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Eating Out – The Processed Food Questions

August 3, 2012

So you’re making at attempt to cut out your processed food selections. What you choose at home is relatively easy, but what about going out?

Relatives come into town and a young family member just *has* to go to their favorite fast food restaurant. Or you’re meeting co-workers for a meeting, or a club meets at a restaurant. What to do?

Have a plan! Perhaps you’ll want to have a snack and water. Perhaps you’ll choose the healthiest options from the available menu. Perhaps you’ll decide that an occasional consumption of fast food isn’t the end of the world, providing that it is occasional and that the rest of the time you stick to plan.

There’s no hard and fast rule here – everyone has different weaknesses and temptations. Everyone has a different way to apply what is right for you. But whatever that is, it will be easier if you have a plan. Consider it a policy for eating out. What is your policy?

I doubt that there’s anyone out there today who doesn’t realize that fast food isn’t health food! It’s convenient, prepared and served quickly and a relatively low cost, depending on the restaurant.

Personally, for me McDonald’s is “survival food”. That is, we’re on the road and on a budget – it’s the same everywhere, near the interstates so stop in, grab and go. It’s not meant to be high nutrition, although the relevance to quality nutrition is debatable. However, they are consistent and convenient. Once or twice per year isn’t going to send me to the hospital. Three times a day – probably not a good choice for most folks!

If a choice I, personally, choose another restaurant. Connor likes Burger King, which is an option a few times per year.

Avoiding or cutting down on processed food is probably a good thing for many. It’s not “poison” but if you have options, there’s very likely healthier ones! Still, an occasional meal out probably isn’t the end of the world. Have your options, the ‘policy’ of what you can and can’t do. (No hot fudge sundae but fries ok, or small burger or salad with water or milk – whatever your choices.)

Don’t get so wrapped up in dread you ignore your company or  family that’s with you – it might make their day to share a meal with you, even if it’s fast food.

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