Reasonable - ish fast food options please

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Joined: Aug 10
Posts: 280

Posted: 12 Feb 2011, 13:38
I got a new job and am working tons of hours and have a weird commute. My exercise schedule is whacked, but that's just a matter of making myself exercise in the evenings, which I hate. My last job I had good lunch options close. This one I was going to bring food, but really I'm so rushed in the mornings I'm bad about that plan. It's going to still be my basic plan, but I need a viable plan B for when I forget.

The food options have been hard because I'm in the middle of my town's international district for lunch. Tons of great Chinese food, but I'm clueless as to caloric content. I'm going to walk around a bit to find what else is there, but what struck me is I could search up restaurants and find them.

So what I'm wondering is what chains have what good options. There is a Starbucks, a Specialties (I've been warned most items there are like thousands of calories). But good people, please give me some ideas of things I might Google locations for and figure out if they are too far.

Joined: Feb 11
Posts: 97

Posted: 12 Feb 2011, 13:44
I've never heard of Specialties, but when I think of Starbucks, lunch isn't what comes to mind. Overpriced half-sandwiches is what I kind of remember.

If you have Wendy's or MacD's you could get a salad. Wendy's chili is pretty good, too.

Joined: Mar 10
Posts: 9

Posted: 12 Feb 2011, 13:45
Starbucks is a good option. They have several different choices that are healthy, like the fruit/nut combos, hummus and veggies, etc. Grab a veggie and hummus plate, a banana, and an iced green tea - seems like that would be a lot healthier than the Chinese take-out. Just stay away from the pastries. Smile

Joined: Jan 09
Posts: 4,546

Posted: 12 Feb 2011, 13:51
If I'm running late or forget to bring my lunch, a Starbucks tomato mozzarella sandwich is my go to item to grab for lunch. It's 350 calories. I always have a few pieces of fruit in my office, so I usually eat one of those also.

A good rule of thumb most places is to eat half. That's what I tend to do if I go somewhere and have no idea about the calories. When you are eating things that do have caloric information, pay attention to what the portions look like so you can visually estimate later.
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Joined: Jul 10
Posts: 2,052

Posted: 12 Feb 2011, 14:00
Specialty's can be good or horrible, but they give you enough information to figure it out. You can order online, and their sandwich and salad customizers give you calorie counts for everything. You can add pesto to a sandwich and see how many calories that is. Browse their sandwich menu, find one that looks interesting, then click edit.

If you find combos that you like you can save them as favorites, then just quickly reorder the same thing.

Beware their cookies, though. They're around 400 calories per.

I would be eating a lot of Chinese food if I was in your position.. You may not be able to figure out the exact calorie count of a mom & pop dish, but that's OK. Get something with lots of stir-fried vegetables, maybe some seafood or chicken, and no goopy sauce. Get brown rice if you can. Pay attention to portion sizes, but you can learn to eyeball those pretty easily. Don't get side dishes that are deep-fried (e.g. egg rolls, fried wontons), and don't order main dishes that are battered and fried.

Joined: Jul 10
Posts: 65

Posted: 12 Feb 2011, 14:57
I don't know where you live, but some chains have the nutritional information on their websites, so once you find restaurants that have food you can have, then you may want to try looking it up online. I go for either Starbucks' protein plate (I don't eat the bread in there, though) or Qdoba/Chipotle burritos -- I order them naked (no tortilla), no rice, black beans, extra chicken, salsa and guacamole -- no starch or dairy at all. On Qdoba's website, you can customize your own burrito and it will calculate the nutrition for you. Consider it a new adventure! Have fun with it! Smile
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Joined: Aug 10
Posts: 330

Posted: 12 Feb 2011, 19:35
In a pinch always try to find a local deli and get a sandwich on a good homemade whole grain bread, roastbeef, or low sodium turkey breast, mustard, lettuce, tomato. Avoid the chains (Subway, Togo's...) if possible. Another good option is a local market, head to the "make your own" salad bar, stick to the lettuce, spinach, carrots, peppers, celery, add some protein and a little balsamic vinegar. Or head over to the deli and order a few slices of roast beef and cheese, grab a greek yogurt and a container of fresh berries. Oh yea, don't forget a nice big bottle of water !!


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