Can Fast Food Be Healthy?

Can Fast Food Be Healthy?

Can Fast Food Be Healthy?
I could start and end this episode with one sentence, “fast food is still fast food” but that also wouldn’t be fair to those who truly want to learn.

While I get the convenience, we are relying TOO much on fast food these days and often deem it a “healthy option” as a good substitute for a home cooked meal. I’m not saying we shouldn’t rely on fast food. However, it’s important to know what the trade-off is.

There are ways to make your fast food meal a healthier option but there are things to consider before pulling up to the drive-up window.

Before we get into those, let’s talk about why fast food is not the healthiest… beyond the obvious salt and sugar.

Why Isn’t Fast Food Healthy?

Fast food is meant to be prepared fast. That means that most likely it is prepared ahead of time and then warmed up when you pull up to the drive-through. Whether it be in tubes or frozen patties, preservatives need to be used to have it ready to go.

Because of that, you’re not just getting a simple ingredient like a grilled chicken patty when you order it.

Not to single any restaurant out, but I use Chick-Fil-A as an example because it’s the one I run into most with my nutrition clients. Often deeming their grilled chicken sandwich a healthy alternative to the standard chicken nuggets and fries they have to offer.

While yes, it is a better option, I wouldn’t necessarily say their grilled chicken sandwich is “healthy”.

When looking at the website, the sandwich itself (no condiments added, just the bun and meat) has over 60 ingredients.

60 ingredients in two pieces of bread and a piece of chicken.

Before you chalk it all up to the bread, the chicken itself has over 20 ingredients. Based on the Chick-Fil-A website at the moment, ingredients vary by location.

I’m not bashing Chick-Fil-A. They need to do what they need to do to preserve the meat and flavor it, but it does lead to the question, how much is actually meat?

How Do You Eat Fast Food in a Healthy Way?

Eating a healthy diet at a fast food restaurant feels like an oxymoron. In some instances, it definitely can be.

But it goes back to your definition of healthy.

What is healthy for you might not be healthy for the person sitting next to you. We all have our own definitions of it based on our individual bodies.

Go in with a plan and a backup plan. I will forever encourage my clients to read the menu and the ingredients when possible.

Read the menu, not just the food you like but anything that sounds good. Don’t stop at the number of calories (even though often that’s what is easiest to find). Look at the protein, the carbohydrates, the vitamins (if there are any), and the ingredients.

Keep an eye on the sodium and sugar levels. How much of your daily intake is there?

Zeroing in specifically on things like smoothies or salads, the ingredients, and nutrition labels can be a game changer. I’ve often heard that smoothies are *always* healthy options but when I start to see the ingredients and things inside of them, they may not be.

How much fruit is in it? Processed sugars vs. natural sugars?

Same with salad dressings, the best way to make a salad taste good is to load it with dressing, right? Eh, no it’s to add more veggies ;). Again, spending time reading the ingredients can go a long way.

From there, keep an eye on what FEELS good when you do go to whatever restaurant. Chances are you often frequent the same places. Keep a note on your phone or write down how you are feeling after each time you eat there.

Feeling miserable isn’t just nausea or acid reflux. This could mean being exhausted after the meal, dealing with brain fog, or seeing heightened anxiety.

This may change over time. Keep this in mind, not only will the ingredients change but the way your body responds to different foods will too.

Taking planning one step further, planning carry-out as part of your weekly meal plans makes it easier to work around.

Knowing that every Friday night is carryout, or when you’re planning your week you know Wednesday is going to be CRAZY, penciling it in as your meal for the day allows you to have a plan before and after Fast food.

One meal out of 21 a week isn’t going to be the end of the world but fast food is still fast food. Eating out for multiple meals a week when the food doesn’t agree with your body is not going to help you make progress on your diet or health goals.

You don’t have to say goodbye to eating out altogether, but spending a little bit more time researching upfront, can lead to better long-term results.

10 Reasons Your Diet Isn't Working

Don't forget to catch up on our other 10 reasons your diet isn't working

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Kristin Longacre

Hey There, I’m Kristin, a holistic nutrition coach helping busy moms simplify healthy eating to increase their energy levels and rebuild confidence in themselves.

Loving Your Body In the Season That You're In

Can Fast Food Be Healthy?

Getting Honest About Your Diet & Goals

Getting Honest About Your Diet & Goals

On the podcast this week, we are going to get honest about our diet by asking the question “are you REALLY sticking to your diet like you say you are?”

Now before you hit pause, hang with me. This episode might be a bit of a gut punch, but I think it’s an important conversation.

When I chat with my one on one clients, oftentimes there is this conversation of “I wrote down everything, but it’s not making sense. I still don’t fit into my clothes, but I’m doing all of the things”

But when we dig in a little further, things start to make sense.

Hang with me as I’m going to give you some questions to ask yourself when it comes to getting honest about your diet.

Honesty When Tracking Your Food

If you are someone who is tracking your food, ie, macros, calories, or food journaling… are you really logging everything? Yes, I’m talking about that bite of your kid’s peanut butter and jelly, that cookie you grabbed from your kids’ leftovers, and the alcoholic beverage you had last night with dinner.

Why do those things matter? Little things like that add up.

Sure, you can look back at your day and say, “I hit my calories perfectly,” but you didn’t log that 200-calorie glass of wine.

What’s more important? Having a true picture of what’s going on or hitting your calorie goal so your app congratulates you.

Honesty When it Comes to How You’re Feeling

When I work with my clients one-on-one, we don’t often look at things from a calorie or macro perspective, but we do a lot of times look at it from a food journal perspective. I can see a perfect food journal but when I start to ask more questions, that’s when the real stories come out.

Not in a bad way, but digging in more tells us a lot more about what is going on.

Let’s pretend we are reviewing the food log of someone named Alexa. Alexa has a problem with dairy, but she just loves cheese so much. 10-15 meals a week have some kind of cheese in them, but when she’s filling out her food journal, she never marks those meals as feeling off afterward.

But bloating is still an issue; the weights are not falling off, she’s still tired, and something’s still not right.

She knows that if she were to eliminate the cheese, she would most likely see the change, but cheese is so good.

This is where honesty comes in. Alexa has to make a decision. Does she want to continue to feel the way she is or does she want to say goodbye to cheese for a little bit to see how her body responds?

Honesty With Yourself About Your Diet & Goals

Last but not least… there’s being honest with yourself.

Do your current diet, and goals fit your current season of life?

Questions To Ask Yourself:

  • Should you slow down your weight loss goal to fit in this season
  • Do you have time to move your body 5-6 days a week, or should you shift it to 3-4 days a week?
  • Should you be meal prepping more than you are?
  • Are you really sleeping enough?
  • Does your budget allow for the type of food you should be eating to hit your goals?

This does NOT mean giving up on your goals. This means maybe it’s time to change some things up. Maybe instead of aiming to lose 10 lbs by Summer, we shift that goal to 5… or we take the number out of the equation altogether and focus on habit-based goals.

Not to be blunt but no one else can do the work for you. Shifting to a healthy lifestyle takes time and it takes energy. There are little changes that can be made that add up to big results over time and there are big changes that can be made that can add up to big results a little faster.

Each person has their own season of life and it’s important to be honest with yourself in your current season… not the season you *think* you should be in.

Are you being honest?

10 Reasons Your Diet Isn't Working

Don't forget to catch up on our other 10 reasons your diet isn't working

Listen On:

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Kristin Longacre

Hey There, I’m Kristin, a holistic nutrition coach helping busy moms simplify healthy eating to increase their energy levels and rebuild confidence in themselves.

Loving Your Body In the Season That You're In

Can Fast Food Be Healthy?

The Benefits of Organic vs. Non Organic Food

The Benefits of Organic vs. Non Organic Food

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No, I’m not going to tell you that you have to eat all organic all the time, but I do want to talk about the benefits of organic food this week. Depending on where you are on your health (and life) journey, there is a balance that needs to be had. We have a few more things to chat about first so let’s dive in.

Quality vs. Quantity

Before we get too far into it, let’s talk bout the different types of quantity. Technically speaking if you’re on a weight loss journey, it’s going to come down to these four numbers.

Calories, Carbs, Fats & Proteins.

Calories by definition are the measurement of the energy content of food.
Carbs are your body’s number one energy source
Fats support cell function & help with energy
Protein is there to help with your body’s maintenance and building of muscle tissue.

Calorie tracking can only take you so far. Two people could eat two different diets at 1600 calories and see drastically different results. Similar things can happen with macros. I’m not here to rule either of those situations out, there are people who have wonderful success with both. However, it goes deeper than the numbers.

100 Calorie Packs & Other Processed Foods

Let’s talk about an example of where processed foods can make things confusing.

If you are on a weight loss journey and trying to hit let’s say 1600 calories a day because that’s what your tracking app tells you to use… the best case scenario is that you would be able to fit 3 meals and 2 snacks into that calorie range.

However, some things you want to be eating (avocados, apples, mangos, bananas) are over 100 calories each, and that’s a lot to sacrifice for part of a snack. But that 100-calorie pack of pretzels fits the exact calorie amount you need.

Here’s where things get tricky. Which one is going to fill you up more, provide more nutrition, and ultimately help you lose that weight?

Your answer… the fruit or vegetable. That 100-calorie pack might satisfy a salt craving but chances are, you’ll still be hungry later.

This is so important to pay attention to when you are working on your health.

In theory, calories in, and calories out will help you lose weight. Had you stuck with the apple & maybe some peanut butter for 150-200 calories, you might be satisfied, but if you reach for that 100-calorie pack you are going to eat more probably take you past that 200 mark.

In no way am I saying pretzels are a bad snack but in this situation, they are very much a less helpful snack than an apple.

The quantity of the food you are eating effects not only your hunger levels but also whether you are getting any value from it. We need that food to fuel us and support our goals. Choosing quick pre-made snacks over a vegetable or fruit can be a huge difference in us actually seeing results.

The Benefits of Organic vs. Non-Organic Food

I will add a disclaimer here I buy a very mixed amount of organic and non-organic for a number of reasons… number one is budget and availability. I am NOT here to judge if you choose not to buy organic, I just want to keep you as informed as possible!

Now we can get into the benefits of organic vs. non-organic food. This is a hot topic and there are a lot of people who have strong opinions about it.

Is organic better for your health overall? Absolutely.

Is it always reasonable to buy organic? No.

Let’s start by answering the question, why would you want to buy organic meat or produce? At the highest level, organic means that natural pesticides or no pesticides were used on produce, and no hormones/steroids are used on the meat.

Pesticides are a huge piece of keeping farms rolling, obviously, they keep bugs and other pests off of the crops, which ultimately is then on the fruits. There is a reason that I will ALWAYS preach to wash your fruits and veggies before eating them. You still need to wash organic produce as well, but for different reasons.

Then there’s the meat side of things. In order to produce more meat, animals are often given hormones. That makes sense, right? Bigger the animal, the more meat it produces. However, those hormones don’t just disappear when the meat is packaged up and put in the store… it’s still there.

What Effect Can Non-Organic Food Have On Your Body?

What can these additives (hormones and pesticides) affect in your body? Hormones and Gut health. Which actually go hand in hand.

If you are adding animal hormones into your body, it is similar to adding synthetic hormones into your body. This is why a lot of women specifically can be encouraged by holistic doctors to switch to a more organic diet when focusing on starting a family, especially if they are struggling to conceive.

Pesticides can also wreak havoc on your hormones. Your body doesn’t know what to do with it, it thinks it’s food, does it break it down, does it send it to your body to help fuel it, what does it do? It’s not natural.

What Does Organic Food Have To Do With Weight Loss?

When your gut or hormones aren’t happy, your body can be left confused. It might hold onto a little more water weight, it might use its energy trying to break down these added substances instead of breaking down the fats that it needs to.

It won’t make or break your diet, but if you’re finding yourself stuck on a plateau and you’re already working WITH your body on other stuff, it’s worth giving organic food a try.

At the end of the day, yes calories in and calories out matter… how much of each macro you eat matters… but not as much as listening to your body and making sure you’re feeding it HIGH-QUALITY foods.

Quality vs. Quantity. Both are important in their own way.

10 Reasons Your Diet Isn’t Working

Don’t forget to catch up on our other 10 reasons your diet isn’t working

10 Reasons Your Diet Isn't Working

Don't forget to catch up on our other 10 reasons your diet isn't working


Kristin Longacre

Hey There, I’m Kristin, a holistic nutrition coach helping busy moms simplify healthy eating to increase their energy levels and rebuild confidence in themselves.

Loving Your Body In the Season That You're In

Can Fast Food Be Healthy?

Signs That You’re Dehydrated

Signs That You’re Dehydrated

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Last week we dug into ten reasons your diet isn’t working. The topic hit a few buttons and brought up several questions. Instead of moving on, I decided we’re going to take it a step further and spend a few weeks breaking down each reason more in-depth.

As the song says, let’s start at the very beginning… I hear it’s a great place to start.

You’re dehydrated.

You’re probably saying; please don’t make me drink a gallon of water daily. I’m not here to do that… except maybe I am. We’ll get to that in a minute.

Let’s start by talking about the louder signs that you’re dehydrated. As usual, this is where I start talking about listening to your body. Our body has a way of telling us things and it’s up to us to start listening.

  • Tiredness
  • Feeling thirsty/lightheaded
  • Headaches
  • Dark/strong-smelling urine. Yup, we go here on this podcast.
  • While we’re at it… if you’re struggling to go to the bathroom in the other sense.
  • Dry mouth

Other signs that you just aren’t drinking enough water, in general:

  • Lack of energy overall (it goes align with tiredness)
  • Your skin looks dull, damaged and needing “something.”
  • Sugar cravings
  • Struggling to lose weight despite “doing it all right”

What should you do about these signs that you’re dehydrated?

Drink more water 😉

Okay while it should be that simple, it’s not quite that simple.

The best way to figure out how much water you should be drinking is take your body weight in pounds and divide it in half.

That’s how many ounces you should drink.

Example: 150/2 = 75

Now I like to add more to that equation.

8oz per cup of caffeine (ie coffee)
8oz per 30 minutes of workout.

How do you drink more water if you just don’t like water?

There are a few ways to get to this. The biggest “how” is going to be when you start to feel the effects of drinking more… you won’t be as off put by water when you realize the difference it makes.

  • Add fruit such as strawberries, lemons, oranges and pineapples.
  • If you like adding liquid IV or something else, do so in moderation. Keeping in mind, most of those packets are meant to rebuild certain vitamins and minerals after a workout… not to drink 4 a day.
  • Figure out how you like your water, hot, cold, luke warm, tap water, filtered water, etc… This might sound snobbish… but we get to be snobs around here.
  • Make yourself drink one water bottle before coffee.
  • Buy yourself a new water bottle. Okay, this won’t work weekly, but it is a good jump start if you’re struggling.

Try it for a week, increase you water and see what happens.

You might be surprised.


Kristin Longacre

Hey There, I’m Kristin, a holistic nutrition coach helping busy moms simplify healthy eating to increase their energy levels and rebuild confidence in themselves.

Loving Your Body In the Season That You're In

Can Fast Food Be Healthy?

Love Your Body In The Season That It’s In

Love Your Body In The Season That It’s In

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In the spirit of Valentine’s day, we’re going to talk about love, specifically loving your body. Looking in the mirror, it’s easy to say, “I wish I had a six-pack, I wish my hips were smaller, I wish my arms were stronger.” It’s easy to get knocked down by these feelings, especially when you’ve been putting in the work.

You’ve been eating better, you’ve been moving your body, you’ve got the Stanley and are drinking 120 oz of water a day… but you’re still not where you want to be.

It’s okay to feel those feelings. It’s VERY valid to feel those feelings.

Friends, It’s okay to love your body in the season you’re in AND still want to see it change.

You’re probably saying, “great, but I want to see the change; how do I love my body”

That’s what we’re going to talk about today!

Learning to Love Your Body

Disclaimer it’s not an overnight process. Waking up tomorrow saying “I love my body” will not put you in a position of complete love with your body. Like everything else in health, loving your body takes time and work.


Journaling is something I come back to quite often, however, it is a wonderful way to get your thoughts on paper. Some things you can journal out about your body:

  • What do you love about your body? Get specific here, your hair? Your stronger legs? What did your body do to grow a human? Etc.
  • What do you not like about your body? Again, get specific.
  • What are you doing to change your body? How long have you been doing it?
  • What makes you proud of this journey?

Spending time with yourself in the mirror

As cheesy as it sounds, spend time chatting with yourself in the mirror. Become comfortable looking at your body. The more you avoid looking at yourself or talking to yourself, the harder it is to fall in love with yourself.

Remember, thoughts become things.

Our words MATTER. It hurts to hear negative things from our best friends so why are we okay with putting ourselves down? Spend some time paying attention to the words you are using, and shift your mindset with them.

For example: instead of saying ‘I will never be the girl with a six pack’ shift your words to ‘dang, look how much progress my stomach has made.”

Be proud of how far you’ve come

Look back to where you started and how far you’ve come already. If you have pictures from before you started your journey, pull those out. Remind yourself how to dang proud that women would be of where you are today.

Long-term change takes time. Our bodies are always evolving and will continue to change with each season of life. We get one physical body for our entire life. The most important thing we can do is protect it, take care of it, and love it.


Kristin Longacre

Hey There, I’m Kristin, a holistic nutrition coach helping busy moms find Nutrition Confidence by making eating healthy an easy option for their busy season of life.

Loving Your Body In the Season That You're In

Can Fast Food Be Healthy?

Don’t Let Your Body Run Out of Gas

Don’t Let Your Body Run Out of Gas

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Have you ever pulled into the gas station right as the “empty” light pops on your dashboard? It’s a feeling of panic and relief all at the same time. Am I right?

We would never let it happen to our cars, but we let it happen to our bodies all the time; why is that?

Signs Your Body’s Gas Tank is Running on Empty

Before we talk about filling our tank, we need to get a better understanding of what it means to leave our bodies running on empty.

  • Signs you might be running on empty:
  • Exhaustion or Lack of Energy
  • Cravings
  • Weight Gain or Bloating
  • Headaches
  • Low Immune System
  • Acne or Other Skin Conditions

So many of these things we use a bandaid for, we drink coffee, feed into our cravings, try detoxes, pop a Motrin, etc.

It still doesn’t help us get to the root of the problem. However, you can only put a bandaid on something for so long before that bandaid stops working.

What To Do About It

Instead of having that crash that inevitably will happen, what if you could tune into your body and know when your tank was starting to get low?

What if you knew what foods would help fill your tank up daily and help avoid that feeling of getting low altogether?

Trust me; I get it.

  • There is a busy family to take care of.
  • You don’t know how to cook.
  • Working out is not your thing.

Sit back and take a big exhale because I’m about to give you some really good news.

Living a healthy lifestyle does not have to be complicated.

You can keep your tank half full (and more) without overhauling your entire lifestyle. All it takes is a little time getting to know the body you live in.

  • You can still meet your family’s needs.
  • Cooking doesn’t have to be fancy meals.
  • Moving your body is whatever you want it to be.

Being healthy can fit into your life, even on the busiest of days.

I challenge you to stop holding yourself back.

Your body deserves more than running on empty all of the time. You deserve to be full of energy and feel confident in your own body.

If you are ready to fill up your tank and keep it full while still living your life to the fullest through 12 weeks of nutrition group coaching that provides the community, support, and accountability you need… Nutrition Group Coaching with Be Your Best Self Coaching is for you.


Kristin Longacre

Hey There, I’m Kristin, a holistic nutrition coach helping busy moms find Nutrition Confidence by making eating healthy an easy option for their busy season of life.

How To Reduce Mindless Snacking