I often hear, and even think to myself that eating "healthy" is expensive. I'm not getting into a post of organic vs. non, free range vs. caged etc. This is just the basics of eating what we know (or should know) is good for us vs. some of the crap that's out there. I'm just going to take a look at a very basic meal I can make at home for super cheap vs. the Dollar Menu Special from your favorite fast food joint.
As often as I can, I try to make my meals for the next day ahead of time. It saves time the next day and reduces the temptation to eat lunch out since I don’t want to waste what was already prepares. I'll usually use what I can find in the house, but we almost always have on hand as staple foods some variety of lean meat and rice. I threw together the following three meals with items we had at home: Chicken Breasts, Low-Sodium turkey breast, Brown Rice, Frozen Mixed Vegetables. Out of the ingredients we had, I was able to make two meals consisting of 5.5oz of boiled chicken breast, 1 cup of rice and 2/3cup of mixed veggies and a third meal with 2oz chicken breast, 3oz of turkey breast and 2/3 cup of veggies.
These three meals took me about 25 minutes to put together from start to finish (including boiling the chicken on a slow, crappy stove). Each one has about 350 calories (the chicken, turkey & veggies has less since there is no rice), 35g of protein, 43g of carbs and only about 2g of fat. Compare that to your favorite $1 burger that comes in at 390 calories, 19g of fat (more than 40% of the burger is fat), only 22g of protein and 33g of carbs. Which is better for you? When you factor in the amount of processing, preservatives etc that go into the burger vs. cooking some basic food at home for yourself, the decision shouldn't be tough.
I covered the time, but what about cost? About $1.05 each (not including any salt/pepper, tiny bit of salted butter etc I might add). The chicken breast is only $1.99/lb, the rice was insanely cheap on sale at just $0.09 per 1 cup serving and the veggies come in at about $0.42 per serving. Cleary, this should show that eating basic, "healthy" food is really not very expensive in the grand scheme of things. Of course I didn't factor into the cost my time, the amount of electricity used to cook and store the food, but I think you can get the point - that’s it’s largely a myth
that eating healthy is expensive and time consuming.
That said, I'll have to remind myself of this next time I go out for a burger. I do enjoy burgers, and we like to eat out once in a while. Honestly, I don't worry about it much when we do, because I'm a huge believer in moderation when it comes to food. I don't want to deprive myself of things I enjoy. I just set reasonable limits and am perfectly fine with eating something "unhealthy" once in a while. I just know to stop before it gets out of control and I wind up back at 300lbs :)
From 9-5, Lonnie sits in front of a computer. Outside of being an IT Geek, he’s an athlete who’s familiar with the cycle of being fit-fat-fit that so many of us struggle with. Down from his highest weight of 300lbs in June 2009, he’s made the permanent lifestyle change to remain Big. Strong. Fit. Healthy. When not spending time with his wife, son and daughter, he’s at the gym keeping off the fat and adding quality lean mass.