of the family. Do what works for your family, maybe your family needs weekly assigned nights, mine does monthly for the kids and then hubby and I share cooking responsibilities daily. It is never too early to teach children to cook.
- Freezer meals: This is very helpful for busy large families. The idea is to cook and prepare meals for the month all on one day. Then you just pop the meal in the oven or pan to warm up and finish cooking. Might take all day once a month but you are cutting lots of time off your daily cooking time.
- Crock pot cooking: You can set up your whole meal in the morning and let it cook, by the end of the day it is ready to eat.
- Pack: Pack your breakfast and lunch if you are at work all day. There are so many cool lunch ideas out there; you don’t need to just have sandwiches’. Most lunch rooms have microwaves now too.
- Picnic Dinner: Just like packing your lunch, you can pack your dinner. There is something fun about pulling out a whole food meal in a crowded youth activity center and chowing down, while everyone is wishing they thought of it too. My kids love picnic dinner, it’s something fun and new. They don’t have to wait until their activity is over to eat when they are hungry.
I hope you enjoyed these ways to stay away from drive thru’s and will notice how much your food bill will go down. Try it for a month.
I challenge you to a 30 day restaurant free challenge. We are also working on a challenge. Our challenge is to go 365 days without fast food. I am not sure we can do a restaurant free year because we are moving across the country in about 100 days. I don’t know that we can skip eating out during our 3 day drive from Texas to Pennsylvania but I do know we can skip the fast food and go for a more healthy choices. Can your family go 30 days without fast food?
Good Health Blessings to you!