All Entries For Food on the Run

The Healthiest Choices at Panera Bread

These days, it can be really tough to find a bite to eat on the go that won't break the calorie bank. Fast food chains are convenient, but most options are loaded down with excess calories, fat and sodium. Panera Bread has emerged in recent years as a healthier choice in a sea of burger joints. Although some of its menu items aren't the greatest (720 calories for a bowl of clam chowder, anyone?), we've scoured the menu to find some decent choices the next time you find yourself in a pinch for food—right now.

Panera has stepped up their nutritional game recently with their Power Menu, a selection of high-protein, low-carb entrees with some seriously impressive nutritional stats. We've included some of them in our top six favorite healthy Panera entrees below, followed by 10 more of our honorable mentions. (Note that salads do not include dressing nutritional information.) 
Posted 2/23/2014  10:00:00 AM By: Tanya Jolliffe : 216 comments   272,105 views
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The Top 10 Worst Restaurant Salads

Everyone loves a top 10 list and many of them provide a good chuckle or two. Today we bring you a more serious top 10 list that instead of a chuckle, may make your gasp. Why? Here are 10 seemingly innocent salads that contain more than 1,000 calories each!

Posted 10/5/2013  6:00:00 AM By: Tanya Jolliffe : 397 comments   302,054 views
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The 7 Worst Restaurant Foods in America

We all enjoy eating away from home from time to time and try to make smart choices when we do. Sometimes we sabotage all our best efforts and give in to a moment of weakness. The more you know about Diet Friendly Dining when you are eating Food on the Run the more you will be able to resist temptation.

Recently Eat This, Not That outlined the 20 Worst Restaurant Foods in America. Here are seven you should avoid if at all possible.

Posted 6/28/2013  6:00:00 AM By: Tanya Jolliffe : 235 comments   323,204 views
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Shocking Restaurant Meals to Avoid This Year

The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) has recently released their Xtreme Eating 2013 report. This yearly publication highlights the most shocking levels of calories, saturated fat, sugar and sodium in restaurant dishes across the country.

We've seen some noteworthy diet-friendly dining choices over the past several years, but restaurants still have a lot of work to do in the nutrition department—and this list is proof of that! Check out some of these outrageous meals from CSPI's ''no-no'' list, plus smarter alternatives. Have you tried any on the list?
Posted 1/24/2013  6:00:00 PM By: Tanya Jolliffe : 44 comments   30,667 views
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The 10 Healthiest Restaurant Dishes of 2012

We hear in the media all the time about the calorie-laden fare that’s regularly served up at fast-food chains and casual-dining restaurants. But what about the sensible options? Are there any truly healthy choices at restaurants anymore? There sure are—and we’ve got a whole list of them! Here are some of the best restaurant meal options of the year to help make your dining-out decisions a little easier. See if any of your favorites made the cut!
Posted 12/27/2012  6:00:00 PM By: Tanya Jolliffe : 38 comments   73,257 views
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McDonald's Posting Nutrition Info in All Restaurants

Our daughter spent this past summer serving customers at our local McDonald's. She observed many patrons trying to make healthier choices by selecting oatmeal for breakfast or skipping the fries at dinner. During her work, she helped McDonald's highlight lower calories options as she promoted options from their new Favorites Under 400 menu.
To demonstrate their commitment to improved nutrition, McDonald's has published a nutrition progress report for the first time.  Now McDonald's has taken another step in information sharing. Learn about important tidbits of information that can help make nutrient wise selections even easier next time you are selecting Food on the Run.
Posted 10/1/2012  10:00:00 AM By: Tanya Jolliffe : 41 comments   12,394 views
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Is Sodium a Problem? Walk Away from the Shaker!

Added salt from the shaker has been a pet peeve of mine since beginning dietitian training in college. I used to go home for a visit and chastise my father as he added salt to his bologna sandwich or lettuce salads before ever tasting them. "Dad, salt is an acquired taste," I would tell him. "Leave the shaker alone for two weeks, and you will be amazed at how your tastes will change related to salty foods." My mother was always grateful for the interventions I attempted. My father would humor me with the nod of his head in agreement while smirking to indicate he did not intend to take my advice.
Offering the same advice to put away the salt shaker in favor of other flavorful seasoning alternatives while working at the hospital brought some of the same responses. The spouse was glad for the backup while the client would nod in agreement in a way that let me know change was not likely. It was always refreshing to see the occasional client who faced a new change in medical status take the advice to heart.
A few weeks ago, I was excited to read that Boston Market was taking a bold move and removing salt shakers from restaurant tables.
Posted 9/10/2012  10:00:00 AM By: Tanya Jolliffe : 38 comments   7,928 views
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New Under 400-Calorie Menu at McDonald's

McDonald's has a new online promotion to highlight both its sponsorship of the US Olympic team and its under-400 menu options. Win When USA Wins Gold Olympic promotion. This interactive quiz feature lets you learn more about the healthier options at McDonald's.
Do you know how many servings of whole grain are contained in the Fruit & Maple Oatmeal? How about how many grams of protein are in the Premium Grilled Chicken Sandwich? You can learn that and more from the new highlighted information. Not everything on the under-400 calorie favorites list are good options -- and most contain a very high amount of sodium. Here are some of the better choices from the new list.  
Posted 7/30/2012  10:00:00 AM By: Tanya Jolliffe : 82 comments   32,818 views
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Food on the Run: Jack in the Box

I recently read that Jack in the Box is planning to open its first Ohio restaurant this summer near my neighborhood. I didn't know much about the fast casual chain except that they faced national scrutiny once because of an E. coli outbreak. I decided to do a little research and found the hamburger chain has more than 2200 restaurants in twenty states spanning the U.S. from coast to coast. With a recent opening in Indianapolis, Indiana and another 25 to 30 restaurants projected to open later this year, I decided to take a closer look at how the chain stacks up nutritionally.
Jack in the Box has an expansive menu, featuring the first fast casual 100% Sirloin Burger as well as lighter appetizers and real fruit smoothies. For the nutrition conscience, there are whole grain pitas, entrée salads, and grilled chicken. Here are some of the best choices I will be looking for when the new restaurant opens down the street.
Posted 4/23/2012  2:00:00 PM By: Tanya Jolliffe : 20 comments   15,070 views
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Food on the Run: New Burger King Menu Review

Perhaps you have seen one of the new Burger King ads with David Beckham, Jay Leno, or Salma Hayek  or heard about the controversy related to the pulled one for Mary J Blige. In either case, more than likely you have heard the company has added new menu items. With the first major food expansion since the chain launched in 1954, we thought it was important to take a closer look.
Critics suggest the new menu additions like frappes, fruit smoothies, specialty salads, and snack wraps are very similar to the menus items of their top-rated competitors. While the 10 new menu items do match McDonald's offerings rather closely, perhaps the new updates are also a sign of the times. With a saturated fast-food market, maybe offering nutrition conscious options is a necessity just to stay competitive. Regardless of the reason for the new menu items, here are the nutrition details for the new choices to help you decide if they are right for you and your family.
Posted 4/9/2012  10:00:00 AM By: Tanya Jolliffe : 88 comments   28,554 views
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Something New Coming South of the Border

Last year wasn't one of the best sales years for Taco Bell. Perhaps it was because of a lawsuit early in the year but regardless of the reason, Taco Bell and their parent company Yum Brands Inc. seek to make this year better. With the hopes of increasing interest in the Mexican style fast-casual dining chain, they are rolling out two new test market initiatives with specific competitor markets in mind.
Last month nearly 800 Taco Bell test restaurants across 12 western U.S. states began trialing new breakfast options. The initial breakfast test market began with four cities and favorable response led to the increased test market to begin making a presence in the $42 billion food on the run breakfast market. New "First Meal" items focus on egg and steak, sausage or bacon stuffed burritos and wraps. Taco Bell has also included recognizable name brands like Cinnabon, Johnsonville, Tropicana, and Seattle's Best in the hopes of boosting interest as well. With a price range from $.99 to $2.79, more people may begin thinking "outside the bun" when it comes to breakfast.
In addition to the expanded test market of the new breakfast line, initial testing is under way for the new menu items that they hope take Taco Bell in the direction of gourmet food. Biggest Loser Chef Lorena Garcia has created the new Cantina Bell burrito, burrito bowl, and soft tacos menu items. Increased focus on nutrient rich ingredients such as seasoned white rice, black beans, and corn salsa appear to take aim at fresh-Mex competitors Chipotle Mexican Grill and Qdoba. Unfortunately, the initial testing market for Cantina Bell is restricted to the Bakersfield, California and Louisville, Kentucky areas for now. If all goes well, you may be seeing the new menu near you by the end of the year.
If neither of these new initiatives is in your area but you love Taco Bell, have no fear because the countdown has started for a new culturally cool concept that just might be.
Posted 2/27/2012  2:00:00 PM By: Tanya Jolliffe : 27 comments   12,086 views
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Food on the Run: Extreme Pita

You want a fresh and nutritious sandwich on the go. One of the reasons you love Subway is because you can customize your sandwich to your personal taste with health in mind. Now you can enjoy the same benefits along with the power of the pita.
You can find an Extreme Pita in 14 states in the U.S. and nine provinces of Canada. Not familiar with this franchise? Watch this:

Here are some of the better choices when you visit this restaurant with a fresh take on the sub sandwich.
Posted 1/9/2012  2:00:00 PM By: Tanya Jolliffe : 20 comments   8,940 views
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10 Low Sodium Restaurant Options For the New Year

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends individuals between the ages of 2-50 should reduce daily sodium intake to 2,300 mg or less. For those older than 51 or younger individuals with hypertension, diabetes, or other chronic diseases, the recommendation lowers to 1,500 mg per day.  Since sodium is essential element necessary for the body to function properly, it is important to consume between 1,500-2,300 mg per day on average unless otherwise directed by your medical provider.
 In our ongoing Food on the Run and Diet Friendly Dining series, one of the most common comments I find relates to why the sodium content is so high in the foods we suggest as being "healthier" options.  
More and more restaurants are moving in the direction of fresh, whole foods for entrée and side options. Since these tend to be naturally low in sodium, they are a great way to increase nutrition while decreasing the sodium and fat content at the same time. Options such as fresh fruit and steamed or raw vegetables without added sodium, lean meats, poultry and fish as well as whole grains, dried beans, and lentils that do not have added salt are usually better choices with lower sodium content.
The Healthy Dining finder's team of Registered Dietitians believes that Sodium Savvy menu items are those that provide 750 mg or sodium or less for an entrée, and 250 mg of sodium or less for an appetizer, side dish, or dessert. Here are 10 of the best low sodium casual dining and fast food entrée options you might want to select next time you are eating away from home.
Posted 1/5/2012  2:00:00 PM By: Tanya Jolliffe : 13 comments   60,905 views
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The 10 Healthiest Menu Items of 2011

We have seen many restaurants update their menus this year to provide patrons with healthier options. The new Kids Live Well campaign provides families with healthier choices when eating away from home to help kids maintain a healthy weight. While some reports suggest the new healthy options aren't popular, many restaurant chains aren't giving up and are striving to be on board with the First Lady's anti-obesity campaign.
Throughout 2011, we have highlighted some of the healthier fast food and casual dining options in our Food on the Run and Diet Friendly Dining reviews. Here are 10 of the healthiest menu options we've seen this year:
Posted 12/8/2011  2:00:00 PM By: Tanya Jolliffe : 32 comments   87,944 views
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Food on the Run: Fazoli's

This mid-western Italian quick serve family favorite restaurant chain is rolling out new healthier menu options. With a kid friendly focus, Fazoli's was recognized as one of the best family restaurants in the United States by Parent's Magazine. Now, health conscious parents can select from 15 new menu items including several under-400 calories. With a focus on value, Fazoli's aims to provide nutrient rich menu options for everyone while keeping the family budget in mind.
With no fried foods or trans fats, there are some better options to select when you visit a Fazoli's near you.
Posted 11/21/2011  2:00:00 PM By: Tanya Jolliffe : 15 comments   9,816 views
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