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Advice: Eating on the Go

August 22, 2013 by  


By Noor H. Salem

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Question:  I never have time to cook at home since I work long hours during the week, and end up eating fast food. What are the best options out there? 

Answer:

noorsalemWith tight schedules and long work hours, it sure can be hard to have time to prepare meals. Preparing a plan at the beginning of the week may help some people. Cut up fresh vegetables and place them in an air sealed container to grab in a short time span. You can prepare quiches, casseroles, or quick dishes that may last two days at the least. Cooking meals at home is much healthier than eating out, but if it’s difficult then learning the options that are better for you on the menu is a wise idea.

So, let’s turn to eating out. Sometimes people are fooled by what fast food portrays as healthy. McDonald’s advertises hard for their salads, claiming them to be healthy options. But little do people know that some of those salads have a lot more calories than the BigMac.  McDonald’s also advertises for their “healthy” fruit smoothies, pack full of sugar and I hate to break it to you, they are not prepared with any fresh fruit.

If you are going for fast food, Panera Bread and Subway may be the best options out there. If you are dining in opt for a soup, and perhaps a protein packed salad. Choose grilled meat instead of fried. If McDonald’s is your only choice, just be aware of what you’re ordering. Skip the soda, pass the fries, and avoid anything fried. They may trick you into upgrading for a combo with a drink or side of fries, but you’re better off saving those calories than those few extra cents. If you are heading to Taco Bell, pick from their fresco menu which omits high fat and calorie condiments. Going in knowing what to order is better than being naïve about what’s in your food. At the end of the day though, I argue that all fast food is still “fast food” and cannot be compared to anything prepared in your home kitchen.

I strongly recommend you avoid any “instant” meals or frozen meals that would cook in the microwave in four minutes. These meals may seem convenient for a short lunch break, but the ingredients and chemicals put in them are devastating to your health.

Why not pack a sandwich, side of fruit or vegetables, and nuts for a satisfying and healthy lunch? Sandwiches can be prepared in minutes, and you know exactly what’s going in there. Having the knowledge of your food is better than allowing the advertisement to do the decision for you.

Pack convenient snacks for your work break like protein packed nuts, hummus, granola, or bars to keep you energized all day. If you have access to a refrigerator at work, do pack fresh fruits and vegetables.

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