One of the most limiting statements that I hear from people is that “It’s so hard to eat healthy. There’s so many choices, and they’re just all bad for you!”
I got into a discussion with an old friend today. We were at a cafe in his neighborhood, drinking some coffee, and he brought up the subject of a small, family-owned pizza shop up the street.
“I was eating better, but that place opened up… I never have any time to cook with how busy I am, and I order from there two or three nights a week. I know I shouldn’t, but I don’t have a lot of choices, unless I want to warm up frozen food in the microwave every night”
He blamed his nutritional tail-spin on the mere fact that a small business owner is meeting a demand in his neighborhood, but not on:
- His unwillingness to prioritize his health when determining his schedule
- His unwillingness to prepare food beforehand, so he isn’t (in his words) microwaving frozen shit five nights a week.
- His unwillingness to research his true options.
I called bullshit on him. “I guarantee you I could call this pizza shop up and order us something that’s both good for us and tastes reasonably good” He disagreed. “It’s either pizza, hoagies, mac and cheese bites…” So I called. “Hi, do you guys do steak salads? Yeah? Let me get two of those, no fries*, no dressing, add cucumbers, mushrooms, a little bit of cheese, and that’s it.”
*For some reason, in Pittsburgh, all restaurants put french fries on their salads. I have no idea why.
Ten minutes later, we picked them up, headed back to my house and ate them. Yeah, they only used iceberg lettuce, and the steak wasn’t exactly a butcher-fresh Ribeye, but they tasted great, especially considering the convenience and low cost ($4.75 each).
Obviously, something like this WOULD NOT be my first choice, but honestly, if you’re going to put in so little effort that your meals must all be prepared for you, it’s really not hard to order something that isn’t a big blob of gluten and fryer grease. Restaurants are happy to have you as a customer, and are almost always happy to accommodate whatever requests you might have. Hey, I probably even saved them money by having them leave the dressing, croutons and fries off.
Or just go ahead and be like the 400 pound triple-chinned woman who was at the counter ordering a “small” pizza, potato chips, a snickers bar, and (of course) a diet soda on her lunch break. Hey, whatever floats your boat.