Eating Badly vs. Not Eating?
To be completely honest, money tends to get tight at the end of the month. Since I'm a Senior in High School, my parents are completely in control of what we are gonna have for dinner. This can mean a big challenge for me.
So lets say, it's the end of the month and my parents are running short on money. I don't have enough gas to go anywhere so I have to eat whatever they bring home. So they get some Chinese food or McDonalds. Is it better for me to eat some of this unhealthy food, or to just skip the meal?
A few thoughts, depending on how much flexibility you have.
*I don't eat at McDonald's, so I don't know how much it costs these days, but I do buy Chinese occasionally. I find it really hard to believe that there aren't some cheaper options that you can make at home that would be healthier. For example: a box of whole wheat pasta on sale is a dollar, and so is a big can of whole or crushed tomatoes (28 oz on sale). A pound of ground beef (if you can't afford the super lean cut, get regular, cook it, drain in a colander, and rinse it...significantly reduces the fat content). Add a salad. That's probably about $2.00 a serving max...can you eat for that at McD's? I know Chinese isn't that cheap! Also, breakfast for dinner. Or buy a whole chicken, cook it into stock, shred it, add veggies and maybe some rice or pasta, and there's soup. It takes thought, but money being tight in and of itself isn't an excuse for not eating better.
*If you have to go the take out food option, peruse the web to find what you can order that would be least bad for you. Some stuff is healthier than other stuff and it's easy to find on the internet (McD's nutrition information spreadsheet, Google "healthiest things on a Chinese menu" or "worst Chinese foods for diet" so you know what to avoid).
*If you can't choose your order, eat a small bit of what they bring home and augment it with something healthier you already have at home (rice-preferably brown, veggies, fruit).
*I personally don't believe it's good to not eat. It can disrupt your metabolism and lead to uncontrolled eating (and poor choices) later. Each of us has to put together a "game plan" of go-to dishes for various situations. Everyone has roadblocks to being successful. You just have to identify yours, take responsibility for your health, and put some thought and planning into the process. Usually then an answer will surface.
*You can always offer to help your parents in terms of getting/preparing/planning dinner, and then maybe they would be more receptive to doing things in a way that fits with your nutritional goals.
When we eat out it's because it's been a long day and I don't feel like cooking. I have a Senior in High School, I would love for him to plan and help make a meal or two. I ask him for meal ideas but am lucky if I get one out of him. Maybe it would help you and who ever cooks at your house if you offered ideas and to help cook. I know I would be very thankful if someone in my house would do that.
So like Cassie said above give it some thought and plan ahead. It might work out good for you and your family :) win win
Thanks for all the ideas and input. My parents are going to start just allotting me an amount of money per month for food. This way I can plan and buy all of my meals.
Rather than use the extra cash to buy your meals, you would be much better off now and better prepared for the future if you buy foods uncooked and prepare your own meal. You are able to control how much fat, salt and and other bad stuff goes in when you do it yourself. And there are tons of very fast recipes all over the internet. Try to cook at least 1-2 meals a week to start.
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