Tuesday, April 24, 2012

The 1,260 Calorie Salad

I'm going to lunch today with my friend Erika, (Miss March in the Healthiest Year Ever calendar. We're going to a local place so of course I went online to check out their menu and plan something healthy to order. I love when a restaurant has a nutrition calculator that shows the calories and whatnot for their menu items, and even more when they let you "build a salad," by adding or deleting things. Some people think that showing you what your restaurant meal contains nutrition-wise is a deterrent to customers, but I disagree. Eating out is inevitable, and I would much rather patronize a restaurant that works with me to be healthy rather than leaves me in the dark.

Even when the salad is 1,260 calories. For real. The salad I chose to begin with includes lettuce, grilled steak, gorgonzola cheese, grape tomatoes, onion, pecans, and blue cheese dressing and weighs in at a whopping 1,260 calories. That is more than half my day's calories! So, the editing process began.

Deleted the dressing off the bat, which brought us down to 420 calories. Wake up call, people: salad dressing will kill you and you do not need it.

I'm assuming the pecans are roasted in oil and then covered in sugar, so those are gone too. New total: 299 calories. Much better. Taking the cheese down to a half portion saves another 50 calories. I'll bring along an apple with some natural peanut butter and this will be a great lunch out. 

Eating in restaurants can throw a real monkey wrench in your healthy day if you're not careful. This restaurant offers a nutrition calculator by a company called Nutritionix, which has a whole database of restaurant foods. Check it out before you head to lunch and make sure that salad doesn't throw a bomb on the rest of your day. Then, feed your brain with knowledge: restaurant salads often have more calories than a Whopper.

Get out there and get healthy, even if you're eating out!


Sarah @ Semi-Sweet said...

Wow - never heard of Nutritionix, but what a fantastic concept! Going to tell my readers about it now - thanks, Heather!

Ellen said...

840 calories for dressing?!? EEK! How much dressing do they put on their salads (a cup?) and what on earth is in it?

Just reinforces the need to always get your salad dressing on the side so *you* can control how much of it you eat. Or not (if you're Heather :-)

Healthy Heather said...

I know! The website said it was 4 oz of dressing. HALF A CUP of blue cheese salad dressing! My stomach feels sick just thinking about it. I should have taken a picture of it because it was outstanding.

E. Peterman said...

I loved having lunch with you and the baby, and the salad was just fine without the calorie bombs!