Eating Out or on the Run?
Eating meals out was not so long ago a rare treat. Almost no one went to restaurants on a regular basis or brought home take-out food. Fast forward to today, where over half of our daily calories are consumed away from home – each and every day. Eating out or take-out is so common that many people have filled the time that would have been spent on cooking with other obligations. They now have no space left in their day to prepare meals.
Now, I know that many of you reading this have adopted better nutritional practices. However, I feel it’s still pretty common to have packed schedules and over-rely on eating out. If you want to achieve optimal health and/or performance, you may want to reconsider how often you eat away from home.
Remember that the number one goal of any restaurant is to be profitable. Restaurants want their food to be tasty and frequently add extra salt or sugar to the food. Most restaurants will not afford the time or cost to make meals with fresh ingredients or healthy fats. Staples in restaurant food, such as corn, potatoes, and tomatoes are highly likely to be genetically modified. Any meat you order will be conventionally raised. (think feedlot animals, antibiotics, etc) Unless your favorite restaurant expressly advertises organic foods, what cooking oils they use, etc – you are very likely consuming some stuff you wouldn’t choose to at home. (thankfully, here in Portland we do have many places that offer quality food)
I’ve covered how to make better choices when eating out several times before, so I won’t go into that here. Remember that we are ultimately looking to achieve a healthy life balance if our goal is wellness and improved recovery. Eating out can have relaxation and social benefits that make it healthy, especially if you make good food choices. However, if you are eating out because you have no time to prepare meals, or are simply too tired to cook, then I’d highly suggest re-prioritizing your day to take better care of yourself.
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