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Don't Get "Malled" by the Food Court

Don't Get "Malled" by the Food Court

I hate to be the one to bring it up, but it's that time of year again -- time to think about getting that holiday shopping done. [Insert scream heard round the world.] I usually try to do a lot of my shopping online, but I always still have to make the obligatory trip to the mall for something that I couldn't get online.

While I'm there, I get hungry. It's unavoidable, and it just happens. What's worse? Not only am I hungry but I also know there is a place where food is so easily accessible. A place that reminds me of the fast food holy land: The Food Court.

For ways to hit the food court without hitting rock bottom on your diet,

Stick to places you can actually eat healthy.
Deli type places that don't even have a deep fryer are good options -- french fries and onion rings couldn't be worse for you. Au Bon Pain is a great choice but watch out for cheeses, mayonnaise and any other special sauces they throw at you. Opt for mustard. A great option is the Tuna Nicoise Salad, 270 calories and 12 grams of fat (get the dressing on the side to lower those numbers).

When you want a snack, your options are more limited.
The pretzel shops may seem like a daunting place but at Auntie Anne's the Jalapeño Pretzel without Butter has 270 calories, and no trans fat (this was the best I could find at Auntie Anne's in terms of Nutrition). If you're cutting out white flour then try the Whole Wheat Pretzel (no butter) with 350 calories and 1.5 grams of fat.

Skip cookie shops, like Mrs. Fields and Nestles, altogether. They are just too tempting. If you need something sweet head to a candy store and get some dark chocolate with a high cocoa amount. If I still can't convince you to stay away from Dairy Queen, then go with the vanilla soft serve (small). It has about 140 calories and 4.5 grams of fat.

And if you get out of there without eating a single french fry, you are so good! I wish you luck!

Join The Conversation
DesignRchic DesignRchic 10 years
Great idea redsugar!
redsugar redsugar 10 years
I carry a zip top bag full of nuts. If I'm out and "forget" to eat I can always dig into them and not feel guilty. I little protein can go a long way.
Amethyst Amethyst 10 years
When my husband & I go to the mall, we usually end up getting Chinese food (chicken and vegetables or Japanese (teriyaki) and then hit Starbucks for plain coffee with milk. I hope that's better than McDonald's or Nathans or pizza...
kevindineen kevindineen 10 years
mmmmmm. cinnabon.... DAMN YOU!
J_Stone J_Stone 10 years
Cinnabuns are so amazing, I could seriously smush my face in them.... I've actually done it once! Has anyone seen Seinfeld do stand up?
yoyogee yoyogee 10 years
Fitnessgirl, I fully understand - Cinnabon always gets me at the airport. Not flying at all this holiday season so I should be all right. I love pretzel though - so that's gonna be my Mall treat.
DStirk DStirk 10 years
i am going to have a hard time passing up cinnabon. those things are like a drug.... maybe i'll just do all my shopping online this year!
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