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LIFESTYLE 4 weeks ago

Healthy(ish) Fast Food Favorites

Eating healthy all the time is NOT an easy feat.

It actually takes a lot of discipline and preparation to eat healthy all the time, especially with a four-year-old who always wants french fries and chicken nuggets! Though, now that I think about it… I wouldn’t mind some french fries and chicken nuggets either… I mean they’re so hard to resist! When you’re trying to watch your weight, eat healthier, avoid certain foods… going through a drive-though sounds like a MAJOR NO-NO. So, inspired by this post from Goop, I’m sharing my favorite HEALTHY(ish) fast food options.

So, the next time you’re on a road trip or find yourself starving in a mall or being dragged to get fries for your kids- consider getting these healthier options instead:

McDONALD’S

If you find yourself at the Golden Arches, order the Grilled Chicken Sandwich with no mayo. One trick I’ve picked up is to remove the top bun and eat it as an open-faced sandwich – kind of like a toast! Another great option is the egg white delight sandwich if you’re in a breakfast mood. And, you can never go wrong with apple slices as a sub for fries.

But sometimes, just order the fries. Mickey D’s Pro Tip: If you ask for no salt on your fries, you’re guaranteed a fresh order of fries. Optional: add salt after.

EL POLLO LOCO

If you’re swinging by El Pollo Loco, straight protein is the best option and the chicken leg there is only 90 calories. If you’re not in the mood for chicken, the Classic Baja Fish Taco is very yummy and has 8 grams of protein. Plus, the house salsa is only 9 calories so put it on everything! You all know how I like my spicy food.

BURGER KING

Believe it or not, but the Veggie Burger at Burger King is actually great. Just make sure to hold the mayo, of course. Another great option is the Tender Grill Chicken Sandwich which only has 320 calories and has 32 grams of protein which will keep you full for a while.

TACO BELL

If you find yourself in the Taco Bell drive-through, the bean burrito (no cheese) is a great option that’s still very tasty. Or, order the soft taco with shredded chicken fresco style. Pro Tip: ordering ‘fresco’ style at Taco Bell removes the cheese and the creamy sauces (aka calories) and replaces it with salsa!

JACK IN THE BOX

So while you might be craving the curly fries (because YUM who doesn’t love curly fries?) the Chicken Fajita Pita will be a better choice. It’s already veggie-packed, so go ahead and skip the salsa (or don’t… your call)! The “Breakfast Jack” is also a good option for breakfast and only 300 calories. Again, you also can’t go wrong with the apple slices but if you do happen to order curly fries, I won’t tell anybody!

CHICK-FIL-A

According to the Chick-Fil-A aficionados at the office, the grilled nuggets are just as good, if not better, than the classic nuggets! To top it off, the 12 count is only 210 calories and have 35 grams of protein. If you’re in the mood for a sandwich, the Grilled Chicken Sandwich is also a great option.

CARL’S JR.

Craving a salad? The Carl’s Jr. Charbroiled Chicken Salad is only 320 calories. When it comes to dressing, always get balsamic or the clearest dressing option available! The Turkey Burger in a lettuce wrap is also quite tasty and low in calorie.

SUBWAY

While most Subway sandwiches are already pretty healthy, try turning it into a salad. Get the low-cal dressing option and pile it high with veggies. All you have to do is ditch the bread!

STARBUCKS

It seems like there’s a Starbucks on every corner in LA, so they really have the monopoly on convenience! To eat, the Egg Sous Bites are protein-packed and actually rather filling or the Whole Grain Oatmeal. Or, you can grab my personal favorite, the Protein Box!

If you’re getting coffee, black coffee is best. Or order the almond milk latte which is only 80 calories! A grande size coffee has 4 pumps of sugar in there which can really add up those empty calories. Try cutting your sugar intake down to 1 pump or even half a pump if you need the sweetener! If you find that you’re always reaching for something sweet, it may be time to do a little sugar reset like how I did here!

WENDY’S

Want some comfort fast food that’s actually on the healthy(ish) side? The Baked Potato (hold the sour cream) and the Chili bowl (210 calories for a small) from Wendy’s is the perfect answer. If you REALLY need something sweet (we all have that sweet tooth somewhere), treat yourself to a kid-sized vanilla frosty (190 calories)!

All of these options taste great and are definitely on the healthier side. Though, I truly believe that you can enjoy a burger and fries (and a shake) in moderation! If your body is craving a burger, get a burger!

Photography by Karla Ticas

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Healthy(ish) Fast Food Favorites

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