When You’re Caught Unprepared

Even the best-laid plans can go awry. If you find that you’re stuck in a situation where you aren’t prepared to eat a healthy meal from home, you can still be healthy. Most health experts would agree that eating an occasional fast food meal is not going to negatively impact your health.

But you may want to try to make better choices if you do find your vehicle in the fast food drive through. Most restaurants do have healthy choices if you’re looking for them. For example:

Choose grilled items from the menu

  • Opt for a side salad instead of fries with your meal
  • Avoid the urge to “super-size” your meal
  • Choose water or tea with your meal instead of soda
  • Try eating a kids’ meal to get a smaller portion of food
  • Add a fruit cup or apples to your meal
  • Choose sandwiches that have are made of lean meats and vegetables
  • Check the nutrition facts at the restaurant before ordering – some foods are deceptively high in fats and calories

If you find yourself busy and unprepared, you may also want to try a quick trip to the grocery store. Purchasing a rotisserie chicken and a bagged salad makes a very quick meal that will leave you feeling satisfied.

You may find other items in the deli that are healthier than fast food alternatives, but are convenient to purchase and take home. Ordering a pizza can also be a healthy alternative if you stick with a thinner crust, cheese, and veggies. Add a side salad and you have a solid meal choice.

Change Takes Time

If you find yourself making a commitment to eliminate fast food and then sliding back, don’t be too hard on yourself. It takes a long time to instill a new habit. You’re bound to have a few slip ups along the way.

The important thing is that you keep trying. Eventually you’ll create a lifestyle that’s conducive to having great nutrition and is no longer in need of a quick meal through the drive through window.

Talking with other busy families can help you to get tips on eating a healthier diet. You might want to swap recipes and ideas with others experiencing the same thing. Having social support can help you to stick to your commitment.

The Benefits of Saying Yes to a Healthy Diet

Once you begin to let go of your fast food habit, you’ll begin to see immediate benefits. First you may notice that after meals you no longer feel weighed down by heavy foods. Healthy foods tend to leave you feeling light and energized while fast food tends to make you feel heavy and lethargic.

You may also enjoy one or more of the following benefits:

Weight loss – you may find that you begin to lose weight without really focusing on it

  • Lower cholesterol
  • More energy
  • Reduced risk of heart disease
  • Reduced risk of diabetes and fewer problems if you’ve already been diagnosed
  • More energy

When you say no to fast food and yes to a healthy diet, you’re choosing a life that’s free from many of the health problems associated with a diet high in calories, fat, and sodium. Eating healthy when you’re busy can be a challenge, but developing new habits will help you to succeed!

Executive Chef Shirley Lang 

Print this entry