Resist Fast Food & Cook at Home

Matt Maras

*Articles reflect the views of the author and or those quoted and do not necessarily represent the views of CCBC or The CCBC Connection.

Followed closely behind the air we breathe, the food we eat (our diet) is overlooked by many individuals despite the important role it plays in healthy living.  If saving money and eating better are on the agenda, preparing meals at home is an easy solution with countless benefits.

Cheap, easy, and fast is too often the name of the game for food standards.  This poorly set norm is evident by the abundance of McDonald’s restaurants and comparable eateries all across the world.  Despite the convenience of eating out, preparing one’s own food can be healthier, cheaper, and more rewarding than “fast food,” without causing too much inconvenience.

The beauty, in preparing one’s own food, is the ability to pick and choose exactly what is to be eaten.  Recipes can be simple or challenging, and most importantly, catered to one’s favorite tastes.  Not every meal or snack needs to be a course that the world’s meanest chef, Gordon Ramsey, would approve.

Considering that eating is done several times a day, and that not everyone has the time to devote to complex recipes, the act of preparing food at home can be viewed as an enjoyable hobby with a practical purpose.

Creating meals at home, which require more than boiling water or that do not come in a box might seem to be a daunting task.  Luckily, many healthy foods are actually simple and easy to prepare.  For those diving into home cooking for the first time, "superfoods," or foods densely packed with nutrients, are an ideal place to begin the search for new recipe ingredients.

A list of 50 superfoods, compiled by Guidedoc.com, highlights common foods, such as apples, pineapples, and almonds as superior snacking foods.

Breakfast superfoods on the list, include: yogurt, oatmeal, and a variety of fruits.

Lunch and dinner superfoods consist of suggestions, such as spinach, tomatoes, broccoli, salmon, and chicken.  Many of these foods can be eaten separately, or combined to make healthy meal options with the aid of recipes found in health conscious recipe guides or online at websites, such as Goodcheapeats.com. 

When in doubt, foods that are not processed, are natural, or are the classics such as fruits and vegetables will be the healthiest of all.  Although some people go overboard with eating healthy, there is no set rules, and catering a diet to an individual’s needs and pallet is a bonus of making food at home.

Although the general public is bombarded with campaigns to eat healthy, thoughts of salads and vegetables that we were forced to eat as children, usually come to mind.  Salad and greens may not be everyone’s favorite foods, but a benefit of preparing meals at home is the wide variety of dishes and endless meal choices that one can make.  Many favorite dishes found at restaurants can be made at home with healthier options and without tasting like cardboard.  A simple place to start is substituting butter with olive oil.

It is said that a habit can be broken or formed in six weeks and that hobbies last a lifetime.  Based on those two sayings, one might therefore conclude that if people could commit to a six week challenge of researching, preparing, and eating healthy meals at home, the very same would be gaining a life-long hobby.

14 comments

  1. Jordan Johnson 15 March, 2019 at 13:13 Reply

    I agree with most of this article.I do think it is not exactly cheaper to eat healthy when a burger at McDonald’s cost less than a bag of veggies. I do think in America particularly that this is one of the main reasons that we have an obesity problem. Instead of worrying about dumb walls the president needs to address this issue that is slowly killing the country.

  2. Kailea 17 March, 2019 at 13:43 Reply

    Even though it might be tempting to go to McDonald’s or Chick fil A, it’s good to make sure that you eat healthy and be conscious of how much your spending on your food. It’s really hard giving up fast food for some people because it’s cheap and convenient, but there are more pro’s than con’s to making meals at home. Making your meals at home is nutritional, cheaper, and practical. Having a budget so you know how much you want to spend on groceries is definitely a good strategy to implement. If you think about it there are so many choices as to how you want to make your meals the way you like them. For example, a good dinner choice would be salmon and some grilled seasoned peppers. This is a healthy meal filled with protein and nutrients, you can also choose to give your vegetables some flavor by adding seasonings. I think it’s good to recognize that preparing your own meals can be a hobby. I love cooking at home because I’m a foodie and I love trying new foods both healthy and non- healthy. Cooking is very therapeutic for me it helps me relax.

  3. Janae Morris 17 March, 2019 at 23:44 Reply

    After reading this article I can’t say I’m not inspired to go out and try to eat a little healthier. I do however, work at chick-fil-a which makes it harder to justify me paying more for fewer groceries. Though there are other options and different steps I could take to change my eating patterns. This was a great article and it raised somethings to my attention, I will be doing more research on this topic.

  4. Alyssa Gladden 6 May, 2019 at 17:57 Reply

    I agree with the articles opinions. I personally love to cook and do it frequently. I didn’t realize till after reading this all the health benefits that goes along with it as well. Not only can you customize your food to reflect your personal taste but you also know exactly what’s in your food.

  5. Melanie Goetzinger 8 May, 2019 at 22:40 Reply

    I agree with is article. I try to eat healthy but its hard. I don’t like many food groups, for example the only protein I like is chicken, I don’t like vegetables and only a few fruits. I try not to eat out but it is just so much faster, but money adds up so I have stopped. I don’t know how to cook and I don’t have any interest in it so that also makes it harder. I also have a fast metabolism so I don’t have to worry but that wont last forever so I will have to figure something out. I think if there are so many fast food restaurants arising we need to make them with healthy ingredients.

  6. Juliana Plugues 9 May, 2019 at 14:13 Reply

    I like the twist on seeing clean eating as a hobby instead of another obligation. When we begin to enjoy the things we do and view them as steps towards self-discovery, we revolutionize our life experience. As students, our tasks lists can run as long as my Walgreens receipt. It helps to implement new mindsets on tasks so that they become less of a “task” and more of an enjoyable experience.

  7. Norman Wheeler 11 May, 2019 at 18:27 Reply

    I do think this article brings up a lot of good points about eating healthy. Yes, I do believe eating healthy is more expensive. I also believe that there are ways around the cost. Many of these super foods you can find not just at your local big name food stores, but also the little name food stores. Furthermore, depending on where you live, you can find a lot of these super foods on the side of the road at stands.

  8. Mackenzie Weinapple 11 May, 2019 at 19:43 Reply

    I really enjoyed reading your article, I’m about to be moving to into my own place. So, going out is going to get way too expensive all the time. I definitely think cooking at home is a lot better anyways, since you know exactly what you’re making and you can make it super healthy. it’s nice being able to just customize whatever you want to eat.

  9. Rakeem Bowdry 12 May, 2019 at 21:26 Reply

    It seems as if prices or getting expensive for everything now. It’s been a while since I have eaten any fast food. It’s not like I cannot afford it, but I rather save the money when I can make my own food at home. For instance, I haven’t eaten McDonald’s in so long because I enjoy making my own burgers with ground beef or ground turkey in my freezer. I sliced my own potatoes to make french fries.

    I’m still incredulous about how expensive it is to eat healthy and organic foods. Most people would be better off gardening and cropping their own Foods. Love the article!

  10. Madison Hill 13 May, 2019 at 09:09 Reply

    Cooking at home is so such a fun a rewarding task! I love to cook honestly cooking has become one on my “to good of a excuse to ignore” when is comes to procrastinating.

  11. Joe 17 May, 2019 at 02:45 Reply

    Eating at home versus eating fast food is already a step up. If you follow this article and make meal prepping a weekly hobby then you’re making a great decision. Fast food is convenient but eating at home can be just as easy if you set one day to prep meals for a few hours. Fast food is processed and unhealthy while making meals at home is much healthier and organic. Cooking is also a great skill to have because it is so useful, great article and well put!

  12. Marquet Grant 11 July, 2019 at 20:50 Reply

    I love to eat out, and try different foods at different restaurants. With such a busy life it’s so much easier, to eat out rather than cooking at home However, it is more healthier to cook your meals at home. You can prepare them in a more healthier way, such as substituting butter with olive oil as the article stated. It’s cheaper to cook at home, and often depending on the restaurant that you eat at you can buy at least 2 meals for the price that you would spend when you take your family out to eat. Depending on the many food choices that are available today such as organic foods. Sometimes cooking at home can be expensive as well. Nevertheless it is healthier to prepare your food at home. It will be cooked to your taste, cost effective, and healthier.

  13. Kennedey 12 July, 2019 at 02:07 Reply

    Taking the time to prepare your own meal will be beneficial in the long run. Even though access to fast food is easy it is also hurting your health. The ingredients that fat food restaurants use for your food aren’t as fresh as the ingredients that you will use at home. Also at fast food restaurants you don’t know who is handling your food so it could be coming from anywhere. Making your own meals will keep a lot of money saved in your pocket. Making a home cooked meal could last for a few days, eating fast food will last for 10 minutes and probably wont fill you up.

  14. Shivam Rajput 12 July, 2019 at 14:58 Reply

    Matt,
    As a college student who is a gym rat, this post resonates deeply. Meal prepping has become such a trend and not only it is more affordable, but you can customize your food whichever way you prefer and make it healthier and tastier. I admit when I first started college, I was drawn into the fast food options due to convenience. You leave class hungry and walk past and smell the fried foods; of course, one will be drawn towards it. But at the end of the day, the choice resides with either caring your health and quality of life, or convenience. I feel as if people make eating healthier harder than it needs to be. There are always more affordable places and stores to get foods from, but it just involved a bit of research.

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