After a fantastic 50-mile ride this morning I was looking forward to going out to dinner with Karel tonight. I accomplished a bit of studying but spent a good amount of time on the computer for nutrition stuff. Karel and I don't eat out very often so it is always a treat when we go out. I love going to new places but I'm quick to check an on-line menu to make sure it is marni-friendly. I usually look under the salad section for something vegetarian friendly but at the same time, I don't want to spend $8 for a bowl of lettuce and a few tomatoes. I like a salad that is a filled with lots of vegetables, nuts or fruits. Karel is a big Italian lover so a couple times a month (and before his races) he really craves his pasta. As for me, I like thin crust pizza but I usually enjoy it in the summer after a weekend of hard training. Karel wanted to go to an Italian restaurant tonight so I was thinking that we would go to a chain restaurant. My choices were Macaroni Grill, Olive Garden or Caraba's. All places with great bread so I know I won't leave hungry with only eating a salad. I always check on-line nutrition menu's when I go somewhere, especially if that somewhere is a new place. I also pick what I will eat before I get to the restaurant so I'm not triggered to order something unhealthy. As for something unhealthy, I usually stick to simple foods when I eat out so if eating too much from the bread basket is unhealthy..I guess I am guilty of that!! :)
Anyways, I checked the nutrition menu at Macaroni Grill for Karel. His racing season is approaching quickly and he is in great shape with only a month or so to go until his first race. I've worked on his nutrition since we met and he's really seen an improvement in his recovery, a better body composition, more lean muscle mass and a decrease in his fat mass. Also, he has learned how to use the right fuels during training and I think we have found his no-fail pre-race meal (because he races in the morning, afternoon or night he has to be strict on his meals one or two days prior to the race as well). Ok, back to tonight's dinner. So I'm looking at the Mac. Grill menu and I couldn't believe my eyes. I found myself a good salad but for Karel, I honestly couldn't find something under 900 calories!!! 900 freakin' calories!!! Seriously! So the simple options would be Spaghetti & Meatballs w/ Tomato Sauce, although Karel loves chicken parmesean. Well, 1 dinner serving of the spaghetti had 1430 calories, 81g fat, 41g sat fat and 4540g sodium!!! I'm sure you know some of the daily recommendations but the sodium itself is enough for 4 days! OUCH! I just couldn't believe it! we ended up going to olive garden and Karel got a nice vetables and chicken mix and I had minestrone soup and salad. Dressing on the side and dry breadsticks. It was a great dinner and we really enjoyed our healthy options. So I decided to do a little looking around on the internet for a few more shock factors. I know people enjoy eating out but it is really important that you cook for yourself. Even if somewhere has a healthy, light or low-fat option, you need to check online to really see what you are eating (and how bad you are clogging up your arteries). Also, even if you find something healthy to order, based on the nutrition online, how do you know that the person preparing the item is using the same portions and quantities as the ingrediants in your food. There is nothing wrong with going out everynow and then but follow these tips: Use online nutrition menus, know what you will eat before you get there, have a small protein snack 20-30 min. prior to eating (stabilize blood sugar), eat slowly, drink water and skip desert. When cooking at home, find your favorite restaurant meal and prepare your own healthy version at home.
Primo Chicken Parmesan, Dinner 1 Serving 2220 calories, 148g fat, 52g sat. fat, 126g carbs, 4440g sodium.
Vanilla Ice Cream w/Chocolate Sauce (And this is recommended for kids!!!) 1 Scoop 400 calories, 23g fat, 14g sat. fat.
Chicken Florentine w/ out dressing 1 Serving 490 calories, 19g fat, 4940g sodium!
Then I see a commercial for healthier items at steak and shake...so, let's look up those "lighter" items at Steak and Shake:
Light Black Cherry Fruit 'n Frozen Yogurt shake 681 calories, 113g sugar, 11.5g fat, 7g sat fat, 0.5g trans fat. I guess that is better than the regular yogurt shake:
Vanilla Frozen Yogurt Milk Shake 904calories, 130g sugar, 21g fat, 11.5g sat fat, 1g trans fat, 78g cholesterol. I don't think any workout validates drinking that shake!
And lastly, one of my favorite places, Panera . I eat at panera as my fast food choice, next to Subway, and I like to choose the half sandwich and half soup. As for some not-so, you may think they are, healthy items:
Whole Grain Bagel: 340 calories, 2.5g fat, 0.5g sat fat, 410g sodium, 66g carbs. Add 2 ounces reduced fat cream cheese and you can add another 140 calories, 14g fat and 8g saturated fat to that bagel!
Frontega Chicken hot panini: 800calories, 32g fat, 8g saturated fat, 0.5g trans fat, 100g cholesterol, 2150g sodium, 80g carbs.
Fuji Apple Chicken salad, 570calories, 30g fat, 7g sat fat, 1010g sodium, 25g sugar.
Caffe Mocha Espresso 370calories, 15g fat, 9g sat fat, 50g cholesterol, 42g sugar.
I hope these typical pre and post training foods were eye-openers to why you might not be losing lbs with all that training. And even if you are at your ideal weight, give your body nutrients which it can use. Of course there are healthy options out there but search for the right treat or meal and enjoy every bite!