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Millennial Mindfulness, Eating Healthy on a Budget

I know, I know you don't have time to cook, just grab takeout. It'll do, you're young; you're healthy. Besides, restaurant food tastes so good. I'd rather splurge and save elsewhere. But most restaurant food isn't that healthy.

Why is that? First, there's a scarcity of fruits and vegetables. Fruits and vegetables supply vitamins, minerals, and fiber, (eliminating constipation). That's why vegetarians brag about their health, (a moot point-but the eating vegetables part is real).

Secondly, you don't know what you're getting. Are they cooking food in trans-fats, or using old meat or questionable ingredients? The Center for Disease Control, (a government agency), estimates that 1 in 6 people gets food poisoning annually. It's either from bad food or the people handling it.

So what's a millennial to do, given little time or inclination to cook? You have 2 choices, find healthier takeout, or learn basic cooking skills. If you're not looking to become a chef, it's easier than you think.

To start, you need to understand nutrition. Our bodies require proteins (meats, dairy, eggs, nuts, legumes), some starches (grains, root vegetables, corn, seeds), fruits and vegetables (particularly leafy greens), and good fats (from coconuts, olives, avocados or butter). That's it. Take 1 food from each group for every meal, (2 or 3 for fruits and vegetables-they're watery).

Let's put together a meal. Breakfast- eggs scrambled, fried, or a simple omelet. Or make grilled cheese, yogurt, or a nuts and fruit medley. Take these on the go as hard boiled eggs, cheese sandwiches, or trail mix. That's all you need for protein and oils.

Next, ensure your starches count. Empty calories make you fat or give you diabetes. Eat whole grains, sweet potatoes, beans etc.

Fruits and vegetables can be eaten raw. Fresh fruit, organic carrots and celery, outdo retail depleted juices anytime.

Lunch is like dinner, except maybe taking it to work or school. Grocery stores carry whole cooked chickens, or bring eggs, cheese, nuts, or a salad with these ingredients.. Add fruit, organic carrots/celery/cut vegetables, and eat them with hummus or dip. Just avoid processed meat, which contains nitrite preservatives.Takeout Times Portland

For supper, if home, use a crockpot. Meat and/or vegetables with stock, gives you stews or soups - and leftovers for days.

Vegetables, frozen peas, broccoli/cauliflower, asparagus steamed, are a snap. Top them with butter, shredded cheese, oils, salt and pepper and voila you're done.

Finally the challenge, salads, (scarce in American diets), which take time to prepare, washing and chopping. Spinach, romaine and dark green vegetables contain more nutrients, than almost anything else. They fire chemical reactions, that digest food, keep the heart beating, muscles functioning and bones strong. They provide true health insurance. Yes, it's expensive and a hassle making homemade organic salads. But you after you've done it awhile it becomes automatic.

So when thinking about eating, millennial, choose mindfully. There's a time to eat out, (special occasions, intricate meals), but mostly you can do better eating from home. Healthier and cheaper, weigh the benefits of the experience. I'm saving money this way for my trip to Alaska!

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