T Nation

Picking Food From the Food Court

I work on a college campus (I’m not a student). I normally try to pack all my snacks and lunches, but some days life gets in the way and I don’t make a lunch. This leaves me in the unfortunate position of trying to find something even REMOTELY healthy in “food court”

I’d have to assume this sort of question would apply to people who travel frequently as well.

So my question is this…

In the food court my options are:

Coffee shop :-/
Subway
Rubios
Tacone
Panda Express
Shogun

Normally I get subway…Ham on wheat, no cheese…

(I’m also asking as I DO travel on occasion as well and struggle with finding ANYTHING even decent)

I’m hoping this thread might not just answer MY question, but be a more general…

If you’ve got to eat at “some establishment”…here are your best (although still not great) options:

If there is already a thread like this, please just let me know and point in that direction! Thanks!

I’m not sure if it’s relavent, but my goals are to eat as cleanly as I can…and put on weight…in as healthy a manner as I can.

subway all the way, get a 6" triple meat turkey on wheat. it will be like 10 bucks but worth it. toasted with cheddar cheese mmmm

I’d pick Rubio’s over Subway every time. Give me grilled meat, corn tortillas and fresh salsa over crap bread and cold cuts any day.

And those Asian chains have some decent choices, provided you’re not restricting carbs or sodium.

Panda Express and Subway are really the only places you mentioned that i am familiar with.
But anyway…

You can find healthy stuff to eat at almost any fastfood place, foodcourt, with the exception of a pizza place. It’s a total copout (in my not-so-humble opinion…heheh) when people say they don’t have healthy options.

Walk in the food court like it’s a grocery store.
Pick and choose the healthy stuff and compose the lunch you want.

Pretty consistently, there are lean proteins and vegetables to be had everywhere.

Obviously stay away from high-fat proteins like ham and beef (at food courts).

Stick to the deli-kind of places.
Subway is perfect…as someone already said.
I’d get a huge sub with their leanest proteins…turkey, chicken, tuna…load it with all the veggies they have available then ditch the bun.

Funny enough, find a McDonald’s.
With all the health pressure they have been getting they have some amazingly healthy things on their menu.

Bottom line is, eating at certain places in a food court, you may find little that you can eat exactly as they serve it…so just use their healthy ingredients and throw the crap away.

Make sense?

Oh and WATCH OUT for Chinese or places like Panda that are serving mixtures of mysterious ingredients mysteriously prepared. That usually means shitty, fatty ingredients cooked in more butter and oil than you can imagine.

Depends on how hard core you want to be.

Probably your healthiest option is Subway.

Chicken breast is healthier than the processed lunch meats such as turkey, although even their chicken breast looks processed.

The wheat bread there is not whole grain and only enriched wheat flour.

If trying to be as healthy as I can be when eating at Subway I get:

Wheat bread

Chicken breast double meat either 6 inch or foot long depending on calories I need.

A whole lot of spinach and all the veggies. Mustard, vinegar and spices.

No mayo, sauces, oil or cheese

Nothing wrong going as healthy as you can at other places for variety also. It is easy to get your protein, but I am more concerned about my health now than I used to be. There are only a few places where no healthy or semi-healthy options exist.

http://www.johnberardi.com/articles/recipes/foodonthego.htm