< back to the wellness blog

September 14, 2020 • Healthy Living

On the Go? How I Make Fast Food Healthier

highway fast food life

Because life happens for me too – sometimes fast food is my only option. Here is how I handle this precarious situation. If I am really pressed for time, my first choice is Subway. Fortunately, Subways are everywhere and now outnumber any other fast food chain.

Here is exactly what I order:

  • Turkey and Provolone (2 not 3 slices) on multigrain flatbread, spread with deli mustard and a little light mayo or avocado, and stuffed with every veggie topping they offer including spinach greens (much healthier than iceberg lettuce), olives, tomatoes, bell peppers, cucumber, banana peppers, red onions, and jalapenos. And I always coax the server to really pile the veggies on! I also ask for a sprinkle of oil and vinegar, and several liberal shakes of oregano or whatever dried herbs they offer. Finally, I have them cut my six-inch sub in half because it is much easier to eat and somehow seems more satisfying.
  • A cup of tap water
  • If I am particularly hungry, a side of Sun Chips.
  • Sliced apples for dessert unless I happen to have a square of dark chocolate in my purse.

If time is not of the essence, I prefer Panera Bread or the salad bar (they call it the Garden Bar) at Ruby Tuesday. If I am in an unfamiliar area, I use my smartphone to put in a search for the locations nearest me.

At Panera Bread my standard order is:

  • The Thai Chopped Chicken Salad with extra carrots and red peppers, and without the wonton strips. Dressing on the side with a cup of tap water.


  • A bowl of vegetable or bean-based soup of the day with one-half of the smoked turkey breast sandwich on stone-milled rye bread, spread with bold mustard and light mayo, and topped with extra lettuce, tomatoes, and onions. Tap water to drink.

Ruby Tuesdays has an exceptional salad bar that is filled with cool, crisp fresh veggies – even fresh edamame and zucchini!  Here is how I veg out with the Ruby Tuesday Garden Bar:

I begin with about two cups of dark lettuce greens (1/2 baby spinach and 1/2 spring mix) and top it with red onion, shredded carrots, green peas, edamame, bell peppers, zucchini, broccoli florets, Roma tomatoes, sunflower seeds, a couple of spoons of hard-boiled eggs, and a light dusting of shredded parmesan. I dress things with a small drizzle of olive oil (about 1 tbsp) and a liberal sprinkle of balsamic vinegar, or about 2 tbsp balsamic vinaigrette.


Order Dr. Ann’s Book Combo (Eat Right for Life & The Cookbook Companion) and we’ll include a FREE Dr. Ann Grocery Guide in your packet!

Books Special