IDK my BFF, Taco Bell; The “Healthy” Guide to Eating Fast Food

I get personally offended when someone doesn’t like fast food. I am also extremely jealous because I wish for one second that I could pretend like I don’t LOVE cheesy fiesta potatoes from Taco Bell… I mean have ya’ll had those things? Stick a fork in me, because I am done.

I am just going to preface this whole discussion that the “healthy” in the title is in quotes because I do indeed realize that fast food is not exactly “healthy.” I recognize that eating all-natural, real food is a better option. But, that’s in a perfect world. And I just do not live in one of those perfect worlds. I eat from home about 90% of the time… the other 10% I cannot be held responsible for my actions. Fast food is called fast food for a reason. It’s easy and quick and sometimes that’s all that you have time/money for. I am not a nutritionist by any stretch of the word, but I am a real person that has made some good choices in the last two years. And just as I promised when starting this blog, I am going to share what I’ve learned. Luckily, I have learned a few things about fast food.

The following list has a few different of my go-to’s when I am in a pinch and catch myself only being able to run to a fast food joint. I also sometimes like to just feel like I am a part of the group and don’t always have to be the one requesting that we go somewhere healthy. Living a healthy lifestyle isn’t all about excluding yourself in the name of vegetables. It’s about balance – and my life balance includes tacos.

Breakfast 

  • Starbucks
    • Coffee Recommendations: click here. (shameless plug)
    • Sous Vide Egg Bites: Egg White & Red Pepper
      • 170 cals
    • Reduced-Fat Turkey Bacon & Cage Free Egg White Breakfast Sandwich
      • 210 cals
    • Spinach, Feta & Cage Free Egg White Breakfast Wrap
      • 290 cals

Starbucks has a lot of great options, especially for breakfast. You can knock out a low cal coffee and warm breakfast item all in one stop.

  • Dunkin’ Donuts
    • Coffee Recommendations: click here. (second shameless plug)
    • Veggie Egg White Wake Up Wrap
      • 160 cals
    • Ham, Egg & Cheese on English Muffin
      • 380 cals

Dunkin has an entire menu called DDSmart which are items aimed at being “healthier” options on the menu. Sticking with these items when ordering will help you to stray from unruly calories. Be careful when ordering oatmeal out at places thinking that it will be healthy (because it looks like toxic sludge), it is often riddled with sugar. For example, oatmeal at DD has 35 grams of sugar in one cup!

  • McDonald’s 
    • Egg White Delight
      • 260 cals
      • This is my absolute favorite breakfast sandwich! Always my quick go to breakfast.

Stay away from biscuits from any place… it’s a big no no. This is a great option for a fast cheap breakfast because you can find McDonald’s anywhere and they have Diet Dr. Pepper on tap.

Lunch/Dinner 

Human instinct tells us to go for a salad no matter where we go when we want something healthy. Salads are not always your only option, and they are often a worse idea than just eating a burger. For example, a Zaxby’s Fried Cobb Zalad has 820 calories while a Big Mac rings in with 540 cals. You tell me which one you would pick… *the correct answer is Big Mac*

  • Subway 
    • Easiest place to eat healthy because you can customize!
    • Choose wheat bread and a simple meat. Chicken breast or turkey breast are going to be your best options.
    • Steer clear of any complex sandwiches – tuna, chicken bacon ranch, meatball sub. If you’re gonna eat these options, you might as well treat yourself to chicken nugs
    • Try to avoid cheese if possible and full flavor sauces
    • My sandwich: Wheat bread, turkey, pickles, olives, spinach, tomatoes, cucumber and mustard. Pack on the vegetables and you won’t even miss the cheese and ranch. (never thought I’d see myself type that)
  • Bojangles 
    • So random, but one of my favorites!
    • Roasted Chicken Bites
      • 125 cals
    • Green Beans
      • 40 cals
    • Cajun Pintos
      • 120 cals
    • The protein from the chicken and pinto beans really help to keep you full.
  • Wendy’s 
    • Chili
      • Small: 170 cals
      • Large: 250 cals
    • Grilled Chicken Sandwich
      • 360 cals
      • Skip the honey mustard and just get regular mustard to save some calories!
    • Pair the chicken sandwich and get chili as your side to make it a combo!
  • Chic Fil A
    • This is really the mecca if you’re trying to stick with healthier choices
    • Grilled Chicken Sandwich
      • 310 cals
    • Grilled Nuggets
      • 8 piece: 140 cals
      • 12 piece: 210 cals
    • Grilled Chicken Cool Wrap
      • 350 cals
    • Grilled Market Salad
      • 330 cals
    • Fruit Cup
      • 45 cals
    • Chicken Noodle Soup
      • 240 cals
  • McDonald’s 
    • Southwest Grilled Chicken Salad
      • 350 cals
    • Well, that’s about all I’ve to offer you from there…
  • Taco Bell 
    • Just because we all know I’m a fan, but it’s a no for “healthy.”
    • Is this gonna stop me?
      • No.
    • Reminder: life balance, people.

You Have Options

People constantly reach out to me because they are afraid to give up their freedom while trying to get healthy. I share posts like this because there is so much freedom gained from a healthy lifestyle. Freedom to do the things that you weren’t able to do before – and there is still the freedom to eat fast food. Don’t let fear be the thing that stands in your way.

Please screenshot some of these menu items and when you’re out and in a pinch, you can refer back to some ideas and options that you have! Keeping these items on hand can keep you from getting overwhelmed with a menu and making rash decisions in the drive thru.

As always, I’m here with any questions or to talk you off a ledge before you dive into a 20-count McNugget.

-O

 

 

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