I've made a lot of progress with the goal of reducing my sugar intake over the past few weeks. I haven't completely given up eating oatmeal or yogurt and I still make Honey Walnut Granola Breakfast Bowls two or three times a week, but I've replace half of my meals with Microwave Scrambled Eggs. They're a great protein rich option that keeps me full until lunch time. For lunch I've been alternating between soup, the occasional cheese quesadilla, and spinach salad dressed with a light vinaigrette. I've been a little lazy when it comes to including variety in my lunch options since soup season has started, so I'll be focusing on that for the next few weeks.
It may seem like things are running rather smoothly, but I hit a wall this week. My husband left for Boston on Tuesday, so the little man and I have been left to our own devices. I mentioned during last week's update that I don't eat out often—which is true—unless I'm on my annual summer road trip with my mother or my husband is out of town. All rules go out the window when he's gone, I bribe my son with a special meal out each day if he is on his best behavior. He gets to choose where we go and I don't end the day wanting to lock him in his room and hide in the bathtub.
For the most part I skipped eating with him while he enjoyed his special treats, which isn't unusual. The foods his 4 year old heart typically desires are foods that I'm allergic to, so he got to enjoy a McDonald's Cheeseburger and FroYo all on his own. I did join him in his meal at Pancheros made up of a giant burrito, tortilla chips, and queso—but only after I realized I had forgotten our cooler at home that had all of our day-trip snacks in it. Whoops! I wasn't going to make a 30 mile round trip drive back home to get it, so I opted to watch my portion size and stick to healthier toppings. Some days you just have to do the best that you can.
Burritos may seem like a healthy choice at first since they contain so many fresh ingredients, but because of the large portion size they often contain 1000 calories or more. There is a fine art to ordering a meal from Pancheros, Chipotle, or Qdoba that isn't a calorie bomb, but it can be done.
Here are some of our favorite tips:
- Instead of a burrito order a bowl, you'll save roughly 300 calories by skipping the tortilla
- Opt for veggies or a lean meat like chicken, instead of steak or carnitas
- Order a half-portion of rice or skip it altogether, you'll save 90 - 180 calories
- Leave off high calorie toppings such as sour cream, queso, and shredded cheese
- Don't forget to add salsa, it's packed with flavor and low in calories. You'll want to keep in mind the corn salsa has approximately 80 calories per serving, it isn't your best choice.
- If all else fails, only eat half of what you order and save the rest for later. You can ask the person making your burrito to cut it in half and wrap a portion to-go so you aren't tempted to devour the entire thing (which is an excellent strategy no matter what restaurant you choose to eat at.)
If you follow these tips you can easily have a meal that is under 500 calories. It may not be entirely unprocessed, but it will be better for you, which is a step in the right direction.