Healthy Comparison

Monday, August 20, 2007

Today’s post is part of my homework for my nutrition class. Disclaimer: the calories are from different sources online, they are not accurate, just guesstimating the total amount. The assignment was to write down meals you would normally have and what would be a better choice. This was a powerful exercise because these are real choices I used to make.

1. Church picnic:
Used to eat:
Hamburger, bun, cheese, lettuce, tomatoes (426), hot dog, bun, mustard (242), baked beans (107), casserole (543), 3 layer sweet potato pie (546), sweet tea (120 cal for 16 oz).
Total 1,984 calories
Better choice:
Hamburger meat (250), 2 tomato slices (40), ½ cup of broccoli salad (278), ½ cup steamed veggies (55), water. Total 623 calories

2. Birthday cookout
Used to eat:
4 ounces of chicken (141), 1 cup of salad (160), 1 ½ cup of potato salad (537), chocolate cake (416), water. Total 1,254 calories
Better choice:
2 cups of salad (320), ¼ cup of potato salad (134), ½ pickles (8), ¼ cole slaw (62), water. Total 524 calories

3. New Happy Garden

Used to eat:
1 cup of fried rice (363 cal), 1 ½ cup of grilled pork (450), 5 cheese wontons (550), ½ cup of string beans (50), 2 cups of fruit (250), 3 sushi (420), 1 egg roll (230), 1 cup of grilled chicken (408), sweet tea (120 cal for 16 oz). Total 2,841 calories
Better choice?:
½ cup of steamed rice (132), 1 cup of steamed veggies (112), 1 cup of string beans (100), ½ cup of grilled chicken (204), water. Total 548 calories

4. Coffee shop
Used to eat:
1 large cup of coffee (5 cal) with ½ cup of half and half (157 cal), 3 packs of raw sugar (60 cal), 1 blueberry scone (460 cal). Total 682 calories
Better choice:
2 cups of green tea, 1 biscotti (127). Total 127 calories

5. Arby’s
Used to eat:
Grilled chicken cordon blew sandwich (488 calories), jalapeno bites (305 cal), medium curly fries (397 cal), sweet tea (120 cal for 16 oz). Total: 1,310 calories
Better choice:
Martha’s Vineyard Salad (276 calories), Light buttermilk ranch (112 cal.), water. Total: 388 calories

After this exercise I realize I might not go to a Chinese restaurant as often. I don’t think that 548 calories are worth 7 dollars if I can make healthier choices. I thought I was doing good in the coffee shop but now I know better. The most shocking comparison for me was Arby’s. When my husband and I were dining there often we wondered why I couldn’t lose the weight. Now I know why: 1,310 calories!!! Thank God for knowledge and the ability to make good choices. The picture is showing the choices I’ve been making daily: green tea, water and the pedometer which represents walking. The most important daily choice I make is to have a relationship with God. Without that I couldn’t do anything.