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August 16, 2010 | by  | in Opinion |
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How to not eat crap takeaways

Firstly, if at all possible, buy from the supermarket or dairy. For the same amount of money you’d spend on an entire meal, you can get a drink or dessert as well. Dairies have TV dinners in the freezer, and they are usually of the comfort food variety, so could hit the spot. TV dinners are usually about $7, which means you can get a full meal for $15 with drink and dessert.

The supermarket has a massive range of options for dinner. You can get TV dinners for $5-12, and they take 3 minutes in the microwave. The frozens area is also good for ovenbake chips and even fatty-ish food which is still much better for you than takeaways. An entire bag of chips can cost $5 and will take ten minutes to cook. Rotisserie chicken or supermarket-Brownies and Banana Cake prepared deli food is also a great cheap option. The most important thing is an attitude shift—if you would otherwise spend $50 on Hell pizza, compare this to $50 of supermarket or dairy food, and you’ll realise just how far your money stretches.

Chinese food can be really great, but it’s a mixed bag depending on where you get it. Fisherman’s Plate on Bond Street is fantastic for healthy and cheap Vietnamese food and healthy-ish fish and chips; Aunty Mena’s (Cuba Street), or Tong’s Takeaways (Kilbirnie) are delicious but not so good for you. Aim for a meal with lean meat and tons of veg and rice, which would make for a balanced meal.

Pizza is also a mixed bag. We all love Hell, but it is expensive and you can often eat a whole one without blinking. Beware of idiot-aimed advertising—Pizza Hut, for example, has just released a “huge 14-inch pizza” which is only a fraction larger than their competitors’ regular size, so this is essentially a campaign to encourage us to spend more on a regular sized pizza. Think realistically about your order. Will it hit the spot? Can you actually afford it? Will it fill you up? I always crave Coca Cola and ice cream after pizza, so when I get pizza I often end up either broke or dissatisfied.

Fish and chips is great for filling you up but incredibly bad for you. If you can bear it, get a burger or grilled fish instead of deep fried battered fish. Burgers are often really good from fish and chip shops. Buy chips that are a chunkier cut, as they’ll have absorbed less fat in the deep frier. Aro Chips (Te Aro) deserves a mention! On the upside, fish and chips
are relatively cheap and you will feel full faster and probably eat less. But is it worth feeling ill afterwards?

Meals packed with additives/salt/ MSG/fat will glisten or be unnaturally coloured (e.g., dark brown stir fry, pink ginger, bright orange sweet and sour sauce). If you can’t tell what kind of meat it is, how it was made or the veges are unrecognisable, you could have done better. The best rule of thumb: the yummier it sounds when stoned, the worse it is for you!

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