Today, I went to lunch with a good friend from work and went to a place called FIG which stands for Food Is Good. I happen to love their food. Their niche revolves around fresh, organic ingredients. So, they are all uppity about their fresh food and yet, they don’t put nutrition facts on their website. Seriously? It’s 2009. With the exception of holes in the wall, there should be no restaurants that don’t have their nutritional information on their website...especially one that claims to be rich in nutrients. All that aside, I was trying to figure out what I can eat there and I can literally have one dish there that won’t put me at done eating for the day. It’s called the “Chicken Lo Lo.” This dish is 3 grilled chicken tenders on a bed of steamed carrots and steamed spinach…Blech...I mean the chicken is good but a girl gets tired of chicken and veggies every day. I went there because it was good company and it’s really close to work but I expected more. I shouldn’t be shocked. They smother everything in pesto, nuts and cheese so everything is loaded with fat there. Don’t get me wrong, I love their food and for the most part, the options are better than say a Whopper from Burger King (which sounds delicious by the way) but still, I like a light lunch so I can have a good dinner and the FIG wasn’t cutting it.
I say all that to say that MOST chains (I won’t say all) now have their nutrition facts on their website so if you are counting, calories, fat or points, you can usually figure out what you need to eat at that place. There are also multiple resources like: www.dwlz.com/ which has many nutrition facts and points for those of you who are into that sort of thing. There is also www.thedailyplate.com which has a calorie calculator and some nutrition facts. Finally, there is a site called www.nutritiondata.com which is very similar and includes nutrition facts on many things. I am telling you about these not just because they are awesome resources but to tell you that there is no excuse anymore for eating like a Hoover Vacuum when you eat out because “you don’t know what you can eat here.” If you know where you are going before you go, Google them and see if they have a site or a menu with nutrition facts. If they don’t, go to these websites and make your best guess as to what to eat. There are some exceptions but MOST places offer at least a grilled chicken salad that you can get with no dressing or a fat free dressing if it’s available. I know, I know everyone else is having a giant potato that has met many steroids and pesticides in its life, and it's piled high with pork BBQ, cheese, butter, sour cream and you are trying to convince yourself that the Fat Free Raspberry Vinaigrette you are eating isn’t “that bad.” Do you know what else is on that potato? Shame. That’s right. You’ve been there. You were sick of salads and you just thought…well I’ll get the chicken breast with a baked potato KNOWING that both of them come smothered in cheese and bacon and you’re all…well chicken is good…it’s protein and potatoes have fiber…clearly this is the best option. Come on now. Let’s be real with each other. Anything with bacon, cheese, dressing, alfredo, butter, sour cream, or anything that sounds remotely delicious is bad for you and you are gonna feel terrible after you eat it. I feel terrible when I eat it on the day that I give myself to cheat so I would especially want to pout in a corner with cookie dough if I ate like that on a week day. If you MUST stray from grilled chicken when you’re out…make it a grilled pork chop or a petite sirloin and if you are tired of broccoli…get the baked potato but ask for NO butter.
I am by no means perfect. I hope I don’t sound preachy because God knows that it was only last summer that I was debating not what I was going to eat when my family and I were on a cruise but if I was going to have one or TWO entrees…so I am right there with you. Every time I order a salad with the dressing on the side…I die a little on the inside. This is why I eat at home for lunch. A sandwich and baked chips are much more appealing to me than fat free Italian dressing. But, when you are with friends that can eat what they want and not gain weight, and you fantasize about them getting really fat and rolling down a hill, you CAN eat healthy. Don’t let them tell you that you can cheat just this once. One time isn’t a big deal…it really isn’t but if I know me…it won’t be just one time. I will sneak back to the same place the next night and get a to go order. No more excuses!