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Legal food on the run: Convenience foods that work and strategies for restaurants



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I spend a lot of time in my car for my job, and pretty regularly, if I don't pack a lunch I'm scrounging for something legal to eat on the road.

Also, I have a lot of work lunches at restaurants.

I know fast food is a trigger some folks don't even want to flirt with...

but I thought maybe we could have a thread of coping strategies for restaurants and eating on the run?

Can you post an experience of where you went and what you ordered to keep on your program?

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I had Thai with a client today.

I ordered chicken satay (with the peanut sauce on the side) and a spicy cucumber salad. Had a big cup of jasmine tea to go, too:)

lunch was really delicious, calories were low, Protein was high:) Have leftovers in the fridge.

Feeling good about this choice!

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I always have a couple of Protein Bars in the car (not chocolate as we head to summer - they get icky in the heat.) I tend to get the Quest ones. This way, I know I have something I can eat that's legal. Otherwise, I'll order a salad of some kind with an added Protein and dressing on the side if I'm out with a client. By eating the protein and moving the salad around on my plate, no one notices I'm not really eating much.

When I'm on the road, (I'm in Philly) I can always pop into a Wawa and get tuna, chicken or egg salad and a fork. I have been known, when driving to get a hot dog and eat it without the bun.

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19 minutes ago, Creekimp13 said:

I had Thai with a client today.

I ordered chicken satay (with the peanut sauce on the side) and a spicy cucumber salad. Had a big cup of jasmine tea to go, too:)

lunch was really delicious, calories were low, Protein was high:) Have leftovers in the fridge.

Feeling good about this choice!

Google the restaurant menus to preplan your meal.

Restaurants always serve a Protein and a veggie. Easy for me to order extra veggies to replace the carb...If you are allowed carbs on your plan you can just eat the smaller portion...

Those of you in the first stages can order an appetizer or kids meal. Nothing wrong with a full meal size. You can box it up and have the leftovers for another meal (for some of you three meals lol)

I like qdoba.(yes fast food place) I can get a kids size burrito bowl - fill it with meat veggies salsa black Beans guacamole. ( I don't do rice and tortilla wrap)

On the run meals - Carry a small thermal lunch bag in your car for emergencies - Ice pack for summer - Good to have on hand if you get stuck in traffic or the snow in the winter -

  • Protein bars
  • Quest chips
  • Jerkey
  • tuna packet
  • P3 protein pack
  • Fork & hand whipes

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I can’t do Protein bars - dumping! I had thought a baggie with chopped up protein bars in the glove box would be an ideal ‘on the run’ option!

So, I have roasted chickpeas now instead. Do ‘em myself. Takes about 50 minutes to roast a couple of cans until they are dry and crunchy. Roll in a drizzle of olive oil, and coat with a seasoning. My current zip-lock bag has a chipotle and chilli salt coating - give the bag a shake and eat a handful. About a dozen to 20 fills me up. Good protein but not good if you are doing low carb.

Does America have the subway-like chain called Pita Pit? They do GREAT salad, and the one with roast chicken is a delight - esp with the salad being just olives, jalapeños, pickles and lettuce... mmmm. Makes me want one for breakfast!

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Red Lobster I have eaten at successfully. You have to be strong enough to keep your hand out of the darn biscuit basket though.

They have a great selection of wood grilled items....chicken, scallops, shrimp. Any blackened fish or baked fish is not high calorie at all. They always have vegetables you can have for sides as well.

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I travel for work, so I eat out a lot. There is always something on the menu that will work. I mainly just look for lean Proteins. I eat the Protein and then a few bites of the veggies and starch. The biggest problem that I have is high end dining. Even though I'm not paying for it, it doesn't feel right to order a $40+ entree and eat only a couple of ounces of it. Sometime there are good appetizer or Soup options, but sometimes there isn't.

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Same as sillykitty - I can't predict where I'll end up or what's going to be on the menu, so I end up just ordering something that's not fried or coated in General Tsao sauce and then working through protein/veg/starch in order. Ended up at a Thai place and ordered pad thai and basically just picked all the chicken out of it. Another Thai place, got the chicken skewers. At a burger bar, ordered sliders and pawned some off on my nephew while eating the meat. I con people into going to tapas bars or charcuterie places as much as humanly possible.

It's a weird needle to thread, trying to order something that's not obviously too small while also not ending up with food left on the plate. I've had a third coworker note that I didn't eat much at lunch, but 1) I don't care and 2) I have most of my coworker lunches one on one so no one compares notes.

I do tend to pack a lot of Snacks, which is incredibly annoying when I'm flying and someone decides that hummus is a liquid, but otherwise it's fine. My glovebox contains a couple 2oz squeeze packs of applesauce and mixed nuts.

Strangely I realized that driving is a total trigger for me. I never, ever ate fast food unless I was in a car, which at some point flipped to "I am in a car, thus I must eat fast food" and then "I'm in a car, I get to eat fast food!". So recognizing that and getting ahead of it with packed snacks is a must. And if I absolutely MUST get something while I'm driving, I'll get an iced coffee and that seems to tackle the car-related craving.

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I would think,grilled chicken breast would be a good choice if you've made it back to "regular" consistency foods, maybe tomatovslice and his good vegetable buddies on the side.😝🍎----NO🍟&🍯

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Starbucks, they are everywhere and most have egg white bites. Great low cal Protein. Ok for soft food diet too.

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Great tips, everyone! Keep em coming!

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Red Lobster I have eaten at successfully. You have to be strong enough to keep your hand out of the darn biscuit basket though.
They have a great selection of wood grilled items....chicken, scallops, shrimp. Any blackened fish or baked fish is not high calorie at all. They always have vegetables you can have for sides as well.

Ouuuu Red Lobster is my FAVORITE! I know I'll have to say clear away from that place until I am not in any of the pre and post op phase. 🙂

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With my son playing sports and always hungry when I pick him up from school I keep a cooler in the trunk. The hassle is dumping the Water out and refilling with ice but it worked. I'd save money on going to the drive thru and he'd have a better foor option. I think I'll add some Protein Shakes and other things in there for me. I'm also a drive up queen.

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I can’t do Protein bars - dumping! I had thought a baggie with chopped up protein bars in the glove box would be an ideal ‘on the run’ option!
So, I have roasted chickpeas now instead. Do ‘em myself. Takes about 50 minutes to roast a couple of cans until they are dry and crunchy. Roll in a drizzle of olive oil, and coat with a seasoning. My current zip-lock bag has a chipotle and chilli salt coating - give the bag a shake and eat a handful. About a dozen to 20 fills me up. Good protein but not good if you are doing low carb.
Does America have the subway-like chain called Pita Pit? They do GREAT salad, and the one with roast chicken is a delight - esp with the salad being just olives, jalapeños, pickles and lettuce... mmmm. Makes me want one for breakfast!


I love roasted chick peas! I do them also, great source of Fiber.


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