Healthy in a Hurry

So you’re at work, it’s a relatively new job and you’re still making some adjustments. When you start working at a new workplace, there’s a myriad of issues that you’ll want to address of the course of your first months there. Things like getting the dress code down, maybe purchasing a few pieces of clothing that work well into the wardrobe you already have, pieces like white undershirts, or for women, solid tank tops or under shirts with conservative coverage. Depending on whether you leave the workplace for lunch or eat on site, you’ll want to consider your meal options. Are you looking for fast, cheap recipes that transport easily, possibly sitting hours w/o refrigeration? Maybe you’re working on a diet or focusing on healthy eating but preparing meals at home just isn’t your style, so doing to research on where you can buy affordable, reasonably low calorie meals close to work would be time well spent. For this latter concern I am here to help. For this blog post I’m listing some options available at many typical fast food restaurants that fall under 400 calories as well as some recipes for those ambitious cooks in the audience that are quick and easy to prepare at home and eat one throughout the week. All these suggestions are researched to the best of my ability, (which is roughly translated to Google searches and random magazine articles from my dr.’s office), so please adapt at your own risk and if you have a specific interest I encourage you to follow up with your own research.

For those of you looking to eat out while focusing as much as possible on healthy choices, low cost and timely service, I’ve compiled a list below of several options available at 2 major fast food eateries found in most major cities.


Hamburger (one patty, ketchup, onions, pickles, mustard): 250 calories

Cheeseburger: 300 calories

French Fries: (small) 230 calories, (medium) 380 calories, (large) 500 calories

Classic grilled chicken sandwich: 350 calories (add bacon for 90 calories)

6 piece chicken nuggets: 280 calories


Junior bacon cheeseburger: 380 calories

Junior cheeseburger: 290 calories (subtract cheese for 40 calories)

French fries: (small) 310 calories, (medium) 410 calories, (large) 500 calories

Large Chili: 270 calories

6 piece chicken nuggets: 270 calories

Chocolate frosty: (small) 290 calories

Panera Bread Company

(Take note that to stay under 400 calories, half sandwich servings are the way to go)

Roasted Turkey Artichoke on Foccacia w/ Asiago Cheese: (half) 380 calories

Asiago Roast Beef on Asiago Cheese: (half) 390 calories

Mediterranean Veggie on Tomato Basil: (half) 290 calories

Bowl of baked potato soup: 350 calories

Ceasar salad: (whole!) 310 calories (add chicken for additional 130 calories)

Cheese Tortellini with Alfredo Sauce: (small, 1 cup) 390 calories

I’m also providing a link to a Health online magazine article that details America’s Top 10 Healthiest Fast Food Restaurants:,,20411588,00.html

For those ambitious, aspiring chefs with the time and energy to prepare meals at home in advance of the work week, here are some tried and true recipes that make for easy transport to work. I have noted on each recipe whether is works for locker or desk storage (i.e. no refrigeration) or whether it requires some form of reheating or refrigeration.

Skinny Chicken Tortilla Soup: 269 calories per cup

*Will need re-heating

Can be found at the excellent blog, go here for her delicious recipe:

Roasted Red Pepper Spread Sandwiches: 356 calories

*Best if refrigerated, but not necessary and no need for a microwave

Find an extra 21 recipes for work ideas through Cooking Light through, I’ve linked their article here:

Barbecued Chicken Burritos: 404 calories

*Best if refrigerated and reheated

Recipe available through Eating Well, a great source for a variety of different recipes, check out this recipe and more here:


I hope you’ve found some options here that will work well with your lunch period, whether your focus is healthy, timely or affordable. Good luck on the job and don’t forget that good food choices make for more energy and better moods!!