For most modern women, it feels as though there is always too much to do and too little time to do it in. It may feel as though we spend half of our lives racing around and the other half getting ready to race around. In this chaotic blur of school, soccer practice, work, social gatherings and everything else that encompasses the life of a modern wife and mother, eating healthy can often fall down the list of priorities.
Healthy eating takes time, effort and money, and sometimes it is just too difficult to maintain. You obviously care about your family’s health, but there are so many times when it is easier, more affordable and more popular to just pick up something from the drive-thru. The entire fast food industry was built upon providing quick meals to busy people at affordable prices, and that has not changed in the last 50 years.
Healthy Fast Food
While there are some well-known benefits of fast food, health is not one of them. However, as Americans have become increasingly conscious of their own health and the nearly epidemic levels of obesity, heart disease and diabetes facing our society, popular restaurant chains have had to adapt. This has meant that even though we still associate fast food with deliciously fattening burgers and fries, most of the major chains have adopted some serious menu changes to reflect and cater to a more health-conscious society.
While McDonald’s customers can still get the same Big Mac they love, offerings such as grilled chicken wraps, caesar salads, and veggie sandwiches are now common sights on most fast food menus. Although even the healthiest option from most drive-thrus will still not compare to a steamed vegetable plate or a kale salad, these restaurants now provide some alternatives for times when healthier meals are impractical or impossible for busy, budget-conscious mothers.
Side Dishes and Condiments
Even with a wide array of low-calorie and lower-sodium offerings on the menu, there are still some easy ways to ruin your good intentions. If you order a chicken wrap instead of giving into your burger craving, but you still add a large order of french fries and a Coke, this mostly defeats the purpose. A fried side dish such as french fries or onion rings is going to cancel out any good that was done by choosing the salad.
Believe it or not, a large portion of the fat and calories in most fast food dishes comes from the condiments, but this could easily be avoided. For instance, ordering your burger without mayo can go a long way in adding health value. While mayonnaise is the most well-known culprit, other condiments like ketchup, mustard, BBQ sauce and honey mustard can add a significant amount of sodium, fat and calories to your meal.
In addition to the dishes on the side and the condiments you add to your meal, you should be mindful of what you drink. A large portion of the sugar and calories that most people take in with fast food comes directly from the soft drinks they order. Water is always the best choice, but most restaurants also offer fruit juice, milk and unsweetened tea.
If you are mindful of what you order and what you add to it, it is entirely possible to find healthy, wholesome meals for the family quickly and affordably from the drive-thru.