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fast food

HEALTH/ Healthy Eating/ How-Tos/ RECIPES

Finding Healthy Fast Food

Tis the season to be out and about, finishing up the Christmas shopping and enjoying the season. I try to eat at home as often as possible, but I find myself running around and sometimes in need of a fast meal.

 I thought I would share some of my favorite places to find fast food that is more on the healthy side.  I have been eating a plant based diet the last 6 months, which is why you will see me suggest no cheese or meat and seeking out as much plant based, simple foods, as possible.  Even if you are a meat and dairy eater, it is good to avoid them at times. It gives your digestion system a rest, and cuts calories and cholesterol.

Noodles & Company
Bangkok Curry!
Sweet coconut curry, broccoli, carrots, red pepper, onion, mushrooms, a light portion of rice noodles, served on cabbage with black sesame  I am addicted to this stuff.  I get a small bowl with no meat, and ask for extra broccoli in place of mushrooms.  I am not a mushroom fan.  Most of the Asian bowls are on the healthier side..stay away from the mac and cheese, and don’t be tempted to top your bowl with chicken that is breaded, processed and fried!

Veggie 6 inch sandwich.  Ask for the wheat bread, and use vinegar but no oil.  They now have guacamole at Subway, so I use that in place of mayonnaise.  I ask for extra spinach, and have lettuce, cucumbers, bell peppers, tomato and banana peppers. This has often saved me on road trips! Delish.

Wraps with no cheese, meat or sour cream. Rice, of course. Ask for their fajita vegetables, it adds so much flavor. Use guacamole for creaminess, and beans in place of meat. Salsa is a must!

Taco Bell
This is a tough one! Hmmm.. Fresco bean burrito, no cheese?  Chips and salsa for a snack until you get home?  Careful if you click on the link..the bell rings.  Loudly.  I just about jumped out of my chair.

Bake potato topped with their chili.  YUM!

Find a place that is made to order.  Try to stay away from chains and find a local pizzeria. Load it up with veggies and ask for half the cheese, or if vegan, no cheese.  Make sure to get a side salad with it, but only if it is made with dark green leafy lettuce or spinach.  Go easy on the dressing.

Grocery Store Salad Bar
Eat the rainbow.  Choose dark leafy spinach and greens, peppers, broccoli, carrots.  Top your salad with fruits or eat fruit as your dessert.  Most of these type of bars have soup–steer clear from the heavy, creamy type, go for for the bean soups and chili.

Sounds funny, but I have been taking my girl to therapy for a knee injury at our local hospital.  It is a beautiful place, one that I am very familiar and comfortable with.  We have visited the cafeteria quite a bit. They have a wonderful salad bar, yogurt/granola bar, & veggie burgers.  There is a lot of junk food, too, so you have to be disciplined.  I find the price is really great for what you get in hospitals!

Coffee Shops
I have been drinking my coffee black.  It is so much cheaper than those pricey lattes that are full of sugar. I don’t do dairy or soy, and most coffee shops do not carry almond milk, so black it is for me.  I have slowly gotten used to it, and now prefer it!  Even better, get hot tea.  I personally can’t smell the coffee and not get any, so I save the tea sipping for home.  If you are hungry, ask for oatmeal or a whole grain bagel, skip the cream cheese.  Avoid most muffins, they are usually loaded with white flour, white sugar and oil.

Health Food Stores
I am fortunate enough to live right by a great co-op, and it even has a deli with vegetarian and vegan offerings.  I often get their wraps or veggie burgers.  They have all kinds of salads full of grains and vegetables.  If your local health food store does not have a deli, it still is a great place to stop and get a healthy snack.  Grab a banana or apple, a Larabar and a bottle of Kombucha.  It will keep you satisfied and away from the golden arches down the street!

It seems like a no brainer, but skip the pop.  It is just plain nastiness.  High-fructose corn syrup in regular, and nasty aspartame in diet.  Water is cheap, and once your body gets used to it, you won’t be able to handle highly sweetened or artificially sweetened beverages anymore, and you will crave water.  I was told this and didn’t think it would happen, but it did!

Do you find yourself grabbing fast food often?
Do you have any other ideas for me?