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. (more…)
Finally some good news to report about the fast food and restaurant industry! Nineteen restaurant chains have committed to making their kid meal options healthier. In a new era where one in three children are obese and where eating out is more of a norm verses a special indulgence, this is wonderful news.
The initiative is called “Kids Live Well”, and this voluntary action has select restaurants committing to reduce the calories and improve the nutritional value of the meals they advertise to children. The meals will now be comprised of increased fruit and vegetable offerings, a lean protein, whole grains, and a low fat dairy product. All participants have agreed to make certain all meals are 600 calories or less.
Burger King is one of the restaurants involved in the movement. They may be the shining star of the group as they have made a decision to make apples and milk or juice the default choices for their kid’s meals. While fries and soda will still be available, they will have to be requested. Studies have shown that menu items set as the default options are what the consumers primarily stick with.
I wait all year long to watch the Super Bowl. Part of the allure is the game itself – I’m a huge football fan. The other big draw for me would be the commercials. I love to see how imaginative and creative the companies become, all in an effort to get your attention and your future purchases. Have you noticed, though, that the vast majority of the foods featured in the Super Bowl commercials aren’t healthy? Let’s take a look at some of them.
Doritos – One serving of Doritos is one ounce, between 12 and 14 chips. With 150 calories, 7 grams of fat and 18 grams of carbohydrates, these salty chips make it difficult to stop at one serving.
Coke/Pepsi – Soda is a dieter’s worst nightmare. It’s full of high fructose corn syrup and caffeine and the carbonation can cause stomach troubles. One 12 ounce can of Coke contains 143 calories, one can of Pepsi contains 150 calories and each has more than 40 grams of carbohydrates.
It looks like restaurant chain Denny’s is trying to atone for the nutritional sin of serving up the super-fattening fried cheese melt sandwich. Denny’s announced that it will be partnering with Amy’s Organics to offer a healthier sandwich: The Amy’s Veggie Burger. Announced this week, the organic and vegan burger will soon be appearing nationwide. Denny’s does currently offer a veggie burger, but it’s not vegan.
Neither mozzarella sticks nor grilled cheese sandwiches are particularly healthy or low calorie foods. But sicking the fried cheese into the fired sandwich means only one thing: diet disaster. The sandwich will be appearing on Denny’s $2 $4 $6 $8 value menu starting August 24th.
The restaurant chain announced that the Fried Cheese Melt will cost $4.00, but has not released its caloric content. Here’s our best estimate, with data provided by Denny‘s:
- 750 calories for an 8-ounce serving of Denny’s mozzarella sticks, without condiments (Denny’s does not disclose how many pieces they consider a serving)
- 650 calories in Denny’s three cheese melt
- Totals 1,400 calories
The meal will also come with a serving of fries, and a serving of marinara sauce. The french fries have 425 calories per 5-ounce serving, and the average 1/2 cup of marinara sauce has 93 calories. (more…)
In an effort to be competitive with other restaurant promotions, such as IHOP’s offering of Never Ending Pancakes on February 24, Denny’s has come out with a whopper of a bad idea. Starting now and continuing through the end of March, Denny’s is offering unlimited free refills of both French fries and pancakes at participating locations nationwide. Valid 24 hours a day, seven days a week, the offer applies to any order of French fries or pancakes served with an entrée, including both original buttermilk pancakes and Denny’s Hearty Wheat pancakes.
“Clearly times are still hard and everyday we’re all looking for ways to stretch hard-earned dollars farther and farther,” said John Dillon, Vice President Marketing, Denny’s Corporation. “By offering unlimited refills on not just one but two favorite items, we are able to provide even more everyday value on items our guests love. Who doesn’t want seconds of pancakes and fries… especially when they’re free?”
Repeat after me – free is not always good. And often free comes with a non-monetary price tag. (more…)
During Super Bowl XLIV, most of America saw the commercial for Denny’s Free Grand Slam Breakfast. It’s the second year the diner is offering this promotion, and it will no doubt lead to very long lines on Tuesday, February 9, when the free breakfast is available.
While the meal might not cost you anything, your body will pay dearly.
Made of 2 pancakes, 2 sausage links, 2 strips of bacon and 2 fried eggs, the original Denny’s Grand Slam Breakfast has:
- 795 Calories
- 50g Fat (daily recommendation is 65g total)
- 460mg Cholesterol (more than the 300mg/day recommendation)
- 2237mg Sodium (more than the 2200mg/day recommendation)
- 65g Carbs
- 2g Dietary Fiber
- 4g Sugar
- 34g Protein (more…)