Restaurants

Bobby-C’s Restaurant Survival Guide – Texas Roadhouse

As I am progressing through the restaurants for this guide, I am initially choosing those where I frequently eat. I started with Applebee’s, and continued with Ruby Tuesday. For this week’s installment I decided to check out Texas Roadhouse.

My family goes to this chain often. We enjoy the steaks, salads, and side dishes. The atmosphere is usually quite fun, and we always have a great time. It seemed a natural next place to do an analysis of, and to create a guide for Weight Watchers like me to help with making sound choices.

Imagine, then, my dismay when I could not find their nutrition guide on line. Instead I found this blurb:

Thank you for contacting us regarding our nutritional information. At this time, we offer calorie counts in the menu section of our website next to each menu item.

We can assure you that we are cognizant of the demand from guests such as yourself to provide more detailed nutritional information, but there are several factors that make this difficult.

Many of the large foodservice companies that offer specific nutritional information can do so because their food is pre-packaged and/or pre-portioned. Since we make our food from scratch — including the bacon bits, croutons, and dressings — it is next to impossible to provide exact nutritional information because of slight variations that depend upon whomever prepares the food.

We also make our bread from scratch each day and hand-cut our steaks, so again, we do not have the exact information printed, like some food service operators or what you may find in the grocery store.

We have attempted to provide some information in the past, but we pulled back after some guests complained we were not detailed enough. In addition, some enterprising folks tested the food, and when it fell outside the guidelines, they threatened legal action. As such, we stopped providing our special gluten-free menu, for example.

Sorry, but I think this is a cop out. Basically, they are saying “It’s too hard, but trust us, it’s all good.” I am sorry, but that just doesn’t cut it for me. While I can look up the points associated with various cuts of steak or pork, and try to estimate the values for their servings, I am left guessing when it comes to how things are prepared. What is in the broccoli? How is the rice prepared? What point values are there with the bread?

Their blurb makes it seem as though there could be great variability when dining in one Texas Roadhouse compared to another. But, my experience tells me that isn’t the case. I’ve eaten in 5 or 6 of their locations, and have found things like their side dishes, bread and appetizers to be remarkably similar. In fact, I would venture to guess that it is all identically the same from place to place.

Panera Bread (which I will analyze in a future post), bakes their bread fresh every day, at each location. Yet they are still able to provide detailed information on their food. Same for many other restaurants.

It really makes me wonder what they are hiding at Texas Roadhouse.

I tried the link they provided called “Recipes”, thinking I could glean their ingredient list. Nope.

On their menu they provide calories, but nothing else. With all the alleged variability in their cooking process, one is left to wonder what the value would be of these calorie counts.

So, where does this leave me? Since I started this journey toward better health, I have tried to become a more informed consumer of food. I realize that many, local restaurants don’t have the resources to provide detailed nutrition information for their menu, and I am willing to live with that limitation. But when it comes to a chain, like Texas Roadhouse, that excuse just doesn’t cut it for me.

I have decided that I am going to be avoiding Texas Roadhouse until they can get their act together to provide nutrition information that can help inform my choices while dining there. Perhaps you will want to do the same.

On their site it was hard to find a place to leave a comment, but I did find the email address for their Director of Public Relations. Here is the info:

Travis Doster
Director of Public Relations
6040 Dutchman’s Lane
Louisville, KY 40205
Phone:  502.426.9984
Fax:  502.515.7260
travis.doster@texasroadhouse.com

When this post is published, I am going to be sending a link, along with an email about my displeasure at their lack of information. Honestly, I have no expectations that it will matter, but I will be letting them know that I am making a conscious, healthy choice to dine elsewhere until they publish their nutrition information.

Bobby-C’s Restaurant Survival Guide – Ruby Tuesday

Last week I published a post called Beware the wolf in salad’s clothing. In that post I broke down the salad choices that are on the menu at Applebee’s, and found some eye-opening facts. While I was working on that post I decided that it would be good to create a series on restaurants. Over the past week I’ve decided that this series will be called “Bobby-C’s Restaurant Survival Guide.” For this week’s installment, I am going to look at the menu for Ruby Tuesday.

Since starting my Journey toward better health, my wife and I have become regulars at the Ruby Tuesday near our home. Initially we went there because we received a coupon in the mail. The restaurant has been in our neighborhood for quite a few years, but it hadn’t really popped up on our radar. With coupon in hand we went in. Once there, we were reminded that Ruby Tuesday features a well-stocked salad bar, which meant that I had plenty of opportunity to tailor a salad to my liking. I’ll talk more about their salad bar below.

What we also found was that they had a menu that seemed to have plenty of diet-friendly choices. Until this week I hadn’t taken a disciplined look at that menu, but I have now, and it turns out my instincts were correct.

Ruby Tuesday’s menu features two different categories of choices that can both be very diet friendly; The Fit & Trim Choices, and the Smart Eating Choices. One quick word before going into details. Ruby Tuesday does not provide information on how much sugar is in their dishes. This isn’t part of their nutrition guide. I have left that out of this discussion only because the data was not available. With that said, here is the chart for the Fit & Trim Choices on their menu

ruby tuesday fit and trimThe first thing to note is that this menu does tend to have a lot of sodium, some dishes more than others. I highlighted the Chicken Bella in yellow, because it is close to the maximum daily amount suggested for an adult of my age. Also, the Petite Parmesan Shrimp Pasta is actually over that 1,500mg limit for the day. If you suffer from hypertension, you should choose carefully from this menu.

On the plus side, the menu is full of choices that are low in Weight Watchers points. No dish exceeds 16 points. I have had several of the dishes from this menu, and my wife has had others. We can both attest that they are well prepared and tasty.

In addition to the Fit and Trim menu, there are also the Smart Eating Choices.

ruby tuesday smart eatingHere again, there are a few dishes that are very high in sodium, but overall there are fewer than on the F&T menu. One interesting thing I noted is that while Chicken Bella appears on both lists, it has different values. When ordered as a Smart Eating Choice, there are fewer calories, less fat, and less carbohydrate. Also, there are fewer Weight Watcher’s Points. I have had the Chicken Bella, but I honestly don’t know from which menu it came. The difference is 3 WW points, which isn’t huge to me (my daily allowance is 45 points). But for someone smaller than me, or a woman, both of whom could have a significantly lower daily allotment of points, the difference would be more substantial.

My favorite dish on this menu is the Blackened Tilapia. In fact, our regular waitress knows that this is most often my go-to choice in the menu. It’s well seasoned, and well prepared. It is a single filet of tilapia. There are no sauces added to it, so the 5 points matches the amount allocated in the Weight Watchers App.

Remember, when calculating points for the meal you have to include the entree as well as the side dishes. As I said, one of the things I really like about Ruby Tuesday is the salad bar. It features a wide variety of items that can be put on the salad. It starts with field greens and spinach, in addition to ice berg lettuce. I prefer to have my salad with plenty of spinach and field greens. Then there is a nice variety of things like tomato, broccoli, cucumber, and more. The only topping in the first 2/3 of the bar that has points associated with it is peas. Toward the end of the bar there is shredded cheese, croutons, chopped bacon (actual, real bacon), and more. There are also some prepared salads that have mayo in them. I tend to avoid those. Finally, there are the dressings. Here is the nutrition information for their dressings:

ruby tuesday dressings and saucesI included some of the other sauces as well for your reference. If you are a regular reader of my blog, you know that I avoid almost all salad dressing. I prefer something like Frank’s Red Hot Sauce when making salads at home. When I am at Ruby Tuesday, I opt for the bottle of Balsamic Vinegar at the end of the bar, which I sprinkle on. There are 0 points in Balsamic vinegar. I know that many people don’t like salad without dressing, so I have provided the stats.

One thing to note, which I found very interesting. The difference between Ranch Dressing and Lite Ranch Dressing is negligible. Both end up at 2 Weight Watchers Points per ounce. What the Lite Ranch saves in fat, it makes up for in Carbs. So, beware of that little glitch.

For those of you interested, I have included here the prepared salads and combos that you can order from the menu

ruby tuesday salads and combosAs you can see, most of these combos are a nightmare when it comes to sodium. Also, they tend to be high on Weight Watcher’s points. For my money, and for my allocation of points, they don’t really cut it.

In conclusion, I am not making it much of a secret that I really like Ruby Tuesday. I think they provide a menu that is rich in foods that support my weight loss and overall fitness goals. And, with their clean, well-stocked salad bar, they give me the option to tailor my meal to my needs.

And on the 11th day…

When I made my weekly weigh-in update on Friday, I mentioned that I had been to the gym to work out on 10 consecutive days. Well, yesterday I broke that streak. I decided to sleep in a bit yesterday morning, and never really got going. In fact, not only did I not work out, but I also didn’t get in the 5,000 steps needed for my step challenge.

My wife and I talked about it and we agreed, I had earned a bit of a break. I basically gave myself 24 hours off from the exercise side of things.

This morning I was back and better than ever at the gym. I put in 6.0km in 59.0 minutes on the treadmill. I haven’t hit 5,000 additional steps yet, but the day is young and I plan to get out and take a neighborhood walk in a little bit.

That’s it, just wanted to stay true to my accountability. I won’t be posting the charts today, I will save that for Tuesday.

Here is quick preview of things to come.

Last week I did a review of the menu at Applebee’s. You can read it here. In that blog post I said that I would start a series on restaurants, having a look at their menus. I have decided to call this series “Bobby-C’s Restaurant Survival Guide”. It will appear under the menu item “Restaurants” on my site. I plan to review one chain per week, starting with those which I frequent. Don’t forget to stop by and have a look.

Beware the wolf in salad’s clothing – Analysis of Applebee’s Entre Salads

Last week I wrote a post about my encounter with a 35 Point Salad at a restaurant. The offending salad was the Grilled Oriental Chicken Salad at Applebee’s. That experience got me to thinking. How often are we fooled when we are out in a restaurant and order up a salad? How often are we allowing ourselves to be tricked into believing that we are making a healthy choice?

As a result of this experience I decided to start a series on my blog about restaurants, and how we can make healthy and informed choices when we are out. I am not intending to do an exhaustive analysis of every menu item, but I will hit on some highlights. For each restaurant I research I will focus first on the entree salads they offer, then give my thoughts on which are the best choices. I will also highlight other things on the menu that might sound like they are less healthy, but in actuality might be better alternatives.

Because of my recent experience, I am starting with Applebee’s. Today I went to the Applebee’s website and looked up the nutrition information for their entree salads. Here is what I found:

applebees saladsFor my analysis I looked at the calories, fat, carbs, fiber, protein, sodium and sugar. I then calculated the Weight Watchers Points Plus for each dish. The colors are my evaluation of how good or bad the choices are.

I looked at the sodium levels and compared them to what the Mayo Clinic recommends. According to the Mayo Clinic, an adult over 51 should not have more than 1,500mg of sodium in an entire day (for adults under 51 the number is 2,300mg). Those that are red represent more sodium than the recommended amount for my entire day. Those in yellow are dangerously close.

For sugar I looked at the World Health Organization that for an adult with a normal BMI (which mine is not), the limit should be about 25mg per day. Those that are red exceed that amount, those that are yellow are dangerously close.

The two salads that had the lowest Weight Watchers Points Plus are the Grilled Chicken Ceasar without dressing at 9 points, followed by the Thai Shrimp Salad from their Have it All menu, which came in at 10 points. However, when sugar and sodium are taken into account, the Thai Shrimp Salad fails miserably.

For a salad entree at Applebee’s, my best bet would have been the Grilled Chicken Ceasar without dressing.

I wanted to know what other healthy choices were on their menu, so here is a look a the information for their full Have it All menu

applebees have it all menu

As it turns out, all of the choices on this menu are high in sodium. No real surprise there, because they are lower fat and lower sugar, they make up the taste with salt. What is interesting is that the best choice on this menu, and likely on their entire menu, was The Pepper-Crusted Sirloin & Whole Grains. At 9 Weight Watchers Points it was the best choice I could have made. Oh, that’s right, it WAS THE CHOICE I MADE! But, they were out of it.

Just for fun, I looked up a dessert. Here is the line for the Triple Chocolate Meltdown

Applebees dessertFrom a calories, fat, sodium and Weight Watchers points perspective, I’d have been better off with the dessert.

So, what does this all mean? I think first it means that we have to be ever vigilant about what we eat. Just because something sounds healthy doesn’t mean that it is. We are naturally inclined to think in terms of salads being the best choice, but they are not always.

The other thing I learned is to trust my instincts. My first instinct was to order the Pepper-Crusted Sirloin & Whole Grains. When it wasn’t available, my best option would have been to get up and dine elsewhere, but the person I was with might not have gone for that idea. My next best option would have been the third thing I learned.

I have the Weight Watchers app on my phone, and I should have looked up my food before I ordered. I am always better off when I am prepared and have done my homework.

What do you think of this analysis? Is it helpful? I am thinking of doing one analysis like this each week for major chain restaurants. I am not looking to replace the “Eat this not That!” concept. Rather I am looking to give my thoughts on things as I go.

35 points for a salad?!? Are you #*&@ing kidding me?

Last night I had dinner with a friend. Our wives were playing BUNCO at my house so I needed to get away.

After some discussion we decided on Applebee’s. When we got there we found a pepper crusted sirloin that was only 350 calories. Sadly, they were out of it. I perused the menu and opted for the Oriental Chicken Salad.

I didn’t check the Weight Watchers  points for it before ordering. It’s a salad for crying out loud, how bad could it be?

THIRTY FIVE POINTS!!! That’s how bad.

Needless to say, I went over for the day. It’s one day and certainly not the end of the world, but it did serve as a reminder. Just because they call it a salad doesn’t make it healthy.

I will Remer to check the Weight Watchers app next time.

“Damn! You are hard core!”

That was my wife’s reaction last night at dinner to a decision I made.

It was Friday night and we both had endured long work weeks. We decided to head out for dinner before shopping for some home improvement materials for our weekend project. We decided to head over to Texas Roadhouse, because we both like the food there very much.

As I wrote yesterday, I am returning to my more diligent ways of tracking and planning in my Weight Watchers application. For dinner last night I had 19 points available. I wanted to have a good time, but also wanted to stay within my points. After some careful planning, here is what I ordered, and how I ordered it with the waiter:

“I will have the single cut pork chop, steamed broccoli, house salad with no croutons or eggs, vinegar and oil dressing, a 16 ounce Labatt beer from the tap, and a glass of ice water.”

That order calculates out like this in Weight Watchers points:

  • Pork Chop – 5
  • Salad with just a bit of shredded cheese – 1
  • Vinegar and Oil dressing (I really only use the vinegar) – 0
  • Steamed broccoli – 1 (someday I have to learn why steaming broccoli adds a point to an otherwise 0 point food)
  • 16 oz of regular beer – 7
  • Total for the meal – 14

With that plan I would still have a few points available for an evening snack while we watched TV. I was all set!

A few minutes later the waiter returned with a 22 ounce beer. “The bartender did you a favor. The 22 ounce beers are actually LESS expensive than the 16, so here you go.”

My wife noted my dismay, and she knew that I’d planned out my meal. Had I wanted a 22 ounce beer, I would have ordered a light beer. The extra 6 ounces would only add a couple of points to my total, but there was a principle involved. So, at the end of my dinner, this is what was on my table

20141003_190913

I decided that leaving about 6 ounces of beer in the glass on the table was a better choice than consuming it. I did finish that second glass of ice water before I paid the bill, but that is how I left the beer. My friends will accuse me of alcohol abuse for leaving beer behind, and in previous days I’d have done the same to them. But last night I chose this form of alcohol abuse over weight watchers abuse. When I told my wife that I was leaving behind the beer she got an incredulous look on her face and said “Damn! You are hard core!” At that moment, any lingering thought I had about finishing the beer was gone.

We paid and left the restaurant, and went on about our shopping for the night. In the evening, as we settled in for some TV, I did have one half ounce of Skinny Pop popcorn (yes I weighed it), and was done for the day. I ended up with 2 points to spare in case I under estimated, or incorrectly measured anything earlier in the day. I went to bed feeling great about my choices to cap off a busy week.

For me, this is a big NSV (Non-Scale Victory). In the past I would have resigned myself to the “inevitable”, and drank those last 6 ounces of beer. But this time I stuck to my original choice.

Quick update on the 1,500 minute challenge. Yesterday I didn’t get to the gym, and rain kept me from walking to the diner for lunch, or from taking a long walk after work. The only exercise time I got was the 30 minutes that I took at lunch time doing laps inside my building (with some extra flights of stairs). So, here is my tracker through 3 days:

1500 chalenge207 minutes down, 1,293 to go!

Restaurant disasters

No, the title of this post isn’t a reference to a new reality show where a chef with an accent yells at people and tells them their restaurant is for crap. It is a reference to the disasters that await people within the friendly doors of restaurants, disasters that are bad for everyone, but especially for those of us trying to drop a few pounds.

This morning I read an article from Health.com called 9 Worst Calorie Bombs at Chain Restaurants. The article lists the worst of the worst from a survey done by the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), on the nutrition information for dishes on over 200 chain restaurants. Using the US Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA), guideline that an average adult should eat about 2,000 calories per day, with not more than 35% of those coming from fat, and no more than 7% from saturated fat, CSPI listed those that were the worst disasters on a plate.

The Cheesecake Factory placed 3 items in the top 10 (go figure, a restaurant that is named after cheesecake isn’t a healthy place to eat? Who could have seen that coming?). One of their breakfasts, the Bruleed French Toast, came in at w whopping 2,780 total calories. As an added bonus it also packed in 2,230 milligrams of sodium. Eek. This particular dish isn’t listed on the Cheesecake Factory’s website for nutrition, so I can’t calculate the Weight Watchers Plus points, but suffice to say, it’s a frigging big number.

la-fi-xtreme-eating-20140730-001

The Cheesecake Factory’s Bruleed French Toast – 2,780 calories!

I was slightly shocked to see an old favorite of mine on the list. The A1 Peppercorn Burger at Red Robin. The particular one that they cited was the Monster version, with the second 6 oz patty of beef, and the bottomless fries. I thankfully never ordered that artery clogger, but I did enjoy the base model from time to time.

If you are a restaurant goer who ever sets foot in the Cheesecake Factory, Red Robin, Famous Dave’s, Chevy’s, BJ’s Restaurant and Brewhouse, Joe’s Crab Shack, or Maggiano’s Little Italy, you will want to have a look at the entire article.

monstermeal

Red Robin A1 Peppercorn Monster Burger Meal – 3,540 calories

For me there were a couple of takeaways from the article.

1. If you are weight conscious or health conscious at all, it pays to look up the meals at a restaurant before ordering. In the past I would go online before leaving, and I still do that from time to time. But with the advent of smart phones, you can search right from your table. In my book, if the restaurant won’t tell me what is in a meal, and won’t divulge the nutrition information, it’s a sign to think twice about eating there.

2. Restaurants are not in business to make their customers healthy, they are in business to make money (just like any other business). They know that the best tasting foods that keep the uneducated masses coming back are the ones that are high in calories, loaded with salt, and teeming with saturated fat. If I want to enjoy a trip to a restaurant with family and friends, it is on ME to manage my intake.

3. Any restaurant named after one of the least healthy desserts I can think of might not be a good place to find Weight Watchers Friendly food.

The bottom line is this. I do enjoy going out to eat with family and friends from time to time. Just because I am leading a more healthy lifestyle, and working to lose weight, should not mean that I have to sacrifice that social time. But, to do so, and to do so in a healthy way, I need to have my eyes wide open and plan ahead.

What are your favorite strategies for managing your way through a restaurant on your road to healthy living?

 

Inspiration, Motivation and a Fortune Cookie

So there I was. It was Friday night and my wife, son and I decided to go out for Chinese food. We went to one of our favorite local places because they have really great General Tso’s chicken. It was weigh-in day, and I had just reached 63 pounds lost. I was feeling great about myself and considered just having the whole dinner for a change (my readers know from this blog post that I usually cut my Chinese food in half to save Weight Watchers points).

We were waiting for a table, and I glanced at my phone. I was checking the weather to see what it was going to be like the next day to help me plan my weekend activities. I noticed at the top of the screen was a WordPress notification. When I looked at it, it was a notification that someone had linked to my blog. Mama Ames had linked to my blog and told all of her followers that they should come follow mine because she found me to be inspirational and a good friend.

I sat at the table, with tears nearly in my eyes. Here was a person who was mostly a stranger who considers me to be an inspiration, and who took the time to publicly tell about it. I was touched.

When it came time to order, I ordered my other favorite, Kung Pao Chicken, with some Hot and Sour Soup. When the entre and rice came, as I have done since March, I carefully them into two portions. I ate half, and had the other half boxed for tomorrow.

I was flying high by now. Then came time for the fortune cookie, and this was the fortune I found inside:

cookie

As I was writing this entry, a friend who had read about my weigh in texted me to tell me I had lost the equivalent weight of her 11 year old daughter, and how proud she was of me.

I think the universe is trying to tell me something here. I feel so incredibly humbled and awed by the fact that people are not only taking notice of my weight loss, but are inspired by it as well. I hear that phrase a few times a week now, and it is great.

I didn’t star this journey to try to impress or inspire anyone but myself. I was in this to make me a better, more healthy person. The fact that others are finding inspiration in my story motivates me to want to do more, and to do it better.

What is your motivation to keep it going?

Interesting article I found on healthy eating for children

Last week I was cruising around the internet reading various articles about healthy eating and weight loss. I was inspired by a blog post in Kassie’s blog about how  losing weight is only part of the journey. I was thinking through the other aspects of becoming more healthy. I was reading I came across an article at fieldsofflavor.com called “7 Mistakes Parents Make Feeding Their Children.”

arugula-scramled-eggs-1024x682

The article is a good read, and one that I think all parents should have a look at. But, I also think there are some lessons for we adults who are struggling to get our weight under control. As I was reading it, I thought about some of the attitudes I have about food that were created and nurtured in me in my youth.

When I was a child, it was not acceptable for me to leave the dinner table with food on my plate. My mom refused to ever make anything special for me that wasn’t what others were eating, but I did have to eat what was made for dinner. Like any child I had certain foods I didn’t like, but for me it was more about portions. I had to stay until all was done, even if I wasn’t hungry anymore. Sadly, we put that same onus on our children when they were young as well. I have seen other parents allow their children to leave with food still on the plate, and it always plucked a chord for me. I wanted to see them have the same rules I had, after all, they worked for me, right? Of course ignoring the fact that I was thinking that I was morbidly obese, and couldn’t begin to see the link.

It is healthy to leave food behind. In my journey I have been taking smaller portions, but in restaurants they typically send out the full plate. It has taken some time, but I am becoming more comfortable with either leaving food on the plate, or taking some home for a future meal.

What things in this article speak to you about your food habits and how they are affecting your journey to better health?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Surviving a Chinese Restaurant

One of my favorite types of food is Chinese. My tastes in Chinese food have varied and evolved over time, but I have always enjoyed a good, spicy, Chinese dinner. My current favorite is Chicken with Hot Pepper & Peanuts (aka Kung Pao Chicken). We like to go to a restaurant called Chopstick House near where we live. The atmosphere is nice, the food is always good, the service is fast and courteous, and the prices are reasonable. On Wednesday of this week my wife, daughter and I decided to go out for Chinese, and so a trip to Chopstick House was on the agenda.

As I have mentioned before, I am  a person who likes to clean my plate. When I see that giant, dinner size portion of food that Chinese restaurants serve, I see it as a challenge… something I must conquer. Before we left I did a quick check on the Weight Watchers application, and found out that generically a restaurant portion of King Pao Chicken is 20 points. The serving size to get to that amount is 22 ounces, or about one and one half pounds. This, of course, would be without any rice or soup. I could see how this was going to add up in my dinner.

As a quick aside, one thing I remembered hearing in a Weight Watchers meeting was the saying “if you can halve it you can have it.” The idea being that I can have anything I want that I used to eat, if I can discipline myself to have about half what I would normally. I decided to use this approach on my trip to Chopstick House.

Ordinarily, this is what I would have eaten:

  • A full order of Kung Pao Chicken – about 22 ounces, or 20 points
  • All of the brown rice – about 1.5 cups, or 8 points
  • A “cup” of Hot and Sour Soup – about 1.5 cups total, or 3points
  • A spring roll (shrimp) – 5 points
  • A small bowl of those fried won tons – 10 points (conservatively, maybe more)
  • A fortune cookie – 1 point
  • Total – approximately 46. My total allowance for the day is 64 points.

Using the “have it if you halve it” concept, here is what I actually ate:

  • HALF of the Kung Pao chicken – 10 points (brought the rest home for another meal)
  • 1 cup of brown rice – 5 points
  • 1.5 cups of Hot and Sour Soup – 3 points
  • NO SPRING ROLL – 0 points (I don’t really like spring rolls anyway)
  • NO FRIED WON TONS – 0 points (took some discipline, but I did it!)
  • .5 Fortune cookie (I actually bit it in half) – 0 points
  • My total 18 points!
20140312_182949

The Kung Pao Chicken I didn’t eat, and brought home.

By being smart about only eating the parts of the meal I really enjoy, and limiting the highest point items to about half, I managed to shave 60% of the points off of the meal. Usually I come home from a trip out for Chinese feeling bloated and dizzy. But that night I came home feeling energized. And, I had another full meal in the fridge for the next night. I saved points, I eliminated the nasty feeling, and I saved money.

I love eating out with friends and family. I cherish the social aspect of the meal. One of the things that I love about Weight Watchers is that it is not a diet of elimination. There was nothing about WW that dictated what I should, or should not eat. I succeeded in this meal because I made informed, smart, healthy choices, not because some diet said I should avoid this or that. This journey for me is about re-training my brain to think differently about food. That was a good trip to Chopstick House!