Day 5 Eating Clean Mini Challenge: No fast food or any foods that have been deep-fried in oil.
The problem with something being deep-fried is that the food absorbs a great deal of oil during the cooking process. So when you eat the end product you are consuming far more oil – an unhealthy fat in most cases – than is recommended. Most fast foods are made with unhealthy fats like canola oil and other Hydrogenated Oils.
For this challenge you need to avoid:
- Restaurants with drive-thru windows
- Convenience stores that also typically sell gas
- Places where you watch them assemble your food through a glass wall
- Restaurants that are situated in a “food court” setting
- Airplane food
The places where you can eat during this challenge:
- Restaurants with waiter service (which aren’t always ideal when it comes to food quality, but we just had to draw the line somewhere)
- Grocery stores (try a greek salad from the deli, or brown rice sushi)
- Your own kitchen!
- Friends’ houses
Even while you are eating at the “allowed” places you must still of course avoid deep-fried foods, which is trickier than it sounds. If it is crunchy and crispy you might want to question it.
Some other examples of foods to be on the lookout for:
- French fries
- Sweet potato fries
- Potato/tortilla chips
- Chicken fingers
- Chicken wings
- Corn dogs
- Egg rolls
The goal of this challenge is to force you to figure out alternatives to a Big Mac even when you are starving and on the go. And the key to success is planning ahead. Don’t wait until the last minute to figure out where and when you will have your next meal. Consider packing some whole food snacks to hold you over including bananas, apples, oranges, nuts, popcorn (with minimal oil/salt), dried fruit, store-bought Lara Bars, whole-grain crackers, cheese, fruit or veggie baggies etc. Also take the time to pack lunches for work, school, long car rides, and after a sporting event etc.
A few weeks ago I packed a quick picnic lunch to take down to the beach after Asher's lacrosse game. It was nothing fancy, just some tuna sandwiches, carrots, water and grapes. Super simple using what we had on hand, but it ensured that we wouldn't be tempted by the mcdonalds perfectly situated on the way to and from the the Local Recreation Centre! I know it can be huge temptation especially when kids activities start around 5 or 6pm, and it can be difficult to feed everyone before or after with enough time before bed. But I've been trying to plan ahead and either make a meal that can be quickly heated when we all get home, a crock pot dinner or pack something for afterwards!
It's all about the planning ahead!
I often post my lunches on my Facebook page and you can find them here.