The Healthiest Fast Food Choices
Welcome to the has not that podcast. Brought to you by Bob's red. Mill I'm John Hammond. And this is Megan Murphy. Hi, everyone. And in this episode. We're going to be highlighting surprisingly healthy fast food meals, they do exist, and we're at a time of year now where you're probably going to find yourself in a mall of some sort whether it's black Friday or just the, you know, the run-up to the holidays kind of thing or maybe you're just kinda bouncing around a lot during parties, and you know, things to get to odds are you're going to find yourself really hungry at some point in time during the day and with not a lot of options nearby fast food options, which is totally fine. These days right game. We'll do it. We all do. Visit this time of year. I mean, nobody has time to not every day at least make a nice home cooked meal and sometimes fast foods, the only option. What's good is that there are decent choices out there? When you're on the go, and look, and here's another thing. Maybe you're not out on the go all day long. Maybe you're just tired of cooking. Yeah. Because you got get families and parties and friends coming over. And you're like, you know, what like I want a night off. And let's just go get something. And so so this is a good show for that too. Because you're going to get a sense of the healthy options that exist, and like these are like popular places either places that I went to when I was growing up that I take my boys to like even today. So it's not to say like, you don't wanna make a steady diet of any of these things because you wanna control your food source as much as possible. But in the situations whether it's running around for a hectic day or just taking night or day off. There are really surprisingly good options out there, and these these are these are like these aren't like the best of the worst. Like these are good option. Yeah. And they've gotten so much better over the years. So it's nice to see that these places have evolved based on how marika's eating and like underscore that today a lot of fast food joints, even offer vegetarian options and free free. Like, it's all out there. And if you're curious about some of the scaring greens hiding in in your favor entree, maybe you can. Check out the nutrition and ingredient information right on the restaurant's website, most of them put that up there and look for some of them. You know, it's not the easiest thing to find on the website. But it doesn't it doesn't take Sherlock Holmes. Really kind of Slough it out. You know, Google search will probably pull it up for the most part just make sure it's the most up to date because you know, with a lot of these places things will change seasonally. So please take that into. No, as you listen to this episode, depending on when you're when you're finding it and when you're coming to us because some of these things might be seasonal so just always always check beforehand, and like we've said in previous episodes, if you're going to a restaurant or something like scan the menu, advance and know what lies ahead. So you make smart decisions and smart choices. But look you don't have to worry about it with these meals because the this not that team has already done it for you. Right. They've into the data. They've connected with nutritionist to make sure that these are actually the best choices available. So you don't have to worry about like scanning the numbers like what we're about to talk about like this. This is pre. Proved just just walk up and just get your order in. Exactly. So if you're up an atom early, you're ready to tackle the day and beat those crowds at the mall. You definitely need a solid breakfast caffeine too. Yeah. Exactly. So if you're at Starbucks, you can get your coffee and eat this not that team really likes. Starbucks oatmeal oatmeal. It's really filling you get a solid dose of fiber and protein, but the best part is that at Starbucks. They serve all the dried fruit nuts sugar and all the other toppings on the side. So you get to decide how sweet you want it to be in this gives you total control over all the added sugars that sometimes can spoil that that healthy breakfast. I mean, I really like the oatmeal at Starbucks degree. I think you do as well, you're such an old male guy anytime of the day. But but but if oatmeal isn't your thing like that's our pick. But if it's not your thing, they have an egg cheese. Breakfast sandwich is also another good pick. If you're looking for, you know, something edgier more hearty, something you can grab and go with one hand. It's just two hundred eighty calories. It's fourteen grams of. Protein for staying power, and it's a solid source of calcium iron vitamin A. And there you go. But just you know, if you're gonna go to Starbucks, and you want to help him breakfast, don't go order that eventually size flavored holiday lot. And then you're going to spoil everything I think this is where you know this. This is just great for breakfast in general, by the way, you know, you want a healthy dose of protein. Some Billy filling fiber and carbs like this is you want carbs, especially early in the day. Because that's what provides the energy. No matter what you have on tap for the day. If you're a day at the mall or running errands, or whatever it is the carbs in the morning going to fuel you all day long. So if you're worried about carbs or cutting back on carbs, this is not a time to do it. Do it later in the day can cut carbs at dinnertime but breakfast load up. That's why that's why I like oatmeal. Because I know that big bowl what meal in the morning is going to kinda like power me through with the energy, and the carbs that I need and same thing with with the sandwich. I like the spinach Fedor rap. They have white smooch. Holy crap. Because it's a whole grain rap again, like good, good, carbs, solid. Solid quality carbs, good proteins and healthy fats, the fed up, and that's a great start to the day. Now, let's say you're not starting the Dow now, it's it's lunchtime. Or later in the day, and you know, one of the places that I love to go and my boys love for me to take them to Panara. Right. It's it's the obsessed with the grilled cheese. They literally think it's like there. If you ask them what their favorite meal Panara grilled chief? Like, I mean, it's got your home cooking game. It's a good grilled cheese. But obviously the team at this not that are really big fans of mayor because they don't use any artificial ingredients and preserve as they were one of the first QSR's to really come out and promote this heavily. And so it's great look a lot of their salads are great. But one of the favorites eat this not that is the seasonal roasted beat keen watt and citrus Sal had that just love beets. Are another thing. I could eat anytime. Beets are fantastic. And just I think people appreciate what? Nutritional powerhouse beats are. I mean, protein fiber really healthy nitrates that if you're into any kind of exercise, you really want scrape for your blood flow and circulation, but the salad in particular. In addition to the delicious roasted beets it delivers a great mix of whole grains, vegetarian proteins from the nuts, and the and cheese and a whole lot of five. Or from the kale, which is again, another one of those things that helps fill you up and keeps you see? She as long as you go through the day. The sodium content is a bit high as as will be with any fast food option. Probably a lot of that is kind of coming from the dressing so ask for the dressing on the side, and you can actually minimize some of the impact of the sodium and another great option. One of my this is what I always go for that Pinera is the pick to pick to go for. Because why would you not want a sandwich and soup? Well, I always do the sandwiches salad and you dip the sandwich to the go making. That's good. Making. That's something. That's something. Get excited about I go with the usually do the Mediterranean veggie sandwich for the half. And then the they have like a. Like a meta training. Qianwen kale salad. Also that I go for. But you know, you could go with the vegetarian black bean soup. You go for the Fuji apple salad of both really solid picks. And what's nice about the take to you get the sandwich? But you get that important to serving a vegetable and fruit kind of thing which a lot of us don't get as we go through today, especially as we go through a hectic day, like one of the things you're not thinking about as you're servings of fruits and vegetables. So by taking this option, you kind of forcing it on yourself, delicious wet, and it does in a delicious way. And look the other thing with this is what's nice about it? It's like automatic portion control. Because if you look at the calorie count on a lot of sandwiches, the whole sandwich might be seven hundred sixty calories, but you take that half sandwich. And now you're down under four hundred calories. The salad is not gonna add a ton. So you're in pretty good shape. Some of these sound I haven't been to Pinera in a while just because I don't live. I do. I I love it when whenever want. Just we can see the sheer joy like getting this love it of the of the grilled cheese effect. My my parents go all the time like they live by one. So they all the time and some of these I've never even heard of maybe their new menu items. I gotta check them out and preneurs really good because they do for a while. They had like there was like there was like a secret menu. Right. Like there used things you could order like chicken power salad kind of thing that wasn't on the menu. But they kind of knew what you're talking about. And it was like chicken and keen lawn. They had there was a breakfast sandwich. That I think that a lot of that has been exposed now. And they they realize things were so popular that they put them on the menu. But they do rotate this. This is a place where they do have a lot of seasonal option. So again, make sure you check before you go if you're heading to McDonald's, that's something that's on. Everyone's everyone lives. Can you're probably heading to McDonald's. It doesn't matter. If you're in Paris, France or pairs, Texas. You're going to McDonald's that's on everyone's neighborhood, but a healthier option is there artisan grilled chicken sandwich with a side of apples instead of fries, which I know some people are just like no because Mickey D's fries are so tasty. But if you swap the fries for aside of Apple's first of all the sandwich. It's three hundred eighty calories. Seven grams of fat forty four cards and thirty seven grams approach that's a lot of protests protein. Protein and the site of apples only adds twenty calories for grams of carbs and all the vitamins that Apple's have as in the small fries would add two hundred thirty calories. Ten grams of fat and thirty grams of carbs so save the fries, it's the holiday season save save the calories and fat for the holiday meal and just go with the apples. It'll keep you going. That's the that's the thing. And seems it seems like such an obvious thing. Like don't have the fries, and it's like so many of us kind of cash in because I'm already here. Like, it's like it's like up sizing meal and getting a diet coke kind of Taliban like a mardi of cashing it in. But but the the main factor here when we wanna pay attention to is eat something that you're that your best available option. That's also going to kind of like here you through. And that's things you can have the chicken sandwich, which was great, by the way. I've definitely had it. It's delicious. It's grilled chicken breast. So it's not like fried. But it it does still packed like the bun is not like the best kind of carb option available. And it does it does. Have some fat? And so you don't wanna kinda double down and compound the damage by the fraticide of fries, which are also going to just like crush you with sodium, nonetheless, everything with everything, and but yes, they are delicious. So, you know, and and the other thing is is you're going to power through them without even realizing that you're full from the sandwich because it takes it takes awhile for that message to get from your stomach to your brain. So all of a sudden like twenty minutes later you walk out of there. You're like on my feel number one. I'm dying. All of a sudden, you're sluggish and that's not going to help you get through what you need to do that day. So just take take a pause on the fries, at least, you know, while you're doing this the apples, and that stuff is going to help make the meal a lot lighter on your overall system that we had down and also give you a little shot a carbs sugar to kind of power you through now before we get to the rest of the surprising Lee, healthy and delicious fast food options. Yes, they are out there something that's not surprisingly healthy. And something that we are obviously a big fan of is Bob's red mill. And if you're a long-time listener of the show, first foremost, we appreciate that thank so much. But you also know why we're such big fans of mill not just because they're the presenting sponsor of the is not that podcast. But because it's it's an employee owned company that has been offering organic gluten free in stone ground products for decades. So that's something that we can all stand behind right? That's a purpose driven company, which is fantastic. But with bombs read million, not just giving quality. You're getting flavor packed healthy food that actually take. Amazing. So visit Bob's red mill dot com because there's just a host of great foods that can spice up your your breakfast. Your lunch dinner, they're great basics. And staples. There's a ton of great recipes, and this is really important because what you put in your body is so important, which is why we're so thankful that companies. Like Bob's red mill produce quality products that we can stand behind bombs earn. 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Now, another great option that is popping up more and more all over the place. I I I went to my first chick fillet when I was going to college. I went to college down in West Virginia because in the northeast we didn't have. And now it's up here. So congratulations northeast, my friend used to call it chick fil. I was like, I don't think it's that doesn't make any sense at all. Must be plan fillet, but the best thing at chick fillet if you're happening in there is the grilled chicken nugget. Yes, Chick-fil-A has a grilled chicken nugget. And it's only one hundred and fifty first serving with only one hundred and forty calories twenty five grams of protein, the high protein entree is a great alternative to the traditional nuggets, which are fried. Right. And that's we all know, that's bad. You don't even to tell you that. In fact, Chick-fil-A nuggets are so good the team eat this not that ranked number one in their exclusive report of every fast food chicken nugget ranked. Right. So if you're in this other thing where kids right? Yeah. If maybe you don't have a chicken nugget problem, but if you have kids, you are definitely wearing up chicken nuggets, you might want to dot com. And check out the ranking of the best chicken nuggets. But again, the Chick-fil-A grilled chicken nugget is is the best pick of the bunch. And also they have grilled market salad with really good as well. It's packed with lean protein fruit and vegetables, which we know we all need and the only thing. Say is opt for the light. Balsa MC vinaigrette to keep the calories and the fat and check because dressing is nice healthy salad. But if you're dumping a half a Cup ranch dressing on that really about helping same dipping sauces to with the nuggets. I love chiklis so many mazing sauces summer much better than others. So just do your research, you watch after the triggers on those, you know, if it's a sweet and sour that's going to get you. And we can't talk about fast food without mentioning burger. Right. So if you're near Wendy's, which is actually one of my favorite, you know, go to. Go for a junior hamburger, and you can load it up with lettuce tomato onion, pickle mustard and ketchup and get the side salad. There's a garden salad that has pump granite vinaigrette, spicy cashews. Apple missiles, awesome. It sounds like a really big delicious satisfying meal, and it's only four hundred sixty calories for all of that. That's amazing. Yeah. And it's super satisfying fast food meal, you get that belly filling protein from the beef of the burger you get some fiber from the salad and the apples and that will easily get you through a whole marathon mall session of shopping. And again, like the think yourself like the junior hamburger that's not as not big enough. But you know, what it's it's it is big enough. Yeah. It isn't it delivers enough protein, and it's filling enough and by the time you finish it. You'll be like, okay. That was good. You're not gonna feel feel like you needed like the giant burger, Patty or the triple Patty or the probably up to four five Patty's at this point somebody's places. So again, it's one of those things where it's like give yourself time. Give yourself a a moment of pause actually eat. And then kind of think was that enough. You can always go get more, by the way. Like, nobody says like you have to get it all at once. You can always go back up in order more. If you need it. But I will bet you that a junior hamburger, especially if you're putting on the lettuce tomatoes achieve put a slice of cheese on there. It's it's gonna fill you up enough. This is an you don't wanna have to nap after meal, you wanna go do what you need to do. And what I love about. Wendy's to is for years. They were saying, you know, fresh not Rosen beef now some of the other chains are getting on board. But Wendy's has been doing it for a while. And that's really important. I think fresh ingredients. Fearless. I'm a fan of the square burger. I'm Dan with a fan of Dave Thomas. I think Wendy's in general just used to used to be our before before kids. It was our Sunday dinner, Natalie Natalie, and I we lived our first apartment I would sending I'd be so excited. Be like all right. So it's Sunday night. It's Wendy's it's Wendy's dinner, and I'd run out and go to the drive thru because you had to get the big, you know. Breaking classic was was my the fries, and but more importantly the frosty. The fries in the frosty fries. Front differ wanted to enjoy the front Caesar's. So good. On our list. This dall-. Yes, another one. That's that's a good place in again, easy to find these days to polling. Speaking of Billy, filling fiber and protein go into triple in order up a salad bowl, which is just genius. You can ask for greens instead of rice, and then just throwing the beans. Fajita veggies, one of the delicious proteins and salsa. I mean, I mean come on just talking about all those things makes you hungry and ready to eat acting just go with go with with one of the following though. Waka moly sour cream or cheese because they're all really high in fat, and they can take that meal that bowl to the next the next calorie bracket if you will. So just be careful there and don't worry about it. You should skip the chips, by the way, just like fries. It's brian. You don't need it and with with the the beans, and there's so much fiber. And they're just going to be filling. And if you're vegetarian don't worry about it. Just skip the meat option and just loaded up with all the veggies and the beans instead. Hello to pull a. Had their their challenges. But you know, what I give them credit? They've they've dealt with them and they've done so with with transparency and publicly so, you know, and I'll walk into one like I have no problem with poultry. So. Get you go get your salad bowl on. And if you're going to eat fresh subway skip the deli meats. Yeah. Go for a tuna salad sub. Instead, you can get a six inch nine green holy role packed with tuna salad. Spinach. Green peppers all cucumber and banana. Oh, I love banana pepper. And it comes in under five hundred calories for all of that four grams of fiber twenty grams of protein, and it's a great source of vitamins ANC calcium iron like you get a lot of really good nutrients packed in there without all the sodium and additives of the deli meats, and why not top it with Advocaat at that point. Right. It's only add sixty calories. You all that yummy say sheeting healthy fats, and I've just makes everything better so much. It's the best. And look, it's funny. I had not been in a subway for for quite some time. Just because proximity like there's there's not one really near me where I live right now. But we were at a wedding over the summer in out in Ohio. And there were kind of it was the day of the wedding. And I had like dropped Natalie off for like the hair makeup kind of thing with the other bridesmaids and stuff, and I had to go back and get the kids ready because the kids were in the wedding, and I had to put their little tuxes on all that kind of stuff. And I was like oh, man. Like if I get something to eat in in me, and especially these kids like that's going to. Yeah. It's going to be ugly. So I stopped at a subway. I just I was like, you know, run into the subway. I'll grab a bunch of six inch subs. And you I forgot like how easy. It was. Also, like, the smell of the baked bread and the bread is like the whole grain brand. It's really good. It's like legit. It's not like the refined kind of in its baked that day. So, you know, it's fresh, and you know, they're using real ingredients. And again, like, I skipped the deli meats for the kids had like ham and cheese, of course, their kids. But like for myself, I skipped the deli meats load up on veggies put at the abakada in me because that's it was it was filling enough with the the whole grain bread, the avacado some cheese. Maybe that's enough to carry you through the reception. So Kudo subway, I forgot I forgot how easy and eating fresh could be now, here's another one this one you talk about nostalgia. Like as I grew up a portrait of his New York. The one main fast food restaurant. We hadn't ten was Burger King. It was laid right down in the center of town. Like McDonald's was like I lived on the border of New York and New Jersey. So like. Mcdonald's is like over New Jersey. That much further away. But Burger King was like right downtown. So like that was our spot, but I will say that. When I was going there as a kid, the veggie burger was definitely not on the menu, then but it is. But it is now a veggie veggie burger, and it's it's it's it's a great option. If you're on the go, it's actually MorningStar veggie, Patty. Okay. Great branch, great brand. And just, you know, look with the veggie burger just watch the toppings, obviously bacon. You know? You don't want to loaded up. If you're if you're -tarian than you don't wanna loaded up. If you're not telling you put some bacon on just know that the big is going to do some damage, but you could definitely top it off with a slice of cheese load up on the lettuce tomatoes. Well, maybe go catch up in mustard. I prefer just mustard myself. But but mixed to instead of mayo to kind of ease out the fats a little bit. But as we've as we've noted before obviously, you want to kind of not go with the fries on even though it's veggie burger and not the meat burger, you still want kinda back off the fries go for apple slices ascites out. They have a great great science out options here too. But yeah, a veggie burger who would have like Burger King. Mcdonald's. The last thing you would think going in. The veggie burger times are changing and vide- burgers have come a long way. Just like like horrible cannibal, and you needed to mask them with cheese and mayo and all that stuff. And now, you don't really, and that's the other thing too. Right. Because those because they because they don't have the fat burger would you have to fill it with like the the flavor that delivers but the veggie burgers today, are we I think we did a whole episode on on the best veggie burgers. So you should definitely check that out. If it's something you're interested in or looking for for another option to kind of cut down on on the burgers that you do eat maybe, but they have. I mean, look, no matter where you might be running around to here are few really good options to look for when your tank, it's a little close to empty to make sure that you kind of get through the day, and they'll fill you up and hopefully power you through the rest of your shopping and travels for even more of an insider scoop on the best foods to eat. No matter the situation be sure to visit our website, fist dot com. Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and Instagram work, eat this not that. And now, you can even subscribe to our new eat this not that magazine. Just go. The subscribe button on our homepage to find out more more importantly, let us know what food choices are on your mind. We'll check them here for you. So you can be confident that you're making the right choice every time thanks for listening. And we hope you'll join us again for steady stream of fun, informative and mind-blowing food knowledge for me, John Hammond, making Murphy and a bunch of experts, and guests that will help you eat this not that.