Diet Box Foods...Nope, I'd Rather Cook My Own, Thank You Very Much
Okay, so most folks have tried frozen Lean Cuisine’s, Weight Watchers, Atkins or some other low-cal, low-carb, low-taste frozen meal and thought, “Why am I eating this stuff? It tastes like wet cardboard and there’s not even enough food in this thing to feed a starving grasshopper.” So why do we do it? Maybe because we can’t cook. Yeah, some folks just need to admit they can’t cook. Look at my grand-mother, she cooks frozen spinach and it tastes like water. How? Don’t ask me, I’ve been telling her about this for over 20-years and she still thinks she can cook frozen spinach and it doesn’t taste like water.
Maybe it’s because we just don’t have enough time to make a healthy meal everyday of the week. Let’s be real, most folks work 40+ hours nowadays and with kids and after school activities you’re lucky to eat a bowl of cereal in the evenings. It could be because making healthy meals all week can cost more than a Fish-Fillet sandwich at McDonalds. Why is that? Why is the fat, greasy, nasty crap always cheaper than something that won’t cause an aneurism or heart attack within 10-minutes of eating it?
Is this why people turn to these gross box meals? You tell me…have you tried this stuff? Do you think it tastes better than what you can make? Do you really think it’s healthier?
I can cook. Grant it, I ain’t no Pioneer Woman, Nadia G or Emeril, but I can cook. And yes, I’ve tried these cardboard meals thinking, “these should be healthy, that’s what the box says and I don’t have time to make a healthy meal everyday and let alone waste the extra money on all the ingredients as well”. So what have I done, I’ve put my big-girl panties on and done what I’m supposed to do. I look for coupons and store deals, find substitutions in recipes and cook a real meal. No matter how big or small the meal is, I cook it. I make sure it’s healthy. Hey, now I’m not weighing food or counting calories on every ingredient, I’m just using good old common sense.
Instead of using 20-sticks of butter like Paula Deen wants in a recipe, I use a ¼ of a stick. Instead of heavy cream I use whole milk. Instead of salt I use a dash of soy sauce or omit the salt all together (if possible, that only works for some recipes). I think once people slow down and realize that...
4 oz whole wheat capellini or angel hair pasta
3 oz dry-packed sun-dried tomatoes
1 1/2 Tbsp olive oil
8 oz chicken breast tenderloins, cut into bite-size pieces
1/8 tsp salt
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4-1/2 tsp red-pepper flakes
1/4 c sliced fresh basil
1/2 c pine nuts, toasted
can taste better than a greasy burger that gives you the runs (or the complete opposite) and will actually help you in the long run they’ll start cooking that way. At least most of the time.
Now, I’m not saying death to pizza or anything else that’s just great tasting…I’d be a hypocrite b/c I just had Little Caesar’s last night. What I’m trying to say is there must be balance. Don’t eat the whole pizza (yeah, some folks do that…I did it as a kid), eat 2 or even three slices with a gargantuan (I love that word) salad with a ton of water (I suggest eating the salad and drinking water first or at least most of it before taking a bite of pizza, that can off-set the amount of pizza you engorge during the whole dinner, at least that works for me). Then, for the rest of the week eat right, eat better. Have a salad every day. Fill your plate with fruits, veggies and lean proteins, more veggies though. Eat yogurt with granola, drink a ton of water or naturally flavored water (like a sassy water).
2 liters water (about 8 ½ cups)
1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
1 medium cucumber, peeled and thinly sliced
1 medium lemon, thinly sliced
12 small spearmint leaves