Eating at the Mall? Skip this Burger!

Photo: Carl Jr's

Photo: Carl Jr’s

One of today’s emails boasted on how a major fast food restaurant was adding a natural grass-fed burger to its menu. Carl Jr.’s, which is not anywhere near my house, is offering the burger which clocks in at 750 calories and 44 grams of fat. Not exactly health food.

While I’m a fan of grass-fed hormone free beef this burger has cheese, mayo, sugary ketchup and a white flour bun which takes away from the healthier aspects.

It can be hard when you’re out all day to try to find a quick healthy choice that tastes good and fills you up. Especially if you’ve been out all day holiday shopping and can’t quite deal with the thought of going home and cooking. There are a couple of choices you can take.

  • Bring healthy snacks with you so you don’t have to worry about finding food. At the very least, carry a bottle of water so you don’t get dehydrated.
  • Look in advance at your choices and figure out what you enjoy that’s a healthy choice. Have one or two backups in case lines are long. Places like Panera have their “secret” healthy menu, take advantage of it.
  • Leave the mall and go somewhere else to eat. Why I like this: it’s less hectic and you’ll feel more relaxed when you sit down.

If you do just want a snack stay away from empty calories, frozen yogurt offers sugar and not much else in the way of nutrition. I pop into drug-store or deli type store and buy a Larabar or a plain Greek yogurt and a piece of fruit. I also like a small plain cappuccino or latte with a sprinkle of cinnamon and cocoa if you’re jonesing for a coffee treat. It has protein and some fat (get the 2% or whole milk choice) to keep you full without all the sugar.

What are your strategies for making better choices when the selection is limited?

What is your favorite food stop in your mall?

Need help in making better food choices all around? Email me, janinemchale@empoweredplate.com, to schedule a strategy session. Together we can come up with a plan that works for you.