I’ve been getting back on track with my health and fitness for a few months now. And while I’ve been off track and on track before, it is always so amazing to realize what I do to my body when I’m off track in terms of my diet. I know the media has been taking hard hits at McDonald’s but in all honesty, I have nothing but love for them. However, my vision of “I’m lovin’ it” then and “I’m lovin’ it” now are two different things.
McDonald’s is a convienient fast-food place where you can expect to find high-calorie items and all your guilty pleasures. But, it is also a fast-food chain that offers alternatives and opportunities to adjust your picks and portions to swap a calorie dense meal into something that is low in calories and dare I say, “healthy”. I thought I’d never be able to explain this but with the help of McDonald’s My Menu Builder I will show you how I traded 2230 calories for 340.
My Menu Builder is an excellent way for all of you to preplan and think about your order before you actually order, which is especially important for those of you who are watching your weight. This tool is especially helpful because even if we are watching what we eat, there are times when our friends may crave McDonald’s and you may not want to ‘give in’ but you also don’t want to be the only one drinking a cup of water while everyone is chowing down.
During the worst of my habit, I would go to McDonald’s often and at times, alone (I loved the drive-thru because if you order two or three meals, they will just assume your bringing food to other people and it’s not just for your greedy self). During my off-track period when I was refusing to be aware of anything but ‘taste’, I would normally order a Quarter Pounder with Cheese, Large French Fries, a large McCafe Iced Caramel Mocha (the weirdest thing… I don’t even like coffee! I don’t know where my self-control went but it apparently took my opinion too), a large Coke, and of course the 10-piece Chicken McNuggets. Yup, crazy but I’m probably not alone. Today I plugged in what I used to normally order into My Meal Builder and found that my horrible habit came with a whopping 2230 calories. Sad, but very true. None of these particular options were necessarily bad, I just didn’t need to eat them 5 times a week altogether. And in hind-sight maybe I should have paired one thing with a less calorie-dense alternative and it would have still been better than what I was doing. Those calories in one meal was well-over what my body needed to sustain itself for a day. I would also end up overly stuffed and very tired. Self-Control & Being Aware… lesson learned.
For the past three-months, I’ve been eating pretty clean, counting my calories, eating fruits and veggies, and staying away from sodas and most processed foods. I try to only consume things that only have 5 or less things on the ingredient label if I can help it (It’s a little hard to do with breads and tortillas but I limit the quantity with those and try to eat grains like wheat germ, oatmeal, and the alike). However, there are times when my friends are ready for McDonald’s and I’m more prepared to make wiser choices for myself. My typically order from McDonald’s which happens a few times a month include two side salads with Newman’s Own® Low Fat Balsamic Vinaigrette, a large Iced Tea (Not to be confused with the Sweet Tea… this is unsweetened, bitter, but have 0 calories and no artificial sugar), and a Ranch Snack Wrap- hold the Ranch sauce and grill the chicken. My low-cal lunch comes out to 340 calories which is low enough to where if I really wanted to treat myself to a cheat item I could swap the snack wrap for a big mac and not feel guilty as I would when I would order multiple value meals just for me. With this light meal, I don’t feel unsatisfied and I don’t feel tired and unable to complete my day.
If you haven’t checked out the McDonald’s My Menu Builder, try it out, even if you’re not only a health kick, it’s just interesting to play around with.
Side Note: Last Monday as my Health & Fitness pact-buddy drove to get our large unsweetened iced teas at McDonald’s after Hula practice, I divulged that I am so very obsessed with the new McDonald’s McCafe Shamrock Shake, when I see the poster and commercials for this delicious treat my mouth waters. In my head I now how it tastes and maybe if I keep up with my health commitment I may allow this limited-edition delicious delight to pass through my greedy lips… oooh minty. Drool!