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What to Eat Instead of Fast Food

13 quick-fix ideas to help you drive past the drive-through.
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Healthy Meals at Home continued...

"In South America, you might have a fresh whole tomato or fresh avocado at the bottom of your soup," she adds. "As you eat the soup, you scoop bits of tomato or avocado with it. Also, adding some rice makes a thicker soup. It's a really neat, healthy meal!"

Veggie Soup: A quick vegetable soup also works well, says Cindy Moore, MS, RD, director of nutrition therapy at The Cleveland Clinic and a spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association.

Like Fischer, she relies on canned and frozen foods, as well as quick-cook grains, when pressed for time.

"You're starting with a canned soup that already has some element of flavor," Moore tells WebMD. "But when you add more vegetables, some grains like barley or quick-cook rice, plus beans or fish, you're diluting the sodium and calories. You're also adding fiber and protein."

Pasta Pronto: Put any of these over pasta (either regular or whole-wheat, or a mix of both), Moore suggests:

  • Mix tomato-based pasta sauce (any brand you like) with frozen or canned shrimp, clams, or oysters.
  • Heat frozen spinach soufflé or creamed spinach, and top with Parmesan cheese.
  • Mix frozen spinach soufflé and Lean Cuisine Fettuccine Alfredo.

Super Salads: Salads can be a healthy meal in themselves. With a bit of crusty bread and a little protein like fish, seafood, beans, or lean meat, you've got dinner in a bowl. More ideas:

  • Mix frozen broccoli and corn, chop up red bell pepper, mix with Italian salad dressing, and you've got an easy salad, says Moore.
  • Buy lettuce, cucumbers, and tomatoes in the grocery's produce section. At the salad bar, buy all the other stuff. "It's quick, and you don't have to spend much," she tells WebMD.

Cereal: With skim milk and fruit, it's a great quickie supper, Zanecosky says. "Especially if you eat a hot entrée at lunch in your office cafeteria, cereal is a great alternative. Add nuts, dried cherries or cranberries, and skim milk, and you've got a well-balanced meal."

Omelets: This tried-and-true favorite happens fast -- especially when a few fixings are always on hand. "I buy green, red, yellow peppers, sauté them with lots of onions, olive oil. They're always sitting in the fridge," Zanecosky tells WebMD. "We might add ham, chicken, or cheese, and the peppers."

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