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Healthy fast food?

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Old 03-21-2009, 08:19 PM   #1
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Smile Healthy fast food?

Ok, my family is on a tight budget right now. We normally eat "cheap" fast food or somewhere we can get "deals" so, is there any site that I can find what is the best things to eat at specific restaurants?

Thanks.
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Old 03-21-2009, 08:27 PM   #2
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that's a tough question. Wendy's potatoes (forget all the extra cheese/bacon) and their chili is actually pretty decent for you. Forget the salads from pretty much anywhere, because if they're not terrible for you they're still expensive. Um, if you can afford the grilled chicken sandwiches at some places, those aren't too bad either.
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Old 03-21-2009, 09:00 PM   #3
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It could be time to work on your cooking skills. Seriously. I'm not sure that eating out is really that cheap. I bought frozen veggies this week (~$6 for 4lbs) and boneless chicken breasts on sale (for $3/lb). And you can get other cuts of chicken a lot cheaper (and it's easier to cook a whole chicken, season it and toss it in the oven. But even at that, for 2 people:

1 lb chicken - $3
1/4 bag of veg - $1.50
brown rice - ?? but pretty cheap

And you don't need 1 lb of chicken usually for two people. Although I don't do low carb, I tend to drop the starch from my evening meal, so I would be making more chicken, and no rice. Even if you don't have a lot of spices and such - you can get by on salt, pepper, and basil for the chicken. Adding a few other ingredients can get you a good meal for very little. Maybe it's the difference between Canada and the US, but I never find fast food all that cheap.

(I tend to go a little overboard, as I make my own lunch stuff now... smoking turkey when it's on sale, and eye of round roasts, etc., but we actually seem to be spending a lot less on stuff lately.)
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Old 03-21-2009, 09:28 PM   #4
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THANKS. I am actually cutting back on eating out because I need to eat healthier. But, honestly, eating healthy at home is not that cheap either...well chicken can be if you catch it on sale. But I made baked Salmon fillets the other night with baked sweet potatoes and veggies. I love Salmon but cannot afford it very often! Seriously, I would lose some serious weight if I could afford to buy all the salmon I wanted to eat! And I am sick to death of grilled chicken, so I need to check out some recipes!! THANKS FOR THE HELP!
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Old 03-21-2009, 10:32 PM   #5
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Some places ARE better than others, yes...but it's still fast food. I'm right there with ya....my life is kind of hectic right now, and I don't always feel like I have time to cook. Still, it can be worthwhile to learn how to make some quick healthy dishes. You also cut out dangerous chemicals like MSG when you cook at home. I think in the end...it's worth it. I just need to practice what I preach a little more I think...
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Old 03-21-2009, 11:23 PM   #6
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At work I have a list that is fast food meals under 500 calories. If you google "fast food meals under 500 calories" a ton comes up

It takes into account that you drink water with your meals.
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Old 03-22-2009, 12:05 AM   #7
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I don't eat meat and meat is pretty expensive. You can buy lots of veggies, beans, whole grains, etc for a pretty decent price.
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Old 03-22-2009, 12:49 AM   #8
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I was going to say the salads, I think they are ok if you are careful with what is on them and careful what/how much dressing you use, but like someone mentioned already, they are expensive.

The chicken sandwiches are ok...but they are on white bread and some place's chicken seems more processed and not a real chicken breast. Seems a little hard to eat healthy and cheap at fast food places if you eat there often.
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Old 03-22-2009, 10:55 AM   #9
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You can also go heavy on vegetarian meals (as Nellie said). However, as a meat eater I'd also add in lean meats, even in small amounts. The one thing to note is that I sometimes purchase cheaper meats on sale (blade roasts, pork chops, etc.) and trim them myself. I got semi-boneless blade roasts on sale in the fall at $1.79 / lb and even with cutting out the small bone that was left, and a bunch of fat, it still came in under $2.49 (by now I forget the exact price, but I remember thinking that even if the boneless was on sale for 2.49 I'd be ahead of the game). I then made soup with the leftover bones and scraps (cooled and skimmed the stock first, to remove the fat).

If you like homemade hamburgers, I find that mixing lean ground beef with turkey makes an almost indistinguishable burger from our regular beef-only burgers. I add an egg to ~ 1-1/2 lbs meat to hold them together (with salt, pepper, garlic) and freeze them for convenience.

Oh, and speaking of eggs, sometimes a frittata is a good way to use up leftover meats/veggies.
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Old 03-22-2009, 09:24 PM   #10
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Subway all the way! I am actually losing weight on it right now!
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Old 03-23-2009, 06:07 PM   #11
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Here is that site I was talking about:

http://seosfightfat.com/nathaniajohn...ories-or-less/
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Old 03-25-2009, 12:42 AM   #12
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Thanks. I think I am gonna just try to stay away from fast food. If I go, I have gotten some good tips here and can use them. THANKS! I think if I "practice" or actually put some more effort into it, I can buy food for home that will be healthier. If not, I will just cut what I eat in half.

Thanks again.
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Old 03-25-2009, 07:54 PM   #13
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Don't forget about Diet Facts.

http://www.dietfacts.com
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Old 03-30-2009, 09:14 PM   #14
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just stick with the burgers, skip the fries, that's what i do when i fast food is the only option and i dont' want to blow my diet.

subway, that's a good one, we all know about Jared...

taco bell bean burritos have about 300 calories a piece. Tostadas are not that high in calories and a taco has under 300 calories. a regular taco that is.

I do Panera alot. they have good soups and salads. or just a bagel with cream cheese occasionally.

it's hard, if not impossible to do cheap fast food and be healthy. I wouldn't recommend it as a norm for anyone who cares about getting healthy.

what about making and freezing food ahead of time? like rice or something? soups and cooked chicken and beef strips or chunks freeze well and thaw out pretty quick in a skillet meal.
i'm kinda in the same boat as you. i've been in a rut where i just don't feel like cooking when i get off work, hence the Panera! it gets expensive though...


I guess for cheap healthy meals, you can get a bag of rice for relatively cheap, frozen veggies and look for sales on meat. or dried beans as someone mentioned. and for fresh fruit, look for whatever is seasonal and on sale. Do you have a Marc's or an Aldi's where you live? cheap grocery stores.
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Old 03-30-2009, 09:33 PM   #15
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I go to Dunkin Donuts often because, like so many of us im on the go all the time and have a hard time eating healthy when doing so. I'd suggest the Egg White Turkey Sausage Flatbread Sandwich, i get it for breakfast or lunch and its about 280 calories, or less. All the fast food restaurants have nutrition facts on their websites so if i know im not eating at home i look up what im planning on having to be sure its within my calorie allowance for the day.

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