It’s the busiest of seasons, and this last instalment in my “Buying Time” series should probably come in handy right about now! (See “Buying Time with the Crockpot” here)

Even the savviest of planners sometimes has to resort to the “drive-thru.” And let’s face it, you’ve got to have a super strong will to always ignore those whining “pleaaaasssses?” from the back seat.

Morning Run

I’m a breakfast gal myself, and the morning drive-thru choice that’s my go-to is the Egg McMuffin® at McDonalds®. Now that they do breakfast all day, you can always take advantage of the simple but tasty egg sandwich that weighs in at only 300 calories.  My other favorite breakfast item can be found next to your go-to beverage choice at Starbucks®, the Spinach, Feta and Cage-Free Egg White Breakfast Wrap. You’ll get whole grains and animal-friendlier protein and 6 grams of fiber in this wrap, so it’s definitely a winner!

Salads—A No Brainer?

Salads seem to be the perfect go-to healthy lunch or dinner pick. Right? Maybe. It depends on the type of lettuce, the amount of healthy or unhealthy toppings and of course how much dressing you douse it with.  And salads can be a big diet mistake if you go for just a garden salad—because it means you’ll be hitting the candy jar by 2. Choose the salads with darkest greens—spinach and kale are top picks followed by romaine and other leafy greens. Avoid iceberg if you can—its got much less nutrition to offer. Steer clear of added bacon but say yes to nuts, a sprinkle of cheese and fruit (fresh or dried).

My top choice is Chik-fil-A’s® Grilled Market Salad. Besides grilled chicken, its got a healthy mix of greens, but what stands out is the addition of three types of fresh berries and two kinds of apples. Its definitely got crunch appeal! With only 340 calories, its got 27 grams of satisfying protein and a balanced 26 grams of carbs. The Harvest Nut Granola and Roasted Nut Blend is served on the side so you can add as much or as little as you’d like.

Chicken Sandwich

If you’re looking for healthy fast food, you’ll find a chicken sandwich on almost every menu. I love lots of stuff on my sandwiches. If you’re like me, your sandwich is so stuffed that there’s always a veggie falling out. That’s why I like Subway®. Even though they get a bit annoyed with me because I always ask for “a little more” of all the veggies.  Subway® gets points for having spinach, bell peppers, fresh onions, and olives, as well as, 9-grain wheat bread. They boast a long lineup of sauces including light mayo and vinegar. Vinegar is a tasty, calorie-free, sodium-free topping to give your sandwich some zing.  The Oven Roasted Chicken Sandwich has only 320 calories, but boasts 23 grams of protein, only 610 mg of sodium and 5 grams of fiber.


Yes you can go meatless (though it’s harder to be vegan) at the drive thru. If your dining companions insist on a grilled burger, hop on over to Burger King®, where you can get a MorningStar Farms® Veggie Burger. It’s is a well-kept secret that you can go veggie at a mainstream fast food chain.

Taco Bell® has a great collection of meatless choices from bean burritos to simple pintos ‘n cheese or black beans and rice. My top pick is the Power Menu Burrito-Veggie. I like that it limits extra carbs because it cuts the rice, but does have romaine lettuce, black beans, and guacamole. Upgrade to get some fresh tomatoes added. Weighing in at 430 calories with 9 grams of fiber and 14 grams of protein, it’s likely to keep you going until dinner.

Want More Ideas? Check out my post of the best restaurant main dish salads here and tips for making your own entrée salads here.