Healthy, “Boutique Food” at McDonald’s

I do not normally eat at McDonald’s. I prefer grocery stores if time permits. When I was younger, I had a small time when I was addicted to their hamburgers based upon the pickles alone, but they changed their suppliers, and the craving went with the change. Today, in a quest for AC and free wi-fi, I went and looked at their menu for options that were inexpensive and maybe decent for me. I am not under illusions that McDonald’s will be great food. It’s what you eat when either it’s a craving, you don’t know the area (McDonald’s is consistent at least), or something like that. It’s not “first choice” food. However, it’s less expensive than Starbucks (also home to free wi-fi), is open later, is closer to where I live, and I am lucky that people typically leave me alone here. There are zero pretensions. It reminds me of Wal-Mart, and in different areas of the country they are linked inextricably.

The menu, while copying whatever sells in an area, lacks less-expensive options of the veggie nature. I am not a total food snob. I rarely shop organic on purpose (honestly, yeah for the earth, but wash your veggies, people), and it’s not like I expect McDonald’s to be or supply organic stuff. It’s more like, my body does better on veggie-based products. This year I’ve spent a lot of time eating as inexpensively as possible. Strangely enough, that means produce and so I look for the cheapest and best quality. To quote people at a business conference, if you stick to the outer perimeter of the grocery store, you are likely to do better than if you head to the center aisles. It was not like this when I was a kid, but that was the ’80’s. People still cooked instead of watching the Food Channel.

My neighborhood does not have a Trader Joe’s, does not have Whole Food’s, or anything similar. I do not want to drive to locations that have those places just because gas is super-expensive. Instead, I have local grocery stores with less-expensive produce. So, you use what is available.

I know that McDonald’s has a massive coffee menu, imitating Starbucks. Why don’t they offer humus and chips, too? They do offer apple pieces and some salads, but the salads are more expensive than the burgers. I disagree with this.  And there is only ONE fish offering on the menu, and it’s fried. I realize that you know what you’re getting when you go there, but my complaint today rests in the fact that I’ve been trying to eat as healthy as is possible given present circumstances. No, I’m not a vegetarian. I will admit to craving seafood more than almost any other substance, but I will eat ham, bacon, beef, chicken, turkey, lamb, and if there is an interesting meat substance that I haven’t tried yet, I’ll give it a whirl. However, instead of massive meat portions, produce is king. When I cook, I prefer to use meat as a carmelized flavoring agent. Spread about, flavoring the item versus a piece of meat, bread, and then set produce that gives few, if any nutrients whatsoever.

This McDonald’s is full of families. I always wondered where families went for fast food. My preference is Wendy’s or if I want a good burger, Five Guys is king. Stuff that is worth the intake for the experience of taste-bliss. People walk out with bags like they’re carrying contraband or the kids eat food and the Moms stare into space.

I want the food to be top quality, yes, but make the veggies options more appealing. Salads are hard to eat in grab-and-drive fashion. Why aren’t there wraps with veggie basis? Put them on the dollar menu, or make them $2. Use squash for the main body element along with the lettuce, carrots, and tomato. Zucchini or squash are extremely inexpensive, and avocado is great stuff. Or are they afraid of being accused of becoming Carl’s Jr? Six dollar burgers are worth it.

Also, why is the orange juice more expensive than soda? Which is better for you versus which leads directly to epidemic obesity and diabetes? And why did Florida cut down all of the citrus trees that belonged to private citizens? NOT good. I will admit to drinking soda here and there (Sprite, orange, grape, root beer and mocktails), but since I found a container that works better for me, and better regular city water, I drink water non-stop. Cannot help it in this heat. Further, I am learning that added salt is not always a bad thing, so long as you are the person adding it. Salt could have its own blog post alone. Sea salt and kosher salt are fantastic, but without it, I notice that my mind literally feels shaky if I do not get enough.

The older I get, the more I notice that what I put into me makes a huge difference in how I feel and what I feel. I am glad that the newest jeans that a friend gave me are starting to fall off without my trying to keep them on. It could be the cut of the jeans, but I hope that it may be summer weight loss. I miss in-door tracks where I can listen to my music as I walk around climate-controlled areas in the same direction as everyone else, so I never really see who anyone else is and I can take my time and not care about whether anyone is judging me.

I’ve always had issues with gym class, and now I am lucky that for my occasional spurts at exercise, they tend to pay off. I miss circuit training. That was fun, but I prefer free. I can’t walk in my neighborhood alone very far without feeling completely out of place. Usually that means that it’s time to move, but in my case I think that it means that it is time to find a nice little indoor gym somewhere and not worry about the other ramifications, or else to find a good path by the lake. I do not have enough discipline to do work-out videos on my own. I also miss dancing. It’s been way too long since I knew anyone who could swing dance, especially West Coast style. It’s flirty, sexy, and just plain pretty. I’m not thinking along the lines of Dancing with the Stars of anything similar, but just something meant to have fun, and be fine with it.

Church dances when I was younger were incredible. People upheld standards and it was like having a teenage club, no smoking, no drinking needed. People dressed to dance, but not exposing skin, and nothing super body-hugging. And yes, it was great dancing. We had smoke machines, lasers, lights,and/or projected videos, a games room, decent food, disco ball(s) for effects, and massive FANS including the building AC cranked at max. If the windows in the building weren’t fogged to oblivion, it wasn’t good enough. The heat in those dances was amazing. It was normal to have upwards of at least 300 people in attendance. Those were my “glory” days. Haven’t found them again, but that’s okay.

My nostalgia notwithstanding, there are good ways of finding exercise, and maybe I will be stuck joining a gym. My schools are far enough away that I may have no choice. Not looking forward to it. I could walk miles along the lake and be happy with it. Gyms? *groans* Yeah, you don’t stick with things that don’t make you happy, and gyms… just don’t. Meat markets that smell bad. That, and I can’t stick to them to save my life, minus circuit training with only girls.

I refuse to run. I don’t have a need to do that. I need to find something around here that will work. In the meantime, I will take my daily multi-stairs and worry about the rest of my life. I’m just glad that I have the miracle shoes that let me walk for miles without pain. Without them, this would be much harder.

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