I finally decided to take a look at this book that I’ve literally had it on my shelf for-ev-er. I was actually kind of shocked by some of the information inside the pages. I’m from Southeastern Massachusetts, but close to Boston, which is one of the cities that is known for its food. Some of the restaurants that I’ll mention are not only in the Boston area, but other parts of the country. Here are some of the restaurants, foods and occasions that I found most surprising.
Dunkin’ Donuts has the motto “American runs on Dunkin'”, but maybe not after you read this. If you go for breakfast, you might just want something easy like a bagel. The Multigrain Bagel with Lite Cream Cheese is a whopping 500 calories! Instead, go for something lighter like the Ham, Egg & Cheese English Muffin which is only 380 calories.
Moving on to lunch, we head over to Panera Bread. Now, I love this place because they have such great tasting food and great ingredients. But what should you get? A Sierra Turkey Sandwich might be delicious, but at 840 calories, it might not be your best pick. Try the BBQ Chicken, which is about half the calories – only 470!
Hungry for a snack? We’re told whole wheat is good for us, right? Well, not in every situation. Auntie Annie’s sells a Whole Wheat Pretzel, but at 450 calories, it might not be the best option. Instead, try the Jalapeño Pretzel which is only 280 calories.
Now, the book didn’t stop at restaurants. It had a Menu Decoder, comparisons for holidays and special occasions and supermarket options. It even had choices for beverages. This information could be very helpful for some. I think those that celebrate the holidays and special occasions would be very interested in these options:
Thanksgiving dinner is a HUGE holiday in my family. My dad cooks for an army but I always try to eat mindfully. I stay with the light meat instead of the dark meat and replace stuffing and sweet potatoes with green bean casseroles and some real cranberry sauce. By making these swaps, you’ll save about 500 calories.
Halloween is another holiday I totally love. It’s so much fun dressing up and seeing the children in their costumes. But the candy…oh, my candy! I love chocolate and for me, I stick with organic and dark chocolate. But what I pass out is the good stuff. Almond Joys are in the trick-or-treat bag, but the better choice is 3 Musketeers because it will save about 30 calories.
What about a ball game? Being from Boston, I am a Red Sox fan. Yes, yes, Yankee fans, bring it on! But what about the food I eat while I watch them battle it out on the field? I love to have a Fenway Frank with ketchup and relish and I can even add mustard and it’s still only about 280 calories. Stay away from the nachos and cheese because those can bring you just under 700 calories. Yikes!
In our house, we tend to cook a lot in the house. And when we go to the market, we like to choose foods that are healthy, mostly organic and good for you. Some of our favorite foods include snacks, like granola bars and ice cream. The book gave some options for these too.
For granola bars, we used to get Nutrigrain bars, in particular the yogurt bars. I’m glad we switched to something a little better because they are 140 calories per bar. The Special K Bar in Vanilla Crisp flavor can save you about 50 calories per bar.
Ice cream is our weekend treat and we always go for the Ben & Jerry’s. Unfortunately, they don’t have the lowest calories. Cherry Garcia Low Fat Frozen Yogurt comes out at 170 calories, while Edy’s Slow Churned Rich & Creamy Black Cherry Vanilla Swirl Yogurt is only about 100 calories per serving.
Now, not all of the foods I mentioned are perfect. My point in this post is to share comparisons and the fact that there may be a better option that you’re not aware of. All in all, be mindful about your choices when you’re shopping, eating out or even when you’re cooking. If you’re curious about finding better options, pick up the book. You can find the revised version at Target. Check it out and let me know your thoughts. What swaps did you make?