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A healthy trip to the local McDonald's

Sunday, April 15, 2012

On Wednesday, we went to the local McDonalds with the colleagues. The factory restaurant was closed this week, so each day we ate at a different local place outside.

I decided beforehand that I will eat a snack-wrap, and a salad, and maybe a small ice cream in the end, if I feel so. I discovered making the desert optional often gives me the option of ignoring the desert, if I already fill well eaten. I planned to eat a big cup of yogurt (we got some product sample to taste) back in the office, so I considered those already in the meal's calorie budget.

I was surprised and not surprised how my fellow work-mates eat. They chose big burgers, with chips, large coke. It felt like big amounts of calories, so back at home, I calculated for both me and one of them the calories.

Snack wrap (197 kcal/100g, 137g) 270 kcal
Garden salad without dressing (14 kcal/100g, 70g) 10 kcal
Balsamico dressing (76 kcal/100g, 16g) 12 kcal
Spar Bio Kaffee-yogurt (back in the office) (100 kcal/100g, 200g) 200 kcal
Total = 492 kcal
1.5 € + 1.0 € + 0.1 €+ 0.0 € = 2.6 € (~3.4 USD)

Der M (241 kcal/100g, 247g) 595 kcal
Big Mac (226 kgal/100g, 219g) 495 kcal
Gitter Pommes (300 kcal/100g, 183g) 549 kcal
Coca-cola 0.4L (43 kcal/100g, 400g) 170 kcal
Total = 1809 kcal
3.99 € + 3.49 €+ 1.99 € + 1.89 € = 11.36 € (~14.85 USD)

Some learning:
1. It is good to decide beforehand what I will eat.
I save time, and energy on wandering around the menu.
The in-store advertisements promise saving with big portions and combinations, but in fact they promote eating more and spending more.

2. The grilled chicken wrap is 250 g, but only 370 kcal. It is a better choice for feeling full. This is because the snack wrap has deep fried chicken.

3. The choice for calorie-wise eating in the local traditional restaurants is limited (usually only deep fried meat and sausages). Funnily, McDonalds at least has some choice, six salads, and the two mentioned wraps are moderate in calories. (All else is near or above 500 kcal/portion).

4. It's great that McDo show on the homepage the nutritional values!

5. Eating less costs less...

I almost forgot to mention:
I took the bike to the restaurant, the others went by car.
And somehow I was faster in both direction (although I didn't go fast).

On Easter Monday, I went to an excursion in the forests near Vienna (13K), it was a beautiful sunny day.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BOOKMANU 4/16/2012 7:33PM

    Good thinking and congratulations on making the right food choices emoticon

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    Yay for you! My coworkers are the same as yours:

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KIMBERTA99 4/15/2012 10:40PM

    Way to go on choosing the healthier options!! Wow.. what a difference from what you ate and what they did calorie wise!! When I go I get the grilled chicken sandwich no mayo no fries and a diet coke!!! About as healthy as I can go..LOL!! And I am sure you burned a good amout of those calories on the bike ride there and back!!

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LESLIE_2B_LESS 4/15/2012 10:17PM

    Great blog! MCDonald's where you are at has some different looking stuff, fries are completely different and the salad has a different packaging. But pretty much the same foods overall.

I always substitute a side salad for the fries when I go there and have a grilled chicken sandwich with no mayo. Sometimes I give into temptation and have a McDouble, but that's only once in a great while.

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REBECCAMA 4/15/2012 6:21PM

  Another healthy choice at McDs if it is on your local menu is the Southwest Chicken salad. It runs about 300 calories I think. It's a little more than a hamburger but very filling and much less than those big sandwiches that your coworkers will order.

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HAKAPES 4/15/2012 3:13PM

    Why is that these screenshots from the McDonalds appear so big here, and my beautiful photo is so small?

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BEATLETOT 4/15/2012 11:36AM

    Great job! =)

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BD3269PM 4/15/2012 8:16AM

    What great choices you made! Yea for you . emoticon

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KRISZTA11 4/15/2012 7:47AM

    You did great! : )
I used to eat like your friends (not 2 but 1 large sandwich, with large fries),
now I eat like you do: a hamburger with small fries to go, with a lot of steamed broccoli (600 calories). I love those fries : )

The bike ride picture is beautiful, thanks for sharing.

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GETSTRONGRRR 4/15/2012 7:33AM

    Good job and good to know.....I have tried to avoid McDonald's for years....sounds like they finally figured out the demographics!

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ZELLAZM 4/15/2012 7:27AM

    Nice view! Must remind myself to get the bike out of the cellar! WTG on making wise choices - it IS possible at McD's. I go there myself occasionally.

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Spring is here, bike again!

Thursday, April 05, 2012

Since I'm back from Morocco, I'm just amazed by the Spring here in Austria.
It's so bright, sunny, warm, and energetic.

I could finally take a good bicycle ride, and my first trip was to the forest near Oberdorf, where I can run along the river Raab (Rába).

I hade 2x12K bike ride, then 6K run, and it felt so refreshing.

Tuesday, we also went to run with one of my colleagues at lunchtime, and the energy of the Spring was flowing trough all the afternoon afterwards.

Otherwise, I'm still on the recovery slope from the business trip in Morocco, it turns out that going on for 3 weeks without any weekend pause inbetween had quite a hit on my energy level. Or it's just the usual spring tiredness, who knows.

I keep it easy, but keep it healthy.


Tonight, I ran with another colleague after work. He's lighter than me by 5-10 kg, and has more experience in running, and is faster.

We did again a pyramid interval training:
7 min - light running (5:15 min/K)
30 sec - fast walk (11:00 min/K)
= 1 min - fast running 85% of my throttle runnig ( 4:30 min/K)
= 30 sec - fast walk
== 2 min - 85%
== 30 sec - fast walk
==== 4 min - 85%
==== 30 sec - fast walk
======== 8 min - 85%
======== 30 sec - fast walk
==== 4 min
==== 30 sec - fast walk
== 2 min
== 30 sec - fast walk
= 1 min
= 30 sec - fast walk
Run home - light run

Boy, this was stretching my limits!

For him, it was not 85% of his full speed, but for me it was.

I checked my heart rate in endomondo afterwards, and it was steadily 179-183 bpm during the fast intervals.

Altogether, it was 9.07K in 49m:13sec, which is 5:26 min/K on average.
But this alteration of fast and walk, is really heavy.


Now, I will sleep like log!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    Awesome workout! emoticon

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GETSTRONGRRR 4/5/2012 8:17PM

    Welcome back and great job on the workout!! Remember to recover...then get right back into it!

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KMICHA 4/5/2012 6:13PM

    AWESOME! your work out sounds great! I bet you will sleep well tonight!

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KRISZTA11 4/5/2012 5:09PM

    Spring did fill you with a lot of energy!
I'm happy weather is warn enough to bike again.
Beautiful scenery...

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ZELLAZM 4/5/2012 4:55PM

    That does look like a challenging workout, but that kind of interval training should do great things for your speed.

Spring has come to southern Germany, too. I'm enjoying my walks and runs at these temperatures! And seeing how the trees and flowers are coming to life.

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My last Moroccan dinner

Monday, April 02, 2012

This pic is from Monday last week.

Funnily, my last meal "a la Morocco" was in Spain. When I got off from the ferry from Tanger Med to Algeciras, I had about 2h until the next bus to Malaga. I had a big luggage on me, so walking around in the city center was not really an option. I was looking for a place to have dinner, and to my surprise, almost all restaurants/cafés/bars around were Moroccan style.

So, I settled in one of them, ordered my usual soup, salad, and tajine (meat cooked together with vegetables). In the pause between plates, I went on with a few pages with my current read on running.

There is some bread, which I usually prefer not to have, but my experience was that if I ask for anything that is not by the book in Morocco, they say yes, and in the end, they just do it by the book. Let it be tea without sugar, fish without French fries, or a starter without bread. In the end, they all reappeared.

I got inspired by CCASKEY37 to look at the positive achievements, and not only the scale. In Morocco, I have built a habit over the last weeks of this, that for the meals when eating out, I started a vegetable or fish soup, then a light salad, and then I ate some main course. This way, I was less eager to eat a big main course, or go for a dessert.

For the read, as running is in my focus this year, I kept on reading a few pages. Funny, that even these few pages give so much progress, both in the book, and in my running exercise.

Do you read any books lately for your healthy life?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    Sounds de-lish! emoticon

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KALISWALKER 4/5/2012 2:04AM

    Tim Ferris The Four Hour Body. This meal looks delicious !

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KRISZTA11 4/2/2012 1:51PM

    Your eating out habits are great,
I'll keep this in mind as an example to me.

What is the book you were reading during dinner?

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GETSTRONGRRR 4/2/2012 8:11AM

    Looks like a great meal...enjoy, and safe travels

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TELFERS01 4/2/2012 2:15AM

  Why did you provide dinner for the last Moraccan?

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Pictures from Malaga - and the joy of home

Sunday, April 01, 2012

So, on Tuesday morning, before leaving to the airport, I had a short time to make a powerwalk of 60min in downtown Malaga (Spain) and the beach. It's funny that at night the city was full, everything is open until 11pm, but in the morning, hardly any shops have the doors open. It was just a short 1 night stopover, but my crave for exercise made discover the inner city in not much more then an hour. A nice place to return to for holidays.

Welcome to

Lots of scooters

Back of the cathedral

At 11 am

At 12 am

Beach #2

Roman theatre

Otherwise, I am very tired from the 3 weeks work in Morocco, without weekends, it kind of drains, and I need to recharge at some point. That time I was energetic every day (without the rest), but it looks like it comes out now, as since I'm back, I just want to sleep and rest, and to be at home.
In a few days for sure this period will be over, and I can be back to the normal routine, and be energetic again.
So, from Wednesday on, I didn't push myself too much, just tried to make healthy choices, and do exercise the way I was capable of, and take good care of me.
This I learned before, being super tired is not the good time to excel in calorie budgets, and new limits in lap times, and is better to accept if I eat more, or move less.

Otherwise, I enjoy being home and eating my food, and doing my exercise. Somehow, gradually I'm shifting back to the lower amounts that I used to eat before the trip, and more regular exercises.

I think the main difference in food is variety. Here at home I have learned what and where to get, to have healthy food from a wide range. On the trip, it's often reduced to the same salad, and steamed vegetables when eating out, even if it's the good Moroccan type.

So, as much as I enjoy exploring new countries, it turns out, I enjoy being at home, as well.

How is your healthy life when you are low either emotionally, or physically?
Do you push?
Do you scale back?
What do you do?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    Awesome pics! Thanks for sharing.
When I am feeling low, sometimes I go for a run, alone. That really helps me.

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GETSTRONGRRR 4/1/2012 8:54AM

    Welcome back home!

You're right, I do the same thing. I've been on the road for 4 weeks (with another trip Monday). This I rested all day Saturday, then went to a movie with my son.

Relax, recharge, and enjoy!!

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CCASKEY37 4/1/2012 8:32AM

    I was in Malaga for one day a few years ago. It was the only day our tour stopped at the coast. It was a cloudy, coldish day but I enjoyed every second.

When I'm stressed I tend to push it on the exercise front but end up making bad choices with food. It's good to recognize so it doesn't happen as much.

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ZELLAZM 4/1/2012 7:42AM

    Home again safe and sound! Yes, I think that when you're tired you have to go easy on yourself. But I also know have to be careful because my tendency is to eat more sweets and carbs when I'm tired. Maybe because my body needs carbs at times like those? The trick, of course, is moderation.

Enjoy your "reentry" time - and rest up!

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KMICHA 4/1/2012 6:41AM

    After being away for so long, . . . . there is no place like home! Traveling and working will take their toll on one. I think you are doing the right thing, listening to your body and doing what it needs. Sometimes, in a emotionally or physically draining situation, I will get a burst of energy and do more than planned. But usually I scale back a bit and don't push as hard.

You are doing a terrific job Oliver! Keep up the good work! Thanks for sharing the pictures and the journey with us!

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KRISZTA11 4/1/2012 6:18AM

    Thanks for these lovely pictures!

I agree with you, in this situation I would take the same moderate approach.
Take good care of yourself,
getting enough sleep is the most important now.
Enjoy being back home!
: )

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SHOOPETTE 4/1/2012 4:05AM

    lovely pictures, welcome back home!

I feel the same about traveling, love it but love being back home and sleeping in my own bed

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Greetings from Malaga, Spain (7K)

Monday, March 26, 2012

I just arrived to Malaga, and have learned that I'm in the Spotlight in the 5% challenge!
This is great!

Today, I was travelling, lots of sitting, and lots of walking. Excellent foundation for an evening run. I planned only 6K, but the city center is so beautiful, it was begging for another turn.

This where I reached the bay in Malaga, I ran along, then I turned back.
Malaga is known for it's exquisite beaches, so tomorrow I'll explore that.

Anyone visited Malaga before?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SHOOPETTE 3/31/2012 2:17PM

    I haven't but your pics really makes me want to.

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ZELLAZM 3/28/2012 8:24AM

    What a lovely running venue! Look forward to a pic of the beach - never been to Spain at all so am enjoying it vicariously with you.

And congrats on being in the Spotlight on the 5% challenge board!

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CALIKIKI 3/27/2012 11:08PM

    I love Spain! So very jealous and cant wait until summer 2014 when i can go back.

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    So glad you're keeping it up rockstar! You're doing the most amazing job in the most wonderful of places!

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LISAINMS 3/27/2012 9:23PM

    I was in Malaga about 20 years ago. Beautiful!

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KKINNEA 3/27/2012 12:09PM

    Looks lovely - nice place for a scenic run.

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CLAIREINPARIS 3/27/2012 4:46AM

    Congratulations for being in the Spotlight! And for another great run! I have never been to Malaga, but it looks beautiful. I can't wait to see more.

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KIMBERTA99 3/27/2012 1:47AM

    Nope..never been to Spain!! I hope you show us the beaches tomorrow!! Way to go on being in the spotlight..you deserve it!!

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KMICHA 3/26/2012 9:50PM

    No, I've never been there . . . it look beautiful though! Can't wait to see tomorrow's pictures!

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ARGYLE-RUNNER 3/26/2012 6:41PM

    so beautiful - can't wait for tomorrow's pictures :)

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