In a perfect world we would eat each meal at the table with our loved ones. We would eat grass fed beef, free range chicken, home grown veggies, and organic dairy products, all with no preservatives. Meals would be made by mom’s loving hands with care and patience and would be cooked to perfection. Wake up! We can strive to be perfect with our eating, but this is not always realistic.
Personally, my fitness evolution has taken me to a stage that I am striving to ascertain this type of eating, but there are times that I make the choice, due to time, lack of preparedness, or I just plain forgot my lunch, that I have to take a trip through the drive-through.
Today was such a day. I have “healthy” on the go eating down pretty good. I have learned to make choices that don’t leave me feeling guilty, bloated, or off plan in terms of my health and fitness program. Today I made the choice to get myself a chicken fajita pita and some grilled chicken strips from, yes, Jack in the Box.
What did I drink with this “fast food” meal? Unsweetened Iced tea. You hard-core nutrition snobs may turn your nose up at this, but sometimes we have to be realistic. I want my clients and people who come into my business to be better. Sometimes it’s a complete overhaul, and sometimes it’s minor changes that lead to better living.
I want to give you some local choices for eating out and still be able to stick to the program, mostly. The chicken fajita pita is a great choice at 340 calories, but watch out for the sodium. Let’s visit a gas station for my next pick Daniel’s has a tasty chipolte chicken wrap. This wrap is filled with fresh veggies, chicken breast, cheese, and cream cheese. I always remove the last two items, the cheeses to cut out 200 calories. Let’s move onto Highway 78 and visit my friend Sam Lutt at Mariscos Del Mar and have two grilled fish tacos without rice and beans and get a fresh tomato, lettuce, and avocado side salad. Yum!
Moving over to the Albertsons shopping center and visit Justin at Just-n-Time Deli and order an egg white and veggie omelet. We took out the yolks, so go ahead and get some cheese on that, but go light. Most omelets have three to four eggs and we need to pay attention to how much saturated fat and cholesterol we ingest, so it’s sometimes a good idea to get rid of the yolks. You can also make your way over to Nikkos Greek Cafe and get a chicken breast plate and skip the pita bread and sauce with that. The plate does come with a salad, but watch out for the dressing as it can add 200 plus calories to that meal.
Here is a simple meal you can order at most any restaurant — grilled chicken breast, and steamed veggies. Just make sure that your getting mostly broccoli and cauliflower, not peas, corn, and carrots as these have higher calories and are not as filling due to lack of fiber.
One more tip: Skip the chips, rolls, breadstick, or any other pre-meal starch. When they bring it out, send it right back. Why tempt yourself? You can easily eat 500 calories before you even start eating your meal. STOP IT!
And, oh yeah, no more soda, even diet. Regular soda contains 170 calories per can, all sugar, and diet contains so many chemicals that can cause inflammation and even cancer! In fact, that diet soda with no sugar can still alter your blood sugar and even make you hungrier.
Stop dieting and learn how to start eating better. We intuitively know how to make a better choice when eating out. Now go ahead and start doing it.
Some last tips in review — Skip the extra starches, moderate the cheese, watch the calories you drink, stray from artificial sweeteners. Salad dressings can put you over the top and, of course, be careful of your portion sizes. Visit ramonastrainer.com or ramonafitness.com for more info and this week’s Workout of the Week video and how you can get started on your path to you — only better! I can be reached at the club at 760-789-3500.
Peter San Nicolas owns Ramona Fitness Center at 558 Main St.