Julie Entwistle, MBA, BHSc (OT), BSc (Health / Gerontology)
As a newer vegetarian, and someone who spends most days on the road, I am always looking for quick, but decent, lunch options. While in an ideal world I would prepare my lunches and snacks ahead of time (including hand sanitizer!), sometimes life takes over and I am rushing out the door unprepared. On some days that may result in me being undernourished and not eating again until dinner, on other days it does have me searching for healthy stuff en route. So here is my list of the healthiest but fast meal options that are under 300 calories but can be grabbed quickly, as listed by restaurant name:
Veggie Delight (whole wheat bread without cheese or mayonnaise) 230 Calories
Side Garden Salad (no dressing) 40 calories
Chipotle Chicken Snack Wrap® with Grilled Chicken 230 calories
Grilled Chicken Snack Wrap® 230 calories
Full Asian Cashew Chicken Salad (no dressing) 190 calories
Chicken Go Wrap Grilled 260 calories
Garden Pita (no cheese or condiments, whole wheat pita) 227 calories
Tuna Pita (no cheese or condiments, whole wheat pita) 285 calories
Turkey Breast (no cheese or condiments, whole wheat pita) 286 calories
Perfect Oatmeal (plain) 140 calories
Spinach, Roasted Tomato, Feta and Egg White Wrap 280 calories (my personal favorite with the nutrition value quickly wasted by my latte add-on).
Chicken Ranch or Salad Wrap Snacker 190 calories
Chipotle Chicken Wrap Snacker 200 calories
Chili 290 calories
Soups (no bun) 80 – 230 calories
Warm Grilled Chicken Salad (no dressing) 150 calories
Warm Grilled Chicken BLT Salad (no dressing) 210 calories
Grilled Chicken Sandwich (no cheese or condiments) 280 calories
Tendergrill Caesar Salad (no dressing) 250 calories
Hamburger (no cheese or condiments) 260 calories
Veggie Burger (no cheese or condiments) 270 calories
No under 300 calorie meals.
Of course, calories are not the only consideration when consuming a healthy lunch. However, this measure can provide an easy metric when looking for something fast while trying to avoid the unnecessary calories found in heavy carbs and bad-fat common to fast food meals. For drinks, stick to water as not only is this often free (tap water) with your meal, but it provides an opportunity to rehydrate which is also important.
I hope this list helps you to also pick healthier options when on the road.