WIAW: Fast Food and Packaged Perfection

Its Wednesday and I really don’t think I have to tell you what that means.

But for those of you who live under a rock, the third day of the work week is a time when the blog community unites in sharing their latest food finds, recipes, and treats.

It is NOT however, meant for people to compare or judge, but rather to inspire and celebrate a very necessary aspect of all our lives; FOOD

Which is exactly the theme I am going with today…

No more labels; food is not good or bad (unless you are referring to the taste, of course). It is something that is essential to survive.

We all need nourishment, and when practicing moderation and balance, who cares if meals and snacks aren’t the most perfect breakdown of macro-nutrients.

Where is all this coming from?

After reading a few recaps of HLS, and some of the negative comments that resulted from a few of my friends posts, I got to thinking….

A lot of the criticism was based on the pictures posted of meals.

I guess from these photos it appeared that those in the healthy living blog community restrict, don’t ever eat anything but vegetables and lean protein, or portray an unrealistic depiction of what a days worth of food should actually be, but we are only viewing a SMALL portion of the writers’ lives.

Regardless, I will admit, and I have discussed this before, I too have been triggered by the posts of others as they show in the virtual world.

How can these girls eat so little, exercise so much and still be considered “healthy.”

But like I said, in their defense, a blog is a tiny, tiny, corner of someone’s existence, not a complete documentation of their day, and sometimes you don’t get to see the entire picture, so it is best not to compare oneself the to the actions of others as seen on their posts, BUT I know this is easier said than done.

And not that I am a great example for people to follow by any means, but since it is WIAW I want to share the food I LOVE that most people in the “healthy living” world would most likely frown upon.

Let’s talk fast food.

I will go ahead and say, I don’t ever order burgers at fast food restaurants. I make them at home…in fact Laura’s lean beef makes AWESOME frozen patties (as well as Trader Joes) that are always in my freezer, but a thin patty that is overdone on a bun with no texture, not appealing.

BUT there are certain times when a craving for something specific will occur, that only a place like Wendy’s can satisfy….

Last night my mom was visiting and she texted me saying Linds wanted a frosty, and asked if I want anything so I didn’t have to cook when I got home.

To me, Wendy’s is probably the best legitimate fast food there is. It has a lot of good options, including the new basked sweet potato they offer!, but I tend to go back and forth between the Grilled Chicken sammy and their chili.

Since I can easily grill up some chicken at home (thanks to my favorite Perdue!), I almost always go with the chili.

It makes the BEST BEST BEST taco salads, and as soon as she asked I couldn’t help but envision the perfect dinner of the hearty beef stew, accompanied by some Wholly Guac and a Corn Vita.

I was right. It totally hit the spot.

I am also a pretty big fan of KFC mashed potatoes.

Normally I don’t care for mashed potatoes due to the texture (I would so much rather have a baked…with ketchup 😉 ), and I do not like fried chicken at all, but if my sister wants a bucket of the crispy breasts, I am all for a side of their starchy veg.

I think it is because they are still somewhat lumpy and perfectly salted? Whatever it is, they are delicious.

I also have no shame in admitting my college years were spent devouring Arby’s Market Fresh Turkey Sandwiches (which I will add are always on the Eat This Not That, “NOT!” list) too many subs from Subway and Panera Bread sandwiches as big as my head.

Maybe you will criticize that I don’t make the most “calorically dense” choices at any of these establishments, but I feel like any sort of fast food has gotten the wrap that it is processed, totally laden with chemicals, and out of the question.

Maybe those things are true, BUT, it is cheap, it is easy and it tastes pretty darn good sometimes.

AND if you want a double cheeseburger from Micky D’s, so what? Isn’t moderation the best definition of health, anyway?

Speaking of conveniently delicious and “no-no” foods, there are a ton of other things I don’t document on here that I really like partly because I fear being labeled as lazy or gluttonous.

Heaven forbid we don’t all cook three gourmet meals a day, right?!

I have to start with one of my all-time favorites.



Please tell me you have had an Uncrustable?

Obviously I could make a peanut butter and jelly on my own, but I have difficulty doing that.

When left up to me I would probably bust out a measuring spoon or smear on a tsp of nut butter, use sugar free jam and low-carb bread.

Just an FYI, the PBJ described above is nothing like the gooey good elementary school kind…not even close.

This is where Smuckers comes in handy.

It is already made for me! No thought necessary…just unwrap, grab a glass of So Delicious Almond Milk and enjoy.

(That is my new fave milk, by the way….5 grams of protein, baby! and perfect for dipping my little round sammy!)

I understand the peanut butter is not all natural. I get that the jelly is not just pureed fruit without added sugar, but it tastes amazing and is portable and for a rushed morning or an afternoon snack at work.

Yoplait Smoothies


This is another one I could easily make myself.

I keep greek yogurt in my house.

(Yay for Chobani being on sale again!!)

I have fruit.

But I strip my blended drinks down to the least amount of calories possible and I would be lying if I said it tasted half as good as the Yoplait variety.

Try the chocolate banana.

I promise it is AWESOME.

PS…That bag may be labeled for two servings, but I drink it all myself.

A little cup of chocolaty good-ness is not big enough for me!

There are a million other things we keep in our home that would probably be frowned upon by someone who eats cleanly 100% of the time, but I am telling you, sometimes it is easier, tastier, and much more satisfying to go with options such as those listed above.


If someone told me to bake up a yam when I was really craving Sweet Potato Popchips, I would tell them they were nuts.

I love my orange potatoes, but the body knows what it wants.

Listen to it and ignore what you think you SHOULD do just because you see it on a blog (or a magazine, or tv, or some other form of media that is not appropriate for giving the end all and be all of diet advice…)

Do you have any packaged items that you think are better than the homemade variety?

What is your favorite fast food? If Chipotle counted, that would hands down win for me!


8 thoughts on “WIAW: Fast Food and Packaged Perfection

  1. Your posts are so encouraging CJ. They really are helping me move towards trying to really adjust my relationship with food and not just see it as something that has to ALWAYS have a nutritional justification to eat. Some foods I want to eat just because they taste good. I think I’m getting closer to success at actually doing this. I’m not fully there by any means but, I am getting to it, I hope.

    Yoplait Boston Cream Pie Yogurt: I used to pour 1 of these over Honey Bunches of Oats Just Bunches for desserts. Omg, it was so good. Giving that up was hard. To be honest, I’m thinking of just caving and buying it again- I miss having something sweet after dinner too much. I’m not sure if I could make them better, but I also love Animal Crackers. Also, Kashi’s chocolate/pb granola bars; they taste just like candy bars. Cereal’s also a major weakness of mine. Yes, I know, oatmeal is healthier and there are a million recipes out there to doctor it up, but oatmeal’s always bored me. It just does. Give me a big bowl of Kashi Go Lean Crunch and milk and I would be such a happy camper…sigh.

    I LOVE Subway’s Sweet Onion Chicken Teriyaki sandwich, I gotta admit. Panera: ah those bagels. Yum. Ha, you’re such a good one for loving Arby’s deli sandwiches- me, I was all about those roast beef sandwiches- every saturated fat bit of them. Yeah you can buy healthier roast beef on whole wheat bread but everyone knows it does NOT taste the same. And don’t get me started on their curly fries and potato cakes (let me stop b4 I start thinking about them too much 😉 I love Chipotle too, btw. My boyfriend’s a HUGE fan, I swear he gets something from there every week.

    Great post 🙂

    • Ok that Boston Cream Pie concoction sounds AMAZING! I think you should absolutely try that again! try it with your boyfriend! chances are he will want a milkshake or something while you are eating yogurt and whole grain cereal (nothing wrong with either option but my husband laughs at me when I consider Skinny Cow Ice Cream a major indulgence and hes downing a large DQ blizzard!)
      And kashi go lean crunch is my favorite cereal! like FAVORITE! I ate it every day in treatment with Vanilla Soymilk (NOT LIGHT) frozen berries, cinnamon and stevia! YUM!!!
      You can totally do this girl! go shopping, get some non diet foods and take it one step at a time!!!!

  2. I loved this post CJ, and of course the HLS chit chat in the beginning struck a chord with me.. not what you said, but yes, the food and eating situation was really tough there for me. I talked about it today on my oleee blog as a matter of fact. From the pictures I saw, there were a whole lot of people that were sticking to safe choices… or very little amounts, I will admit that I was at times because I felt the pressure too. That I “had” to eat a certain way, or still seem like I was struggling or that was not truly me, Tessa, the girl behind Amazing Asset.
    But then this is why I loved this post… because “fake” and fast foods are AWESOME and don’t mean the end of healthy living at all! Everything in moderation and all of that, and sometime you really just need something quick, filling and cheap! Like you, I am not going to go for a hamburger with cheese, mayo, etc and then a large order of fries.. for obvious reasons haha. But I will have fast food at times- chili and frosty’s from Wendy’s FTW! Also the other packaged stuff, heck yes! Uncrustables were gross and amazing at the same time lol.. .the amount of peanut butter always left me feeling a bit like I might choke! Yet oh so tasty. I really like packaged granola more than stuff I make. Maybe I am doing it wrong but yeah, it’s way more convenient and I go for the healthier ones, rather than sugar/oil laden ones.
    Enjoy the rest of your day deary!

    • Of course I have been reading all your posts in relation to HLS and I obviously relate, as I do with pretty much everything you write! I am sorry we both have to struggle through this because I seriously think our lives could be even better with increased freedom (duh!) but I am so glad you can let yourself enjoy fast food, even if it is a little more “guilt-free” every now and then because life is too too short for complete deprivation! You cannot go to LA without a little In and Out and I cannot imagine not visiting Chipotle at least once a month!
      Have a good weekend love and enjoy whatever it is that makes you happy…food or otherwise!

  3. Please remember that some of the bloggers that attended the HLS have disordered eating/exercising habits, whether they admit it (to themselves and/or their readers) or not. The girls who did it right, in my opinion, are the ones who enjoyed the local cuisine and tried things that wouldn’t be available to them at home.

    • I think its hard to make judgements based on a few pictures, but I agree the blog world might be a triggering and perhaps unhealthy version for those who are prone to food and exercise issues. I know for me going gluten free, completely “clean,” etc would be restrictive and just another version of my addictions.

      Thanks for pointing all these things out 🙂

      I know it is helpful to other readers who are struggling.

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