Should i be Eating that Fast Food

Let’s be honest. We all know how much we love that food that everyone says is bad for us. Burgers, fries, pizza, tacos and those all-you-can-eat Chinese buffets. But what are some of the scientific facts about the food we eat every day. Read “Restaurant Confidential,” by Michael F. Jacobson and Jayne G. Hurleyit, it is chock full of scientific facts about food and fat. When I read it, I was mesmerized. No, I said to myself, a fried seafood platter can’t have 2,200 calories and 39 grams of saturated fat. I felt a chill when the authors called fettuccine Alfredo a “heart attack on a plate” and a double cheeseburger a “coronary bypass special.” I reached for a Hershey bar with almonds and kept reading.

The authors kept talking about saturated fat. I have a mental image of saturated fat as these spinning tiny globes of fat slowly inserting themselves into burgers and pizza and tacos.

A hamburger with fries. When you go to a fast food burger place, you know you’re eating a lot of fat. But if you think going to a restaurant and ordering a plain burger with mustard, lettuce, tomato and onion is a better idea, think again. These burgers usually have twice the fat of a fast food burger and a full day’s allotment of saturated fat. Why? Sizerestaurant burgers are usually larger. Add fries and you reach 1,240 calories and 1 days worth of saturated fat.

One of my favorites, a mushroom cheeseburger. When I order this one, I always chant the mantra mushrooms are healthy. Alas, I found out that the mushrooms are usually sauted with onions and the bun has mayo. If you order it with a small order of onion rings, the fat really surrounds you. Ready for this? The mushroom cheeseburger with small onion rings has the combined fat of five strips of bacon, four Hostess Twinkies, three slices of a large Domino’s Pepperoni Pizza, two Dairy Queen Banana Splits and a McDonald’s Big Mac. Honest. I read this and shuddered.

Pizza. No way around it, eating pizza is eating fat. On the other hand, the authors of “Restaurant Confidential” cite one source from the American Dietetic Association as saying that it’s healthy. My spirits rose as I read this. “You get your grain in the crust; you get tomato sauce, which can count as a vegetable; a cheese, which is your dairy; and protein in many toppings.” For a brief moment, I felt heartened. Then I read on.

The authors analyzed 15 popular types of pizzas from 36 pizzerias, ranging from major chains to small sit-down restaurants. To reduce the fat content they suggest ordering a half-the-cheese pizza. This means half the normal amount. Better yet, request a no-cheese pizza. This sounds like heresy, but they recommend a Tricolore Salad Pizza. It’s covered with arugula, radicchio, red-leaf lettuce, diced tomatoes, shaved Parmesan and a vinaigrette dressing. Can you imagine ordering this at Domino’s or Peter Pan? Give it a try.

I grew up eating tacos and never gave the fat content a second thought. They were just tacos. Corn or flour tortillas stuffed with anything you had in the refrigerator. Now I know better. I shudder to think about all that fat I ate in all those years when I was growing up in San Antonio, Texas. On the other hand, I enjoyed them.

Chicken is healthy is another of my mantras. When it comes to chicken tacos, however, the mantra breaks down. Two chicken tacos with refried beans and rice contain 1,040 calories and 42 grams of fat, 13 of them saturated. Two chicken enchiladas with refried beans and rice have 1,260 calories, 57 grams of fat, 19 of them saturated. But they sure taste good. How to cut down on the calories and fat? Order one taco or one enchilada and a salad instead of rice and beans. But then what are tacos or enchiladas without rice and beans.

Chinese all-you-can-eat buffets. I love these. All that chicken and those vegetables and rice choices make me feel proud. I am eating healthy. According to “Restaurant Confidential,” I need to think carefully at these buffets. My all-time favorite is chicken fried rice (chicken is healthy). An order of chicken fried rice contains 1,480 calories and 50 grams of fat. The recommended total daily intake of calories is 2,000. Sweet and sour pork has 1,610 calories and 71 grams of fat. Another illusion shattered. I can always order steamed rice, but it doesn’t have those globes of fat that saturate my taste buds.

After reading “Restaurant Confidential” I felt slightly depressed. All my worst fears about my favorite foods were confirmed. Given my age, these foods are only occasional treats now. Mostly I eat vegetables, fruits and steamed fish and chicken. But I still like that occasional burger and fries, that pepperoni pizza, tacos and that visit to the Chinese buffet. I guess it’s a matter of personal choice. I can give up food with fat altogether, or I can indulge myself once in a while. You decide.

What is Worse to Eat at Mcdonalds or to Work there

The Joy that is Working in Fast Food:

This actually has nothing to do with McDonald’s, but it does have to do with fast food. My personal experience with the fast food world has taken the form of Del Taco (a West Coast Mexican/American chain). I also am not going to comment on the quality or the healthfulness of said food. What I am going to do is take you on a little journey to the joy that is the world of fast food and what kind of work that idiot (who can’t get your order right because he speaks no English) on the headset goes through.

First lets start with the basic point of the job. To provide efficient, correct service in 90 seconds or less. Think about having to do every aspect of your job in 90 seconds, with a smile on your face. Then do it knowing that the person you are serving is thinking that you need to hurry up and are taking forever. That’s the stress of the starting goal without ever having to do anything. Then work with inferior equipment and loud engine noise complicating listening to people who either scream so loud it is unintelligible, or who mumble or have strong accents or any other speech pattern that makes listening difficult, add in the honking of other cars in the line anytime someone takes too long. Those of you with special orders, if you want it right order it that way. For example, “I want two hard shell tacos with no lettuce, extra cheese, a double del with no sauce add ketchup and a large fry well done.” As opposed to “I want two tacos, a large fry, no lettuce on the tacos, the fries well done, a double del with ketchup instead of sauce and oh yea add cheese to those tacos.” When you have to go back and forth through the order several times it ups the chance for mistakes.

Now let’s get to the customers that make the whole job worth it. The people who think that 60 seconds is too long to get their order. The people who have to know how many ounces of chicken come in a taco or better yet those who need their burrito made to exactly, not even within of an ounce, but exactly the weight it should be. Those people who put their own hair into a mostly eaten burrito to be able to complain just to get free food. The people who eat like three year olds leaving a mound of trash and lettuce strewn everywhere. The kids who manage to destroy the place while only having bought 4 tacos and 5 water cups for 12 of them. The guy who comes in every night saying that you messed his order up yesterday and he wants it replaced. The people who (at 5 in the morning when you’ve been there since 11pm and are dragging) tell you “if you don’t like your job you should get a new one”. Those people who can never get enough hot sauce.

Anyone who wants to tell you a fast food restaurant is dirty is only partially right. It gets messy but there is more cleaning that goes into that place than you could imagine. The vat of oil gets strained nightly and poured into the vat again when it has cooled to a temperature of 185 degrees. The walls are scrubbed nightly, the vents cleaned weekly, the floor cleaned not I said cleaned not mopped, nightly. The process for cleaning a floor at Del Taco is to take buckets of soapy water and throw them on the entire floor then scrub the whole thing down with brooms, take a hose and spray the floor till the soap is gone, then you push the water into the drains with a giant squeegee on a broom handle. The tea containers, the soda taps, and the shake machine are disassembled and sanitized nightly.

The best part about Del Taco is the hours. You get your schedule Tuesday for the week ahead, it is never the same, so you can never plan to do anything ahead of time. You most often work a 5.5 or 6 hour shift, getting an 8 hour shift is like a gift. Granted they have gotten better lately but the breaks are non compliant with different shifts having different break rules.

So the next time somebody says “Welcome to Del Taco, would you like to try our spicy chicken burrito today?” Think about what their day consists of and treat them like a person rather than a speaker box.

Do you Prefer Fast Food or Home Cooking

Although home cooking seems to be falling by the wayside, I believe – and most likely so does the rest of the world – that home cooking is better. Here are a few reasons to back up my theory.

* It’s tastier: Only in my own kitchen can I create the most succulent dishes with the spices I desire. A fast food chain can never touch the works that I create. They don’t have the time! It’s supposed to be fast, you know!

* It’s got better ingredients: I buy a lot of fresh produce and finer cuts of meat for special dishes. Even a cheaper cut of fresh meat tends to taste better than the tripe fast food chains shove down my throat. I don’t use cottonseed oil in my cooking…And why would I? You’re not supposed to eat cotton! Even when I’m cooking a dish with low calories, my ingredients make my meal, usually. Better ingredients make for better cooking.

* Last, but certainly not least, cooking at home is a hell of a lot healthier than fast food! I’d go as far as to say 10 times better. But I’m no scientist and I’ve never studied the subject, so I probably shouldn’t be quoted anywhere for that comment. If anyone has ever seen “Super-Size Me,” they’ll be able to note how many preservatives were in those fries. Also, take a look at nutritional contents next time you go to get fast food…You might just opt for a salad.

There is a major problem with people in the U.S. eating too much at fast food restaurants. Their obvious convenience at the end of a hard working day is most likely to blame for this. I implore anyone that values health – and money, too (that stuff isn’t cheap if you eat it too much) to invest some time looking around online for recipes that are low prep and low maintenance. You’d be surprised how many tasty dishes are healthy, quick and easy!

Easy Seafood Supper Ideas

Having seafood for supper tonight? It doesn’t have to be a chore; here are a few easier recipes.

The easiest seafood recipe there is, oyster stew: A can of oysters with milk added cooked over the stove until brought to a boil and oysters turn gray. Add salt and pepper. Serve with saltines.

Poached fish: use a skillet sprayed with nonstick cooking spray add a tablespoon of butter and heat your butter to a light sizzle. Carefully lay the fish over into the butter and gently slide the pan back and forth very carefully as to not burn yourself or spill the butter on to the heat source. Add about a third cup of cold water to create steam also done very carefully. Add salt, pepper, and lime juice then cover with a lid. Within a minute or two your fish will be done; an easy, low calorie recipe.

Baked fish filets: preheat oven to 350. Spray cooking sheet with nonstick cooking spray. Using either flounder, cod, catfish or any flat fish filet,put them on your cooking sheet and sprinkle with Lawry’s season salt or Old Bay seafood seasoning. Cover the filets with a light coating of bread crumbs then sprinkle with butter or light olive oil. Bake until done about 7 to 11 minutes.

Salmon patties: heat oil for frying in a skillet on medium. Add together one can of salmon, one egg and broken soda crackers in a bowl and mix thoroughly. Mix to a consistency that can be formed into patties.Gently lay them over into the skillet (Never drop any food for frying into hot oil, lay them into the oil).Cook until golden brown and serve with ketchup or cocktail sauce (chili sauce mixed with small amount of horseradish and lemon juice).

Easy seafood salad: Cooked and deveined shrimp, cooked chunk crab, cooked chunk lobster or any of these ingredients by themselves mixed with chopped celery, mayonnaise and seasoning to taste. Other ingredients may include red bell pepper, boiled egg, pasta, pickles that’s all up to you.

Mexican shrimp cocktail: Cooked and deveined shrimp in V8 juice with chopped avocado, cilantro, a celery stick and lime juice served in a tall glass.

There’s always that old stand by for the non-cooking crowd, frozen fish sticks or patties. Even if you consider yourself gourmet, every now and then this quick seafood fix is very satisfying. The key to a satisfying meal of frozen fish is good tartar sauce.

When making good tartar sauce, don’t skimp on the mayonnaise use Hellman’s. Don’t skimp on the pickles use Vlasic dill pickles chopped. A little horseradish is nice but don’t get carried away; add a little, taste it, add more if needed.Mayonnaise at about three tablespoons, add about a half teaspoon pickles, about a pinch of horseradish and little sugar. All this is too your personal taste.

How to Make Good Choices with Fast Food

You know that Fast Food is already unhealthy. But there are many fast food restaurants that are adding more healthy choices to their menu. Let’s take a look at some healthier choices that the bigger chains offer.

McDonalds: Grilled chicken burger(without sauce), Grilled chicken tortilla, green salad, hamburger, skim milk, diet coke, their various salads without the the dressings, turkey sub(without the bacon), and apple slices. Make sure you ask for extra veggies on all burger and sandwhiches. For breakfast lovers, they usually put butter on all the breakfast sandwiches, so ask for NO butter. McDonalds is pretty good at catering to what you’d like in your order.

Wendys: Grilled chicken burger, hamburger, green salad, baked potato with no butter or sour cream, all their salads with no dressings, tangerine cup, skim milk, diet drinks.

Tim Hortons: turkey, ham, sandwiches without sauce, their soups, multigrain bagel with reduced fat cream cheese.

Burger King: Grilled chicken burger(no sauce), green salad, all diet drinks, hamburger but hold the mayo sauce(Burger King is the only fast fooid joint that puts mayo in their burgers!).

Churches chicken: Tandoori chicken, roasted chicken, mexican rice, corn with NO butter.

Subway: turkey, ham, subway club, veggie, grilled chicken sandwich with all the veggies, no sauce and no salt, chicken noodle soup, baked lays chips, diet drinks. Salads with no sauce. You can also subsitute the bun with a wrap to lower the carb content.

Let’s face it, EVERYONE loves fast food regardless. The key is to pick the healthier choices. By reducing salt, sugar and carb content you are already cutting out on alot of empty calories. Make sure you always take out the sauce and add more veggies to everything just so you know you’re at least eating the requirements for the day.

Fast food restaurants aren’t the only place where you can get fast but still healthy food choices. You can also get them in the grocery aisle. Frozen foods, or microwave dinners are the easiest to access in a grocery food chain. But here are some choices that will make your life a little healtier.

Lean Cuisine microwavable dinners: Great choices, real meat, low in fat and calories, fresh looking veggies. Some are high in sodium and sugar content, stay away from any dinners with a ‘honey glazed’ or a ‘sweet n sour’.

Presidents Choice Blue Menu Microwaveable dinners: By far the best selection and tastes the freshest. Real chunky meat and veggies. Awesome variety, low in sodium, calories, sugar but high in taste and fibre! They even have the classics like macoroni and cheese, shepards pie, and butter chicken in low fat version!

Presidents Choice Blue Menu pizzas: Made with whole wheat thin crust, these pizzaz boast nutritional value and taste. Not only low in calories but it’s made with whole wheat which is also high in fibre!

Remember, you don’t have to sacrifice your taste buds for healthy food all the time. It’s okay to cheat and have fast food once in a while. But make that choice worth while by choosing items that are healthier. At the end of the day, your stomach and your health will THANK YOU!

Food Ideas for Tailgate Parties

Hosting tailgate parties can be lots of fun if you want food, convenience, and affordability. By serving easy to eat foods, such as appetizers and miniature versions of dishes, you can have a great tailgate party that won’t break the bank.

Some food ideas for tailgate parties include:

Homemade pizza bites can be easy to make and they keep fresh for several hours. To make pizza bites, you will need some sort of bread as a base. you can buy dough (including dough for crescent rolls, pizza, etc.), or you can make your own. However, to make this tailgate party food easier to make, it’s suggested that you buy the dough instead. Then you can add toppings such as bell peppers, pepperoni, chicken, etc. Perhaps the best part about homemade pizza bites is that they are completely customizable, so you and your friends and family can have fun together before the tailgate party, too.

Buffalo wings are great even though they are a messier finger food. But, because you can make buffalo wings ahead of time, they can be a terrific finger food for tailgate parties. Use smaller sized chicken wings and drumsticks to keep each serving small. Make the buffalo sauce mild so that everyone can enjoy this appetizer. Alternatively, you can keep the buffalo sauce separate from the chicken wings and drumsticks, so that you can make a couple of sauces in differing spiciness.

If you are making blue cheese dressing for the buffalo wings, you might even pack some baby carrots and celery sticks. If you want more vegetable snacks at your next tailgate party, bring baby carrots, celery sticks, cherry tomatoes, sliced cucumbers, etc., as well as a small container of peanut butter and other dips.

Mini sandwiches can be another good addition to your tailgate party. Whole sandwiches might get your guests too full too fast, but miniature sandwiches will leave enough room for the other food. Try cutting the bread into fun shapes if you are having kids at the party. Use cookie cutters to cut both the bread and the cheese/sliced meat. A fun idea would be to keep the sandwich fixings in separate containers so that your guests can put their sandwiches together. Keep the mayonnaise in a separate container and don’t forget to bring the mustard and ketchup.

When you are planning your tailgate party, remember to keep it simple and keep the food convenient and inexpensive. Add a little bit more fun to your party by making the food customizable, too.

Fast Food Restaurants Serving the Unhealthiest Food

“Two all beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onion, on a sesame seed bun,” we’ve all heard that famous Big Mac slogan before. In fact, in the documentary Super Size Me, several women interviewed knew it better than the Pledge of Allegiance. This big burger packs quite a dietary punch 560 calories, and 30 grams of fat. Make that a McMeal with large fries and a Coke, and you’ll come out to 1450 calories and 61 grams of fat. Scrumptious. But it seems that other burger chains just couldn’t go without creating their own mammoth sandwiches, far surpassing this king among meaty delicacies in size and fat.

Want to see something bigger? You needn’t look far just step inside our favorite local Burger King. There you’ll be introduced to the BK Stacker. As the restaurant aptly states, “It’s the flame-broiled meat lover’s burger and it’s here to stay.” Their biggest, the BK Quad Stacker, features four, count em, four burger patties, with a slice of cheese and two strips of bacon between each layer. That’s just over two-thirds of a pound of beef and cheese. It will probably come as no surprise then that the Quad Stacker packs in 1,000 calories with 68g of fat. That’s plenty, especially when you consider that the recommended diet for the average American contains about 2,000 calories and 65g of fat per day. With this slab of meat and cheese, you can reach these milestones in minutes! Believe it or not, that’s not even the biggest BK burger. After reading this, maybe you’ll think twice before eating a Triple Whopper with cheese. It is simply one burger, one pound, 1230 calories, 82g of fat; purely delicious. Make it a meal with large fries and a coke, and you’re just 70 calories short of your recommended limit, without breakfast or dinner. It’s truly amazing what BK has managed to pack into these little beauties. Sure, they taste great, but are you sure that you want that floating around in your arteries?

Of course, faced with the challenge of the Triple Whopper with cheese, where could the fast food industry go but up? Our final trip will take us to the smaller fast food chain of Hardee’s, inside is the emperor of over-sized burgers the Monster Thickburger. Within its buttered sesame seed bun, you’ll find two 1/3 pound slabs of Angus beef, four strips of bacon, three slices of cheese, and of course, mayo. As Hardee’s CEO Andrew Puzder declared, this is “not a burger for tree-huggers.” Not with the heavy artillery in its arsenal 1420 calories, and 107g of fat. No, I don’t think you want fries with that. (Though Hardee’s will include medium fries and a soda for just $1.60 more.)

Just what is it that drives us to consume such unhealthy food? We’re all well aware that too many extra calories mean extra pounds, and in quantities like the Monster Thickburger, that means a whole lot of extra weight. However, that’s the least of our worries. It’s been proven that obesity has been linked to quite a few serious health problems, not the least of them the leading killer in the world, heart disease. Of course, if that doesn’t get to you, you’ll still increase your chances of having a stroke or developing diabetes. The sad truth is too many burgers can actually do that to you.

So why do we continue to subject ourselves to such unhealthy eating habits? The simplest answer is this it just tastes so good. It’s a cheap alternative to healthier dining, and convenient as well. You can have lunch including a main course, side and drink for under $5, and have it ordered and eaten in about ten or fifteen minutes. Don’t even have ten minutes to spare? Two words: Drive-thru. Not to mention it’s easy to access just try to drive five minutes around Fairless Hills without spotting a McDonald’s, Burger King or Wendy’s. Take a look at the alternative, a healthy lunch at a quality restaurant or cafe, say Olive Garden or something similar, will probably set you back a good $8-10, not to mention the tip. It’ll also take a small chunk out of your schedule: at least 45 minutes, if not an hour or more. And of course, healthy food rarely tastes as good as the deep-fried goodness you can get at a local fast food establishment.

The fast food giants really seem to have the perfect weapons at their disposal taste, convenience, and pricing. Maybe that’s why we’re the most obese nation in the world. Cheap, tasty food for heart attacks. That’s the real truth. And all of the Monster Thickburgers out there aren’t doing much to help.

How Batch Cooking can Save Time and Money

Batch cooking is a great tool to save money, save time and offer a family a variety of quick easy meals. Wait, in case there are just two of you in the house, yes, batch cooking works well for even small families. Once you have tried it, you may find that really cooking one day every two weeks pays off in the long run. Batch cooking is done by making several meals or mixes that can be frozen or stored and then heated and served. Creative cooks can make this work in their favor.

Put together a menu. It does not have to be an exact day, but a set of meals. Typically, you would check the sales paper of your local market and take advantage of the items that are on sale to help create your batch cooking items.

For example, if chicken is on sale, buy several. You can cook chicken in the slow cooker while you are busy making other things. When the chicken is done, the stock can be used in recipes, the chicken can be cut up, cooled completely and put in dishes that you are making are in airtight bags for freezing.

Now your menu may include chicken and noodles, Chinese chicken salad, Chicken Alfredo, chicken pot pies and many other chicken dishes. Since chicken can stay frozen up to six months, you don’t have to have chicken every night.

Those who do batch cooking at their best, have a current list of items in the freezer at all times. When something is taken out, it is simply crossed off the list. This way they can see what options are left from weeks before and really capitalize on sales.

If you are make an entire dish like lasagne, for large families make two or three and freeze the extra. If you have a small family, make one large and freeze in portions that will serve you for a meal.

Another fun thing to try with batch cooking is cookie mix. You mix up a big batch of cookie mix which can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge. From this one mix you take out what you need and add the extra ingredients for the type of cookie you want and they are done in a matter of minutes.

It is much easier to enlist the help of family members when you can leave a note that says, “there is a casserole in the fridge. Please heat the oven to 350 degrees and pop it in at 5:00, thanks.”

When you get home, the main dish is cooked, you can make a quick salad and have dinner on the table in a matter of minutes.

You don’t have to do batch cooking alone. Want to have some fun with friends? Get together and make the meals for everyone. Typically each person would be assigned two or three meals. You would meet to assemble them, trade and have a little party. You would be amazed how much money and time you can save with a little preparation and savvy batch cooking.

Dorm Food College Groceries Small Cheap Budget

Going to college is an interesting, exciting, and agonizing time of any person’s life, because he or she is entering the real world of life. So what about things to eat which are economical and easy to prepare when you are on the way, because you are running late for your Biology class which starts in 10 minutes. Here are a few tips for some economical and easy ways to eat on the go.

Depending if you are dorming or living off campus with or without roommates will decide what kind of budget and alternate sources which may or may not be available to you for food and amenities needed to give yourself a satisfactory meal and under a tight budget.

Dorming: Need more shelf life products, canned goods, pre-made meals, and bread. Invest in a small refrigerator. Splitting the costs with your roommate will give you some benefit. Both of you can benefit from the little refer. Join together and buy the essentials you will both need daily, a can opener, plastic utensils, gallon ziploc size bags, quart ziploc size bags, medium sized glad-ware, bonus size condiments (ketchup, soy sauce, small tub of margarine, mustard, pepper, salt, and mayonnaise more economical), and paper products. Small pots, fry pan, and a hot single stove is another thing worth purchasing. Dorm areas at times will have a small area with a microwave in the area. Store these pots and things in a under bed container, out of the way and organized. Organization is key in keeping things organized and clean where it can be found in a dorm room. Hint: Prepack your utensils, wrap either a spoon, knife, and or fork together with a napkin and rubber band it around. This will save time and effort, once you and your roommate have a stash. This is applicable if you have an insatiable hunger or no meal plan for the college you are attending.

In a standard 14 x 14 dorm room, you will have enough room for two beds, a small closet, two small desks, and two small 3-4 drawer dressers. A mini refrigerator can fit in between the beds, desks, or near the dressers.

Apartment: Anything goes, depending upon your budget and of course space still. If you have a roommate or two, groceries can be split 2-3 ways and cooking too. This way there is a better chance for your budget to last longer and the meals can stretch if everyone pitches in to help the household. The following items are good to have in the household. Can opener, ziploc bags in gallon and quart size, glad-ware, plastic utensils, paper products, and condiments and or seasonings. Other utensils or appliances are optional of course. Toasters, toast ovens, crock pots, tongs, and ladles will greatly depend on budget and space.

Always remember too, you can add more to your meal if you prepare ahead of time.  For example, you get home at 5:30 after your last class or session.  Before you shower or do your normal routine of opening up your laptop, put two eggs in a pot with water and turn on the stove to boil the eggs.  While you are doing your normal regiment, the eggs will be boiling and in no time done so you can make your lunch for the next day.  Whatever happens, preparation is key to the success of having pre-made lunches.

Here is a grocery shopping list to buy whether in a dorm room or not.

*Luncheables are packets of prepacked meats, crackers, cheese, pizza, hot dogs, just about anything you can eat on the go.  The packest are normally on sale for a reasonable price for a person to afford.  Some packs also include a juice pack for you as well.  This is easy, quick, and easy to clean up.

*Chef Boy R Dee (Microwaveable Go canisters) and Campbell Soup to Go ( many variations) – this item already has its own container so no need to pack. The cost of this item ranges from $1.25 each to $3.00 for 3, depending on the sale you may be able to get this item for less.  These helpful, convenient, and cost effective. Pop one in before you go and eat on the way. Another thing to consider is the cost, stores normally have store sales or specials which make the cost lower for you to afford.

*Canned vegetables are easy to heat up and add to any small on the go meal. The cost of this item could be 2 for $0.88 or less, depending on the current sales running in the stores near you or the sales ad in the papers.  Saimin (listed below) boiled and later sauteed in a sliver of margarine. Add a can of sweet peas or corn and pepper. Presto, an easy quick meal to tag along.

*Corned Beef Hash – pack in medium sized gladware or pack as a sandwich in a ziploc bag.

This is a handy dish and not too bad tasting either. Pop a can in and split with your roommate, ready to go hash. You can also if time allows make hash patties to make a sandwich for the next day. The cost of this item ranges from $1.25 to $2.39 each. If you have a wholesale card for a membership store, such as Costco, check out the cost for a case versus each can.

*Loaf of Bread, peanut butter, jelly, sandwich meats, bologne, and sliced cheese of your choice.

This is sandwich heaven here. Prepping and making a sandwich is probably the fastest and easiest of things to do. Spread peanut butter and jelly on to slices of bread and yes, you have a sandwich ready to pack in a ziploc bag. Another is spread some mayo and mustard on two slices of bread and slap on the cheese and meat of choice. Ye ha, you got a ready made meal. If you have enough time to make a grill cheese sandwich. Take two slices of bread, spray non-stick spray on the pan, and start frying. Easy and quick, prep and cook time is 15 minutes or less. Or try a fried bologna sandwich with cheese. Fry the bologna first and fry on the side the two slices of bread. Then add the cheese to one side of the bread and flip the bologna on top of the cheese and other slice of bread. There you go, a fried bologna cheese sandwich, prep time is 25 minutes or less. Depending on how high you set the burner.

The cost for the various items listed above ranges from $1.00 to $4.50, depending on where you are buying your groceries from or sales running. Look if there is a local bread maker near by, which sell loafs of bread in the general stores. The store may contain good deals on bread, $1.25 a loaf of bread.

*Hot Pockets comes in a variety of choices. Heat and serve. Take on the go while running. Roast beef and cheese is great with celery sticks. This item is awesomely priced at Walmart for $0.98 each. Walmart has a selection of the Hot Pockets.

*Pre-cut vegetables namely carrot and celery sticks are an easy snack to pack in a ziploc bag and add to a sandwich meal or snack on in the middle of a waiting time between classes. Normally these are sold in the produce area of a store. The price range for this item ranges from $1.75 to $2.50.

*Dinty Moore and other brands have ready made meals in a package. Stew, turkey and stuffing, pot roast and vegetables are just a few. Heat and serve. Take a pre-packed fork, spoon, or knife kit and eat on the go. The wonderful thing is this will be a full meal and satisfy your hunger while on a tight budget. The cost of this meal ranges from $1.50 to $2.50.

*Michelina’s or Lean Cuisine Frozen Entree’s. These handy meals in a box are microwaveable and can be easily transported either in the same container or another small gladware container with a pre-packed utensil kit. Michelina’s and Lean Cuisine may sound expensive, but this is not so. These frozen meals go on sale at least once a month for about 2 for $3.00 or 4 for $6.00. This depends on the store and the time of the sales.

*Tuna on the go packets, come in a variety with crackers or bread. Mix in the packet and enjoy. This is a handy snack or meal in a package and the cost ranges from $1.50 to $2.50 at the most.

*Saimin and Noodle packages from Somen or Noha has different varieties of saimin packages which you can add water, add soup base and season packet from package and microwave for 4-5 minutes depending on the brand and type of ramen package. Ready to eat after that, just use a pre-packed utensil set or chopsticks if you have them. The cost of this item ranges from $0.33 each to $5.00 for 24 count. Walmart always has a good sale and selection of saimin. Also check your local stores, Longs or CVS will have good sales on saimin.

*Miso soup, is another type of soup which is also easy to prepare and eat. Brands such as Nihon can be found in the oriental section of the grocery store. Miso soup is great for the cold days or mornings, especially if you are coming down with a cold. Depending if the store you shop at has an oriental section, will decide on the cost. The cost of this item ranges from $2.50 to $5.00, depending on where you buy the product from and the quantity in the package.

*Eggs is perfect, get a dozen or a six pack. Boil to make egg sandwiches, fry to make fried egg sandwiches, or boil eggs and eat just like that with some salt and pepper. The cost range of the eggs varies on the market and current ads running in the sales newspapers.

*Fruit cups are easy to chill, carry, and devour. Pickup your favorite fruit cups from the grocery store. A variety of pineapple, peaches, apples, and fruit cocktail are available for purchase.  Pickup a pack and go.

*Cheese & Macaroni in a cup to go. If you have a wholesale membership at a Costco or Sams Club, you can pickup a case for a minimal amount of $10 and under.  Simply pop the lid of the microwaveable cup, add water, and microwave for the set time needed to cook. Quick, easy, and no clean up required.

*Snacks are a great filler, Sunchips, Pretzels, crackers, Smart popcorn, and other healthier options will suppress the hunger for now or add a bonus to a soup or sandwich meal. The cost ranges from $0.99 and up, depending on the quantity, packaging, and where you purchase these products.

The Frequency of take out Food in Todays Society

I have an interesting spin on this issue. When I was growing up… My mother made very delicious meals. My grandfather made delicious meals, as well. My mother was taught how to cook by my grandfather and enjoyed it. However, she never passed this important piece of adulthood knowledge to ANY of her offspring… With the exceptions of cakes and chocolate chip cookies.

I enjoy cooking… However, I’m not all that experienced with it. I started teaching myself how to cook when I became pregnant with my first child because eating healthy became very important to me. I noticed that it was increasingly difficult to cook when I was tired… But instead of always opting for fast food… I developed cheat methods to make cooking easier-like boiling veggies and pasta together (to save dishes needed to cook later), making many of my pasta dishes more like stove top casseroles. I also find that I think a lot differently from the average person. I’ve been told I think outside the box… But then, again, I also HAD to because for a few years there, I only made $6k. That’s right!

I think your average person might benefit from being severely poor. If you have a TOTAL of $200 to spend on food in a month… You don’t have the luxury of restaurants of any kind. Not even fast food. We used the dollar menu like a special treat. It wasn’t very often, either.

It may have been very different if I didn’t care about my family’s health, had more money, and didn’t know how to cook. I’d be willing to bet I’d be one of those fast-food junkies. It’s easier, faster, and makes for happier kids because they get to have whatever they want.

Well-my kids are skinny. Not too skinny… Just not overweight. Do you how strange that is, these days? Most kids are fat. So are most parents. I’m actually on the pudgy side… But it doesn’t TOUCH the rears of the people I see walking down the street. And hey, I can still WALK, even. I go to the gym. That’s right-I USE my membership-am physically able to go and work out at the gym on a regular basis!

I highly doubt that the frequency of dining out will decrease. I know people that eat crap every night. Either fast food, tv dinners, or ramen.

Just think about how much better the world would FEEL if we didn’t rely so heavily on fast food. We could spend quality time with our children teaching them how to cook-preparing them for adulthood.

Think about how much patience your children would have waiting for their dinner, knowing that a good meal takes time. They’d be less selfish because they would see how hard you worked on their dinner.

Think about how much cheaper healthcare would be if so many people weren’t getting gastric by-pass surgeries on the insurance dollar or from medicare.

Think about how much savings we’d have from spending less on food and devoting more money to our futures.

And also-think about how it USED to be… Wasn’t it SO MUCH NICER to live when we were kids?