Friday, September 9, 2011

Salad vs. the McChicken combo

I’m at the end of the second week of eating salad and a small bun at lunchtime instead of a sandwich and coleslaw. It’s surprising how satisfying this new lunch choice is. Instead of traditional salad toppings such as carrots and celery, this salad includes baked chicken breast, sliced tomatoes, walnuts and sundried tomatoes (no oil) with Renee’s low fat poppy seed dressing on the side.

But, yesterday my lunchtime routine was disrupted. I booked an eye examination with the optometrist at 11 am at an office across the street from where I work. I haven’t had a check-up in a long time, so I thought I should go. The exam went well until it was time for the eye drops. Apparently I can add eyeballs to my list of body parts that make me queasy. Thankfully, I didn’t pass out, but I was nauseated for at least 15 minutes. While recovering, the optometrist saw other patients, and in the end, I returned to the office just before 1 pm, absolutely famished!

One of my no diet diet rules is to eat every three hours. Yesterday I had a light snack at 9:30 am, but I was unable to eat my lunch at 12:30. After returning from the exam, I reached for convenience food instead of assembling my salad. I gobbled down my bun quickly and met up with my friend and colleague as we had plans to go for a walk (I assumed the eye exam would take only a half hour).

I asked her if she had eaten anything for lunch; I told her I was famished, and I was no longer interested in my salad. We decided to go to a food court down the street and get something there. There were the usual fast food options: Subway, The Teriyaki Experience, a Greek joint, a Taco joint, an Italian joint and of course, McDonald’s. I was close to picking Subway, but we ended up at the golden arches.

It shouldn’t be surprising that I decided to order a McChicken combo instead of my usual order of a cheeseburger, small fries and a diet coke. I need more than a cheeseburger I rationalized.  I need more than a small fries. Need, need, need or is it want, want want?

You know what? I didn’t enjoy eating the McChicken sandwich. I admit, the fries were tasty, but after eating all those calories and all that fat, I wasn’t satisfied at all. What I needed, and actually craving was my walnut, tomato and chicken-topped salad with poppy seed dressing. So when I got back to the office (again) I assembled my salad; and finally I was satisfied.

What did I learn from this experience other than to ensure that I eat every three hours? Now that I’ve removed all the psychological roadblocks associated with salads and highly processed fast food, I know that a big leafy salad with interesting toppings is actually more satisfying than a McChicken combo.

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  1. My mind still craves McD's FF, but I wonder, too, if I'd find that I really don't. I don't know. I also crave mass quantities of food still.
    Probably always will, sadly.

  2. This was a good lesson learned. Sometimes I have to learn the hard way too!

    I found your blog through Karens blog. So glad I did!

  3. McD's FF taste so good, but only when hot... I know what you mean about the mass quantities of food. I would eat tasteless stuff just to get the volume satisfaction..

    Welcome Tami. I hope it's a lesson that I will choose to remember!


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