Feening for Fast Food – The Tricks on how to Break Up with the Drive-Thru
We have been called a fast food nation for some time now. And we totally are. There is no denying it. Back in high school when I drove to school I easily passed 3 McDonalds. Three! Why so many? It’s a constant temptation. Just when you get over the first french fry hunger wave, you see the classic yellow arches peeking up over the horizon. Again.
To be fair, I am not just knocking McDonalds. I’m knocking them all. Mc’D’s is always the first to come to mind and seems to always be the first one to get picked on by the public. Your fast food cravings may be in the form of a Starbucks Mocha-Boca-Jamoca-Cocoa Frappe’, a cheese-in-the-crust Pizza Hut ‘Za, a Taco Bell quesadilla with a pool of sour cream, or a cream filled custard donut from Dunkin’Donuts. God help you if you’re addicted to the “Double Down Sandwich” that KFC was promoting with 2 chicken breasts acting as an acceptable bun. Yikes.
Check out these examples: Bring a bucket to yak in though, it’s pretty disgusting.
Fast food is everywhere and you can’t hide from it. Unless you live in an igloo. I do not live in an igloo, and I assume you don’t either. In my “past-life” (once upon a time when I was peaking towards 200 lbs.) I worked a typical 9-5 office job. I started my morning by rolling through a drive-thru for a 700 calorie breakfast sandwich meal and anxiously waited at my desk for the on average 1,400 calorie carb-loaded lunch at a restaurant chain. Snack time in the Summer easily became ice cream around 2pm and in the Fall I would cave and just purchase a candy out of the office snack box. It wasn’t even dinner time yet and already I had jammed my body with an obscene amount of sugar, sodium, fat, and other weird things that were chemically made in a lab somewhere like preservatives, hormones and kooky juices that made you see elephants or something.
Quick fixes people. Quick fixes. The mass production of all of these fast food items were chocked full of odd fillers and frankly it was killing me and totally wrecking my life. I wasn’t happy, my energy was obsolete and my self-confidence was zilch. I could never have enough, and oddly, I was always hungry and never seemed to be satisfied. I was totally addicted to fast food. When I turned my foodie life around, I knew that soda-consumption and fast food were at the top of my “WHAT TO CHANGE” list. I could no longer make these kind of freakish food choices and get the healthy and happy results I wanted. I don’t even know if half the things I was eating even constituted as food anymore.
Change was not happening easily unless there was plan of attack. What I came to find was that I had to ask myself a few more questions. I know only crazy people talk to themselves but this was important! Hop on the crazy train to see what I mean…
STEP 1 – Cravings kick in. (Thought Process: “Crap. Now what? Of course 2 seconds after I decide that I need to begin to eat more like a rabbit I get a mega craving for a quesadilla.”)
STEP 2 – Start talking to yourself. (Thought Process: Asks Self- “OK, driving to Taco Bell is not an option, we said we were done eating this junk. WHAT exactly are you craving soooo bad about a quesadilla that makes you have gobble one up right now?”) Identifying the specific thing that you are craving about a fast food choice is the only way to kick that craving to the curb. In this instance, let’s say it’s the Taco Bell hot sauce. Which if any one of you know me, this is a bit of a kryptonite for me. I can drizzle that stuff on anything! Good news- it has virtually zero calories. Bad news- lots of sodium. But at least it’s not a whole quesadilla. Gotta weigh the good & the bad.
STEP 3 – See what you have to work with. Do an inventory and see what you can cook on your own that will suppress hunger and be a happier and healthier choice. In order for this to work you need to trick your taste buds into thinking that you got that taco bell (or any other fast food) “fix.” My inventory luckily included a few extra taco bell sauce packets from the last trip so that was connection to the craving and knew immediately that I needed to include that into my dish. That hot sauce became my “craving connector.”
STEP 4– Create a healthy alternative using the “craving connector.” In my scenario here I was craving mexican food. An alternative I have done before is simply dicing and sautéing chicken breast and placing it in a corn tortilla. I ensure that I always top it off with some of that sauce so I don’t cheat myself of what I wanted in the first place. You pick what sounds best to you! Just keep it healthy! You don’t want to forget the point here.
To this day I still hang onto extra sauces just in case I have a craving. Few and far between but it happens. It beats out the old me any day of the week. I have old fat-girl jeans to prove it…and they drop to the floor!
Ideas to get you started:
Craving: Mc’D Chicken Nuggets with Sweet-n-Sour Sauce
Alternative: Dip Carrot Sticks or Chicken Breast Strips in Sweet-n-Sour Sauce
Craving: Wendy’s Bacon Cheeseburger
Alternative: Bacon Wrapped Asparagus or Various Bacon wrapped veggies “Kabob Style”
Craving: Dominos Pizza
Alternative: Low-Cal Pita Pizza & Bread Sticks (See recipe featured here!)https://eatlikearabbitrecipes.wordpress.com/2012/10/07/game-day-pita-pizza-breadsticks/
Craving: Fazoli’s Pasta/Italian
Alternative: Spaghetti Squash with Marinara Sauce or Veggie Medley Stir-Fry with Marinara
Craving: Subway Sub
Alternative: Make your own at home – just pick your fave toppings, use less condiments and choose a low-carb bread.
Craving: PF Changs/Asian Cuisine
Alternative: Asian inspired Chicken or Veggie/Bean Lettuce Wraps
Craving: BK Hershey Chocolate Pie
Alternative: Chocolate Yogurt Topped with Lite Whipped Cream
Leave that Drive-Thru in the Dust & Never Look Back! It wasn’t good enough for you anyways!