Value Snackin'and Fast Food Packin'
After picking up my daughter from school today we went straight to Wal-Mart to do some more shopping. It's amazing how much less you spend when you eliminate all the junk and high calorie indulgence. And be sure to add an extra amount of time for your shopping trip, because as a good friend pointed out recently, it takes longer to shop when you're studying the nutrition label of every thing you pick up. It's time well invested! The last thing you want to do is get home and discover that the twelve dollar frozen lasagna you just bought has 800 calories in a normal size piece. And beware...some of these food manufacturers are sneaky, in an effort to make their product nutrition labels more appealing to calorie counters the world over, they'll just make the serving size smaller. “Wow, these raviolis are only 180 calories a serving!” Then you realize a serving is just a big tease! I haven't personally verified that specific example, I just want to make that real clear, because I don't want to upset Chef Boyardee. Mr. Boyardee and I have had a wonderful relationship over the years. He makes the canned pasta and I eat the whole can. I hate to admit this, but I've consumed an entire “family size” can of beef ravioli in one sitting before. There, the secrets out. I feel better. Where was I? Oh yeah...It does take more time to shop and read labels, but it's a free caloric education! It's kind of funny that the two foods I've mentioned are both things I eat very little of now. A plate of spaghetti with meat sauce is completely loaded with calories, and lasagna, especially the way we make it, is out of this world loaded (We include a layer of cream cheese instead of ricotta—be careful, it's addictive.) with tons of calories and fat. Pasta is just a real wild card to me, I mean I could certainly have some, but I would have to have a better way of calculating the calories. One of the things on our list was 100 Calorie Packs. I think it's very important to have some of your favorite snacks handy in very controlled portions, it keeps you from feeling like you're depriving yourself and calorie wise it doesn't cost that much. Money wise it does! And then, right there in the middle of the snack isle it hit me! 100 calorie packs are a rip-off! I can't believe I fell for it! It's like Mr. Nabisco said... “Hey Sean, check this out: I'm gonna give you 53% less product, but since I've portioned it out for you, and made each piece tiny and cute, I'm going to charge you more, deal?” And I said... “Wow, those mini crackers are cute, can I pet them? Thank you Mr. Nabisco, what would I do without your portion control, I'd probably eat the whole box, what do I owe you? Forget it, here just take my wallet”. I'll tell you what I'm going to do, I bought sandwich bags recently, and by golly I'm making my very own 100 Calorie Packs! We bought two boxes of snack crackers, the wheat variety, and the cheese variety. Both products had 100 Calorie packs on the shelves, and both products had normal size boxes for less money, and here in a little bit when I divide up each little bag, I bet we end up with way more snacks for way less cash.
It's no secret that we frequent a value menu or two every once in a while. Fast food doesn't have to be bad, it's all in your choices. One fast food place I've mostly avoided is Burger King. Burger King is notorious for creating and priding themselves on items that weigh in anywhere from 800 calories to 1,100 calories and even more depending on how you “have it your way”. They even have breakfast items that have sausage AND bacon on the same flaky buttery croissant. Isn't that illegal? Go to burgerking.com and check out some of the calorie counts, it's amazing and entertaining. Look at the calories for a BK Quad Stacker. It's almost all my calories for an entire day, and it comes on a small bun! If you're going to make a sandwich that is dripping with over 1,100 calories, at least put it on a big Whopper size bun, not a regular cheeseburger bun, come on BK! With items like that, they should be required to have a defibrillator in every restaurant. I could just imagine...“CLEAR! One, two, three, CLEAR! One, two, Sir, sir, wake up...you had a heart attack before you could answer, once again, did you want double bacon and extra cheese on that BK Quad Stacker?”. Seriously, there is a way to enjoy that flame broiled taste without feeling one bit guilty. We enjoyed Whopper JR's for dinner. Minus the mayo, plus mustard, and it's only 290 calories, and it's only $1.00. If you have the calories, a regular Whopper minus the mayo—plus mustard, is slightly over 500. The key to saving a bunch of calories is getting rid of the mayonnaise. Saying “hold the mayo” can save you anywhere from 70 to 100 calories on a sandwich. Mustard is basically free, and ketchup, although far from being free, is still a much better option than pure mayonnaise. If you want to get more bang for your calorie budget, ask for extra veggies on that burger, some places don't even charge extra for a little more onion and lettuce and it adds flavor and size to your meal! Their slogan suggest making choices... “Have it your way” can be whatever you decide, even good choices!
We've decided that Tuesday will be the day we get back into the YMCA! I'm so excited to reunite with my old friend of the racquetball court--“the wall”. After the big Day 30 weigh-in we'll head back and work out real good! The walking trail has been wonderful, especially on a night like tonight, but soon the November chill will set in, and walking in the cool evening rain is one thing, walking in a freezer is another. I'm sure we'll still hit the trail occasionally on nice evenings, but I'm telling you, The Y has it all! Here we are on the edge of another weekend. I remember how nervous I was about that first weekend and now it's not a big deal. We can handle it! Different schedules? So what! When you're in the zone, you're in the zone regardless of the day.