February 3rd

theresa albert - my friend in food


Jack of all food courts


Food Court Week – Part 1

It’s true; I am a Jack of all food courts and the master of them all too!

Now, by ‘master’ I mean, I know ‘em all. I’ve visited them all, I’ve tried all the outlets in each food court. I’ve tried almost all of the menu items at each outlet. I am the master and if you are ever in a food court, wondering what to have, feel free to call me and ask my opinion, I’ll steer you in the right (or wrong) direction.

So, these days, I have been focusing more on the right decisions and less on what my urges are. Over the past few years I have floated above and below the line of smart and tasty. Funny enough I always feel better, mentally and physically when I choose right. But I will not deny that a good burger and fries, or onion rings, or ‘frings’ is hard to resist and darn enjoyable. When we are exercising regularly, we can even enjoy the occasional burger without any guilt. Yes, it’s not the best choice, but we have gotten good at curbing the urges. Nowadays when we do opt for the burger we make sure to limit the condiments to veggies and hot sauces, peppers and avoid mayo, cheese and bacon. Bacon is of course, reserved for occasional Sunday brunches. In small doses, bacon is gold. Too much, too often, and the treat factor is taken away.

So this past week, I have been, at Theresa’s request, very conscientious of the food court options. We cooked up extra dinners when we could and brought them in which solves the food court problem altogether but when we did go we were smart. Anita, who is actually not near a food court, but is near several restaurants chose very wisely with such choices as quinoa salads, low sodium homemade soups, small sized whole grain sandwiches and jumbo garden salads with grilled chicken added. I was mediocre in my selections as I stuck to my favorites. Burritos! But gourmet burritos, not taco hell (more on tacos in my follow up post) and this past week, I went for the burrito bowl instead of flour tortilla shell option. Add all the available veggies, no sour cream and no cheese. (Ok, I got a very small amount of cheese) and the result was a decent, filling high protein option. Unfortunately, another day, where I went for the grilled chicken sandwich, I forgot to ask for the salad instead of fries and struggled to not eat them, failing but not finishing them all at least. My third trip was a 6″ tuna sub, loaded with veggies, no cheese, no extra sauces. That is actually my fallback staple healthy-ish lunch. It’s getting boring though. I am most interested in continuing the leftovers option, which is all about cooking healthy, with lots of vegetables, bring them in and know exactly what we are eating. Cost wise, this is also a plus!

Ironically, earlier this month Anita and I had a lunch meeting with the owner of a fairly renowned running / sporting website. We accidentally choose Milestones at Yonge and Dundas for the lack of forethought. I told Anita to meet us there and she, to save time, went online to pre-choose her lunch as she was going to be late. Wow, what an eye opener for us as she discovered that no choices, NOT EVEN ONE ITEM, on the menu were reasonably low in calorie and fat content. Even the salads are bad due to the dressings. We eventually butchered the menu and ended up with salads, added grilled chicken, dressing on the side to control it. Our lunch mate, a former sub 3 hour marathoner, still relatively fit but slowly slithering away into unfitness with his heavy workload, lost interest in running and not so wise choices of lunch, ordered what seemed reasonable. He chose the Thai Chicken Wrap. If you check out their online food guide you will see the truth - 1050 cal  74% of fat for the day or 48g -  116% of sodium or 2790 mg – and  that does not include the fries that come with it! Oh boy, you really need to know what you’re ordering dear readers!

Stay tuned for part 2 of Food Court Week.  I will share a story about a dark time back in 2006. The story is called My Week in Taco Hell.

Until then, order wisely.

Dave & Anita

Dave & Anita

At age 43 and neither unfit, nor of perfect health, we have a lifestyle that requires constant focus. The “go, go, go” lifestyle of a being working parents gets the better of us. 5 years ago, we made major life decisions to quit smoking and get healthy, which for the most part has been successful. Anita, is an outstanding partner in our busy lifestyle and manages to be a dedicated mother. As a full time worker who travels regularly, she is no stranger to the dangers of living the life where meals are being fit into tiny windows of time each day. Together, we are making this journey even more interesting as we move through the Ace Your Health program and share how they apply it applies to our entire family. As a recreational runners, you can follow along to see how this quest of 'Ace Your Health' improves our marathon performances - click here to visit my running and fitness blog

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One Response

    February 2, 2011 at 8:13 pm Reply

    You crush me with your truths about Milestones! That was a staple lunch hangout in my Vancouver days. Crushed. And well, maybe now i understand a little better why the muffin top has appeared.

    Thanks for the (sad) enlightenment.

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