Long Islanders are busy. From braving the traffic and LIRR every morning to sitting courtside at games every so often, it’s easy to throw healthy eating out the window, no pun intended. Oh, and that drive through seems a whole lot more appealing than actually getting out of the car for a nutritious sit-down meal when it’s colder than the North Pole. But an on-the-run lifestyle doesn’t have to be an unhealthy one. I browsed the menus at your favorite spots (yes, even McDonald’s) to find the choices that will help you stay on track for your 2016 fitness goals.
McDonald’s: Although tempting, avoid the Big Mac and fried food selections. If you must get your sandwich fix then get the Artisan Grilled Chicken Sandwich, which comes in at 360 calories and 6 grams of fat. Also try going for the Ranch Snack Wrap with grilled chicken or the Premium Southwest Salad with grilled chicken, just be careful with dressing. Try to stick with using just half of the packet. For sides, swap fries for a small salad, apple slices or even a Yoplait Go-GURT Strawberry Yogurt. If you’re ordering off the breakfast menu, the Fruit ‘N Yogurt Parfait, the Egg White Delight McMuffin and the Fruit & Maple Oatmeal are all under 300 calories.
Subway: Subway is known for its slogan, “Eat Fresh,” but some options are high in calories and fat. Luckily, the Fresh Fit menu makes it easy to find a healthy option. Start with whole grain bread, pick a lean meat from choices like Black Forest Ham, oven roasted chicken and roast beef and pile high with veggies for guilt-free fast food.
Taco Bell: The Fresco Menu, which boasts seven signature items all under 350 calories and 10 grams of fat, takes the guess work out of ordering healthy at the Mexican fast food chain. Options include the Fresco Bean Burrito, the Fresco Burrito Supreme with chicken or steak, the Fresco Crunchy Taco with beef or the Fresco Soft Taco with either beef, shredded chicken or steak.
Most Chinese food dishes may contain veggies, but don’t let that fool you. During cooking, many of these classics are loaded with sodium-filled sauces and deep-fried starters. That doesn’t mean you should stay away. In fact, just a few small changes can make your dish a little better for you. For starters, options like chicken and broccoli or shrimp and vegetables can be made healthier if you ask for them to be prepared steamed with sauce on the side. Less sauce means less calories and salt, which means less bloating (so long, food baby). Other simple changes such as substituting white rice for a nutrient-filled brown rice and ordering a lighter soup option such as hot & sour can make your meal much more body-friendly.
Not only will eating healthy at the airport prior to boarding your flight be kind to your diet, but it will also make you feel better physically while en route. These days, airport food is becoming bigger and better and there’s a ton of options to keep you satisfied before boarding. When you get to your gate, look for a place where you can get a healthy salad or customized sandwich complete with lean protein and filled with veggies. If you’re stopping in for a bite at Starbucks, Dunkin’ Donuts or Au Bon Pain grab some oatmeal, fresh fruit or yogurt and stay away from empty carbs that can be found in items like croissants, bagels and other bakery items like donuts and pastries. Be sure to drink plenty of water and stay hydrated, as traveler’s often report feeling parched during flights (which can lead to overeating later).
Game day doesn’t have to involve eating junk food from kiosks at a stadium or arena. In fact, healthy eats are on the rise at places such as Metlife Stadium and Barclays. If you can, try and avoid items that are fried or greasy such as Chicken Fingers and Pizza and opt for a veggie burger or a sandwich on whole wheat bread made with lean protein and veggies. Additionally, if you’re planning on enjoying a beer at the game, it’s better to cut calories and fat content with the food you eat.