Tuesday, June 26, 2012

WIAW: Fast Food & 4 Tips to Avoid the Drive Thru

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I have been eating a lot of fast food lately.

Some of the emotional triggers from my childhood have cropped up lately.  For me, these always cause me to eat greasy, sugary, salty foods. 

Sugar-Fat-Salt foods are very addictive, kind of like the way drugs affect the brain.  Read more about how these combinations fuel overeating here and here.

After a week of eating fast food at least once a day, I'm really trying to get back on track with healthy foods.

I've found these things help me decrease the fast food and other fatty, sugary foods I want to eat.

1.  Increasing the amount of fiber in foods or eating fiber-rich alternatives.  By adding ground flaxseed to foods such as cereals or even ice cream, I get full faster and don't crave unhealthy foods.  Eating quesadillas with sprouted tortillas, vegan cheese, and picante sauce gives me the salt and fat that I'm craving without cholesterol and with heart-healthy grains.

2.  Stocking up on healthier convenience foods.  When I crave fast foods, I certainly don't want to take the time to prepare anything.  Bagged salads (watch for recalls!), Dr. McDougall's instant soup and noodle cups, and low-fat, vegetarian entrees like Amy's or Archer Farms give me nearly "Fast Food" with less fat and calories.

3.  Using a calorie counter app on my android phone.  I rarely stop at a fast food joint without deciding to ahead of time.  I have made myself enter the fast foods ahead of time on my smartphone.  It is a way for me to keep in mind how many calories and how much fat I'm eating.  I don't do as much damage to my diet and health than if I mindlessly eat and consume junk food.

4.  Leaving my wallet at home.  This one may sound a little crazy, but most days the only place I drive in my car is to the gym.  Lately, I have been hitting the drive thru on the way home after working out.  By keeping my wallet at home, I can't pick up fast food!  I still take my driver's license, but if I don't have money, I can't buy food my body doesn't need.

Now, what I ate:

  • The first thing I ate was oatmeal made with almond milk, ground flaxseed, pure vanilla extract, and cinnamon.  I added the fresh, diced peach after the oatmeal was cooked.  I had this ready for me when I came home from the gym.
  • For lunch, I ate a Dr. McDougall's Pad Thai Noodle Cup.  These are delicious and only 200 calories. 
  • I ate one parfait cup for lunch and another for a snack.  I made these ahead of time with layers of fresh blueberries, So Delicious plain coconut milk yogurt, chopped fresh strawberries, ground flaxseed, and Kashi GO LEAN Crunch cereal.  YUMMY!
  • Since I was shopping all afternoon, I threw an Archer Farms Portobello Mushroom and Carmelized Onions Pizza in the oven for supper to feed my family.  I added a romaine lettuce salad with a few dried cranberries and pecans, then topped it with Annie's Lite Raspberry Vinaigrette.
All of this food is about 1200 calories and 30 grams of fiber.
How do you avoid fast food (if you are craving it)?

Come back later this week for my Spicy Black Bean Quinoa recipe.  It is vegan and naturally gluten-free!

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