I’m feeling very frustrated this morning. My hopes of returning to school to work on another degree in Nutrition were quickly dashed when I reviewed class schedules. Clearly they are made for undergraduate students that have nothing else to do – all late morning and early afternoon. I was hoping for early morning or late afternoon! Getting a couple of bad class schedules is one thing, but most of them seem to follow that schedule, and would require quitting my current job and going full-time, something I cannot consider right now while I am the sole income in our household. So, I will table that thought for now and think about whether or not it’s something I want to consider later, or if I want to go a different route and get certifications or other forms of education, but not the formal degree. I’m open to suggestions. =(
Switching gears now… dinner last night was fabulous. I love wraps for dinner because they are quick, healthy, and yummy. Last night I made one with 1/2 chopped avocado (healthy fat), 1/4 chopped tomato (produce), about 1/4 cup kidney beans (protein), fresh cilantro, lime, and a sprinkle of cumin and chili powder, all on a low-carb medium-sized flour tortilla (whole grain). It was very tasty and filling.
Today’s Menu & Workout Plan:
- 7 am – Small egg & cheese sandwich, 1 cup carrot juice, vitamin
- 11:30 am – Greek yogurt with blackberries and pistachios, Kashi crackers
- 1:00 pm — Strength training: chest / back, jump rope
- 3:30 pm – 3oz fish with mixed veggies and 1/2 cup brown rice
- 6:00 pm — 10 mile bike ride
- 8:00 pm – Avocado, bean, and tomato soft taco
I’m doing pretty well getting back into my healthy eating habits post-vacation, however am still struggling with sugar cravings. I did detox for a couple of days when I got back, but that got cut short by the power outage and my cravings for sugar are still there. I’ve can usually get through the day just fine, but feel strong urges when I get home. It’s like my brain has been programmed to eat as soon as I get home and I start feeling hunger pangs when I’m getting close to home, even if I’ve just had my afternoon snack a couple of hours before. The Cinch book actually discussed this and learning to separate real hunger from cravings. This falls into the cravings category. I don’t have much sugar around the house, aside from some macadamia-nut-Hershey-kisses that I brought back from Hawaii, and some dark-chocolate chips, which are usually on-hand for my granola bars.
I will continue trying to fight the urge to indulge at night. Maybe my weigh-in Friday will help keep me motivated. I’ve set a new goal of 125 pounds by Labor Day, our next beach trip to Hilton Head.
Yes, I gotta give props to RT. They’ve come a long, long way from a menu built around burgers and nothing but starchy side dishes. They have another menu coming soon (currently testing in my area) and is sure to please all the vegetarians and healthy-eaters out there.
First though, I was thrilled to see one of my blog-comments featured on the Shape.com site! (Click on the picture.) I check out this blog at least once a week, as it is written Cynthia Sass, author of Cinch!, and she always offers some good, insightful advice. This particular blog was about being “Duped by Healthy Restaurant Meals”, something I stress about often, and ironically the theme of today’s blog!
Now back to Ruby Tuesday… they were one of the pioneers in putting nutritional information on the menu, something that did not go over well a decade ago, but will soon be required for all restaurant companies with more than 15 restaurants. With RT’s re-branding initiative that began in 2006, they’ve also been busy upgrading the menu, which includes a lot of new healthy options. Don’t get me wrong, a large majority of the menu is still full of high-calorie dishes (i.e. delicious), but unlike many restaurants, I never have a problem finding healthy options and don’t have to eat the same thing every time! The menu actually highlights the “Fit & Trim” selections, which means that they are under 700 calories. Personally, 700 calories is twice what I need for 1 of my 4 mini-meals, so if I choose one of these options, I just eat half and save the rest for later. But you can still customize a lot of the other stuff by removing the butter, sauce, and cheese.
Here are a few suggestions, some of which will be featured in the new April menu:
- Garden Bar. Fill up with all the veggies you can eat, but steer clear of the cheese, bacon, prepared salads, and most salad dressings. Go with the Balsamic Vinaigrette or Light Ranch and NO CROUTONS! Those things are double-fried!
- Soup. White Bean Chicken Chili is my favorite and the healthiest choice, and at 230 calories per bowl, there’s still room for a light salad.
- Side Dishes. As someone that eats a mostly vegetarian diet, I LOVE our new side dish selections! My favorites are the grilled zucchini, sweet potato fries, spaghetti squash, and sliced tomatoes. Warning – the Mac & Cheese is fabulous… and 570 calories!
- Petite Plates. I was very excited when we first started offering these smaller versions of our regular entrees. Sometimes eating half and taking the rest home is just not an option! They are intended for lunch, but you can order them all day. Check out the new Zucchini Cake Petite Plate – my new favorite!
- Grilled Fish or Chicken. Most of the grilled fish or chicken options (and there are many to choose from) are a pretty safe bet if paired with healthy side dishes. Just be sure and ask that it not be cooked or prepared with any butter or creamy sauces, depending on which one you choose.
- Zucchini Cakes. These tasty newbies will replace our traditional veggie minis and have been a huge hit in test restaurants. They are also my new favorite! You can get them in a Petite Plate (as listed above) with 2 sides, or as mini sandwiches with 1 side. Just be sure you tell them to cook it “dry” (no butter) and if you get the minis, tell them no mayo and no butter on the buns.
Below is the full Ruby Tuesday nutritional guide (click on the picture), but this does not include any new items. There is also a “Smart Eating” section, which features items that are available to order, but not given any space on the actual menu (space is limited to more popular / profitable items):