So as I have stated in other posts, even though I am trying my hardest to burn more calories in 2013, my biggest challenge is the intake of calories. The busy schedule I keep as a business owner and father of two boys, forces me to eat out a lot and not often at the most healthy restaurants.

On this day I ran about5 miles on the treadmill at Lake Shore Sport and Fitness in the city. Actually I took a class called “TREAD-IT” TREAD-IT is a class where an instructor walks a group of us through different speed and hill events in a 45 minute running workout. Think of it as “spinning”, but on the treadmill instead of a bike. It is an awesome class especially because the instructor this day is the founder of endurance and performance training company NJOY Racing, Kimberly Shah. So it was a tough one.

So when 12:40pm rolled around and lunch was needed, there was no way I was going to waste that workout on a calorie filled fast food joint. However, there was my dilemma. It was 12:40. I had just 20 minutes before a 1 O’clock conference call to get down the 38 stories of my office building, get food and get back up the 38 stories to make my call.

This means I am going to one of the closest fast-food restaurants I can get to. The closest? You guessed it, my old weight loss nemesis, McDonald’s. Now typically when I think of McDonald’s I think of the movie “Super-Size me” with the overabundance of fat and sugar and generally unhealthy products.

However today, as I stepped inside, I told myself that I was going to limit myself to choosing a salad. I keep thinking of Kimberly Shaw pushing us up that hill this morning and that I should not waste such pain with an extra “value” meal. This is difficult for me because I anticipate disappointment. I mean- a fast food chain, is not going to be able to give me a salad option that is both healthy and satisfying to this meat and potatoes guy is it?

I force my eyes to wave over the burgers and fries and focus on letting the young lady behind the counter know that I would like to try a chicken Caesar Salad. After I order I thought to myself, “that was not so hard now was it?” However, I had not anticipated the young Justin Bieber-fan with the golden arches pin stuck to her uniform behind the counter was not giving up so easily. “Would you like your chicken grilled or crispy?” she asked.

I thought to myself “HMMM…I AM getting a salad. Perhaps I can justify the crispy.”

Luckily something inside me just took over and my mouth blurted “Grilled Please”

Immediate panic hits me in the face like a bucket of water.

Oh Man! What had I done? My fate was sealed. A dull, boring, non-fulfilling bowl of greens with bland, rubbery protein and a salad dressing that probably had enough calories to consider just getting the burger to being with. This was my fate, and there was no turning back as the young lady had already whisked away as if she KNEW I might change my order if I came to my senses.

I paid, grabbed the salad and headed back to the office. I was back in my seat with about 7 minutes until my meeting.

I knew the dressing was going to have a good amount of fat to it so I wanted to use that sparingly. I have a great way of making sure that I don’t need to add more while I eat the salad and that I have taste throughout.

salad dressing fat

My fingers show the level of dressing that is left in the pouch

What I do is I put about 1/3 of the amount of dressing given on the salad. Then I put back on the “to go” cover for the salad and shake it up. This shares the dressing with all of the greens and stops me from over indulging.

creamy caesar salid

With only about 190 Calories total, I ate about 65 calories

To my surprise, the chicken is juicy and warm. The greens are cold and fresh. The dressing is tasty and there is just enough, and the grape tomato and shredded parmesan cheese combo is refreshing. When all is said and done, this McDonald’s Caesar Salad can certainly be compared to some I have had in upper scale restaurants in the past. And also I’m pretty full which I did not expect. Overall this is an excellent healthy lunch experience.

healthy lunch

My mixed salad ready to eat

I made it through the mind games and would up with a satisfying, quick, and tasty meal from an unexpected source. My lunch (with use of only about 1/3 of Paul Newman’s dressing) winds up having only about 10 grams of fat in it an only about 270 Calories.*

Now I have one more item I can use to fight unhealthy choices with food. I plan on making this a staple at McDonald’s when I find myself there due to time constraints or requests from children. Try it sometime and let me know what you think…

*credit to McDonald’s Nutrition guide for this salad.