Friday, September 12, 2008

Calories... and more calories

I have had quite the epiphany over these last couple months as I've been exercising and trying to make healthier decisions all-around. Like I had mentioned earlier I have never counted calories before. Occasionally I remember glancing at the nutritional facts of certain foods a handful of times but it never meant much to me. Now that I have to watch every little thing that goes into my mouth, I'm learning more than I ever have about calories, fat, protein, carbs, etc. I've also made some harsh realizations. Let me just say I LOVE Red Robin. I worked there after I graduated high school and just loved their steak fries and would dip them in ranch dressing. My favorite burger of all-time was the Royal Burger. I remember many times sitting at the restaurant with friends or family and shoveling down a royal burger, fries, ranch, and a strawberry lemonade. I would be stuffed but my plate would be empty at the end. I wish I would have known I was eating 1931 calories at that one sitting. CRAZY! That is nearly 500 calories more than I eat in a day right now. How was I not obese?!

Another favorite of mine is the chicken fettuccine alfredo at Olive Garden. I could down a whole plate, small salad, and a couple breadsticks and that adds up to nearly 1500 calories (more than I eat in one day!)
While my parents were here visiting we went to Costco for lunch. I thought I was being good by ordering the turkey wrap. It's made with a whole wheat tortilla, turkey, tomato, cheese, lettuce, and a little bit of mayo... 810 calories! Who would have thought?!

Now I don't mean to be such a downer, but just hope this might open your eyes a little, like it did to me. This isn't to say I won't ever go to Red Robin or Olive Garden again, what a sad life that would be! I definitely won't be wolfing down my food any more though and I will be much more careful about what I order and my portion size.

I don't want to end my post on a negative note so figured I would write down some of my favorite low-cal foods. (Feel free to comment and add your own to give me more ideas!)

1) fruits (watermelon, bananas, grapes)
2) grilled chicken (add lemon juice and a little garlic)
3) Wishbone Italian dressing spray (1 calorie/spray)
4) orange-banana smoothie (1 C. light orange juice, 1/2 banana, 8 ice cubes)
5) grilled salmon
6) vegetables (green beans, corn, asparagus)
7) fiber one breakfast bars
8) lean cuisines
9) McDonald's fruit parfait
10) oatmeal


Karyn said...

Great post. It's amazing when you start realizing how many calories you can consume without having a clue! I used to be that way, too. I am still trying to educate my not so health conscious husband.

Megan said...

I have to say that the picture of the hamburger looks really good :)

Julie said...

You're going to ruin me Jaime. I enjoy living in calorie denial. Now I'm going to think of all those calories every time I eat at Red Robin. Don't get me wrong, I'll still down the hamburger....but now I'll feel a hint of guilt.

Kristine and Jeremy said...

I liked being blissfully ignorant about the calories in my favorite pasta dish!!

Seriously though, that's a great list of healthy foods. Thanks for sharing.

PS - Congrats to Ben on starting school. :D

Ksenia said...

Wow. Crazy! I wonder why they give us these horribly huge portions at restaurants... of course, now we've come to expect them. Zach and I have been trying to share a single mean at restaurants, originally to save money, but also to save our waistlines. When we can agree on a meal, it works out great!

Great healthy snack list. Something Zach and I enjoyed plenty of this summer has been low-fat cottage cheese with fresh Oregon blueberries and peaches. Also, I have been bringing sliced cucumber to school as a yummy, not-messy, and easy to eat snack. And can't forget apple sauce! (although apple season is just starting, so fresh, local apples might be a better choice).

Anyway, sounds like you're doing an awesome job and being a great example. Keep it up.

Jauna said...

Hey I havent talked to you guys in a LONG time..
Anyway,I learned that wraps are just as bad as sad as it is. They seem so much better but they have so much fat. Its the lard they use to make the tortillas. and you can fit more in tortillas so they are usually stuffed. So crazy you think you're eating healthy and obviously you arent!

Btw congrats on the weightloss! you look awesome!