For many, summertime is all about hitting the wide-open road and exploring the nooks and crannies of our great country. But it’s hard to eat healthy when traveling. After all, road trips mean quick meals on the go, and that can add to a whole lot of calories, carbs, and fat. You could keep a cooler of turkey sandwiches in the car, but it wouldn’t be long before you never want to see one of those again. So what’s a body to do? Eat fast food, of course.
QRS Magazine reports that with the maturation of the Millennial generation comes a health movement that’s slowly changing the face of the fast food industry. This movement is centered around offering fresh food that’s less processed and contains fewer artificial ingredients. Although some fast food restaurants are more comfortable on this bandwagon than others, even old dinosaurs like McDonald’s and Burger King are attempting to jump on, offering higher quality meat and more fresh options.
So next time you find yourself peckish on a road trip, you have a lot of choices for fueling your body with healthy food. Here are just five of them.
Panera is committed to “clean” ingredients, offering meals free of artificial flavors, preservatives, colors, and sweeteners. Panera salads and non-creamy soups are some of the healthiest fast food fare around. Try a seasonal salad with chicken, a big bowl of garden veggie soup with pesto, or a Greek salad with quinoa. If you’re eating on the road, try a classic tunafish sandwich with an apple and some baked chips.
Subway’s always had a reputation for being a healthier choice than other run-of-the-mill fast food joints, and for good reason. Their ingredients are fresh and consist largely of veggies and a decent selection of lean meats. But be warned: Adding a bunch of mayo can quickly torpedo your healthy submarine. Opt for a turkey, tunafish, or veggie sandwich on Subway’s delicious nine-grain bread. Skip the mayo, and pile on the veggies.
You may not be able to resist Wendy’s fries or Frosties, but if you find you can, you’ll enjoy a healthy meal if you opt for the Ultimate Chicken Grill Sandwich. A grilled chicken breast is blanketed with lettuce and tomato and drizzled with a touch of honey mustard. The absence of mayo means fewer calories, and the whole shebang contains just 370 calories and provides a staggering 34 grams of protein.
Chipotle has found great success in offering antibiotic-free meat and wholesome ingredients like beans, rice, and lots of fresh veggies. Opt for a bowl rather than a burrito, since the tortilla adds lots of carbs and calories. A Chicken Burrito Bowl is a delicious choice featuring a scoop of chicken, a scoop of black beans, a handful of veggies, fresh tomato salsa, lettuce, and guac. A generous serving has just 460 calories and lots of body-lovin’ nutrients.
Chinese food is, by nature, pretty healthy, especially when you order a simple stir fry. Skip the fried rice and oily noodles and instead opt for a meat or veggie stir fry with steamed rice. The Broccoli Beef with a half order of mixed vegetables contains 13 grams of protein and just 230 calories.
Why Eat Healthy When Traveling?
Filling up on junk food on the road makes you feel sick and sluggish, weary and weighty. But you don’t have to take a vacation from eating healthy food as long as you stick with selections that are fresh and not processed, grilled instead of fried, and rife with colorful veggies. You wouldn’t think fast food could deliver such a meal, but can, if you do it right.