I understand that there are times we need to hit a drive through, or even just have a night off of cooking. Although, we are in complete control over what we order. Just because we’re hitting the biggest fast food chains, doesn’t mean our only option is a burger, soda and fries. I have made a list of my personal favorites, in terms of taste and health. I have also added my favorite picks at the largest chains in the country.
Enjoy, and please feel free to post your own comments and suggestions.
Top 5 Fast Food Favorites:
- Crazy Bowls and Wraps (they have plenty of gluten free choices for those with food sensitivities).
- Panera Bread (St. Louis Bread Co). Please try not to order a sandwich, plus a side of bread. A better choice would be a you-pick two with half a sandwich on whole grain bread, and a salad on the side. If you ask for an apple as your side, save it for a snack mid-afternoon, as the 1/2 sandwich and salad are already the appropriate portion size. They also have several low fat soup choices which can be paired with a grilled chicken salad.
- Chipotle. Believe it or not, this place can be very healthy. They use all natural ingredients and their dairy products come from hormone free cow’s. All of their meat is from hormone free animals. Try a burrito bowl or a grilled chicken salad. Skip the cheese and sour cream and you will have a healthy and delicious meal.
- Jason’s deli. This place offers and organic salad bar! Top your salad with grilled chicken and bon appetit!
- Jimmy John’s: Start with the whole grain bread and pick the lean meat of your choice. Top with sprouts, cucumbers and avocados. Skip the mayo and stay skinny! Enjoy a pickle as your side.
- Even though McDonald’s and Wendy’s are not on my top 5, YOU CAN make great choices at these places. Many McDonald’s across the country are offering whole grain buns for their grilled chicken sandwiches. All of their salads come with all-natural Newman’s Own salad dressings. Wendy’s now offers healthy grilled chicken salads with fresh fruits, all natural dressings, and you can even get a good ol’ baked potato instead of the deep fried version. Subway also makes cuts when considering healthful choices. Do choose your lean meat on whole grain breads or salads.
Here is a list of some restaurants that also offer healthy menu selections.
- PF Chang’s. Order the brown rice with stir fried or steamed chicken and veggies. Be careful of the deep fried and unhealthy sauce options. Their lettuce wraps are also to die for, and can be paired with steamed brown rice as a side dish.
- Ruby Tuesday. They place their nutrient content right on the menu, offer a variety of healthy burgers on whole grain buns and have a salad bar loaded with healthy choices.
- Chevy’s Tex-Mex. They offer a gluten free menu, fresh grilled fish options, and great salads. Skip your cheese and sour cream and choose guacamole which has healthy fat instead.
- Outback steakhouse. Try their grilled fish with a side of steamed vegetables. Skip the cheese and croutons on your salad and try their delicious and flavorful light dressings. They also offer a baked sweet potato, just skip the sugar and butter, but keep the cinnamon!
- Olive Garden. Try their whole wheat pasta topped with a red sauce and chicken or ground meat. Skip the unlimited bread-sticks but do have their salad with dressing on the side, just skip the cheese and croutons.
- Applebee’s, Chili’s, and Macaroni Grill also offer “light” menu’s for those who are trying to make good portions and stay within appropriate portion sizes.