Skinny Daily Post


We often discuss how we can manage our food plans as long as we are aware of what weíre eating. Fast food places are telling us what we need to know, and thatís something to be happy about. They may have done it kicking and screaming, and as the result of being raked over the coals in public, but theyíve responded nonetheless.

Those commercials for the new apple and grape salads made me wonder just what was in them, and what the numbers were. A trip to the golden arches website revealed some surprising Ė to me, at least Ė information. Did you know that we can special-order our meals here? I had no idea that they would allow us to leave off, say, bacon or cheese! Of course, thereís nothing to suggest that we can, for example, substitute a few extra cherry tomatoes for the bacon, but at least thereís a start here.

So, Iím figuring that for those times when I know that a fast food stop is in the cards, a visit to these websites will let me check out the possibilities before I get there. The nutrition information is right there, and itís possible to remove items to see the effect. Itís easy to use, and itís all printable or downloadable.

For example, itís possible for me to put together a meal of 4 chicken nuggets and a plain salad for less than 250 calories. Those with bigger appetites can have a grilled chicken salad [no dressing] for less than 300. Not bad, considering that an extra large shake carries more than 1100 calories [thatís not a typo, by the way]. Surprisingly, breakfast at this place seems to give the biggest calorie hit, with the lowest nutritional value, and the fewest choices.

I generally avoid fast food restaurants for a number of reasons, including the food. So, even though recent changes in their menus show that any of us can put together a reasonably healthy meal, Iím still not rushing out to visit them. But, itís helpful to know that I can take a road trip and plan for a break at a rest stop without ruining my food intake. Forewarned is forearmed.

And the 411 on that apple and grape salad: 170 calories with apples, grapes, and the yoghurt (100 for the fruit and 70 for the yoghurt). Keeping the candied walnuts brings the calories to 310! So, if I ever end up at this place, Iíll tell them to hold the walnuts so I wonít have to sit there picking them out.

8 thoughts on “Arming yourself for fast food

  1. Jen says:

    The best part about the fruit & walnut salad is that walnuts already come on the side in their own little package, so you can leave ’em off, add half, or throw ’em all on if you want! It’s pretty good I must admit.

  2. Lisa says:

    When I started my new healthier lifestyle, one of the first things I did was go to every fastfood restaurant in our local mall and request nutrition information brochures from each one. I was occassionally met with blank stares, but a seasoned associate or manager would eventually figure it out and dig one of the dusty back storage room.

    I was amazed at some of those numbers (talk about sticker shock), but I was able to pick and choose items to create a healthy and filling meal. I go to our local mall once a weekend to read books for free in our comfy bookstore, so some type of fastfood is unavoidable. And limiting it to once a week seems to be a good compromise.

  3. jane says:

    Thank you, Jen… See how often I DON’T go to these places? I had no idea that they were all nice and separate!

  4. Laura says:

    I rarely frequent fast food joints as I’m seldom satisfied with what I can eat while smelling delicious salty fries (can you tell sweets are not my weakness?!). But I sure was wondering about that new fruit salad. I like the idea too of adding only half of the nuts. Thanks for all the great info!


  5. Janie says:

    Thanks for the info on the new fruit salad at McD’s. I’ve been wondering about those sugared walnuts too. That would be a meal for me, so I guess I would go ahead and eat the walnuts too. It’s about time the fast food places have healthy foods to offer!

  6. Goddess Jessica says:

    I just wanted to point out that asking for a special order isn’t limited to fast food alone. When ordering at restaurants I have to frequently remind myself that I am paying a premium to have them prepare my food so I shouldn’t hesitate to order exactly what I want. I don’t want the butter on the steamed veggies, I don’t want the fish pan-fried but grilled and could I possibly get a larger glass of water than this thimble?

  7. Stretchy says:

    Since I’ve been off of bad oils for 3 years now (only using EVOO) I walked into a McDonald’s with a friend & the stinky smell of the place nearly knocked me over. Whew. She ordered a burger and fries, and they told me the salads they had came to them pre-made so they couldn’t pick off the CHEEZ . (the cheez is not made the way real cheese is made and they are currently still able to call it cheese, but there is a legal battle waging, saying it should be labeled cheeZ ) anyway, I got a bottle of water and figured I’d just drive down the road and forage at the supermarket. (Got a bag of washed baby spinach, some nuts, a protein bar, some fruit, and I survived just fine)
    When we got in the car, she began to eat, and it smelled like DOG FOOD to me, nothing tempting! Greasy junk. My friend was hungry again much sooner than I was and so nibbled at spinach, ate the rest of the nuts and the half of the protein bar I hadn’t finished. Later she said something that surprised me. She said she wasn’t going to give into McDonalds when there’s always a town along the highway with a grocery store within reasonable distance.

    (You can go online for town info and maps and have knowledge ahead of time, and keep a cooler bag in the car for healthy snacks) AND WATER…nectar of life!

    I notice more and more restaurants posting signs saying “we only use evoo” (Extra virgin olive oil) This was a great surprise!
    One fast food sandwich shop down the road posts:
    We use only EVOO and in small carefully measured quantities.
    Well, I can say, they have the BEST tasting sandwiches too, and all REAL FOOD not something molded or created in a factory like supergiant corporation factory-kitchens.

    These healthy fast food shops will be our future if we ignore the fake food giants and support our natural little guys who are sprouting up all over.

  8. Marie says:

    That little fruit salad looked so tasty, I tried it out. But, its way over priced for what you get, unless you use a coupon (in about a zillion women’s magazines right now), and the apples are kind of rubbery. I’ve gotten used to eating big fresh golden delicious apples and its not the same. Not bad though considering and feels a lot less like “diet food” than the salads. I love the walnuts and am willing to deal with the calories and fat nuts involve, I just wish they’d have the options of plain non-sugared ones. The fruit is sugar, the yogurt has sugar, why do they need sugar on the nuts too? Blech.

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