So it’s been a little while since I’ve blogged. And by a little while, I mean like a few months… but that’s law school/speaking/pageant prep for ya- it tends to eat up any and all free time! Anyway, I’ve been driving a lot recently, and I’ve found that it’s not often an easy task to maintain a healthy lifestyle on the road- especially in regards to food! After all, it’s hard when you’re hungry and exhausted to say “no” to that overly enticing chick-fila milkshake.
So this is a topic I’ve wanted to write about for quite a long time, and something that took more than a few hours in the car to figure out.
That’s right, here it is- the ultimate guide to eating well on the road. A guide developed by yours truly after thousands of miles driving around Virginia, from Bristol to Virginia Beach to Fairfax and even to California. The guide that will prevent you from breaking down and eating nothing but Cheetos mixed with M&Ms and McDonald’s Chicken Nuggets. The ultimate guide to eating well at some of the most common fast food restaurants.
- Chick-fila: one of my personal favorites- and one of the easiest fast food places to eat clean. Grilled nuggets and the Grilled chicken sandwich wrapped in lettuce instead of the bun are my personal favorites. Diet Lemonade is great if you have a craving for Chick-fila’s lemonade- as I often do. The sides are also pretty good, and the superfood salad is great- but ask for the dressing on the side so you can cut some of the sugar content, and the fruit cup is always a great option. As for salads, they’re shockingly decent for fast food salads- my personal favorite is the grilled market salad. If you really, really want fried chicken, grab a four or six count of the nuggets- they’re one of the healthier chicken nugget options.
- McDonald’s: Grilled Chicken Sandwich, plain, wrapped in lettuce. Plain McDouble, wrapped in lettuce (scrape half the cheese off with a knife to make it even better). As for sides, the McDonald’s side salad or apple slices are probably your best bet. As for the other salads at McDonald’s? Probably not a good idea- but if you’re in the mood for ice cream, their kiddie cone is a decent option at only 45 calories and 5 grams of carbs!
- Panera: my personal favorite order is the you pick two with a salad (I get it without croutons/wontons and with dressing on the side) and a chicken noodle soup. You don’t need a side, but if you do get one get an apple- that small, itty bitty piece of bread does you no good whatsoever and is roughly 180 calories. As for the smoothies, the Peach and Blueberry smoothie made with Almond milk is definitely the best bet- it’s a 100 calorie difference from most of the other smoothies, and the Green smoothie is a close second.
- Raising Cane’s: no, you can’t really find a healthy option at raising Cane’s- but they have water at least? But if you really, really need Cane’s sauce in your life, go to Cane’s order a bunch of the cups of sauce and use it to dunk regular chicken strips in. Score!
- Burger King: I haven’t eaten at a burger king since they got rid of their Cinnie Minnies- and I was in my early teens then. Thus, this guide will sadly not cover BK.
- The Good Ole Gas Station: if they have food to order and customizable salads, these are great options. Additionally, look for options with grilled chicken or other protein and without a lot of toppings. If they don’t have food to order, look for protein bars- many gas stations have quest bars or other good protein bars and these are a great option in a pinch- but always check the label! Some gas stations also have protein packs or packaged foods like hard boiled eggs (I have never eaten hard boiled eggs from a gas station- so consume at your own risk and be smart about it. If you get sick you do not get to blame it on this guide).
- Sonic: Beverages are a staple of Sonic, and here you want to stick with a) water and b) diet lemonades or limeades. Avoid the frozen drinks like they’re a stick of sugar- because they totally are (even the diet ones!). As for food- stick with the plain grilled chicken sandwich, and once again, banish the bun. Lettuce wraps are amazing, y’all! Same goes if you decide to splurge on a burger. As for side options- there really aren’t any, unfortunately. Chili Cheese Fries and Mozzerella Sticks shouldn’t be a staple on any healthy eating plan.
- Subway: Grilled Chicken breast sub- pick either dressing or cheese, or, ideally avoid both. Avoid mayo. Add Spinach and Green Peppers (or any other veggies you may love!). Cut all or half of the bread to make it even healthier. If you have a meatball sub craving, as I sometimes do, ask for the meatballs in a bowl without the bread. Apple slices are probably your best bet for a side, but if you really want chips opt for the sun chips.