Sometimes, fast food is inevitable. It is convenient, inexpensive and usually taste pretty good. If you find yourself needing to stop for a quick bite, I wanted to give you some of the healthier options to choose from at five popular spots.
- Panera- Panera has a healthy reputation, however be weary of some of the high calorie options. Try and avoid bread and the bakery menu (yes, I know avoid bread at Panera), but that is where you can add 400-600 extra calories. When given the option, choose an apple as a side rather than chips or bread. The ancient grain arugula and chicken salad is one of their best options. It is full of nutrients and protein to keep you feeling satisfied for hours and has approximately 400 calories. If you need to grab a sandwich, avoid the Panini options and opt for the napa almond chicken salad sandwich. Panera has many options for beverages, so be sure to pick an unsweetened tea and add your own sugar if needed.
- Chick-fil-a- I haven’t met any one who doesn’t love this popular fast food chain. With a somewhat limited menu, most people have a “standard order.” I agree Chick-fil-a is healthier than some of the other fast food chains but you still need to make good choices! A great option is the grilled chicken nuggets, rather than the fried option. Choose a low calorie dipping sauce such as hot sauce or ketchup. The wraps are also great choices, because like the grilled chicken, they are spared the fryer! Avoid the milkshakes, soft drinks, cookie and fries. Those are the items that will bring this meal to the next level of calorie intake.
- Chipotle- I love Chipotle due to the fact that you can see exactly what is going into your bowl. YOU can pick and choose, no excuses! Always choose the lettuce bowl option, chicken or steak, avocado, beans, vegetables and salsa. Stay away from the queso, rice, sour cream, burrito wrap and chips. This is a great option for a quick dinner if you make the right choices.
- Five Guys- Who knew Five Guys was healthy?!? Well not so fast, there are a lot of poor choices to be made there, but I’m here to help. Your best order would be the little burger in a lettuce wrap topped with mushrooms, peppers, onions and tomatoes. This meal would be around 250-300 calories, with good protein and nutrients. Avoid the bacon, double burgers, buns and cheese (occasionally).
- Boston Market– Boston market is a great take out option for the family. The best options are the meals with white meat. Avoid the sandwiches, potpies and dark meat options. Choose the dill potatoes over the mashed potatoes. The steamed vegetables are cooked in olive oil, while the green beans have a butter sauce. Sweet corn is a better option than the sweet potato and stay away from the mac and cheese and cornbread. Choose water or unsweetened tea as your beverage and you can have a guilt free meal!