Olive Garden, no. Chinese Buffett, yes?

This is my dilema for the day – should I go to eat at an All-U-Can-Eat Chinese Buffett or the Olive Garden with my family tonight. You could easily say – Olive Garden, duh! But in an ugly truth, there is very little I can eat at the Olive Garden to stay within my calorie range for the day. Actually only 2 meals – Venetian Apricot Chicken (380 dinner, 280 lunch) or the Liguini alla Marinara (430 dinner, 310 lunch). While both seem yummy, neither sounds tempting to me right now. Especially since I will be working out right after dinner.

Everything else on their menu is over 700 a meal for dinner. And here is the saddest thing – on their Garden Fare menu there are (once again) no salads on their healthy diet menu. Unless you go with a plain salad without their dressing on it. Then its healthy. You can have the minestrone soup (which yummy!) but its not enough calories for  full mean on its own. So what can I do? In truth their website is NOT helpful at all in trying to find out the nutrional information on their food. You can go to their Garden Fare part of the website and get a small sampling of a few of their dishes but not all of them. And I can’t help with being on a diet, this kind of makes me not want to go there. I would really like to know the information about some of their other soups that I love. But nothing. And not much anywhere else.

In the day and age where you can get McDonald’s nutrional information online you would think a place with the name Garden would want to give you simiular information. Instead its just if you are trying to cut down on fat have one of these 4 meals. If you are cutting down on carbs here eat these – which by the way on the whole carbs portion of their guide, there is NO mention of what the calories are. But I did find out that the nice dish of Capellini Pomodoro which is at lunch 480 calories (and yummy sounding) is actually 840 calories at dinner. It bugs me when they do that… give you larger portions at dinner then at lunch and then push up the cost as well. This isn’t to say that I will never go there again, just not tonight. Maybe for their lunch menu when portions are smaller and I can have a little more variety to choose from.

And I will say that if I had to choose between the Olive Garden and the Marcaroni Grill, I would go with the Macaroni Grill just for their selections of healthier fooods over fatty bad foods.

So, I sent a text message to my mom. We will hit the Chinese Buffett. This is where my self-control will come into play. They have a salad section and fruit section. Those are very good things. I can make my own salad and have a nice fruit plate for dinner. In between stir fry and some baked chicken – which they sometimes have. Stay away from anything sweet ‘n’ sour and fried rice. White rice is your friend here. As well as some of the soups – which can be very high in sodium so stick to a single serving in one of their small bowls. And drink tea with no sweetner (green tea will be very good here) and water.

This is my goal for tonight. Wish me luck!

Salads… bad?

I went to dinner last night with the familia at the Macaroni Grill. It was an interesting experience later that evening when I happily went to the website to get the calories et al for the very nutrious, delicious Seared Scallop Salad that I had for dinner. Now I chose over the healthy chicken cause, duh salad good for you right? WRONG! The salad had 1320 calories in it which about 73% of the calories I am suppose to be eating in a day to loose weight (trying to stay around 1800 at the most) . 1320 calories! What the hell!? That is only 160 calories less then TWO Double Quarter Pounders with Cheese from McDonalds. On a damn salad of all things. On top of that there are 91grams of fat in the salad. Ugh… I am just glad I only ate part of it last night. And I am doubly glad that I went to the gym afterwards. Just wish I had worked out more now instead of heading home after about 45 minutes.

Here is the saddest part – the chicken I skipped over 330 calories. And in case you are curious the name of that chicken is the Pollo Margo “Skinny Chicken” which is a Grilled chicken breast with honey balsamic glaze served with grilled asparagus and broccoli. Those calories include everything in the dish. This was a 990 calories less then the salad.  And sadly there was another salad I was looking at and it was only 840, without dressing 490. Smack my head and call me Sally. While yes it was yummy yummy… but it wasn’t worth 1320 calories.

Now I know some of you reading this will probably say in your mind – yep, its always been like this. And while I have been aware that many salads were high in calories. I just never imagined they were that high in calories. I am not really one to count calories, I just want to hit an average and be aware of exactly what I am eating. At least now I know – I can still go the Macaroni Grill, I just need to be a bit more prepared and if I am completely and utterly not sure what is good for me, I need to just read the stupid little guide they give you and get a healthy meal from the menu.