As you’re doing your planning for the Memorial Day weekend, consider some of your healthier options.
According to the National Center for Health Statistics, 35.9 percent of American adults, age 20 years and over, are considered obese. While the number has fluctuated over the last decade, the truth is that what Americans eat, and how we eat, has a lot to do with our health, and lack thereof.
But let’s face facts. Without food we wouldn’t survive. Food and water are two of life’s essential elements. In addition, the typical entrepreneur has probably the zaniest and unhealthiest eating habits. Meals are usually quick and on the go, or consist of client meetings inclusive of heavy lunches or late afternoon coffees and snacks. While we can’t say “no” to these on-the-go meals, desk-side nibbles, or our crucial client meetings, we can learn to look for healthier options when we choose what to eat.
Local. Did you know that supporting a restaurant that sources locally not only guarantees you fresher food, but for every $1 spent on a local business, $0.45 is reinvested back into the local economy? That compares to only $0.14 reinvested for $1 spent at a chain/national restaurant. See how that works? Local = fresh + supporting the community in which your own business operates.
Vegetables. Sure, we hated eating our Brussels sprouts when we were kids, but did you know that vegetables have as much protein as meat? Yes, it’s true! A blend of beans, nuts, and leafy greens contain our daily supplement of proteins, and include additional nutrients such as dietary fiber, vitamins C & E, calcium, and zero cholesterol. You may not be ready to start living a vegetarian lifestyle, but consider ordering a salad or side of grilled veggies instead of fries at that next business lunch.
Grass-Fed Meats and Dairy. Here’s a fact for you: grass-fed products tend to be lower in fat and calories than grain-fed products. It’s also leaner meat. The United States started feeding our animals more and more grains in the mid to late 70's when the movement towards industrial farming took off. Feeding cows grains and corn fattened them up, creating more meat, and more money…and more health problems for the consumers down the line. Ask your restaurants if the meats are grass-fed or hormone-free. This is your health and your money, so don’t be afraid to ask!
Vanessa Ferragut is a sustainable event planner in Washington, DC, passionate about contributing to the local living economies. She is the founder of Greenease, a website (launching in June) and mobile app (launching in August) that helps local food enthusiasts locate restaurants, cafes, and grocers in the area that support the area's local farmers.