There is a popular catch phrase going around these days about 'food deserts.' People like to say that those who live in areas without large grocery stores live in a 'food desert' and that this is the cause for many health issues today like obesity, diabetes, and hyper-tension.
Most people who grew up before the 1970's lived in an area without a large grocery store. For protein, they ate entrees of eggs or bean dishes and on a special occassion might have chicken or pork. Cooks complimented these selections with any greens they could buy, pick, or barter for from others. There was no shame in buying lower-cost, slightly damaged produce because it could be cleaned and stewed. With a starch of rice and potatoes there were inexpensive, nutritious meals. Using over-ripe fruits, they made jams and spreads to top cornbread - also made from inexpensive cornmeal. With a handful of nuts for snacking, a day's nutrition was good. On an interesting note, these selections all have great protein, moderate fats, and are gluten-free too - naturally.
Simple and easy... but you couldn't expect to eat without effort.
Today, along with wanting to lose weight at the speed of light, people also want their meals that way, too. Does anyone see a relationship here between poor nutrition and the 'fast' in fast food? Recently, even the national fast food chains have expanded their product line to include a variety of salad entrees to provide better, healthful choices. But as we all know, you can't eat a salad while walking down the street without making a mess and possibly jeopardizing your life... but, a burger with a sack of fries isn't so challenging.
Slow down in the warmth of the summer months and treat yourself to some extra time to enjoy cooking and eating nutritious (not expensive) food. And remember, even a desert has plants that flower.
(Next time you're in a 'food desert' try Planter's nuts (http://www.planters.com/) instead of a greasy bag of fried chips, or if you must dine in a fast food restaurant try Wendy's for a small chili (https://www.wendys.com/en-us/right-price-right-size/smallrichmeatychili). Put the chili on top of a Wendy's plain baked potato and you have a high fiber, high protein meal for 460 calories.)