Thursday, March 25, 2010

Food Planning for the Unexpected...

We all know that planning is a great tool when embarking on a healthy lifestyle, it helps us to keep on track, and can help make doing all those things we are supposed to do a little easier.  It's when we get tired, don't plan or find life getting in the way that our planning can fall away and sometimes we do to. 

But there are things we can plan for, for when our plans fail us.  That's a mouthful or an oxymoron, but it's true, we can be prepared for the unexpected.  A little research can turn a nightmare situation into an opportunity to enjoy ourselves but not ruin our efforts.

There's a lot of too and for arguements against fast food and "healthy" fast food options as to whether they really are the better options, all I can say is do a little research for yourself, have a stock pile of options that YOU know will work for you and your goals so when you find yourself with no other choice, well we all know that in reality there is always a choice! ;)  These still might be considered as sometimes foods in Elmo's world, and yours, but you don't have to pick the greasiest, fattiest sometimes food, that leaves you feeling like crap or worse still hungry afterwards!

Let's look at some options, middle of nowhere, well we know if nothing else there is pretty much always a McDonalds in sight.

We could go for the:

Cheeseburger, Medium Fries, Medium Coke = 796 cals (and remember that's just a measly cheeseburger)
but really guys just because we find ourselves in Maccas does not mean we have to have chips.

Whether you consider them healthy options or not there are better choices than a burger, fries and coke.

There's the snack wrap or full wrap options:-

Seared Chicken Snack Wrap = 208 cals
Seared Chicken Tandoori Wrap = 321 cals
Seared Chicken Sweet Chilli Wrap = 371 cals

Add a garden salad to any of these for a measly extra 15 cals!

Or try one of these meals

McChicken, Garden Salad w. Italian Dressing w. Summit Water = 438 cals
McNuggets, 6 pieces w. Mustard Sauce, Garden Salad w. Italian Dressing w. Summit Water = 373 cals
Hamburger, Garden Salad w. Italian Dressing w. Summit Water = 266 cals
Fillet-o-Fish, Garden Salad w. Italian Dressing w. Summit Water = 333 cals

As you can see in comparison the problem with the extra calories almost always comes down to the chips! ;)  But do some research on your favourite options so you always know what choices YOU DO HAVE!

Some other options include Kebabs:

So you are gonna want to nix the Beef Kebab with Salad at 624 without cheese or dressing it's still pretty high.

Try the:
Chicken w. salad, no cheese or dressing = 462 or the
Falafel w. salad, no cheese or dressing = 398

better yet check if they have the kids or baby kebab option at almost half the size of a regular kebab I've found them to be the perfect size to leave you satisfied.  Or else, split a regular one with a friend.  It really depends on what your calorie limit is for the day and what you find too much.  Remember hommous and sauces need to be added on separately.  And don't forget they make them for you, asking for more salad and less meat will also knock calories off.

Subway is another option where you have quite a bit of control over what goes onto the roll, but don't forget they also have salads:

Salad w. 6g Fat or Less, Sweet Onion Chicken Teriyaki, no dressing = 194
Salad w. 6g Fat or Less, Subway Club, no dressing = 120

Even a Foot Long, Meatball with no dressing at 467 won't necessarily completely break the calorie bank especially if you've been killing it at the gym but some better options include (all on the wheat bread):

6" Sub Sweet Onion Chicken Teriyaki, no dressing = 342
6" Sub Subway Club, no dressing = 268
6" Sub Roast Beef, no dressing = 261
6" Sub Veggie Delite, no dressing = 206

You might even find some of these low enough in cals to spring for some cheese. :D

Now there are more options, places that make the sandwiches for you, fruit salad with one scoop of yoghurt, sushi and all that, so spend some time picking some of your favourite options, write them down and keep them in the car or your wallet so if you find yourself out of your routine but don't want to blow your calories for the day or you've gone out with the girls and want to join in but again don't want to break the calorie bank, peek at your list to remind yourself what options you do have that work for you!

This works for dinner out as well, many restaurants have menu's available online, which allow you to work out viable options before you go.  So in line with my post recently about living your life, you definitely don't have to live like a monk, get out there with your friends and family, be prepared or be prepared for the unexpected, and remember to enjoy yourself and enjoy the company you are with!


  1. Great post. Dont forget the Nandos classic chicken wrap with salad and trio peppers dressing for 324cals and you can spice up the wrap with you choice of hotness. I love Nandos...makes me feel as though Im getting a real treat. But watch the chips and peri dip even though they are to die for they are really high.

  2. You are totally a Maccas advert today.
    Do you know how angry I get at people who feed their 4 year old chips and cheeseburgers all the time? (remain braced for the offence I just caused...)

    Good points made though.
    I always try to get the healthy option. Sometimes I stoop to a small chips, which is 245 cal and FAR too much fat... but at least I know what I am doing to myself!!

  3. Thanks Heather, I meant to say anyone got their own to add! :D

    Ahhhh grasshopper Jess you illustrate my point exactly though, you know how many cals in the chips and whether you can fit them in or not, and I love that you stick to the small chips.

    I suppose I should add if you are going for THAT option DO NOT UPSIZE! :D

    I don't mean to be a Maccas advert heheheheh but it's undeniable that when many other options are not available, there is usually a Maccas around so best to know what you are getting into right?! ;)