[Editors Note: This article was written by Angela Mastrogiacomo. In this piece, Angela breaks down some of the healthier options in the world of fast food on the road, and some might surprise you. If you’re here to gear up on knowledge before you hit the road, be sure to read our recent Tour Survival Kit article, too!]
Touring should be a magical time. It’s an incredible opportunity to see new cities, meet new fans, get to know new venues, and just have completely un-ordinary experiences.
But among the many challenges of touring comes eating healthy. While it might be fun to indulge in a few fast food staples you’ve never had before like your first trip to In-N-Out, eventually your body is going to be craving some health food to keep it fueled during those long days and energetic nights.
We’ve put together a list of a few go-to healthy options while on the road. So next time you’re hitting the road for tour or that epic road trip, keep this list close.
This Canadian chain is one of my favorites. I first discovered it while living in Toronto, but they have locations all across the US (and beyond!). It’s a quick service fast-food style restaurant with healthy, delicious options and a ton of variety. They have tons of salad options, and any salad can be turned into a wrap, as well as rice bowls. Everything from Cobb to buffalo to Mediterranean style and beyond. Many options boast super foods like kale, quinoa, and avocado so you can stay focused and energized on the road.
Panera is one of my go-to restaurants anyway, but especially while on the road they can offer some really delicious and healthy options. That being said, they have some deceptively high calorie/fat options so do your research.
For breakfast, check out the avocado, egg white, and spinach sandwich, or their oatmeal with almonds, quinoa, and honey. For lunch/dinner check out the Mediterranean veggie (add avocado!) or roasted turkey and avocado BLT. For salad, you really can’t go wrong with any of them, so long as they aren’t loaded with cheese or dressing. (But the strawberry poppy seed is a great one). Ask for the dressing on the side and you’ll likely end up using a lot less, keeping it even healthier.
Next time you’re fueling up on caffeine check out some of Starbucks’ healthier options, like their protein boxes, oatmeal, or egg white sandwiches.
While it might be tempting to get a giant burrito five days a week, (trust me, been there), Chipotle has a lot of pretty healthy options if you choose a bowl instead of a burrito and are cognizant of what goes in there.
Try to stay away from sour cream and cheese, but indulge in the guacamole all you want. It can be really high in calories/fat, but it’s also a healthy fat, so I say throw it in there with some brown rice, veggies, and protein and you’re good to go.
Have you ever noticed there’s a Subway literally everywhere you go? When I’m on a road trip it becomes my go to option because it’s basically the only option on those long stretches of nothingness. While the jury is out on if lunch meats are healthy or unhealthy, (hint: turkey is probably your best option) they have plenty of other options like a veggie sub, egg white wrap, and salads.
BK has a few salad options, which if you do grilled chicken and don’t smother it in dressing aren’t that bad. But my favorite is the veggie burger. On an indulgent day I like to get it all dressed up (mayo, ketchup, cheese, etc), but if you get it without mayo, even with the cheese option it’s still pretty low in calories/fat while being high in protein.
Would any musician-based fast food list be complete without a mention of Taco Bell?
Taco Bell has surprisingly become a lot healthier (as far as fast food goes) than it used to be. They have a few low cal options, more veggie options than ever before, and several high-protein choices.
Some things to check out are their protein bowl (veggie and non-veggie options available), or their power menu burritos. To lower the fat/calories skip the sour cream and avocado sauce. But feel free to add on that guacamole!
Angela Mastrogiacomo is the founder and CEO of Muddy Paw PR, where her artists have seen placement on Alternative Press, Substream, New Noise, and more. She’s also the owner of music blog Infectious Magazine.