Eat In, Stay in Shape
Ask my girlfriend and she’ll tell you I’m anything but a chef. I have a hard time frying bacon in the morning without scorching the pan and smoking up the entire kitchen. Despite my lack of culinary skills, however, I still try my damndest to eat meals at home as often as possible. Not only does eating in leave me with more money to spend on necessities (e.g. “Mad Men” DVD’s, Prince records); it keeps me from turning into a gelatinous blob.
With Memorial Day unofficially kicking off summer, there’s no time like now than to eat healthy. Do you want to chill at the beach with a gut made possible by mozzarella sticks? Looking forward to showing off fat rolls courtesy of Burger King and Wendy’s? If not, consider cooking healthy meals at home.
According to a study conducted by the Rand Corporation, 96% of main entrées sold by the top chain restaurants in the country exceed daily limits for calories, fat, sodium and saturated fat recommended by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Appetizers are even worse, averaging at 813 calories. Those bacon and cheese-covered fries (around my town, they’re appropriately known as Monster Fries) are not doing your body any good.
Another study, published in Cambridge University’s Public Health Nutrition Journal, found that people who eat a home-cooked meal at least five times a week live longer than those that eat out regularly. It might be hit up Buffalo Wild Wings three times a week, but chances are you’ll miss out on some seriously sick shuffleboard games when and if you reach your senior years.
Considering the results of both studies, what would compel you to eat out all the time? Unless you think love handles are attractive and/or you have a death wish, there’s no reason to eat restaurant slop as often as most Americans do.
If you’re someone who’s got more experience eating Whoppers than cooking meals at home, fear not. You don’t have to be Bobby Flay or Guy Fieri to get it right (in fact, you probably wouldn’t want to eat half the stuff Guy cooks anyway.) All it takes is the right ingredients and a little bit of patience. Besides, cooking your own food is a lot more exciting than sitting in some restaurant booth talking bullshit while you’re waiting for a Blooming Onion to arrive.
Not quite sure what to eat? You can’t go wrong with protein-rich foods like chicken, turkey, fish, eggs, etc. Considering that it’s summer, why not whip up a salad and toss in a few strips of chicken breast? If that’s not your speed, throw some protein powder in a blender with some ice, banana and peanut butter and you’ve got a protein-loaded meal that hits the spot on scorching summer days.
Before you go out to Pizzeria Uno again this week, consider staying in and cooking your own meal. You’ll not only improve your chances of looking good at the beach this summer, but you just might live long enough to experience the robot takeover of 2055.
About John Brhel John Brhel is a freelance writer from upstate New York that enjoys picking apart life's idiosyncrasies and listening to Huey Lewis & the News.