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When the "healthy option" - isn't. Grrrrrrrrr.

Monday, April 22, 2013

So the other day, I was at Taco del Mar.

Now. I don't eat out very often these days, particularly not anything resembling "fast food." But I ended up needing to buy lunch out. And, having previously perused the online nutrition facts for this place, I knew that my favorite Pre-Lifestyle-Change item was actually a reasonable choice - the small-sized burrito with pork carnitas is really quite filling, and only 450 calories. If i don't "combo" it... yes, this will work just fine!

And then standing at the menu board, I see a different option, that I have never previously considered. "Alaskan Fish" it is called. Fish! From Taco del Mar! MAR = Spanish for SEA... the plan started to fall together as the obvious choice. I bet it will be delicious, and I'll save some fat and calories in the process!

Oh, what was I thinking!! What was I imagining! The server asked if I wanted beef-groundbeef-chicken-pork? And I said "what about the Alaskan Fish!"

"Sure!" she said. And she vanished into the back room.

I... I... still didn't see where this was going. I just assumed that Tender Delicious Alaskan Fish was too delicate to sit on a steam table all day, and was probably refrigerated, staying tender and moist, only to be heated last-moment before being tucked in the wrap with the beans and rice. Yes, even though I was in a Fast Food Burrito Shop, I was still imagining that the "Alaskan Fish" would look like this:


She comes skipping back out with a pair of metal tongs holding: A FROZEN FISH STICK.

Before I can say "Wait! I change my mind!!!! I want carnitas!!!!!" she has plopped it on the griller machine and lowered down the top. Turns back to me, lays out the (whole wheat) tortilla, and asks do I want the lettuce-cabbage-tartar sauce? -facepalm- I... passed on the tartar. And waited four minutes for my "healthy" Alaksan Fish to... fry.

I'll admit, it tasted alright. I suppose a batter-fried greasy fish stick would. But not as good as a nice piece of unbattered gently-steamed halibut, and certainly nowhere near as yummy as carnitas (my fave). AND... it was 510 calories. Yes, I spent 60 calories MORE of my daily calorie budget, and an ADDITIONAL 10 grams of fat, by trying to step outside the box and "choose something healthier."

That was frustrating. But lesson learned. Just because it says "fish" doesn't guarantee it will be low fat and lean... and in the case of a "fast" food place - perhaps almost guarantees it will be the opposite. At the end of the day, 60 calories? Who cares!!! But it's the principle of the thing. When I try to "choose healthy" I hate to be deceived.

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    If it isn't the fat and calories, it's the SALT!
    1826 days ago
    That reminds me of when I ordered a chicken dish with spinach at Boston Pizza and looked it up later to find out it had 1400+ calories!

    Sometimes you can't even trust the salads!

    1826 days ago
    Fish stick burrito is wrong on every possible level! It's good that it didn't have too nasty of a nutrition hit, but still.... who'd a thought it? emoticon
    1826 days ago
    Haha, this happens! We need to get more comfortable with asking questions. Assume nothing! emoticon
    1826 days ago
    Taco bell is one of the worst places to eat healthy. Only one item has a full serving of veggies and that is the taco salad... that is more than most people can eat in calories for a day.
    1826 days ago
    Yea but that are we to do. The best we can & get on with life. There will be other meals & our choices will be better.
    1826 days ago
    Thats the worst....I got a grilled chicken salad at a restaurant one time and thought it was probably one of the healthiest things I could of ordered--WRONG!!! Live and learn I guess... emoticon Hope you have a great spark-day!
    1826 days ago
    A fish stick burrito... that sounds wrong on so many levels! Not to mention frustrating! And surprising, from Taco del Mar. Obviously a burrito is huge on calories, but their stuff is usually so comparably fresh. What I did is go through all my favorite fast food and coffee shop menus, finding the best and tastiest healthy choices. It can really help in the long run! My Tim Horton's run changed from the large coffee with 2 creams, 1 sugar and an everything bagel with herb & garlic cream chease, to a large coffee with 2 milks, 1 sweetener and a sesame bagel with light cream cheese. Nearly the same, almost 200 calories saved. Anways, I hope you are well and this burrito catastrophe doesn't hold you back! Cheers.
    1826 days ago
  • VICKI2705
    That happened to me today at lunch. I was at a supposedly "healthy" place. I order the black bean burger after which I find out they deep fry it. On the menu it said nothing about frying it. I asked the server, he said they cook it on the flat top. As I am leaving the restaurant my husband double checks with the manager to which he says "Yes, it is fried". I was floored. I am done with eating out!
    1826 days ago
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