When you’re trying to be intentional about living a healthy life, you might think fast food is entirely off the table — but it doesn’t have to be. Even registered dieticians and nutritionists zip through the drive-thru lane or order fast-casual eats sometimes. The difference is in what they order, though.
While it’s best not to make a habit of eating quickly prepared foods, sometimes it’s necessary. Whether you leave your healthy packed lunch on the counter instead of taking it with you to work or don’t have time to cook something healthy when you get home, these five options will help you make the healthiest decision possible.
Here are five healthy options at fast food restaurants when you’re on the go:
1. Bowls from Chipotle
Chipotle isn’t all carb chaos. In fact, it’s very easy to have a healthy and fast meal made for you just the way you like. If you choose the burrito bowl, you can create quite a healthy meal. You can have it made with the sofritoes (seasoned organic tofu), fajita veggies, black beans, and a dash of brown rice. A little guac will add a pop of flavor, too. For low-carb eaters, get the keto bowl, which lets you pile up your ingredients on a bed of lettuce.
2. Healthier Options at Starbucks
No matter if you’re traveling or at home, you can be sure to find a Starbucks or seven in your general vicinity. This helps you know you’ll be able to find a quick, healthy bite on a moment’s notice, no matter where you are. Between several protein box options, pre-packaged salads, wraps, and snack boxes, you’ll be sure to find something that catches your eye. They have many vegan & vegetarian options, too, so you won’t be left out if you aren’t a meat-eater.
Next time you’re in a time crunch and need a quick meal, try Panera. There are endless types of salads, soups, and bowls to choose from. Most Panera’s even have a drive-thru option, if you are really in a time pinch.
4. Grocery Store Grab & Go
Head to the produce section and see what they have for bagged or container salads, like Organic Girl mixed greens or arugula. Pair that with an apple or another fruit, then top with nuts like almonds or walnuts, then you’ll have an easy meal that will keep you full.
5. Winner Anywhere – Grilled Chicken Salad
And regardless of where you find yourself, perhaps in an unfamiliar city while traveling for work, you can’t go wrong ordering a grilled chicken salad. Every fast-food menu tends to have one. If you prefer to skip the chicken, a large salad and a soup side will pair well together.