Way back when I first started, I remember sitting in an abandoned strip mall somewhere in Florida, seated elbow-to-elbow at a small strip of desks with my more seasoned colleagues. I was eating a basket of waffle fries and disgusted with the oily fingerprints collecting on my keyboard. I asked (out loud, and to no one in particular) how it was possible to stay skinny sitting still all day long with no time or energy to eat anything that didn't get passed through a window in a paper bag.
My question was answered by an annoyed (but smart) lady who later became my friend (once I learned her lunch order): she said 'eat high protein, low carb, and little variety' meaning find something with the first two qualifications, then eat it every day. It was genius.
After trolling the nutrition facts on menus of every fast food joint within a half-mile radius and taste-testing the healthiest items I could find over the next couple of weeks, I narrowed it down to the top five - sure, they're not perfect, but they're tasty, filling, quick, and have remained on my lunch menu every week and kept me on track when I'm hungry and powerless at the scent of McDonald's French fries.
5. Chipotle Steak Salad, hold the cheese and sour cream, load up on fajita vegetables and fresh tomato salsa and add a 1/2 of a side order of guacamole for Mexican fun without the guilt. It's 330 calories, 35 grams of protein, and 7 grams of fiber. Sometimes, right before check out, I convince myself to throw in the tortilla chips because they're gluten-free and all. Which is why this is last on the list, because I can't be trusted.
(I should also add that I have eaten no less than four servings of Jelly Bellys while writing this post and should also not be trusted to dole out tips on healthy eating.)