Mall Food Courts

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    Oct 16, 2015 12:27 PM GMT
    I love mall, airport and university food courts...Subway, Taco Bell, KFC, Dairy Queen, Sbarro, Panda Express, Chikfila, the list goes on and on. But eating healthy can be a problem. I usually go to Subway for the healthiest options, Taco Bell when I feel really hungry and poor and KFC when my willpower is nonexistent. Any tips for healthy eating at a food court? And what's your favorite if it's cheat day? (Cinnabon!)
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    Oct 16, 2015 2:57 PM GMT
    How about avoiding food courts if you'd like to eat healthy? Or, if you have no choice, stick to a salad, but even salads at most restaurants can be calorie-laden with the dressing(s), cheeses, nuts, etc.
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    Oct 16, 2015 3:03 PM GMT
    swimjammer saidHow about avoiding food courts if you'd like to eat healthy? Or, if you have no choice, stick to a salad, but even salads at most restaurants can be calorie-laden with the dressing(s), cheeses, nuts, etc.

    I usually avoid any prepared restaurant salad dressing, and never have the creamy ones. I ask for olive oil & vinegar I apply myself. Same as at home. No one MAKES you have creamy ranch, unless it's one of their signature salads of some kind, which I simply pass up in favor of a more simple green salad. And if they can't serve me a green salad to which I can add oil & vinegar myself, than I skip a salad altogether. We do have choices.
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    Oct 16, 2015 3:05 PM GMT
    Believe it or not, the least healthy option is Smoothie King. You might as well drink liquid fructose. Oh wait....you are drinking liquid fructose! Even their fruit is packed in high fructose corn syrup. However if you complain, they will wash it off for you. Of course they're already saturated in the stuff so there's no real way to remove it.
  • nicelyproport...

    Posts: 573

    Oct 16, 2015 3:23 PM GMT
    I usually opt for an unchopped salad at Subway with double chicken and all of the veggies. Instead of dressing, I use mustard.
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    Oct 16, 2015 4:20 PM GMT
    Healthiest mall food court franchise choice ever is "The Little Beet" (https://www.thelittlebeet.com/menu/) where I typically order something like this:

    9ie1zk.jpg

    But that's probably not at A Mall Near You. I discovered it at Roosevelt Field (Long Island), where that mall's food court renovation alone cost...$200 million!

    At the average mall my go-to is "Bourbon Chicken" at whatever "Cajun-Chinese" franchise is at any given food court.

    Yeah, it's grilled with sauce so delicious it probably contains tons of salt, sugar and MSG (here it is on a list of top 10 mall court foods that should be banned - http://www.bonappetit.com/entertaining-style/pop-culture/article/10-foods-that-should-be-banned-from-mall-food-courts) but I always order it, substituting the rice with a second helping of steamed vegetables.
  • tj85016

    Posts: 4123

    Oct 16, 2015 4:23 PM GMT
    lol, nothing like chowing down on a $5.99 helping of processed crap

    no wonder heart disease and diabetes is out of control
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    Oct 16, 2015 4:28 PM GMT
    The healthiest option I've ever come across is the grilled chicken salad from Chick-fil-a.

    Cheat day: Johnny Rockets
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    Oct 16, 2015 8:45 PM GMT
    Cultures.

    I love their Turkey, Brie and Apple sandwich. Comes with an awesome mango-onion-tomato salad. The Brie probably cranks up the calories but it's got a lot of protein.
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    Oct 16, 2015 10:07 PM GMT
    YVRguy saidCultures.

    I love their Turkey, Brie and Apple sandwich. Comes with an awesome mango-onion-tomato salad. The Brie probably cranks up the calories but it's got a lot of protein.

    Cheese is good in moderation, as is everything else. Mmmmm. I love cheese.

    It's nice living in Southern California because there are an abundance of healthy options even at the malls.
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    Oct 16, 2015 10:41 PM GMT
    KFC Original Recipe, thighs, wins hands down when I want to make my taste buds ecstatic. And according to the paleo diet boosters all that fat is good for you.   icon_eek.gif
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    Oct 17, 2015 2:06 AM GMT
    There's healthy food at fast food restaurants. McD, KFC, and BK.. they all offer some type of grilled chicken sandwich. Just ask for it dry (no sauce/mayo). And pretty much all fast food places sell salad, with dressing on the side.

    Sometimes you don't have time to make food. You have to be smart about nutrition and improvise.
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    Oct 17, 2015 3:25 AM GMT
    DefensiveEnd saidI love mall, airport and university food courts...Subway, Taco Bell, KFC, Dairy Queen, Sbarro, Panda Express, Chikfila, the list goes on and on. But eating healthy can be a problem. I usually go to Subway for the healthiest options, Taco Bell when I feel really hungry and poor and KFC when my willpower is nonexistent. Any tips for healthy eating at a food court? And what's your favorite if it's cheat day? (Cinnabon!)


    Why do you love food courts?

    I wouldn't even think of going to one if I felt like eating healthy. If I wanted to cheat that's a different story icon_smile.gif
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    Oct 17, 2015 3:23 PM GMT
    Your profile indicates that you weigh in at 265 pounds. Is that still the case? If so, how about increasing exercise & avoiding junk food altogether? Something I have that is fast (and healthy) is from Costco: it is a package of Asian Salad for about $4.00. Comes with croutons & dressing. Makes two dinners. Inexpensive & fast.

    If I want a cheat day, I go to a Chipotle - maybe once or twice a month. But I actually earn that by eating healthy & working out and swimming laps to keep in shape.
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    Oct 17, 2015 5:45 PM GMT
    Probably best to avoid altogether the food courts at the mall.

    I know, there's the pull of nostalgia, e.g., "Fast Times at Ridgemont High". . .

    But a difficult place to find anything healthy.
  • LJay

    Posts: 11612

    Oct 17, 2015 6:06 PM GMT
    Run away from the food court and toward the nearest grocery store with a salad bar.
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    Oct 17, 2015 6:12 PM GMT
    If that's where I am and I have to eat (and I can't tell you the last time that happened) I look for the Greek or Middle Eastern choice if there is one. Chicken Souvlaki platter (not a wrap) with rice instead of fries, tzatziki (which is yogurt if it's made right) on the side so you can dip sparingly. And about a gallon of water to counteract the salt.
  • roadbikeRob

    Posts: 14380

    Oct 17, 2015 8:16 PM GMT
    Jockbod48 saidYour profile indicates that you weigh in at 265 pounds. Is that still the case? If so, how about increasing exercise & avoiding junk food altogether? Something I have that is fast (and healthy) is from Costco: it is a package of Asian Salad for about $4.00. Comes with croutons & dressing. Makes two dinners. Inexpensive & fast.

    If I want a cheat day, I go to a Chipotle - maybe once or twice a month. But I actually earn that by eating healthy & working out and swimming laps to keep in shape.
    He is a former football player so the poor guy can't help it. Eating huge meals is part of that sport's subculture. If he runs and pumps iron at the gym than he shouldn't have any problems with unwanted, unhealthy weight gain.
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    Oct 17, 2015 8:23 PM GMT
    MuchMoreThanMuscle saidI hardly ever go to restaurants because I never know what I'm eating. I prefer to cook my own food.


    Ditto. The only times I've ever had food poisoning were from eating at restaurants, never at home.
  • mont_33r

    Posts: 40

    Oct 17, 2015 9:45 PM GMT
    One place I've gone regularly since discovering it in Texas is Jason's Deli. Fortunately, the DC area has them too. Jason's offers a lot of food—most of it admittedly bad for you—but I stick to the salad bar because I can make it myself. Before my vegetarian days, I usually got the turkey reuben (without cheese and on whole-wheat bread, sans sauerkraut—so really just a turkey sandwich) with a side of fresh fruit or steamed vegetables.
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    Oct 18, 2015 12:22 AM GMT
    Sarku Japan has healthy option including Sushi. I always go there when I go to the mall by me, the rest of the food court is irrelevant.
  • FRE0

    Posts: 4865

    Oct 18, 2015 7:39 PM GMT
    The first food court I ever saw was in Sydney, NSW, Australia in about 1997. I had a serious problem with it: Water was not available! At least tap water was not. If one wanted to drink anything, one had to spend at least an addition dollar; what a rip off! There were several restaurants where free water was not available, including Subway. I learned to take water with me when in Australia.
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    Oct 18, 2015 9:45 PM GMT
    Speaking of healthy cooking at home, I just bought a box of Kraft Macaroni and Cheese. I haven't had any in years. I also bought a can of Spam with real bacon, which I'll dice into small cubes and mix with it.

    Spam is a great snack if you're on the paleo diet; just cut it into little cubes which you can pop into your mouth.

    rs_634x736-150317162035-634.kraft-mac-chspam.jpg