I often hear people complain that the obesity epidemic is caused by fast food manufacturers. But, I think in reality, we need to take a certain amount of responsibility for our own health and wellness.
Many people make the excuse that eating healthy food is too expensive, and while I get that food is an expensive commodity, it’s simply not true that all healthy food costs over the odds – there’s just no excuse for eating junk food everyday, even if you are short on cash, eating well isn’t out of your reach.
Unfortunately, Americans now eat more meals away from home than ever before. In fact, Marlene Schwartz, research director for the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity at Yale University, states: “In 1998, studies showed that 25% of all vegetables eaten by Americans were as French fries–and that says a lot right there.”
We all know that fast food tends to be higher in calories and fat than meals you cook in your own home.
So, one solution is to start making your own, lower-fat versions, of favourite “fast foods,” rather than hitting the drive-through on a weekly basis.
Here Are 5 Suggestions For Homemade Alternatives to Takeaway:
1. Instead of a coffee shop takeaway"¦
If you normally hit the coffee shop for breakfast, try making yourself a healthy breakfast at home instead. You could go for a wholegrain English muffin topped with one scrambled egg, some mushrooms and tomatoes. Then, finish off with a cup of freshly-ground coffee.
This breakfast will be ready in 5 to 10 minutes, and is quicker (and healthier) than you could pick up at the coffee shop.
2. Instead of a pizza takeaway…
Go for a homemade pizza base made with wholemeal flour, then add any array of healthy toppings, such as tomato puree, fresh or dried herbs, artichoke hearts, Spanish black olives, onions, red peppers, garlic, spinach, mushrooms, chicken, fish, part skim mozzarella, or any combination of these toppings.
Then serve with at least two salad sides, such as a green leafy salad, and a tomato and avocado salad, to complete your meal.
3. Instead of a fish and chips takeaway"¦
Forget about frying your fish and chips, and make use of the oven instead for a healthier version of this British favorite.
Make your own potato wedges, then toss them in a little oil and seasoning and bake in the oven. For the fish, coat haddock or cod with bread crumbs and/or rolled oats to save on fat. Another alternative is to use matzo meal for your coating, which is lower in fat.
Serve with mushy peas and lemon wedges on the side.
4. Instead of a Chinese takeaway…
Sweet and sour is a very popular Chinese dish, but rather than deep frying the meat in batter, you could use pork strips and quickly stir-fry them. Then, add lots of vegetables, such as onions, red peppers, celery, green beans, broccoli florets, carrot strips, tomatoes, pineapple chunks, or whatever vegetables you prefer. Make the sweet and sour sauce using pineapple juice, tomato ketchup, and soy sauce (sodium reduced).
Serve this dish with boiled brown rice.
5. Instead of an Indian takeaway…
Try making your own version of Indian curry by frying some onions, garlic, and chicken together, then add a little curry paste, stir in a can of chopped tomatoes, and a can of lentils or chickpeas.
This dish is great served with homemade roti bread, some mango chutney, and a green salad.
What are your favorite homemade alternatives to takeaway food?
Melanie Thomassian, registered dietitian, online health coach, and author of Dietriffic.com, cuts through the misconceptions about diet and fitness to help you transform your health for life. Visit her website to learn more, or check out her new healthy eating guide.