I know I shouldn’t choose food rewards for when I reach weight loss goals, but this month it’s appropriate. In 2 weeks I’m going home to Michigan for a few days and I intend to enjoy all the Michigan only foods I’ve not had in six months. Erma’s Frozen Custard, Chinese food, El Charro tacos. That’s really it. Just those 3 things. Yes, I intend to enjoy them in moderation and savor the taste until my next trip home.
While I’m home I’m having lunch with an old friend and he’s chosen a well-known Chinese food chain. It’s the place we always meet when I’m home. Only this time I’ve taken a peek at the menu and nutrition information ahead of time just to see what might be a healthier choice than what I normally order. I’m in the mood to try something new and maybe find something yummy that’s not the deep fried, honey-coated chicken dish I usually order.
And what I found floored me. I really hate to sound like one of those dumbasses who have no idea just how many calories they are consuming on a daily basis. I’m well aware of the fact that my past food choices have not been good at all, but to see the calorie counts per serving laid out before me really was a wake-up call.
For example, that chicken dish I mentioned… 475 calories. For one third of an order. I was regularly eating the whole order of chicken for a total of 1425 calories. Plus a few spring rolls for approximately another 400 calories. Yikes. Delicious, but worth it? Definitely not if one eats the entire thing. Perhaps starting with s cup of soup and eating just that one portion is the plan. Tuning into my belly intuitively, I think.
I was thinking I’d order a beef dish that I know I like there but that’s 337 calories for 1/3 of an order. Double yikes. Looks like I may just have some soup and some spring rolls. Maybe the stir fried veggies. We’ll see!
But when I think that I was routinely eating like that, knowing it was high calorie stuff, it’s really no wonder I’m fat. I really never realized how bad all that stuff is though. With store-bought stuff, that nutrition label stares me right in the face. However restaurant food can vary depending on the cook so even those nutritionals could be way off. Still, I think New York and other states who make it mandatory to add nutritional information to their menus are on the right track. I know some people are against government and special interest groups forcing restaurants to do this, but it’s already helped me. In July we stopped at an IHOP in New Jersey on the way home from Connecticut. I was all set to order my usual breakfast (minus the bacon) only to find it on the menu at a whopping 1,300 calories. I opted instead for some scrambled eggs, toast and coffee, for less than a third of that.
And now this future eating in Michigan is being decided based on that info. So I think it should be there as a tool for those who want to know the nutritional values of what they think they’d like to consume so they can make an educated decision. Everyone else can just ignore it if they want.