It's probably not an exaggeration to say Nicole and I have spent hundreds of lunch breaks together. We worked together in my first job in Denver, went to nursing school together and now work at the hospital together. On one such lunch break we were at Panera getting the standard "You Pick Two" and they offered us a cookie for 99 cents. Not being ones to pass up on dessert, or a good deal, we gladly ordered a peanut butter cookie. It wasn't too long after said lunch that Panera started posting calories on their menu. On our next visit to Panera we almost had a heart attack when we saw how many calories were in one cookie. I don't know if we've gotten one since!
I pride myself on being aware of foods that are good to eat and things to avoid. However, I will admit looking at calories and actually keeping track of your caloric intake can be pretty shocking.
To get you started I challenge you to a lunch time calorie quiz.
Your co-workers are all headed for Chipotle for lunch. It's a no brainer, of course you want to go. Match the items below with the correct number of calories.
A. 730 Calories
B. 875 Calories
C. 1,105 Calories
You talk your co-workers into going to Panera for salads. Which salad is your best bet?
Panera Bread doesn't have the word "bread" in the title for no reason.
All of the above salads come with a French baguette.
How many calories are in a baguette?
A. 75 Calories
B. 100 Calories
C. 150 Calories
No time to go out for lunch so your boss orders in - Jimmy John's it is.
You have two choices for subs. Which is the healthier option?
Lastly, sometimes you have to get out of the office and get something sweet. No judgment here, we've all been there. You want to pick something that will curb your craving but won't leave you feeling too guilty. Put these three items in order of least calories to greatest number of calories.
1. McDonalds Hot Fudge Sundae
2. Grande Starbucks Caramel Frappuccino
3. Panera Chocolate Chipper Cookie
- A. 730 - Burrito Bowl
- B. 875 - Steak Tacos
- C. 1,105 - Burrito
- Panera Salads
- Best Choice - BBQ Chicken Salad, 450 calories
- Fuji Apple Salad - 550 calories
- Cobb Chicken Salad - 640 calories
- Panera French Baguette
- C. 150 calories for one baguette
- Jimmy John's
- Turkey Tom - 478 calories (Totally Tuna has 688 calories)
- Afternoon Sweet Tooth
- Least calories - McDonalds Sundae 330 calories
- Starbucks Grande Caramel Frappuccino - 430 calories
- Most calories - Panera Chocolate Chipper Cookie 440 calories
How did you do? Hopefully you learned something. I know I did! The point isn't to be hard on yourself or make you feel guilty. The goal is to be informed and know what you're putting in your body. Almost all major food chains have their nutrition information on their websites. Before dining out take a couple minutes to do some research which will hopefully result in a healthy choice.