Friday, August 14, 2015

To Chipotle or Not to Chipotle?

MMM Chipotle...
I have only met two people in my life who do not LOVE Chipotle. That is my sister and my boss. They are obviously not the norm, and must be crazy. I had a delicious chicken burrito bowl yesterday for lunch, and have always assumed it was healthier than other fast foods and I don't HAVE to count it as a "cheat meal". So is that true? I took a few minutes to investigate. I do not believe in feeling guilty for eating foods- I don't think we should demonize any food (except sugary sodas, which aren't a food anyways), but I want to know what I am eating and how often I can and should eat it.

Here is what I had in my bowl:
  • Chicken
  • Brown Rice
  • Black Beans
  • Fajita Vegetables
  • Fresh Tomato Salsa 
  • Roasted Chili-Corn Salsa
  • Cheese
  • Romaine Lettuce

I plugged all of this into Chipotle's handy-dandy nutrition calculator, and here is what it came up with:
  • Calories: 740
  • Calories from fat: 210.5
  • Total Fat (G): 23
  • Saturated Fat (G): 23
  • Trans Fat (G): 0
  • Cholesterol (MG): 155
  • Sodium (MG): 1635
  • Carbohydrates (G): 86
  • Dietary Fiber (G): 21
  • Sugar (G): 11
  • Protein (G): 55
  • Vitamin A (%): 116
  • VItamin C (%): 101
  • Calcium (%): 34
  • Iron (%): 34
Some of it was not that surprising to me, like how many calories a burrito bowl is. But 1635 MG of sodium?!?! I guess I should not be surprised by that either, but that is a LOT for one meal. This is a downfall of eating out, you cannot control how much salt/sodium goes into a meal. Why do we think eating out is sooo tasty? It must be all that salt! According to Chipotle's website, "The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend limiting saturated fat to 20 grams and sodium to 2,300 milligrams for a 2,000 calorie diet."  Also, if I am trying to stick with 60-80 G of protein a day (according to my food plan), I am almost done with this one meal. The Carbohydrates are also very high for only one meal (I am trying to only eat 30-60 G per meal).

I am obviously not going to give up Chipotle, so I've given myself some guidelines for eating it, and will put it in that category of "every once in a while" foods.

Tips to enjoy Chipotle while trying to be maintain a healthy diet:
  • So I already took out some things that helped me get rid of calories, including the tortilla (300 calories and 690 G of Sodium) and sour cream (that would add 115 calories and 95 calories from fat, plus 9.5 G of fat). 
  • Opt for the brown rice rather than white rice - more nutritious and still delicious (ha-ha)
  • Add plain greek yogurt at home if you like the taste of sour cream - it is a great substitute for sour cream, healthy, and so tasty- plus you can control the proportions 
  • Next time, I could eliminate the cheese (100 calories and 190 MG of Sodium) - or just ask for half
  • Eat only half of your bowl or burrito and if you're still hungry, eat some fruit. Then you have delicious leftovers for the next day! 
  • Notice I did the chicken AND veggies - that way I am working towards my daily goal of getting ~5 fruits and vegetables a day. 
Or even better yet, try making your own burrito bowl at  home! 
I already make the cilantro-lime rice all the time (just make some rice, squeeze 1 lime into the rice, and add a handful of chopped cilantro) could throw in a can of black beans, store-bought salsa, chicken marinated with taco seasoning, corn, romaine lettuce, plain greek yogurt, avocado slices or guacomole, some cheese and you got yourself a burrito bowl. If you want to really try perfecting it, here are some recipes that look yummy to try:


  1. Or you can do what I do and get the salad with veggies and chicken! you can still get beans and such =)

    1. yes I thought about that as well - I will try it sometime! They do put a LOT of rice in one bowl.