This particular question has been on the back of my mind for a while now, because simply put, I’ve just gotten so busy I’ve had less and less time to cook and actually look after my diet with healthy home cooked meals especially for lunch.
I admit it 🙁 I’m getting a bit slack in this area!
So what is a girl to do??
Do I eat out?? Or do I buy boxed meals??
I guess the real answer is, it depends, but for me generally there are some great boxed meal options if your looking for ways to add convenience into your diet. As much as I would love to cook every single meal, my day job and blogging has taken up so much of my times sometimes I’m simply just running around trying to do everything I said I’d do.
In fact I’m sitting here writing this blog entry during my lunch break while eating a healthy boxed meal (thank goodness).
So instead of just taking my word for it, lets have a look at the pros and cons or choosing the boxed meal option vs. the takeout option.
The pros of choosing the boxed meal are the following:
Labels keep you well informed
You know exactly what you are getting, the nutrition boxes at the back of each frozen dinner can give you a great step up in terms of choosing the right meal. It will tell you how many calories, fat, and sodium each meal continues which meals you can make an informed decision about what you eat, instead of just having it served to you, not knowing what exactly went into your meal.
Remember: A tablespoon of oil can mean an extra 120 calories in your diet, and this can easily be reached by a restaurant that are a little bit free with the oil use.
Portion sizes are controlled
For those of you that have previously read through and watched my diet tip videos, you will know how passionate I am about portion sizes. In general I have noticed that the portion sizes of frozen dinners are considerably smaller than take out portion sizes and this will make your waist line happy!
Remember: When have take out, you can always ask for less noodles, rice or salt as well so don’t be afraid to customise your meal for a healthier option
In Australia, frozen dinners tend to be cheaper then takeout. This may not be true in your particular country, but here there are always great discounts and specials that run regularly on frozen meals. On average I pay between $3-$4 per frozen meal, and wouldn’t spend more then that. I just stock up during a sale so that it will last.
Remember: Frozen dinners are not a replacement for healthy cooking, but it is a great option that is economical, if you were going to eat out anyways. Save the money and get healthier with a well chosen frozen meal.
Freezing actually keeps your food fresh
Contrary to popular belief, freezing food actually does not degrade much mineral or vitamin benefits as many people believe. Here is a excerpt from the worlds healthiset food site which is a not for profit organisation that researches into food:
“You do lose some flavor when food is frozen but freezing can be a very good way to preserve the nutritional value, texture and flavor of many foods. The initial quality of the food and the length of time between harvest and freezing are important factors. As long as the food was grown in a high-quality way (for example, organically grown) and was fairly fresh at the time of freezing, the overall nutrient retention in a frozen food can be quite high. In other words, many of the vitamins and minerals will keep fairly well in frozen foods.”