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Making Quick, Healthy Meals for One :(

Late for work at your minimum wage job? Skipped breakfast? Yeah, you could just pick up something on the way and feel bad about yourself. Or you could try something different and feel great!

Some people just don’t have the time or energy to make a healthy meal with such busy lives and all but no need to worry, you’re reading the Paw Print!

Before anything, how would a healthy meal even make a difference?

Well first thing’s first, according to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), a healthy meal helps combat overweight and obesity. CDC studies have shown that “19 percent of young people aged 2 to 19 years and 40 percent of adults have obesity, which can put them at risk for heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and some cancers.”

What else could ever possibly cause heart disease, type 2 diabetes and some cancers? You guessed right, a bad diet.

CDC studies have also shown that the “leading causes of heart disease and stroke are high blood pressure and high blood cholesterol. Getting too much sodium can lead to high blood pressure. Current guidelines recommend getting less than 2,300 mg a day, but Americans consume more than 3,400 mg a day on average.”

Packaged, store-bought, and processed foods are the bad boys causing this, but eating the right foods along with exercise, can reverse this.

In a survey of 150 teens, the majority have admitted to skipping over their fruit and vegetable servings, which is not swag. “This is extremely important as fresh fruit and vegetables help to ward off diseases such as cancer and keep the body in immaculate health.” says Ms. Anika Brown, the Foods and Nutrition teacher at Parkdale.

Who even wants cancer? Just finish your asparagus.

In all seriousness, this is an issue that could be resolved if people had the knowledge or time to get through it. Now that I know the super serious severe scary solemn risks, what can I afford to eat and not die from every disease known to man? Go vegan!

Just kidding don’t do that to yourself.

“If people bought food based on the fact that the food was less expensive than we would all be vegetarian or vegan,” Ms Brown explains, “People often use cost as an excuse as to why they cannot eat healthy but this is simply not true it costs more to purchase 1 pound of chicken than it does to purchase two pounds of beans.”

Beans are known to be high in fiber and protein, but they also fight conditions such as cancer, diabetes, and hypertension. Processed and animal based foods generally cost more while basic plant based foods are cheaper.

Okay, so maybe you don’t have the beans for your Cars 2 movie night. Thats where you use the pro strats’ of life and start meal prepping.

Meal prepping is the best thing in the world without a doubt; it’s like leftovers but strategic.

Meal prepping? Aren’t all meals prepped? Shut up.

In short, meal prepping is storing multiple portions of food away all at once in order to save time, money, and depending on the food, stay healthy. Packing food away takes away the time needed to prepare and cook for the most part; the only real downside is having to heat up your food throughout the week.

Senior Jonathan Buelna, your average healthy high school student agrees that “meal prepping benefits healthy eating, budgeting, [and] better health, while cons are that it’s time consuming because you’re looking at so many factors, like what to buy or what’s cheaper,”

This doesn’t mean you should go eat that old cheese in your fridge now, but think of your schedule, budget, and body and make the best possible decision for what to make next time you’re hungry.

“The key to creating healthy meals is to familiarize yourself with Myplate and focus on incorporating all four food groups with each meal and make sure you’re eating the right portions of fruits, vegetables, grains, protein and dairy.” -Ms. Brown

Not hungry yet? Just look at these pictures of food and get to work.

(meals sourced from the Tasty app)

Egg breakfast cups

(per cup)

-89 cal
-5g fat
-3g carbs
-7g protein
-0g sugar
-1g fiber

One-tray Caprese pasta

(per tray)

-670 cal
-2g fat
-137g carbs
-23g protein
-11g sugar
-8g fiber

Buffalo chicken lettuce wraps

(per wrap)

-514 cal
-23g fat
-18g carbs
-54g protein
-13g sugar
-1g fiber