Eating out as a vegetarian who says no to dairy (most of the time) is a challenge. That’s why I don’t do it often. But fast food can be a necessary evil on a busy day of errands, if I forget my lunch, or if I’m traveling. While chain restaurants are being required to post calories, calories don’t provide the whole story. Lower calorie options can be loaded with sugar and lack protein, leaving you unsatisfied and headed toward a blood sugar crash.
Eating healthy on the go means being prepared and doing your research. It helps to have a go-to list of preselected options so you can grab and go. Try these fast food finds to make eating on the go a little healthier.
Denny’s Fit Fare menu: At IDEA Personal Trainer Institute West, I had the privilege of having breakfast with Kymberly and Alexandra from FunandFit.org. When Denny’s, which was across the street from our hotel, was suggested I was skeptical. I was pleasantly surprised however by their Fit Fare menu. Since they serve breakfast all day, try the Veggie Skillet. With egg whites, broccoli, spinach, mushrooms and potatoes it has 20 grams of protein and only 330 calories. While it may not be as fast they do offer take out service.
Starbucks Smoothie: These smoothies are hands down better than the ones you find “under the Arches.” While the Starbucks smoothies have a few more calories they also have fewer ingredients (only four), plus more protein and less sugar.
Panera Asiago Cheese bagel: Surprise! Yes this bagel is high in carbs but it also has 13 grams of protein and only 3 grams of sugar. When the bagel bin shows up at your office this is the one to pick.
Which Wich: I love any place you can have it your way. Make any number of sandwiches better for you by skipping the bread and putting the fillings on a bowl of spinach. Or get the Huevos Rancheros on 7-inch wheat for only 360 calories.
McAlister’s Veggie Chili: I can eat soup or chili any time of year. You can have a bowl of this vegetarian version for under 300 calories while getting 15 grams of protein and 26 (!) grams of fiber. You’ll be guaranteed to stay full for a busy afternoon of errands if you have this for lunch with a lovely side salad.
What’s your go to fit fast food? Do you have a “safe” restaurant where you know you can make a healthy choice?