Fast Food Options


MaryEtta

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I've searched the forums and haven't come across the answer to my question, so here goes.  My husband and I are going to start our first Whole30 this week.  His job involves a lot of unpredictability in terms of scheduling and some travel with little (or no) advance notice.  So, he's planning to bring a lunch (plus) to work each day to try to be prepared and he'll also have some emergency non-perishables on hand.  Where I'm struggling to help him prepare is for the short notice trips.  It has happened before where he will find out at 2 in the afternoon that he's headed out on an overnight trip and it's often to a small town in Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas or Oklahoma so the restaurant choices aren't always that great.  Also, because of the limitations on CDL drivers he is usually not able to drive once he reaches the hotel, so he's limited to what is within walking distance or he's limited by where he can park the work truck.   I know the situation with Chipotle (carnitas) and I can see where he could make do at an In n Out, are there are any "fast food" or "fast casual" restaurants where he could go and know ahead of time what to order?  We're really trying to embrace the spirit of planning ahead and this is the one pitfall that we can almost guarantee is going to come up for him, so any suggestions are greatly appreciated!  Thanks. 

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Fast food and casual dining places are not going to provide your husband with Whole30 compliant options.

 

What you might consider, for him, is to not attempt a full-scale Whole30, but instead a 30 day plan of eating Whole30 whenever possible and eating the best choices available when necessary. He won't get the full effects of a complete Whole30, but he will be able to see improvements.

 

Does that sound like a workable solution?

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AmyS suggestion is a good one in terms of practicality. If he is really set on committing to Whole30 despite his challenges, it certainly can be done, but he will have to embrace that there will be a lot of "making do" versus having delicious, fancy meals.

 

He could probably always get a salad without dressing wherever he is, and add canned wild caught sardines and canned olives to it.

 

Here's a great cheat sheet for staying Whole30 on the road, including many non-perishable things he can stock up on and always carry with him.

 

My husband, after being stuck in traffic for 6+ hours in the aftermath of the Air Florida plane crash years ago, ALWAYS has a cooler with 2 or 3 frozen water bottles and some staples like baggies of baby carrots, bell pepper strips, etc. It can be done!

 

http://whole30.com/downloads/whole30-travel.pdf

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I think the only real way to deal with short-notice travel is to have a stockpile of canned proteins that he can grab-and-go. Canned seafood (tuna, sardines, salmon) is usually easy to find for compliant options. Compliant chicken exists, but, in my area at least, is harder to find as there are a lot of brands that doctor the meat with food starch which is a no-go. I did recently find compliant canned chicken at Costco though!

 

Are his trips usually only a few days at a time? Does he have a sleeper cab? I know a trucker who keeps a mini-fridge and crockpot in his rig. He tends to be on the road for a few weeks at a time so his wife sends him with a crockpot of chili or something else that will last him a few meals and they pack the mini-fridge/freezer with meals to reheat. The meals are cooked in advance and frozen before getting packed in the fridge so they take some advance notice, HOWEVER, if you only need to feed him for a few days at a time, then it may not be a big deal for you to keep a freezer stash that he can raid and then you can just replace the meals as needed so that they're ready for the next trip. They use chinese take-out containers from a restuarant supply shop which are easy to fill and label, but depending on space needs you could use freezer bags (quart size) or tupperware. For the take-out containers, I think they line there's in plastic before filling to help prevent leaks.

 

Bottom line, where there's a will, there's a way. If he wants to do a Whole30, there are ways to make it happen, but he'll have to make a judgment call on whether or not the planning is worth it. Like Amy suggested, he may prefer to continue eating out while on the road to minimize the prep/planning needed for his trips and that's his decision to make. If not now, then maybe in the future he'll want to attempt an actual Whole30. Either way, best of luck to you both!

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  • 3 weeks later...

So far we've done really well using things like tuna in cans, prepacked fruit and veggies at stores and such. To be clear, the issue is that he usually has no notice. He travels to fix broken equipment. So, for example, yesterday, he found out at 8:30 am that he was traveling 5 hrs away and might be staying overnight. When he finds out, he goes. We literally keep an overnight bag packed at all times. So we've packed an emergency food bag and thank God he's traveled very little this month. I do appreciate all the suggestions and feedback. We're on day 21!

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  • 1 year later...

I'm a "Jilly-come-lately" to this post but one place that might be an option is a Mongolian BBQ or Hibachi Style place. We have an Asian Buffet that has a  small Mongolian BBQ/Hibachi Grill.... They typically add oil & sauce so we ask the guy cooking to not use anything but water if need be. It is still tasty. The Mongolian BBQ restaurant we are most familiar with is Hu Hot... They are scattered across the country. You can control your sauces & seasoning & just ask the cooks to make sure someone else's sauce doesn't accidentally touch your food.

My husband & I travel a lot for our job and this will be our first attempt to do the Whole30 on the road. We are trying to plan ahead with emergency snacks. We bought an electric cooler to take our Tessemae's Dressings & boiled eggs. I found some Individually packed snacking olives at Trader Joes so I bought several packs of those. We will take some fruit & research some restaurants more...

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I travel a lot too. The trend of gourmet burger establishments has helped in a pinch for me.  Order on lettuce wrap, tomato, raw onions (avoid the sautéed as usually buttered), check the mustard but I have found success. Just delicious.  I even found no sugar added, compliant  apple sauce at 1 near me as a side. It is red meat  so maybe not every meal, and ask if they add anything, but great easy option for the road.  The other way I have found success, though way more expensive, is steak places. Make sure they don't use butter, or ask them to grill plain or just olive oil, but good steak doesn't need anything and usually have steamed vegetable option.  Even a baked sweet potato or white potato, dry.  Again, Red meat, but good in pinch. 

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My husband & I had one of those burgers last night with a side salad! We did as you mentioned and avoided the sautéed mushrooms & onions. We took our own Mayo, Ketchup, & Salad Dressing and had them add avocado. Absolutely delicious! We haven't hit the road yet but did this more as a night off in the kitchen. We are past our initial 30 days but plan to keep doing the Whole30.

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