The weigh it is: Check local grocer for fast food options
Pamela Greene is a fitness programmer with Fort Jackson's Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation Fitness Department.

FORT JACKSON, S.C. -- On-the-go eating doesn't have to send the busy person to his or her local drive-in for a quick burger and fries, the all-you-can eat Chinese buffet or a fried chicken snack box. I am challenging people to view the grocery store as a convenient spot to get their fast food on a healthy level.

It takes about the same amount of time to order food and wait for it as it does to pop into the grocery store. We need to think beyond the borders of what society has labeled fast food. Even some fast food restaurants' attempts to offer salads on their healthy menus encourage boring eating and make the person trying to make healthier options feel like there are no options.

Though healthy eating has evolved so far from the salad, the fast food industry caters more to perfecting the burger than health food. So what choice do you have with only an hour to spare' How about that grocery store that's right next door to your local burger world'

Go inside and grab some fresh, lean deli meat or low fat cheese, whole grain bread or crackers, a couple of pieces of fruit, bottled water and, "Voila," you have healthy fast food. The possibilities in a grocery store are endless. One can gather his or her items and dine in his or her car with soft music playing or at the park (weather permitting) with earphones.

Now, it is easy to feel good about the lunch choice, as well as have extra left over for about the same amount of time it would have taken at burger world. We live in a time when healthy eating is not only important, but popular. Don't wait on the restaurants to add healthy options to their menus. Take advantage, make the most of your time and your money, while keeping your waist under control.

The local grocery store is fighting to get your lunch money, too. Grocery stores are stocked with a great variety of fruits, veggies, sources of protein and healthy grains. One way to shop for success includes shopping the perimeter of the store for most items. This is where most of the freshest items are kept, so customers can take comfort in knowing that they are getting fresh foods. Invest in a cooler to keep in the car and stock it with fresh items. Replenish the cooler contents every three days.

One can dine differently at lunch and try healthy items he or she has never had before. This keeps food interesting. Just remember, the shopping trip is just for lunch, not to shop for dinner. Make the most of lunch time and remember that this is the time to catch your breath (at least for a little while).

Page last updated Thu September 23rd, 2010 at 07:54