Tonight, Evan and I are going on a double date. We’re meeting friends for dinner (at a diner–the choice of one of the friends, who, ironically, is completing a degree to be a dietician) before going to see Death Cab for Cutie, Cold War Kids and Ra Ra Riot at the Tower Theater. I’m excited for the double date and the concert, but anxious (as usual) about eating out. This probably wouldn’t be a big deal if I stuck up for myself and insisted on a place with fresh food and healthy options, but I didn’t do that.
I’m listening to the Jillian Michael’s podcast as I look up the nutritional information for potential dinner options. It’s an old podcast–she’s talking about making obviously bad choices with food. I feel like a fraud. Or a poser. Does she have some kind of intuitive ability that knows I’m calculating the nutritional content of onion rings?
I’m struggling to find good choices–never mind actually committing to getting one of the best choices possible when there’s a sea of burgers, onion rings and milkshakes screaming for attention. This is made no more easy when I click on the “nutrition” link on the diner website and read:
“Ruby’s is about quality. We are always sourcing the freshest fruits and vegetables to embellish our salads, sandwiches and burgers.”
They also write:
“Ruby’s is proud to serve you products that are made with the highest quality ingredients available, but due to our ability to always source new and exciting products, our ingredient list changes regularly–so we don’t always have accurate nutritional information available at all times.”
Kudos to them for not being one of many restaurants who provide estimated nutritional information for their food, despite the fact that they adjust the recipes or don’t measure as they create the food. Still, not providing nutritional information is bullshit.
Yup, I wrote it. BULLSHIT.
Is it REALLY that difficult to create a recipe, figure out the nutritional content and commit to measuring the ingredients in the recipe every time you make it? I highly doubt that using a Beefsteak tomato from California one day and a plum tomato from Rome another day is really all that different calorie-wise. What are they changing?
They don’t provide ANY nutritional information for their foods–not even the so-called healthy entrees. The all-or-nothing part of my brain is saying “Dude! Why both opting for a less satisfying ‘healthy’ option if it may not be all that healthy afterall?”
Here are my options:
LOW-CARB CHICKEN SOFT TACOS
Two whole wheat tortillas with grilled chicken, salsa, lettuce, mild shredded cheese, green onion, taco sauce, guacamole and real sour cream.
This one sounds like the best option–protein, healthy fats (I’ll skip the sour cream in favor of guac), fiber. The only thing it needs is more veg, which I can supplement with a side salad.
A grilled turkey or veggie patty with salsa, fresh fruit and low-fat cottage cheese. Try it with a grilled chicken breast.
Fresh fruit at a diner? I question it. Besides, the fresh fruit and cottage cheese sounds soooo 1980s diet platter. And cottage cheese is packed with sodium.
Served on a whole wheat bun with low-fat American cheese, non-fat mayo, fresh lettuce and tomato. Served with a crisp side salad instead of French fries. Try it with a grilled chicken breast.
I bet they grill the bun with butter. They don’t say whether they use lean meat for the hamburger version of this.
A medley of fresh, steamed garden vegetables served with melted butter on the side. Try it smothered with melted cheese.
Are they joking? “Melted butter,” “smothered with melted cheese”? There’s no protein in this dish either.
Avocado slices, low-fat American cheese, tomato, non-fat mayo, lettuce and spinach on toasted wheat bread. Served with a fresh side salad.
Again no protein!
Funny… the most appealing option I considered isn’t even listed on Healthy Dining Finder. Perhaps I’ll have the Delightful turkey burger, no margarine or mayo with a side salad and a bite (or three) of one of Evan’s fries so I can feel like I’m indulging. Ugh… sometimes I HATE eating out.
Whenever I start to get stressed with these interruptions to my schedule, plan or diet, I ask myself: What am I doing to minimize the damage and how am I making sure this doesn’t feel like a chore? Here’s my answer:
1. I’m leaving work early to go to the gym. I will do an hour of high intensity cardio and burn at least 500 calories.
2. I am having a low-calorie, veggie packed lunch that will keep me satisfied until dinner. 6 inch turkey sub on wheat, steamed broccoli, carrot sticks, leftover cauliflower puree/soup from last night’s dinner.
3. I’m monitoring my progress with the Bodybugg.
4. I’m saving enough calories so I can enjoy a beer with dinner or at the concert.
5. I’m going to a concert! It’s impossible not to have fun at a concert!