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Last night I was stupid and started looking at Men's Health online, they teamed up with the guy who wrote "Eat This, Not That" and they have the 20 worst things to eat while eating out (you can find that here http://www.menshealth.com/eatthis/20-Worst-Foods/index.php) and quite honestly it made me sick. The worst thing to eat in America is some appetizer from Outback that contains french fries, cheese sauce and ranch dressing. It weighs in at 2,900 calories and 182 grams of fat! WTF? For an appetizer?!?! That's the equivlent of eating 14 Krispy Kreme Donuts, and even if you split that appetizer with three friends you might as well not even order a main course.

For someone who is constantly watching her weight, this really leaves me at a crossroads. Do I really ever want to eat out? Do I ever really want to travel ever again? Yeah its easy to say, just order off of the light menu, but from the research I was doing, most of those so called light entrees have way more calories than ANYTHING I make for dinner here at home. We like to go to On The Border a lot and five of their salads have over 1100 calories and the one that I usually get when I go has 750! 750 calories for a salad?!?! Wow.

The idea of putting the nutritional information on the menu's is a controversial subject because admittedly, its not the resturant's responsibility to be your conscience and tell you what you should and shouldn't eat, they aren't the reason why so many people in this country are overweight. At the same time though, how can someone make a responsible choice when it comes to chosing their dinner when they don't know where it stands nutrionally? There is really no reason why a salad should be 750 calories. It's a salad, it should be mostly veggies, and maybe some protien like cheese or a lean meat with the dressing on the side. It really irritates me when I go somewhere to find out that they have given my salad a bath in a metric buttload of dressing. Since working at TGI Friday's have become wise to this and order my dressing on the side regardless of where I am.

What also bothers me are kids menu's, with everyone having massive strokes about the amount of 100 pound two year olds in this country, you would think that they would have healthier options for the kids. I will admit that most places have done a pretty good job at adding healthy sides, but the main choices are pretty much the same everywhere: Mac N Cheese, Grilled Cheese, Chicken nuggets/fingers/planks, cheeseburgers and hot dogs. Two weeks ago we went to Johnny Carino's and we ordered Keegan some bowtie noodles with butter and they just poured on the clarified butter. I couldn't believe it! I actually tried to use my napkin to sop up some of the grease. I've worked in resturants before, I know that they don't just make a huge vat of pasta and sauce and dish it out before serving time. Would it seriously kill them to premeasure the oil/sauce before serving? It only takes a few minutes.

It really shouldn't be so hard to be able to eat healthy away from home. It's extremely absurd to think that I am going to spend the rest of my life at home, not traveling or having nights where I'm just not feeling like cooking. I am certainly not perfect, but I also don't want to spend the rest of my life having anxiety attacks over how many calories I might have consumed,becausewith these places you never know anymore. I went to Panera on Monday to buy bread for dinner and treated myself to a latte that I later found out has 360 calories in it! Granted I am not sure if I really consumed that many calories since I ordered it with skim milk and without whipped cream, but if I would have known that I wouldn't have ordered it. At Starbucks, when I order a latte with skim milk and no whipped cream its about 150 calories.

Seriously though, what are we to do?

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November 2008

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