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Taco Bell Crunchy Tacos: My Go-To Fast Food

Here’s how to cure your burger, chili dog, onion ring and fry addiction. Virtually my only fast food indulgence for months—though twice I went and had a burger to confirm that indeed, those make me feel like shit. But these only make me feel good.

IMG 2063
$1.19 x 4

Basic crunchy tacos. I’m sure other places have them too, but I never get more than the basic. Taco meat in the crunchy corn tortilla shell, iceberg lettuce, shredded cheddar. Pick your sauce from mild, hot, or fire (I do hot & fire).

No more than 4 at a sitting. I love them so much that at first, I would go back and order two more. No more. That crosses the line and I feel too full in an hour. This is not a mainstay, by the way. It’s a replacement of 100% of all fast food indulgences. We’re talking 1-2 times per week at most, with skipped weeks. I’m often out and about and this is rather convenient and works for me. For. ME!

Now, guess how very much I care about your judgment or feigned righteous scorn over that? Can you guess?

Now, I can very well agree that there’s a lot of ingredients you don’t want in a simple crunchy taco made by Taco Bell. That’s too bad. Really, Taco Bell? Your taco meat has to have gluten? Really? Pathetic much? It’s fucking meat & seasoning, dudes. So, you got me dead to rights on that score. On the other hand, dose makes the poison.

My simple objective is to give people—when life, circumstance, budget…or even difficult-to-manage cravings intervene—a better option.

It completely turned my own propensity—1-2 times per week—to go grab a burger and fries, and feel crappy. But that’s just me. I’m also just passing it along for your consideration if in case it may be of value to you.

To fight is always your option. But so is seeking more benign alternatives that solve both issues.

Richard Nikoley

I'm Richard Nikoley. Free The Animal began in 2003 and as of 2021, contains 5,000 posts. I blog what I wish...from health, diet, and food to travel and lifestyle; to politics, social antagonism, expat-living location and time independent—while you sleep—income. I celebrate the audacity and hubris to live by your own exclusive authority and take your own chances. Read More

21 Comments

  1. Beans McGrady on November 24, 2013 at 18:32

    That is two posts today that could put you in paleo jail. Thankfully there is no paleo government.

  2. Cody on November 24, 2013 at 19:54

    Hmm. Next time can you check your heart rate 30 minutes before and 30 minutes after eating and report back?

  3. Steven on November 24, 2013 at 20:04

    At least do Chipoltle. You can actually see the meat…

    That is my go to. Plus you can get the beans you like so much. When I have to hit my go to it is the burrito bowl with two scoops of meat. On a heavy work out day I toss in the lime rice. And then the 3 salsa types. And maybe the guacamole. No corn stuff for me. My body wont tolerate it.

  4. Mark on November 24, 2013 at 20:07

    Reasonable compromise, with a f-u to the haters.

    I love stuff like this. Got to have fall back plans and option a,b,,,z.

  5. Rhys on November 24, 2013 at 20:45

    Hahaha this blog has gone full circle. From strict ‘paleo’ to posts about taco bell.

  6. Jerry on November 24, 2013 at 21:27

    Be warned: Taco Bell stuff is loaded with glutamic acid. It’s not the meat, it’s in the seasoning they add to it. That’s why you want to eat more of it. Do a google search for Taco Bell and MSG.

  7. Richard Nikoley on November 24, 2013 at 21:42

    “At least do Chipoltle”

    Yea, I do their corn tortilla tacos. But, I have no end of Mexican taco stands. I like the crunch, and plus it’s ubiquitous. The point of the post is access for everyone, wherever they may be.

    Not as wonderful, but better than burgers and fries.

    I have zero issues with corn, ever, in any form.

  8. Richard Nikoley on November 24, 2013 at 21:49

    “is loaded”

    Now, see, I hate that. Your entire comment rests on bullshit. It’s not “loaded.”

    Dose makes the poison. I have never had an issue with MSG that I have ever been aware of. As to that being why I want another taco, that’s bullshit too. I want one because it tastes fucking good, just like when I make baby back ribs, I always want another.

    Jesus I am getting tired of all the paleo fantasy out there.

    I get real food. I agree, most of the time. Preferred.

    Let’s not make shit up to magically explain simple human behavior. If food tastes good, you tend to want to keep eating until full.

    Now, here’s an explanation that makes sense. We evolved to eat as much as possibly because food was scarce, and the feeling of satisfaction is thus delayed. Recognizing this, all I had to do was limit to 4 tacos, and in 20-30 minutes I feel plenty satiated and wouldn’t eat another even if put in front of me.

    I guess that MSG woo magic is limited.

  9. Richard Nikoley on November 24, 2013 at 21:55

    Rhys

    I was never strict Paleo. Always had dairy, always used peanuts to some extent (Thai curries and such). Probably a few other things too.

    But yes, I’ve relaxed a lot and it’s good for ME. I’m sharing and perhaps others might loosen up and actually do better. We’re talking about eating food, not eating definitions and ideology.

  10. Jerry on November 24, 2013 at 22:38

    “Let’s not make shit up to magically explain simple human behavior. If food tastes good, you tend to want to keep eating until full.”

    Agreed. Let’s not.

    Glutamate is an excitotoxin. Adding it to food makes any food taste great by directly exciting glutamate receptors in the mouth (and in the rest of the alimentary canal as well). It enters the blood, crosses the blood-brain barrier, and it kills brain cells in the hypothalamus. Specifically, brain cells that regulate eating behavior.

    Adding glutamate to food is how you make laboratory animals obese. You can do it with just one dose. They’ll be fat for life. It’s also how you kill off certain nerve cells for neurological studies. Humans are far more sensitive to glutamate than most other animals.

    Glutamate is added to all kinds of food specifically to encourage eating. Habitual eating. People in the Paleo community and Vegans, Macrobiots, etc. love to use sea salt, which is loaded with MSG. There are all kinds of legal names used to disguise glutamate: yeast extract, “spices”, “natural flavor”, autolysed yeast extract, protein extract, etc.

    This isn’t “Paleo fantasy”. It’s the processed food industry at its worst. I stay the hell away from it, and I feel far better as a result.

    In my N=1 experiment, getting rid of MSG, glutamate, glutamic acid, free glutamine, and gluten (guess how it got its name) was the elusive final step that made a paleo lifestyle finally start working.

  11. Richard Nikoley on November 24, 2013 at 22:54

    Well Jerry, I’m happy for you sincerely.

    But I don’t believe it’s most people’s problem. I do understand the desire to have a simple solution and there’s no way I can dispute that for you.

  12. Brock in HK on November 25, 2013 at 04:58

    There are exactly zero taco bells in all of Asia, so I look forward to my TB fix every time I’m back in the US. I eat meximelts and steak soft tacos (flour tortillas!! blurg!) ad libitum over the course of a week stay, which happens 2x per year. Om nom nom delicioso!!

    Jerry – be warned: Soylent Green is made of people!

  13. Jerry on November 25, 2013 at 07:45

    Richard,

    Don’t take my word for it. Try an experiment yourself. Take a pound of real, grass-fed ground beef, cook it, and divide into two parts. Add MSG (pure MSG, without other stuff) to half. Then offer a sample of each to someone who doesn’t know the difference. See what happens.

    And you don’t even have to use meat. They even add it to sugar candy and soda, for christsake.

    Anyone interested in this experiment?

  14. CCM on November 25, 2013 at 14:07

    I wish there was a restaurant that doesn’t use vegetable oil PUFA’s.

  15. ChocoTaco369 on November 26, 2013 at 08:40

    Here is why I don’t like Taco Bell: their meat is only 88% meat. From the horse’s mouth:

    tacobell.com/nutrition/foodfacts/BeefQuality/BeefIngredientFAQ

    I am far from a paleo Nazi. In fact, I’ve made it a point of mine to put zealots in context (Why are nuts OK and legumes aren’t? Pinto beans are more nutrient-dense and less anti-nutrient-dense than almonds). However, there’s just too much weird shit in Taco Bell’s “meat.” I agree that it’s probably better than most fast-food options, but why not find a Chipotle, Moe’s, Qdoba or Baja Fresh? They’re becoming easier to find these days than Taco Bell and contain better ingredients, save trace soybean oil. Buy some vitamin E pills packed in olive oil or some other non-seed oil and take it alongside the meal then.

    McDonalds’ burgers sans bun is actually superior to pretty much all other fast food. Their standard, non-Angus burger is just beef, salt and better, and did you know it’s partially grassfed?

    “McDonald’s beef comes from cattle corn-fed in the U.S. Additionally, in order to keep up with demand, a small percentage of grass-fed beef is imported from Australia and New Zealand.”

    mcdonalds.com/us/en/food/food_quality/see_what_we_are_made_of/your_questions_answered/meats.html

    Not sure how many dry beef biscuits you’ll be able to eat before you get bored, but so what? Keep a bottle of ketchup in your car and quit bitching.

  16. Dr. Curmudgeon Gee on November 28, 2013 at 01:29

    i believe that Taco bell uses weird fillers in their meat (probably soy and wheat)

    Chiptole cooks everything in soy oil; the only thing that does not contain soy oil is cheese.

    maybe In & Out burger is ok? (but their burger is too small also the menu choice is quite limited. so it is not too satisfying, + i dont’ eat buns; (even before switching diet, i didn’t like buns)

  17. Dr. Curmudgeon Gee on November 28, 2013 at 01:36

    oh, Baja Fresh is probably OK. also tastes better/

    there’re some “hole in the wall” Mexican places in mountain view that may be all right.

    (i still have to skip flour tortilla)

  18. Richard Nikoley on November 29, 2013 at 08:56

    DCG

    Yea, I haven’t had a single flour tortilla in 2 years at least. Once we began doing corm only, was easy to never eat another flour.

  19. Richard Nikoley on November 30, 2013 at 13:07

    @Choco

    I like the crunch. Green Burrito, in the Carl’s Junior outlets has an even tastier one. Haven’t tried Dell Taco.

    I have two Chipotle’s about 5-min equidistant from home. Had two beef and a chicken just the other day. There’s a Baja Fresh even closer, so based on your reco, I’ll give it a try.

  20. Richard Nikoley on November 30, 2013 at 13:11

    Also, El Pollo Loco is a good option. There chick is grilled, with skin, it’s awesome and the guacamole/chili sauce is the bomb. It’s also gluten free, as are their crunchy chicken tacos.

    http://www.elpolloloco.com/our-food/#/category/noWheatGluten

  21. Jade on December 2, 2013 at 14:48

    What about Los Pollos Hermanos?

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