I absolutely love cheeseburgers, chicken wings, French fries, francheesies, pizza, M&M’s, Snickers & ice cream? What’s your favorite? Mine depends on the day, but high on the list are wings, ice cream and pizza.
But, America is getting fatter and sicker and so was I. Worse? Big Food, the conglomerate of corporations that make up the bulk of our food supply, aren’t going to come to our rescue. They use cheap, ultra-processed ingredients that are stripped of nutrition to maximize profits. And, they want us to eat more and more as illustrated by one of their goals: To make food craveable.
The term, craveable, is defined by dictionary.com as: “having qualities that engender an intense desire for more: All too often, salt, sugar, fat, and “crunch” make a food craveable.”
As a Health Coach I like to help clients make some of those craveable foods healthier, and simple to prepare.
Let’s start with a cheeseburger and how I made it healthier:
- Start with organic grass-fed beef. Season with salt, pepper, parsley flakes, garlic, and onion powder and cook it in a frying pan, under a broiler, or in an air fryer.
- Buy organic, pastured cheese, or a plant-based variety. Once you flip the burger the first time, lay the cheese on top.
- Now for the bun. Good luck. I eat mine without, but if you can find a locally sourced fermented bun (KC, think Farm to Market) it can be a decent choice.
You can make some sweet potato fries in your air fryer but instead, how about making a lovely green salad? No? Okay, fries then? Slice the sweet potatoes and spray with either olive, avocado or coconut oil, sprinkle with salt and toss in your air fryer for about 15 minutes (or whatever time your fryer suggests). No air fryer? Heat up your oven and cook at 400°
You can still have the salad. 😉 I’ve got a simple homemade dressing that you can make and store in the cupboard … all healthy oils and stuff.
Francheesies are one of my fave junk foods. Who doesn’t love a hot dog stuffed with cheese and wrapped in bacon? This one is easy, but I don’t recommend adding deli meats to your daily plan. Just have this every once in awhile and enjoy!
- Uncured, organic, grass fed hotdogs. I like Applegate Farms. Make a slit lengthwise being careful not to slice through.
- Same cheese as above, make into ½” wide, thin slices and put one or two in each slit.
- Wrap uncured bacon from humanely raised pigs around the dog and secure with toothpicks about 1” from each end.
- Cook in your preheated air fryer for about 7-9 minutes at 400°
Are you only feeding yourself or two of you? Make up mini meal kits by putting a burger, a slice of cheese and a bun or two hot dogs, two slices of bacon and a slice of cheese into storage bags and store in the freezer. Easy dinner when plans go awry.
Pizzas are easy to make healthy. You can buy or make a healthy crust. There are a lot of recipes available to create one that fits your health needs from gluten free to low-carb and keto. Organic pizza or barbecue sauce and cheese, uncured meats from humanely raised animals or organic, pastured poultry along with fresh or frozen veggies make pizza a breeze.
This is especially easy if you have a day of the week when you prepare a few meals for the week. If you’re making your own crust, start your dough and let it rise while making another dish. When it’s ready, top with your favorite ingredients and freeze for another day. (You can also freeze just the crusts and top when you bake.)
Chicken Wings If you live near a Trader Joe’s or Natural Grocers, you’re in luck! They have reasonably priced frozen organic chicken wings. If you also have an air fryer you can have dinner ready in 25-minutes. At the time of this writing the wings ran around $7 for two pounds. For the sauce, melt grass-fed butter or Earth Balance (1/4 c) and mix in 2 tsp. of hot pepper sauce and 1 tsp. of vinegar. Toss the wings and sit back and enjoy! This is much cheaper than buying them at the local bar.
For anything fried, from potato chips to French fries, the oil you use will make the difference between healthy or not. Check out this article for more info and instead, use avocado or coconut oil.
Snickers your thing? Purchase Lily’s chocolate bars (available on Amazon, Natural Grocer’s and many other stores) with whatever add-ins you like. They are significantly lower in sugar. Try gradually increasing the cocoa content of your chocolate. That automatically reduces the amount of sugar. Lily’s also makes semi-sweet baking chips … you can easily swap them for M&M’s.
For tacos, buy organic corn tortillas and use organic chicken, sustainably caught fish or grass-fed beef. Top with the cheeses above, add in organic sour cream …
Okay, I’ve got to stop. I’m getting hungry as heck. I’m going to cook some wings in the air fryer and toss a salad with my dressing. Oh wait! I promised you a salad dressing recipe. My kids simply call this Gramma’s Salad Dressing.
½ c Avocado Oil
½ c Olive Oil
½ c Apple Cider Vinegar
½ tsp Garlic Powder
½ tsp Onion Powder
1 tsp Dried Parsley Flakes
Salt & Pepper to taste
Add all the ingredients to a bottle (I use an empty GT’s Kombucha bottle) and shake. If someone in your family likes a creamy dressing, add organic cream to taste, but you’ll have to use it rather quickly. (Alternatively, just add it to that person’s salad.)
Healthy fast food is more than a myth. By taking control of the quality of the ingredients, you can still have your faves. Experiment with spices to find your perfect combo. Most of these can be prepped ahead of time, on a day that works for you, so that they become fast food at the end of a busy day.
If you liked this, please consider sharing it with your favorite fast food junkie. Then follow me so you don’t miss any other incredible, amazing, life-changing words of wisdom. 😉
You can find more ideas in my book, No Kale Required: Healthy Eating Ideas for the Rest of Us,and over on my website, www.enjoylifebewell.com