Saturday, April 28, 2012

Fast Food Blockout

Fast food. You can find it just about anywhere. Within a mile of my home, there are at least 6 fast food establishments and that does not include the pizza places. They are becoming so convenient that 2 of those fast food places are attached to gas station convenient stores. You can get over price gas and under priced food (are they really under priced...see below) all in one place....and they even have drive thrus. Let's face it...you are out running errands and spending time with the family and it's lunch time. You do not want to spend the time or money to go to a nice, sit down restaurant, so you decide to drive thru Wendy's and get a couple burgers, french fries and some soda. You can sit in your car and eat as you go to your next destination. The problem is the sacrifices you make in doing that. Oh sure, it's cheap if you stick to the dollar menu (which is one of the reasons obesity is such a problem today). But, what're you doing when you grab that oily, salty, perservative heavy lunch and sit in a car to eat? What about that sugar filled, bubbly soda (and don't think it is all that much better when there is a diet soda in that cup, cause it isn't)? What is that doing to your body? Your kid's body? Now, don't get me wrong...this is a trap we (our own family) falls into just about every weekend. Here's the thing...I HATE fast food. The THOUGHT of eating a McDonald's burger or a Wendy's chicken sandwich fills me with dread and makes my stomach turn...I am not much of a soda drinker...I don't like fries. Even worse...my kids and husband LOVE this food which aches my heart (well, Sierra is beginning to not like it much). But, we are, more often than not, out most of Saturday and Sunday and we fall into the trap. Recently, we decided to be proactive with our Sundays...have a plan in place for lunch for after church...a lunch we would make at home. This was all well and good, but then Matt and Daniel will go grocery shopping on Sunday afternoons....giving me HOURS of quiet time (Sierra will spend the afternoon in her room getting caught up on school)...but then they would need to pick something up for dinner because they are gone so long(TRAP). Last weekend we went to a fast food place we hate the MOST...because Matt heard about something they had and wanted to try it...so, we went to Burger King. First of all, for just a few dollars more, we could eat much better somewhere else. We figured it out...we could have gone to Subway for about $3 more or even Jason's Deli (salad bar...YUM) for just $5-7 more. It is not as cheap as one would think. Secondly, we all came away feeling kind of gross. Sierra and I had tummy aches from onion rings and chicken strips. Ok...well, Matt didn't hurt (he has grown up on this junk) and Daniel loves it and is on the same path as Matt. BUT, I reiterate the heart issue. Matt and I were pretty disgusted, though, with how much money we spent and what we got for the money we spent. As much as Matt likes fast food, he recognizes quality food and prefers to pay what things are worth and that meal was NOT worth what we paid for it. I think fast food places have brain washed us into believing they are cheap. Sure, they have dollar menus, but the choices are limited, the dollar menus are shrinking in variety or are rising in prices making them value menus instead of dollar menus. They slowly bring us in and than when we are addicted, we don't realize that we are eating this incredibly bad food at the expense of our bodies and wallets. Even the salads at these places are ridiculous. It has been shown that their caloric count is higher than one would think and their prices are OUTRAGEOUS. I recently found out that most spray their veggies with this preservative to make them look better and last longer...gross. For about the same price, you can go to Jason's Deli...build your own salad from their salad bar which has organic veggies on it as well as a wide varieties of toppings. Matt and I sat and compared our bill from Burger King with our recent bills from other establishments and we were astonished. That same day, I started to formulate a plan...Operation Fast Food Blockout. First of all, no more of this being caught out doing things and feeling like our only option is a drive-thru. From now on, we would have breakfast and lunch at home and than leave to do our fun things. Today, for instance, I have all the makings for us to have yummy, deli style turkey sandwiches (which we will also have after church tomorrow) and than we are going to head down to Downtown Houston to sight see with the kids. Secondly, none of this...it's getting too late to cook on the weekends. This morning, since we are not rushing out early, Matt is grilling chicken for dinner. When we get home, I just boil some pasta, prepare the sauce, and add the chicken. Easy, no excuses. Same with tomorrow. I have planned the meal and gotten the supplies ahead of time. Will we have a complete blackout of fast food...it's unrealistic....at first. My ultimate goal is NO MORE FAST FOOD, but it has to be done in steps. By next weekend, we will have had 2 weeks without fast food...however, next weekend is a VERY busy weekend that may make it unavoidable. Or maybe it is just a new challenge...how to avoid it on even the busiest of weekends. Fact is, today I can say with certainty that there will be NO fast food and that makes me happy. I may have to endure some grumbles from a certain 7 year old, but that's ok. And, here is a graphic chart that shows how many calories you get per dollar spent at some of these fast food establishment.

1 comments:

cooperadventures said...

Good for you, Sandra. We don't get fast food much, it is more expensive here. But still cheap compared to sit down restaurants. I agree, the key is in the planning ahead.