Happy Friday the 13th! If you’re like me, this date has absolutely no impact on your life since you’re not superstitious in the least. Maybe the casinos in Vegas will all be empty? I’ll let you know. Since I’m leaving for vacation today and will likely be eating at least one meal in an airport, I thought I’d take the chance to share with you some of my favourite meals and snacks at fast food restaurants (plus it has been WAY too long since I’ve done a favourite things post). I’m not one to eat at fast food restaurants more than I have to (really, I hardly ever do). But, there are times when it’s unavoidable for me (and you). Read on for some of my fav finds that fill you up fast without filling you out.
1. Wendy’s Chili. Love love LOVE this stuff. In fact, if you told me that I had to eat a healthy meal at a fast food restaurant, Wendy’s would probably be my first choice, mostly because of this stuff. If I’m going for lunch, I pair a small chili with a PLAIN side salad (get one of the low-fat dressings, only use half and don’t even think about going for one of those huge salads they have with crazy calorific add-ons). For dinner, I order a PLAIN baked potato (no sour cream, cheese or bacon please) and top it with the chili. Since this stuff has beef, beans and lots of fibre, it really fills you up!
2. Starbucks Light Frappuccinos So this is not a meal…but it sure is a delicious snack/treat! I can’t say enough about just how much I love these things – I usually order caramel or mocha (although I hear there’s a new coconut mocha flavour I’m dying to try) LIGHT…make sure you say light! Go for the tall, and skip the whip, and you can escape with a delicious sweet and creamy drink under 150 calories. These things are perfect for warmer weather (but I still enjoy them in the colder months)….and I’ll be sipping all summer whenever I can get to the big city to get my hands on one of these things (really hope there’s a ‘bucks in the airport terminal I’m in today).
3. Tim Horton’s Yogurt and Berries This is a great option as a snack, or a light breakfast on the go. While many of Tim’s options are nutritional death traps (hello donuts, giant muffins, pastries and Double Doubles), this one is worth seeking out. You can go with either vanilla or strawberry low fat yogurt, and there are 4 types of fresh, whole berries layered in. It’s got only 2 grams of fat, plus 2 grams of fibre. And it’s probably the only thing on the menu for 160 calories that offers some nutritional benefits too. You really can’t go wrong here!
4. Subway Salads I’ve told you before, but here’s another reminder: any sandwich on the Subway menu can be made into a salad! While many of the sandwiches on Subway’s menu have great stats (and we all remember Jared and his Subway “diet”), if you’re like me, sometimes when you’re on the go, particularly if you’ve been eating out a lot, you crave something a little less carb-y and a little more veggie-packed. And when it comes to fast foods, veggie-rific options tend to be few and far between. Even though there are fast-food salads, they tend to have way too many delicious, but calorie-heavy add-ons. Subway salads are the perfect solution – just like the sandwiches, they’re made your way, and you control what goes in (or not). Just be sure to ask for one of the low-fat/fat-free dressings – you don’t want to wreck your healthy creation with a dressing that is anything but virtuous.
So I’d say those are my top 4. Honestly, I really don’t eat fast food that often, as I enjoy cooking, and I know that I can make something that’s healthier and just as tasty (if not more so) at home. But like I said before, everyone has to dip in to the fast food world at some point, so hopefully these finds will help you choose wisely. We’ll see what I come up with at the airport today! What are your favourite more virtuous fast food finds?
P.S. One more eating on-the-go tip: bring stuff from home and combine it with something from a fast food restaurant, and create your own money and calorie-saving combo meal. My favourite breakfast example? Bring fruit and a Vitatop from home and get a tall skinny latte at Starbucks…YUM!