Wow, was I caught off guard (or maybe it wasn't as bad as I thought)

Thursday, July 08, 2010

I know I eat out more than I should, but I'm usually very careful about what I order. I ask for my meal to be prepared without butter, oil, sauces, etc. More often than not, I order a dinner-size salad with chicken on it, dressing on the side. I use very little of the salad dressing. Let's just say if the little cup they bring the dressing in is a 2 tablespoon cup, then I use, less than 1/2 teaspoon.

One of my husband's favorite places to go is Bertucci's. When I'm there, I typically order their Venetian Spinach Salad wtih Grilled Chicken. Here's what their website says about the nutrition info for that salad.

300 Calories
9 grams Fat
5 grams Saturated Fat
31 grams Protein
29 grams Carbs
8 grams Fiber
330 mg Sodium

They estimate the dressing as an additional 110 calories, but as I mentioned above, I may use 10 calories of it.

I usually eat half the salad and save the rest for lunch the next day. Don't worry, I get enough calories because I treat myself to one of their rolls. If you're familiar with this restaurant, you know how hard it is to pass on their rolls.

Here's what their website says about the rolls.
170 Calories
2 grams Fat
0 grams Saturated Fat
6 grams Protein
34 grams Carbs
1 gram Fiber
370 mg Sodium

Well we went there last night. I wanted to try something else for a change and scoured the menu for an entree that wasn't prepared with butter, cream sauces, etc. I thought I found one: their Spaghetti and Meatballs with Pomodoro sauce. I had that before and felt it was among the better choices. The dish does not come to the table obviously swimming in grease. And, what can you do to spaghetti? The Pomodoro Sauce is chunks of probably canned diced tomatoes and barely covers the pasta.

Our food finally came. In front of me was a HUGE bowl of pasta, 4 meatballs and a smattering of the sauce. I dug in. I ate 2 of the meatballs and 1/4 to 1/3 of the pasta, before my body said enough.

Came home with leftovers I thought I would have for lunch today. That was before I found their nutrition information.

Here's what their website says (I hope you're sitting down):

Spaghetti w/ Meatballs w/ Pomodoro Sauce
1530 Calories
54 grams Fat
19 grams Saturated Fat
69 grams Protein
196 grams Carbs
13 grams Fiber
5870 mg Sodium

Gee if I had eaten the whole thing, that's more calories than I've had in a single day since joining Sparkpeople, 5 weeks ago.

So, now I'm trying to figure out just how much I had.

Their website also shows a Spaghetti w/ Pomodoro Sauce.
1010 Calories
16 grams Fat
4 grams Saturated Fat
35 grams Protein
178 grams Carbs
9 grams Fiber
4190 mg Sodium

This suggests the Meatballs (4) were:
520 Calories
38 grams Fat
15 grams Saturated Fat
34 grams Protein
18 grams Carbs
4 grams Fiber
1680 mg Sodium

So, if I ate 1/2 the meatballs and 1/3 of the pasta, I'll estimate my intake for that meal as
596 Calories
24 grams Fat
9 grams Saturated Fat
29 grams Protein
68 grams Carbs
5 grams Fiber
2237 mg Sodium

OK, as I began writing this, I was really upset by what I had eaten. But, maybe, just maybe, it wasn't the worst decision. Even with the rolls (and I had 2 - don't shoot me), I ended the day meeting all my goals for calories, fat, carbs and protein. I'm sure my sodium was high, but I had 12 glasses of water, so that should help with some of the sodium.

Lesson learned. . .go on-line and check the menu/nutrition info where available before I go out.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    It's amazing what they put on a plate for ONE person to eat. Sounds like you made the right choice to only eat a bit of it. It's hard to adjust our notions of what a portion really is when they are constantly upping the ante, but now you know!
    2906 days ago
    I know it doesn't help with local restaurants, but my husband and I swear by the Eat This, Not That series of books. We, too, have a local favorite restaurant we love (Giuseppe's.... mmmmm just typing the name makes my mouth start to water), and I agree. We should always look before we leap. Those books have been so helpful to me... I have even tried dishes I wouldn't have thought to try before simply because I can compare the nutrition information.

    Glad you didn't go as overboard as you though you did. At least now you know and can be prepared :)
    2906 days ago
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