On a lunch break with a few coworkers we decide to go to a causal dining restaurant. While everyone else is ordering burgers and fries, I decide to stay on the healthy side and I get a salad.
As I watch everyone else at the table consume beef patties dripping with grease and shovel heavily salted fries into their hungry mouths, I can’t help but feel a slight tinge of satisfaction and self-control as I coolly use my fork to eat a few pieces of lettuce at a time.
Later that evening I am curious to know the nutritional facts about my leafy greens in comparison to my coworkers’ burger binge. As I come upon the caloric intake, milligrams of sodium, and grams of fat, I feel my stomach drop.
My salad is a mere 10 calories less than their burgers! To make it even worse the grams of fat in my salad outnumber their fast food-like meal by one third! It was at this moment that I decided to educate myself.
I’ve always felt like I don’t have enough time to cook, and I’ve heard others say that it’s just too expensive to eat healthy and buy all the organic brands. However, I think the most common thing I’ve heard is that the so-called “healthy” foods people chose aren’t quite as healthy after all; case and point, my restaurant salad.
Restaurants want things to taste amazing, but they also want these taste bud ticklers to come at the most economic price possible. The result is that their food is high in fat content and doused with artificial flavors, colors, and sweeteners like high fructose corn syrup, aspartame, and Yellow 5.
The truth is that the healthiest of meals are going to come out of your own kitchen, but you’ve got to know what to buy. The best way to grocery shop is by reading labels and loading up on antioxidant rich fruits, veggies, and whole grains.
Easy ways to decipher labels include:
- Don’t buy it if the ingredient didn’t exist 100 years ago.
- A good rule of thumb is to buy foods with ingredients you can pronounce.
- Avoid artificial sweeteners like aspartame and high fructose corn syrup, and avoid artificial colors such as Yellow 5, Red 40, Blue 1, and so on.
- Watch out for trans fat and saturated fat, and steer clear of hydrogenated oils.
Some of my favorite (and fast) recipes to get you through the day are at the links below:
No need to worry! The great recipes don’t stop here! All of these sites have countless ways to eat healthy whether it’s at work, recipes for home, shopping tips, or guides to eating out, eating healthy should never be a hassle.
To find more tips and recipes for a healthy lifestyle visit some of our favorites: