Eating, Living and Working in a Fast Food World
How many times have you rolled out of bed in the morning and said to yourself…you know what, today I’m going to eat incredibly healthy – I’ll do the no-fat, low-cal, no-sodium, only-clean, raw-food, all-protein, no-wine, cleanse-thing.
And then 9 AM hits. You walk into your office and right there, starting back at you, are the most gorgeous-looking doughnuts. They look so delicious that it’d be a crime to say no. So you eat a quarter, then a half, and then say forget it…I’m goin’ in. Next thing you know you’re covered in powdered sugar and a half box of doughnuts are gone.
Best of intentions…?
The point of this is to say, eating “right” and healthy all of the time is hard. And it’s even harder when you work for a company with a penchant for dipping fries in a Frosty®.
Since I started my career, I’ve only worked for “fast food” companies. First Arby’s, then the Wendy’s/Arby’s Group (yes, it really was a thing for a few years), and for the past five years I’ve been with Wendy’s®.
It’s safe to say I know my way around a QSR (quick-service restaurant) menu. Being surrounded by really good, indulgent food for just about 10 years has been awesome. And thanks to my role in Public Relations, I get to try new and in-test menu items often at various tastings where we’re served several chicken sandwiches, burgers, topped fries, salads, etc. in the same sitting. It’s great if you love food. But on the other hand, if you’re like me, a 30-something gal who’s constantly running from work to after-work commitments and well-aware that it’s swim suit season, it can all get overwhelming.
So this lifestyle has made me recognize and value the importance of a balanced diet coupled with a really good exercise program. Because when you take into consideration working lunches, new product tastings, drive-thru dinner stops and weekend take-out, I average dining at Wendy’s about five times a week, so I’ve needed to find ways to keep the cals-low and get in some greens and protein. So what are my go-to items?
Full-Size Power Mediterranean Salad (it’s new) – it includes a grain blend for extra protein, feta cheese, tomatoes, grilled chicken and TWO, yes TWO, packets of dressing…wahoo!
Cals: 450 * Fat: 15 g * Protein 40 g
Junior Cheeseburger Deluxe, hold the mayo and add a side Caesar salad but sub the Caesar dressing for our light honey French dressing. Keep the croutons.
Cals: 510 * Fat: 20 g * Protein: 23 g
Grilled Chicken Sandwich, add pickles and a side Caesar salad, but hold the croutons and dressing.
Cals: 410 * Fat: 13 g * Protein: 37 g
Black Bean Burger, substitute the sauce with mustard, keep the cheese and add on a small organic Honest® Tropical Green Tea. Unfortunately the Black Bean Burger is not everywhere, but it is in test in Columbus, Ohio; Columbia, South Carolina and Salt Lake City, Utah. A great non-meat-protein-filled option. Really tasty!
Cals: 550 * Fat: 16 g * Protein: 18 g
Grilled Chicken Wrap, no cheese, and a Small Chili
Cals: 400 * Fat: 13g * Protein: 33 g
While I consider these options reasonable from a calorie, fat and protein perspective, I also know exercise is critical, so I’ve adopted a strength-based, interval-heavy exercise program to keep the pounds in check. I’m very fortunate to have the Wendy's fitness center and our supportive training staff right on campus to sneak in these workouts.
One of my life mottos is “everything in moderation,” and honestly, it is how I’ve survived living and working in a fast food world. Because when you’re consistently on the go and can’t remember the last time you had a moment to cook for yourself, you need options. So I hope you find these menu suggestions helpful. Our culinary team works incredibly hard to bring quality, great-tasting, options to our customers that allow for customization. I also find our mobile app super easy to navigate when customizing menu items because it will automatically recalculate the nutrition information.
Across our entire company, we’re so proud to serve-up a wide variety of products to millions of customers across thousands of restaurants…every single day. And we’re committed to innovation, choice and using quality ingredients like fresh produce and beef*.
We have a few new menu items on the docket to be released later this summer and I think you’ll be excited to try them when they roll out.
Thanks and talk soon!
*My lawyer wanted me to remind you that we only use fresh beef in the contiguous U.S. and Canada.