Thursday, April 3, 2014

Help! My kids want to go to In N Out......

When we are trying to eat clean and maintain a healthy lifestyle we are often put in situations that challenge our eating habits. What options do we have?

If you know you will be stopping at a fast food restaurant with family or friends, one option is to plan ahead. I see two ways to approach this:

1. Carry your food with you. You will stay on your plan and not be tempted to make bad food choices. If you can't carry your whole meal with you, snack on healthy items like almonds or baby carrots at the restaurant and then eat well at home.

2. Plan your food intake for the whole day, eating low-fat, high fiber foods at your other meals and make healthy choices at the restaurant.

Sometimes the fast food stop is not anticipated. We can still make better choices. Healthy choices can look different for each person. For example, a vegetarian would look for meatless menu items. A gluten-free person would choose to avoid a hamburger bun. All diners should focus on items that are broiled not breaded or fried. Dressings can be served on the side and used sparingly. Sometimes there are salad offerings. I think everyone knows that french fries are not a healthy side dish!

One easy choice to make is at the beverage bar. Choose water or iced tea. When a person eats a high cholesterol meal, tea actually helps counteract some of the unhealthy effects of the food. The liquid sugar choices offered at the beverage bar can cause dangerous insulin spikes and create havoc in your body. Artificial sugar in the diet drinks can cause your body to crave even sweeter foods leading to a vicious cycle. Avoid them.

About a month ago, I went to In N Out with out-of-town family. It's one of the highlights of their trip and I was happy to share it with them. Right now, I am trying to eat gluten-free so I chose the lettuce-wrapped burger (protein style). I got my iced tea to drink and I chose to have the french fries. I made a rule for myself a couple of years ago that I would only eat In N Out fries. Since I only go there a couple times a year, that works well as a special treat. I will admit that I have strayed from my rule recently so I need to get back on track. The day that I have fries, I try to eat well for the rest of my meals.
Sometimes our lives get crazy and fast food is the best option for the moment. Be realistic as you journey through the seasons of your life. And remember... 
Enjoy your food!

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