Menu Monday: “Fast Food” Favorites

12 Nov

Every Thursday on his way home from work, JC listens to a radio show called “Who You Crappin?” – I think he loves few things more in this world. Basically listeners call in to give their “crap”, or in other words call BS on someone or something that completely contradicts itself. It all started with Coach Mike Ditka of none other than Da Bears, so how can you not like it?

Now I can’t hear the phrase “calling BS” on someone or something without thinking of Da Coach and my husband’s radio passions.

I’m 12 days late, but I’ve decided to participate in a “30 posts in 30 days challenge” in honor of National Health Blog Post month (Who knew?) I’ll continue into December to hit my 30, but I’m picking up on Day 12.

When I saw today’s prompt, “Call BS on something that is just ridiculous”, my mind instantly blurted out, “Who you crappin’?!”

Today I have to crap conventional pre-packaged frozen meals (the likes of Lean Cuisine, Smart Ones, etc, I’m looking at you.)

Back in college when I first enrolled in Weight Watchers, I definitely leaned upon these freezer meals at least a couple of times a week. After all, they tasted great, quickly and easily heated up in my microwave, and of course were low in calories. It seemed most people at my WW meetings ate them regularly with much success.

I see a lot of folks I care about at work turning to similar meals at lunch time, usually accompanied by intentions to eat “eat healthier.”

Now I don’t mean to bash anyone here, but I find the products these companies push out to be completely deceptive and downright irresponsible. If you visit their websites or simply read their packaging, you’ll be inundated by claim after claim that these products are healthy.

I started browsing some conventional frozen products and was especially intrigued by a line of products touting itself as “the lighter side”, even going as far as to use words such as “fresh veggies”, “no preservatives” and “whole grains”. Words that these companies know make consumers say, “this is healthy!”

Meanwhile, the ingredient lists are horrifying. Check out this labeling for Thai Chicken with Noodles:

Modified tapioca starch? Corn syrup solids? Modified cornstarch (essentially engineered frankenfood)? Conventional frozen meals, who you crappin’?!

Friends, all quick meals are NOT created equal. My favorites:

  • Trader Joe’s Super Spinach Salad (not a frozen meal obviously, but you will almost always find this is in my fridge!)
  • Amy’s frozen meals, especially low sodium varieties (I recognize EVERY single ingredient! Real food!)
  • Kashi’s Mayan Harvest Bake (Don’t love the ingredients quite as much as Amy’s, but still much better)
  • Chipotle burrito bowl – my go-to fast food. I get a bowl with no rice, black beans, veggies, chicken, a little cheese + guac.

These meals will do the trick when in a pinch, but of course, meal planning a week in advance is my best bet for a successful & healthful week! I do my planning every Sunday, choosing a weekly menu and then making my grocery list from there. Here’s my plan for this week:

  • Monday: Thai with a friend from work (& the Super Spinach Salad above for lunch!)
  • Tuesday: Slow cooker taco soup
  • Wednesday: Dinner with a friend
  • Thursday: Grilled salmon with roasted brussels sprouts and cubed butternut squash
  • Friday: Out to dinner
  • Snacks: pumpkin yogurt from Trader Joe’s (!) and apple slices

We’re headed to Atlanta for Thanksgiving this weekend, so I tried to take it easy on fridge supplies. There’s more “out to eat” this week than normal for me, but believe it or not I still “meal plan” for this instances – I always check out the menu ahead of time and commit to my order so I won’t be moved by hunger pangs at the restaurant.

Moves for the week:

  • Monday: 20 minute Turkey Treadmill workout from Fitnessista (I LOVE this one)
  • Tuesday: Hip Hop Cardio class
  • Wednesday: special workout with my friend Kate!
  • Thursday: Hip Hop class
  • Friday: OFF
  • Saturday: Run before driving to Indianapolis

What are you eating this week? What are your favorite “Quick Meals”? And, who you crappin’?!

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