Friday, November 11, 2011

Friday Fast food Favorites: Cheap Eats that won't kill your health goals

DO NOT try this at home
Listen, I'm all about clean eating. If you have the time and money to always whip up a little quinoa/squash and organic whatcha-whatever - that's better. Do that. I strive to eat as clean as possible but… I'm also a realist that juggles a lot of stuff and a four year old toddler. Sometimes, I don't have the time or energy. And sometimes, I'll admit it, I'm just freakin' lazy.

None-the-less, I did lose over 90 pounds and came to rely on some of these foods on occasion.

So while I wouldn't encourage anyone to eat fast food on a regular basis every once in a while you might be caught out and about. It doesn't mean you have to throw it all away on a double-sized number one with extra mayo and cheese...

Here are my favorite go-to's that are not only affordable, they are under 300 calories:

1. Wendy's. Wendy's is my number one favorite fast food restaurant for when I'm stuck eating on the road or in a mall. There are a number of decent choices. I usually like to order a small chili and a side garden salad. I top the salad with one of the fat free or reduced fat dressings offered. The chili is high in fiber and low in fat. I have also ordered the baked potato and mandarin oranges off the menu. Small chili (no added cheese or crackers): 220cals. 7grms fat. 6grms fiber.
skip stuff like mayo and load up on veggies
2. Subway. Between thumbs up votes from their spokesperson Jarrett and the cast of the Biggest Loser, most people are aware of Subway's healthier options. Even Apolo Ohno teamed with Subway to raise money when he recently ran the ING NYC marathon. Stick to whole grain breads, lots of veggies, mustard and turkey breast for a low calorie sandwich. 6" Turkey sub with mustard: 280cals. 3.5 grms of fat. 5grms of fiber.
3. Pizza. Being a Jersey girl there is always a slice of pizza from the local mom and pop shop within distance. I like to top my slice with a bunch of healthy veggies when possible. An average slice of thin crust cheese pizza (from non-chain pizza parlor) is 272 cals. 9.8 grms fat. 1.8 grms fiber.
Again, these choices are no match for cleaner eating. I'm pretty sure sodium levels and processed words run rampant in some of these choices but at very least these choices provide a little bit of fiber, are portion controlled and are not a total fat and calorie disaster.
When in doubt order a salad or plain burger and be aware of fried toppers, fatty dressings and extras like cheese and croutons. 
mmm - a warm fuzzy blanket of comfort food
Honorable breakfast mentions: Starbucks 'perfect' oatmeal. Oatmeal that comes with a packet of brown sugar, dried fruit and nuts. This isn't super lowcal but it's one of my favorite pre-race breakfasts. If you skip the dried fruit and only use a touch of brown sugar, it's probably a little healthier. If I'm at McDonald's I'll get their new Maple Oatmeal with fruit or just a plain, old-schoool, Egg McMuffin. 
Do you have an affordable "kind of" healthy fast food go-to?
Happy Friday everyone!!


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