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Do you think you could feed your family a healthy meal with only $15? It all depends on where you live, and what you’re willing to buy.
To get the ingredients to make a simple meal at home, you would spend an average of $15. That’s compared to an average of $6.50 for a single meal from a fast food restaurant like McDonald’s. When looking at base cost, fast food certainly seems like the cheaper option, and that’s appealing to a family crunched for cash.
However, the ingredients you could get for $15 would make a meal for four people — we priced chicken breasts, potatoes, apples, and milk — and the meal would be better for you than a cheeseburger and fries from the nearest drive-through.
5 Family Menus for $15 or Less
Unfortunately, not everyone has access to fresh ingredients, nor can everyone afford them. In some states, the cost of a meal’s worth of groceries is far more than $15. In Virginia, for example, you would need nearly $30 for the same amount of food you could get for less than $10 in Idaho. How is it possible that a family can have more or less affordable food depending on where they live?
Food inequality is a growing problem in the United States, as shown in a recent study released by the Harvard School of Public Health. Though diet quality has improved among people of higher socioeconomic status, the same cannot be said for those on the other side of the spectrum.
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A few months ago Kimberly May-Puett contacted me. She had two goals for telling her own true weight loss story, to pay it forward and inspire others. For Kimberly, losing 57 pounds and 30 inches was a case of mind over manner. She wants others to know that they can be successful too, as long as they’re willing to make real changes.
More from Kimberly in her own words.
Tell me when your weight struggles began: At the age of 25 started traveling a lot for work, which threw off my diet and exercise routine. My weight really spiraled out of control once I became pregnant. With each baby I gained 50 – 60 pounds. I never lost all my pregnancy weight and it fluctuated for years.
What habits specifically led you to gain weight? A busy life, poor eating habits and lack of exercise. I simply did not take care of myself. My weight ballooned up to 253, which ironically was my highest pregnancy weight.
I knew in that moment I really needed to do things differently if I was going to be successful.
What caused you to realize you needed to change? I was approaching my 40th birthday. While generally happy with my life, I was miserable when I looked in the mirror. To make matters worse, blood tests from the doctor confirmed that my cholesterol, triglycerides, and blood sugar were not in healthy ranges. At the height of my frustration, I read something that said, If you change nothing, nothing changes. I’m not sure why, but it hit me like a bolt of lightning.
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Two friends train for a marathon. They follow the same training plan and meet for long runs on Saturday mornings, keeping each other accountable to their goals. When the big day arrives one crosses the finish line with a smile on her face and arms raised in triumph. The other hobbles across, much later, ready to collapse in pain.
Our late finisher didn’t get injured. She trained hard but she neglected to pay attention to her fuel and her rest. Rest and recovery are THE difference makers not just in race training but also in fat loss, fitness and overall health. Giving your muscles time to recover and rebuild is key to a healthy and strong body that will carry you wherever you want to go. Getting plenty of quality sleep and including scheduled rest days gives the body time to recharge, repair and be ready for the next workout.
Finding the right calorie balance to meet your training level is just as important as finding the right running shoe. A balanced plate MUST be part of the training and recovery plan. Lean protein, smart carbs, and healthy fats provide fuel to replenish energy stores and rebuild muscle. Eating too little can leave you drained, while eating too much of the wrong things (like over carb-loading or surviving off fast food) can also leave you feeling sluggish.
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Food Patriots is the food movie for people who aren’t in to food movies. It takes a simple, non-preachy approach to the topic at hand; which is ultimately eating better, healthier food.
The documentary centers on Jeff and Jennifer Spitz and their two sons, Sam and A.J. A few years ago, Sam got sick after eating contaminated chicken. What should have been an easily-treated case of food poisoning was actually an antibiotic resistant bacterial infection that caused the football player to lose an alarming 30 pounds in 4 weeks.
After the health scare with their son, Jennifer knew the family had to make a change. Food Patriots follows the family as they make small, meaningful changes to their eating and shopping habits, finding plenty of other Food Patriots along the way.
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Wichita is one of those places you wouldn’t expect to be a foodie town. Tucked in to one of the flattest spots on the prairie in the heart of beef country, with a blue collar populous that’s generally pretty laid back, Wichitans have an appetite for very good food.
I know this because I concluded a ten-year residency there last month. I also know this because Alton Brown just ate his way through the Air Capital and seemed pretty happy about it. He recently wrapped his wildly popular Good Eats on Food Network and took the show on the road. Alton Brown’s live Edible Inevitable made a stop in Wichita last night and there wasn’t a foodie in attendance who left disappointed. Fortunately, we don’t think Alton’s appetite left town disappointed either.
“I want to thank Wichita for the seven pounds I’ve gained in the last 24 hours,” he said, reported the Wichita Eagle. “I’ve eaten and eaten and eaten.”
Like I said, Wichita loves to eat, with 27 percent of the population being obese. The food’s just that delicious! We hope Alton’s seven-pound souvenir doesn’t hang around too long!
Alton Brown Shares His Diet Secret: Sardines
The celebrity chef stopped at nine Wichita restaurants, according to Denise Neil at the Eagle. And they were mostly a tour of my favorites, too. The only one he missed that I think was a huge disservice to his stomach was The Flying Stove, a nationally recognized food truck that we named a favorite vegetarian restaurant in 2013.
Alton’s favorite? The Nifty Nut House. It’s not even a restaurant; it is, however, the most epic candy and treat store in all the land ever of all time. “I’ve never seen anything like it,” the Eagle reports him saying. “That’s a national treasure.”
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