Josh Bowen: Eat This, Not That


It is January. You are out at night holiday shopping with your kids. It is cold and you are starving. You worked all day and rushed home to pick up the kids so you could go shopping. Traffic is awful. It is 9 pm at night and you have not eaten since your noon lunch break. You have screaming, hungry kids. You do not have protein powder because you left it at home and there is no where to get a Quest bar. What do you do?

The above happens all the time. It has happened to me (minus the kids) and I am sure it has happened to all of you. The options are stop somewhere and eat or not eat at all. I do not believe in starving yourself just because you forgot to prepare orange roughy and green beans. You need to eat. You also need something fast. Therefore you may need to stop at a “fast food” restaurant.

Now before I go any further, this newsletter needs to come with a disclaimer. I am not advocating eating fast food on a regular basis, nor am I encouraging anyone to eat food that could be classified as “non food.” If at all possible we should prepare our own food and eat organic products. However, I understand this is not practical all the time (as my lovely client likes to tell me). So…I have compiled a list of better options to eat at several popular fast food joints if you had to eat there. So lets start with some rules on fast food dining:

Rule 1: Be cautious of condiments

Some fast food restaurants add a lot of fat and excess calories to their foods via condiments. Say no to the mayo and ranch.

Rule 2: Do You Want Fries With That? No!

Beware of anything that is fried like onion rings and french fries. Substitute fruit or a salad if at all possible.

Rule 3: No Liquid Calories

Say no the regular coke and sprite. At least order a diet coke (not advocating just saying) or even better a bottle of water.

Side note: Chicken Nuggets are never made out of chicken…At McDonald’s it takes 38 ingredients to make 1. Food for thought.

So now what? What can I eat if I absolutely need to eat something and fast food is my only choice? Here is a list of “better” alternatives at popular fast food restaurants (again refer to the PSA above):

Chick-fil-A Chargrilled Chicken Sandwich

  • 270 calories
  • 3.5 grams fat
  • 1 gram saturated fat
  • 65 mg cholesterol
  • 940 mg sodium
  • 3 grams fiber
  • 33 grams carbohydrate
  • 28 grams protein


Wendy’s Ultimate Grill Sandwich

  • 320 calories
  • 7 grams fat
  • 1.5 grams saturated fat
  • 70 mg cholesterol
  • 950 mg sodium
  • 2 grams fiber
  • 36 grams carbohydrate
  • 28 grams protein

Taco Bell Fresco Style Bean Burrito

  • 330 calories
  • 7 grams fat
  • 2.5 grams saturated fat
  • 0 mg cholesterol
  • 1,200 mg sodium
  • 9 grams fiber
  • 54 grams carbohydrate
  • 12 grams protein 

McDonalds Grilled Snack Wrap with Honey Mustard OR Grilled Snack Wrap with Chipotle BBQ Sauce. Each:

  • 260 calories
  • 8 grams fat
  • 3.5 grams saturated fat
  • 45 mg cholesterol
  • 820 mg sodium
  • 1 gram fiber
  • 27 grams carbohydrate
  • 18 grams protein

Arby’s Santa Fe Salad With Grilled Chicken — not including dressing

(includes cherry tomatoes, red onion, corn and black beans, cheddar, and lettuce)

  • 283 calories
  • 9 grams fat
  • 4 grams saturated fat
  • 72 mg cholesterol
  • 521 mg sodium
  • 6 grams fiber
  • 21 grams carbohydrate
  • 29 grams protein

KFC Oven Roasted Twister (without sauce)

  • 330 calories
  • 7 grams fat
  • 2.5 grams saturated fat
  • 50 mg cholesterol
  • 1,120 mg sodium
  • 3 grams fiber
  • 39 grams carbohydrate
  • 28 grams protein 

Chipotle Naked Chicken Burrito: No tortilla, sour cream, cheese, or beans with salsa, light rice and lettuce. 

  • 390 calories
  • 11 grams fat
  • 3 grams saturated fat
  • 125 mg cholesterol
  • 935 mg sodium
  • 3 grams fiber
  • 39 grams carbohydrate
  • 36 grams protein 
So this gives you choices from popular fast food restaurants on where to eat if you ABSOLUTELY had too. Use this knowledge with care. This should only be used on an as need basis. Also, if you are going to eat at a fast food joint, make sure the next day’s meals are clean and nutritious. You lose a lot of nutritional value not preparing your own food, especially if it is not organic.

Let me know your thoughts! And if you like this edition please share on your Facebook page or forward it to a friend who may gain some wisdom from it.


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