Surviving the Drive Through

May 2, 2004
Outside Magazine
Outside magazine, July 1996

Surviving the Drive Through
By Lisa Twyman Bessone

Ever notice how a long road trip brings out the James Dean in us all? We act rebellious, even a little dangerous-driving fast, howling along with the tunes blaring, wolfing Big Macs and french fries. A wild streak is good in moderation, but too much of this kind of thing can leave you with speeding tickets, ringing ears, and the need for future angioplasty. How you deal with the first two is entirely up to you, but we can help with the clogged arteries. Here's our on-the-fly guide to healthy road chow.

Eat This: Light Menu Roast Beef Deluxe Sandwich. Ingredients: 6.4 ounces of roast beef, toasted multigrain bun, lettuce, tomato, cholesterol-free light mayonnaise. Calories: 296. Fat: 10 grams. Taste: Just like an Arby's Regular Roast Beef sandwich (make of that what you will). Can You Eat And Steer: With aplomb. Other Life-Lengthening Delights: Roast chicken salad (149 calories, 2 grams of fat), roast chicken (276, 6 ), and roast turkey sandwiches (260, 7 ). The chicken noodle soup (80, 2) is a find. For veggies, there's cream of broccoli soup (160, 8) and baked potato (355, 3).

Burger King
Eat This: BK Broiler. Ingredients: 6.6 ounces of broiled chicken breast, tomato, lettuce, bun. Have it your way and hold the mayo. Calories: 210. Fat: 7 grams. Taste: Without mayo, bleached-skull dry. But that mayo accounts for 23 grams of fat. Can You Eat And Steer: Yes, though the tomato pulling out en toto on first bite can be problematic. Other Life-Lengthening Delights: Chicken (220 calories, 10 grams of fat), Garden (90, 5), and Side (50, 3) salads are fresh but leach the flavor of their plastic packaging for a taste not unlike an airplane meal.

Eat This: Tender Roast Chicken. Ingredients: 4.2 ounces of herb-sprinkled, rotisserie-roasted bird. Calories: Breast sans skin, 169; leg sans skin, 67. Fat: 4.3 and 2.4 grams respectively. Taste: chicken. Can You Eat And Steer: The wheel gets noticeably slipperier. Other Life-Lengthening Delights: Shredded BBQ chicken sandwich (256 calories, 8 grams of fat), mac and cheese (162, 8), red beans and rice (114, 3).

Eat This: McGrilled Chicken Sandwich. Ingredients: 6.2 ounces grilled chicken fillet, lettuce, tomato, sesame bun. Calories: 260. Fat: 4 grams. taste: Won't make you stop longing for a Big Mac. Can You Eat And Steer: See Burger King. Other Life-Lengthening Delights: Salads. The ostensibly healthy Filet-O-Fish sandwich, which is fried and smothered with tartar sauce and cheese, has 360 calories and 16 grams of fat.

Pizza Hut
Eat This: Thin N' Crispy Veggie Lover's. Ingredients: Crust, tomato sauce, black olives, green olives, onions, green pepper, mozzarella cheese. Calories: 186 per slice. Fat: 7 grams per slice. Taste: Divine. Can You Eat And Steer: Another set of arms would come in handy. Other Life-Lengthening Delights: Salad bar, spaghetti with meatless sauce (469 calories, 4.9 grams of fat).

Taco Bell
Eat This: Light Chicken Burrito Supreme. Ingredients: 8.7 ounces of low-fat tortilla, chicken, Mexican rice, low-fat cheddar cheese, fat-free sour cream, Pico sauce. Calories: 410. Fat: 10 grams. Taste: Really good, and it's really cheap. Can You Eat And Steer: Feasible, but oozing innards make it dicey. Other Life-Lengthening Delights: Bean Burrito (390 calories, 10 grams of fat), Light Chicken Soft Taco (180, 5), Chicken Burrito (290, 6). For an additional ten cents you can sub fat-free cheese and fat-free sour cream on any entree.

Eat This: Grilled Chicken Sandwich. Ingredients: 6.2 ounces grilled skinless breast of chicken, lettuce, tomato, reduced calorie honey-mustard sauce, bun. Calories: 290. Fat: 7 grams. Taste: De-lish. Can You Eat And Steer: See Burger King. Other Life-Lengthening Delights: Baked potato (310 calories, 0 grams of fat; with sour cream and chives, 380, 6), chili (210, 7), salad bar.

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