Mini-Pledge Week 4: No Fast Food or Deep-Fried Food

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The next mini-pledge is a two-fold challenge where we are asking people to avoid both fast food and deep-fried food for a week. I think this will be another one of those pledges that is hard for some and easier for others. First off, according to Wikipedia, fast food is defined as “food sold in a restaurant or store with preheated or precooked ingredients, and served to the customer in a packaged form for take-out/take-away.” Hopefully I don’t need to go into too much detail about why it would be beneficial for you to avoid fast food meals, but let’s take a moment to discuss the reasoning behind deep-fried food. The problem with something being deep-fried is that the food absorbs a great deal of oil during the cooking process. So when you eat the end product you are consuming far more oil – an unhealthy fat in most cases – than is recommended.

So here is next week’s pledge that officially starts on Monday:

Mini-Pledge Week 4: April 4 – April 10 – No fast food (as detailed below) or any foods that have been deep-fried in oil.

For this challenge you must avoid:

  • Restaurants with drive-thru windows
  • Convenience stores that also typically sell gas
  • Places where you watch them assemble your food through a glass wall
  • Restaurants that are situated in a “food court” setting
  • School lunches (most schools do not have a fully functioning kitchen and simply heat precooked meals)
  • Airplane food

The places where you can eat during this challenge:

  • Restaurants with waiter service (which aren’t always ideal when it comes to food quality, but we just had to draw the line somewhere)
  • Grocery stores (we recommend hitting the salad bar, vegetable sides and brown rice sushi)
  • Your own kitchen! :)
  • Friends’ houses

Even while you are eating at the “allowed” places you must still of course avoid deep-fried foods, which is trickier than it sounds. If it is crunchy and crispy you need to question it. We were even fooled fairly recently by some hard taco shells not realizing at first they probably got their crunchiness from being deep fried in oil.

Some other examples of deep-fried foods to be on the lookout for:

  • French fries
  • Sweet potato fries
  • Potato/tortilla chips
  • Chicken fingers
  • Chicken wings
  • Donuts
  • Corn dogs
  • Egg rolls

The goal of this challenge is to force you to figure out alternatives to a Big Mac even when you are starving and on the go. And the key to success is planning ahead. Don’t wait until the last minute to figure out where and when you will have your next meal. Consider packing some whole food snacks to hold you over including bananas, apples, oranges, nuts, popcorn (with minimal oil/salt), dried fruit, store-bought Lara Bars, whole-grain crackers, cheese sticks, etc. Also take the time to pack lunches for work, school, long car rides, and airplane trips.

To take the pledge: Please leave a comment below with the number of adults and kids in your household that will participate, and also share if you will do it for one day or for the entire week. Put it in writing to make it official!

Good luck!

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95 comments to Mini-Pledge Week 4: No Fast Food or Deep-Fried Food

  • Helene

    Just found your site and I am excited about this prospect. Count me in, 1 adult all week.

  • Helene

    Sheri,
    You can do baked potato “fries.” Prepare your potatoes as steak fries, sweet potato thin strips, etc. Put 1 tbsp olive (or canola) oil in a plastic bag, with salt and any other seasonings you like (garlic powder, paprika, cayenne, etc.) Put the cut potatoes in the bag and shake well. Put on a cookie sheet and bake at 475 for 20 or more minutes (depends on size of cut – more for thicker wedges) turning potatoes midway through. Kids (and adults) love them and you won’t miss the fries!

  • Kristen

    Fun challenge! I’m new to this but I think this will be a good mini-pledge to start with. 2 Adults for the whole week!

  • Toni

    Perfect way to start. I found your blog a few days ago and I was bummed that I’m not prepared enough to jump on to the 10-day pledge – but this mini pledge is PERFECT. One adult, 2 teenage girls will take this pledge for the next week! (it might save me about $40 too!)

  • KristyC

    Two adult and 3 kids in for the week!

  • Stacie

    2 adults and 2 children this week.

  • I’m in! I never do fast food, but I sure have a love of sweet potato fries. I think the taco shells and tortilla chips will be my biggest hurtle this week. Thanks for the challenge!

  • I’m happy to say that our family of 5 doesn’t do fast food!! …and there’s not much deep fried foods that we eat either (besides fries and tortilla chips!)

    Have you ever thought about doing a plastic-free food challenge?? Maybe for Earth Week?? I challenged our family to a week of no foods in plastic back at the end of September… I even used some recipes from this blog!

    • 100 Days of Real Food

      I love that idea, but I am really trying to stick to food-related topics for a while. It is honestly going to be a long time before I am able to cover everything I want to cover (in regards to food) so I can’t fit anything else in-between! You should start your own blog about it…why not? :)

  • Mena

    The kids and I are in for sure! 1 adult and 3 kids. The Hubby goes to work so I can’t be sure he wont cheat, so without his knowledge, at home, he will not get fast food or deep fried. For him, that’s the best I can do.

  • sara

    This will be an easy week for us since we don’t usually eat out anyways, and we’ve already eliminated fried food-except the organic tortilla chips from Costco. Those are probably fried in something to make them crispy?

    So count my family of five in for the whole week (with the exception of hubby’s occasional night time snack of chips and cheese with above mentioned tortilla chips).

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