Tuesday, October 12, 2010

It IS possible to Eat Healthy "Fast Food"!

You don't know how many times I've heard the excuses for why people simply can't make healthy choices when it comes to meals and snacks, especially outside the home. I have heard them all. They are all excuses for why they eat fast food, but what most people don't understand is that "fast food" doesn't have to be the stereotypical burger, fries, and coke. Here are some of the most popular excuses I hear to why people have an unhealthy diet.
"I don't have time"
"I'm in a hurry"
"My kids are picky and I have to get what they like" (Big NO NO, your kids need to eat what you tell them to eat, or you are telling them it's okay to be unhealthy, this is one big reason childhood obesity is so high).
"I don't have a lot of money"
"It's more convenient"
"I'm too tired to cook"
Well let's put an end to these right now. All of those excuses point toward getting fast food. Now it's what people are getting when they hit the drive-thru that's the problem. Every fast food chain DOES have healthy options. It is actually required now that there are alternative options on most menus at fast food chains. There is nothing wrong with having a burger and fries every now and then, but when people use these excuses to order the most high calorie, saturated fat filled, greasy, artery clogging foods that are just plain not good for you on a regular basis, we've got a problem. AND..if you have children, the chances are they are eating the same or similar things to you and you are leading a very poor example. If you don't have time for a healthy, home-cooked meal, then please get a healthy, quick, fast drive-thru meal. No excuses.
I'm going to provide you with healthy options from probably the most popular and easily found fast food chain, McDonalds. I will also give you what I personally eat here, because I'm not perfect, I DO eat fast food sometimes, and it IS okay. You can use this as a guide to a majority of fast food chains, please, stop with the greasy, high calorie, unhealthy foods and make the healthier choices. The goal of this post is to show you and instill in your brain that food can be "fast" and healthy, without going deep into your pocket or setting your clock back. 
Healthy Options (Alternatives): 

  • Premium grilled chicken sandwich (on whole wheat bun)- 420 cal and 10 g fat WITH everything on it, If you get it plain, just lettuce, you will be shaving about 100 calories and about 5 g fat off of that amount.
  • Snack wraps- Different ones vary between 260 and 340 calories and 9-17 g of fat. 
  • All premium salads- range from 140 (without chicken) to 330 calories with 6-20 grams of total fat. These are without dressing, and the restaurant dressings contain a good amount of calories, I highly recommend paying attention to the dressing you get. Always go with the oil-based dressings, not cream based. (I personally love their low-fat balsamic vinagrette [40 calories per pouch]).
  • Side salad- 20 calories (AND ONLY $1)- have 2 or 3 if you have a big appetite, just watch the dressing, and calories will be included on the back of dressing packets. =]
  • Fruit and Walnut Salad- 210 calories and 7 g of fat.
  • Fruit and yogurt parfait (7oz)- 160 calories and 2 g fat

Please view their entire nutritional list if you have questions about some of your food choices from there. remember the daily recommended total fat (g) is 65g. 

When I go to McDonalds, I get the grilled chicken sandwich, plain, nothing on it. Just Chicken, lettuce and whole wheat bun and 2 side salads with low-fat balsamic vinegar. 

Hope this helps you realize there are alternatives to unhealthy fast foods, and your excuses will no longer work now that you know how to get healthy food anywhere you go. <3

McDonald's chicken cesar salad- 220 calories + 190 dressing = 410 calories..perfect meal!  6 g total fat.

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