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Stopping for fast food? Keep these 7 restaurants and tips in mind!

A few weeks ago we talked about reasons to ditch the drive thru.

Well, in a perfect world no one would go through the drive thru or eat fast food… BUT that’s not the case.

We live in a world where we attempt to fit 25 hours or more into a 24 hour day.

So here at Core1inc, we’ve compiled a list of 7 fast food restaurants and healthy options for you from them for when you have no other options besides fast food.

Panera Bread (1400 Butterfield Road, Downers Grove, IL 60515) Panera is a great option for a quick meal as long as you stay away from the bakery section. The menus at Panera have the calories for each item spelled out for you, so you know exactly what you’re getting. Other great finds here include the half and half combos, their organic kids meals, and other organic options.

Jason’s Deli (2060 York Rd, Oak Brook, IL) Jason’s Deli offers the option to build your own sandwich, which lets you control exactly what you are getting. Also, one fifth of their ingredients are organic and their website boasts that “you’ll find good food that’s free of trans fats, MSG, and high fructose corn syrup.” Their menu is very informative and they also offer portion control options. Our only advise is to watch the levels of sodium in your meal here if that sodium levels are a concern for you.

Noodles & Company (342 Yorktown Shopping Center, Lombard, IL 60148) No one can deny that feel of home when there is a big bowl of pasta in front of them, which is what makes Noodles & Company such a hit. It is a little pricey, but they offer whole grain pasta options, lean meats, fresh vegetables to put into your pasta, and they only use healthy oils in their kitchen for sautéing. Noodles & Co. also offers a somewhat cultural menu, featuring American, Asian, and Mediterranean choices. The menu on their website is very interactive and will show you options based on if you are watching calories, sodium, fat, gluten, and so on.

Corner Bakery Cafe (240 Oak Brook Center, Oak Brook, IL 60523) When you are looking for a great breakfast or lunch on the go but have a little extra time, Corner Bakery is a great place to stop. Their breakfast menu has plenty of healthy options like oatmeal with all the mix-ins and egg whites instead of whole eggs. Healthy sides and plenty of fresh fruit and vegetable options are also on the menu all day every day here.

Chipotle Mexican Grill (1556A Butterfield Road Downers Grove, IL 60515) Looking to eat something healthy and with relatively high levels of good protein? Then stop by Chipotle. Their popular Burrito Bowl is a low carbohydrate option since your burrito is in a bowl as opposed to a tortilla. They use fresh, local ingredients and organic, hormone-free, antibiotic-free meats.

McDonald’s (1620 OGDEN AVE DOWNERS GROVE IL 60515) Yes you read that correctly, McDonald’s makes our list. They do have healthy options, you just need to know where to look for them on their menu. The new Happy Meals include apple dippers and low-fat milk instead of the usual fries and soft drink. Their grilled chicken Snack Wraps and yogurt parfaits give you the opportunity to get protein in just a spin through the drive-thru. Their new line of oatmeal will give you a great start to your day when you are on the go.

Einstein Bros. Bagels (17W432 22nd St., Oakbrook Terrace, IL 60181) Yet another quick place to stop for breakfast or lunch that’s on our list. Einstein’s offers peanut butter, reduced-fat schmears, and hummas amoung other things to top your bagel, which add healthy fat and good protein to your meal. They also sell the Good Grains bagel, which has 4 grams of fiber in it, which isn’t too bad for a bagel. Other great options from Einstein’s include soups, salads, bagel thins, sandwiches, and fresh fruit cups.

In general STAY AWAY from menu items that include the following words:

  1. Deep-Fried

  2. Pan-Fried

  3. Basted

  4. Crispy

  5. Scalloped

  6. Bacon

  7. Batter-Dipped

  8. Breaded

  9. Creamy or Cream Sauce

  10. Alfredo

  11. Au Gratin

  12. Loaded

Other tips for eating out include:

  1. Drink water with your meal instead of soda

  2. Order special. You don’t have to get all the dressings, toppings, or sauces on your meal if you don’t want them

  3. Pay attention to portion sizes. Focus on savoring each bite instead of eating quickly.

I hope this helps.

To Your Healthier Diet.

Jim and The CORE1 Crew.

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