I did something pretty risky as the day headed toward quittin’ time. Because The Restaurant Dieter’s spouse is out of town, the thought of cooking tonight was a total buzz killer. And then, like a billboard on a lonely highway, a headline popped up on my @TheRestoDieter Twitter timeline:
McDonald’s introduces new Mango Pineapple Smoothie.
That led to a decision to try one sometime. Which led to a decision to try one on my commute home. Which led to a decision to trust an entire day of exercise and healthy eating to McDonald’s.
All of which leaves me sitting here at my laptop, about to find the McDonald’s website and assess the damage. It leaves you, dear reader, likely wondering if this whole Restaurant Dieter thing is a total fraud. He didn’t, did he?
I’ve mentioned before that I count points via Weight Watchers’ Points Plus program. After work, I arrived at the Golden Arches having consumed 17 of the 37 food points I can eat each day. I also accumulated 5 points I could use from 50 minutes of weight lifting this morning.
OK, counting now. This is exciting; you’re going to see this drama unfold — live.
To Mickey D’s credit, the website is excellent, with search functions that make it easy to find the nutritional information one needs.
The smoothie is 220 calories and 1 gram of fat, which doesn’t sound too bad. That is, until you look at the grams of carbohydrate — 49 in this case. Weight Watchers’ easy-to-use Points Plus system awards lower point values for proteins, fruits, vegetables. But you get dinged for carbs and sugars, especially if they are not high fiber.
So to my 17 from breakfast, lunch and snacks add 6 for the smoothie and I’m now at 23. Yow. My nighttime 1/2 cup of Weight Watchers ice cream is slipping away…
Perhaps my entree — the Premium Southwest Salad with Grilled Chicken — will save me. It clocks in at 320 and 9 grams of fat, which sounds pretty good.
Oh yeah, I did put some dressing on it. Let me dig that packet out of the trash. It’s a Newman’s Own dressing. Paul was a good guy, a liberal, leftie type who is probably in favor of “the mommy state” taking care of our health. I’m sure those piercing blue eyes would never do me wrong.
The entire pouch of dressing is 100 calories and 6 grams of fat, which is higher than I’d like.
OK, now let’s look at the carbs, protein and fiber on the whole package:
Salad (8) + dressing (3) = 11, so I’m at 34 for the day. I can have my ice cream. I’m pleasantly surprised.
You’d have to count the McDonald’s dinner a winner in most respects — except, of course, for the sodium content: 340 mg in the dressing and 960 in the salad — close to the 1,500 a person over 51 should eat in an entire day. That salt content is also alarming because of its addictive properties. The danger is not in what I already ate — but that craving for salt that begins a binge.
Time to go brush my teeth and hope for the best.