A Good Whole 30 Fast Food Meal

MoesMealToday, I went to buy lunch for my wife and I since we had pretty much eaten all of the food in the house and needed to do our Saturday grocery store run.  I chose Moe’s, partially because I thought I could fare pretty well there, and also, because we had a $5 off coupon (lol).

Whole 30 Meal from a Fast Food Restaurant?

Unless you cook your food, if you are doing the Whole 30, I am sure you see how it can feel nearly impossible to get a Whole 30 compliant meal from a restaurant.  Especially a fast food one.

It sorta depends on where you go, though.  For example, we chose Moe’s because the ingredients they use to construct their burritos, tacos, quesadillas and so on are actually pretty basic.  They are made pretty simply, and nothing is really processed except for the tortillas and chips and stuff like that.

Of course, tortillas are not allowed anyway for Whole 30, so that settles that. 🙂

Anyway though, I believe that your best bet to get a Whole 30 compliant meal from a restaurant is to go somewhere where you can build your meal, like Moe’s or a buffet or something.  That way, you can see what you are going to eat piece-by-piece (or dish-by-dish) instead of it being an already assembled deal.

It’s probably best as well to ask the folks making your food about how the food was cooked (i.e. was butter or vegetable oil used, was sugar used, etc).  You still don’t know exactly what is in your food without you cooking it.  Do your best, in other words.

Now, onto the meals that I bought for my wife and I from Moe’s.

Our Moe’s Whole 30 Meal

Burrito Bowl

  • Grilled Chicken
  • Lettuce
  • Pico de Gallo
  • Sauteed Bell Peppers
  • Sauteed Onions
  • Fresh Cilantro
  • Pickled Jalapenos
  • Guacamole

Cup of Guacamole (I got us some more guacamole just to make sure we were satisfied)

Side of El Guapo Salsa

NOTE (12-1-15):  One of my commenters below noted that Moe’s cooks all of their meats – with the exception of the ground beef – in soybean oil, which is not compliant with Whole 30.  She also noted correctly that you would have to go vegetarian at Moe’s to be good in regards to what Whole 30 asks for.  Oh, and don’t forget to avoid the processed tortillas.  Thanks, katrinaleshan!

NOTE (4-19-15):  Another commenter mentioned something below about an entree that Jimmy John’s has called the ‘Unwich.’  It’s essentially a sandwich with lettuce in place of the bread, and according to Trent Robertson, if you leave off the cheese and mayo, and add tomatoes and onions (mmmm), you’re compliant with Whole 30.  I haven’t been to Jimmy John’s yet, but I will have to try this Unwich one day…or make my own, even.  Thanks, Trent!

NOTE (4-19-15):  Chipotle is a GREAT place to eat out and still be Whole 30 compliant when you choose their Burrito Bowl.  Check out their ingredients lists.  If you avoid the cheese, sour cream and so on, you should be good to go!

How do you do Whole 30 when you go out to eat?  Comment below!



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16 Responses to “A Good Whole 30 Fast Food Meal

  • Veronica
    3 years ago

    The other day I met a friend for lunch at O’Charley’s. I had the cedar plank salmon, the baby green beans and the steamed broccoli. I asked if anything was cooked with butter and the server said that everything had butter on it, lol. I got them to hold the butter and everything was delicious and whole 30 compliant!

  • Geraldine McClendon
    3 years ago

    Ok, my Sunday meal was absolutely not compliant, It was the only meal I had too. I didn’t cook anything at home so yes, I….fell….off….. the…..wagon….and ….bumped…..my head…. but yesterday I came to myself, got back on the wagon and including today I am on it! Sometimes those days happen and when they do come, i count it off as a loss,then I get up brush my knees off and finish the race. I’m still in y’all.

    Hey, one more thing, Is the Low Country Boil Compliant? Tis the Season!

    • Oh, ok. I accidentally ate something non-compliant this weekend as well…wings. They were some hot wings I bought from somewhere, and I think the main reason that they were non-compliant is because they were fried. Something I definitely didn’t think about when I went and bought those things. But yeah, just gotta keep moving forward. Preparation is the name of the game.

      As far as low country boil is concerned, it depends on the seasonings. Might want to check and see what’s in the sausage, as well as what’s in the old bay seasoning. Might be just fine aside from that.

  • So my third week on the plan and I ventured out for the first real restaurant meal. I guess I have been fearful of not finding something I like. Anyway ended up getting a medium sirloin with caramel idea onions natural sauté and no sugar added of course. Had there green beans and broccoli. Was pretty good. Half my plate was the side of rice that I gave to Ashley so let’s just say my meal ended pretty quick. I used fresh salsa to top my steak instead of A1 or 57. Figured I would not hurt my own feelings by reading the labels. Can’t go wrong with fresh.

    • Excellent choices, man! You’re really doing this thing.

      We went out with family today, and I got two grilled pork chops with a baked sweet potato and broccoli as sides, as well as a side salad with oil and vinegar for dressing (my wife gave me the idea to ask for oil and vinegar, thankfully).

  • Geraldine McClendon
    3 years ago

    I think the most compliant thing at fast food restaurants will be the salad without dressings, unsweetened tea, water, a burger without bun and condiments (Ive done this before, not too bad if you are serious), KFC grilled chicken, chick fil a salads with no dressing, fruit cup, Wendy’s baked potato, chill (perhaps?) salads. That’s all I can think of now.

  • Hey Whole30 community,

    I hate to rain on your parade, but all protein at Moe’s is cooked with soybean oil except the ground beef. And there’s milk in the ground beef. So Moe’s actually, unfortunately, is not compliant, unless you just eat their vegetable-based stuff. 🙁 I saw this article today and then double-checked on their website, so I found that I couldn’t have lunch there after all. Make sure to always check the ingredient lists on websites!

    Good luck with your Whole30!


    • Thank you Katrina for your comment. Yeah, when I wrote this article back in September 2014, I pretty much took everything at face value at Moe’s. You’re absolutely right. Since you’ve mentioned this, I’ll add a note to this article so that others who read it will be informed.

      I found that the best way to really do the Whole 30 is to prepare everything at home! Too many added ingredients in restaurant food!

      • Absolutely! It is best to prepare things at home. And it’s so enlightening to read about all the non-compliant ingredients that we find everywhere. It shouldn’t be much of a surprise, but it is. After my Whole30, I’m going to be much more mindful about the types of foods I order and how often I eat outside of home. Thanks for your article!

  • I discovered that Jimmy John’s sub shop has something called an unwich. Basically a sub sandwich without the bread wrapped in a lettuce leaf. Leave off the cheese and the mayo and double up on tomatoes and onions (if you like those), pick your meat carefully and you score. Because it is wrapped in lettuce, you don’t really miss the moisture provided by mayo, etc…

    • Thanks for that comment, Trent! I haven’t been to Jimmy John’s yet, but my wife has and she likes it. I’ll have to check out this ‘Unwich.’

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