Monday, January 24, 2011

too much information...

so today . . . i've decided that someone in our state legislature has waaaay too much time on their hands.

we ate dinner at olive garden tonight. that is a rare treat for us, as we normally rotate between rubio's, jack in the box, subway, and occasionally el pollo loco (which translates to "the crazy chicken" for those of you who don't speak spanish--i ate there several times before i realized that. now i always wonder if the chicken i am eating is the crazy one, or if they are all crazy, or if we are just crazy for eating there...)

normally i really, really enjoy olive garden. i always eat the salmon, because their salmon is the best! rollie always eats chicken alfredo. always. but here in california, we have this new law that is threatening to destroy our dining experience, no matter where we eat.

it is now legally mandated for any type of establishment serving prepared food to list the calorie count on their menus right along with the description and price of each item. it is now impossible to convince yourself that a few fries can't possibly make that much difference to your waistline. it is now impossible to tell yourself that a bacon double cheeseburger is a healthy choice just because it has lettuce and tomato on it. it is now impossible to trick yourself into thinking that dessert is a good idea, just because you "saved room" for it.

thank you, california state legislators, for ruining my fun.

i am not a calorie counter, but i do try to make healthy food choices. well, except for brownies--they are my exception. but this 'calories on the menu' thing is killing me! seeing the calorie count right there in black and white is taking the joy out of eating out! in fact, it may force me to go back to cooking at home where i can trick myself into thinking that macaroni and cheese is a healthy food choice as long as i add a little broccoli to it.

our first encounter with this new law was, of course, at rubio's. we were standing at the cash register, ordering our usual food, when i noticed it. i quickly looked at the numbers for the chicken quesadilla, which is rollie's meal of choice, and was shocked to see that it contained 1200 calories! 1200!!!!!! and that isn't even including the sour cream and guacamole that he adds to it. i pointed out these shocking numbers to my husband (who is able to 'just say no' to subway cookies, if you can believe it) but to my surprise, he just shrugged his shoulders and ate his quesadilla...

(in his defense, he usually eats just half and saves the other half for another meal. so i guess when he does that, it isn't too bad. but still...)

and you can't get away from it. i mean, if they have to add the calorie count to the menus, at least they could put it in tiny microscopic print, or list it all on the back page, instead of printing it right after the description of how delicious each dish is. that way you could look if you want that information, but if you want to eat in ignorant bliss, you could!

tonight the calorie count worked in rollie's favor. i ordered my usual salmon and broccoli (520 calories, thank you very much!) rollie was all prepared to order his usual chicken alfredo, but then he made the mistake of looking at the menu. and that is when he realized that the beef with tortellini (which he loves, but thinks is too rich to eat very often,) was less calories than the chicken alfredo!! so he ordered it.

he was feeling pretty good about his dinner choice. and then the waiter asked if he wanted grated cheese on top, to which he replied, "of course! and don't stop until you can't see the food underneath it anymore." when the waiter left, being the thoughtful wife that i am, i said, "you realize that all that cheese on top adds to your calorie count, don't you." to which he lovingly replied, "shut up."

"shut up" is our code for "i know you are right, but i don't want to think about it right now. leave me alone in my ignorance. i am happy."

and he was. he enjoyed every bite of his beef with tortellini...

... although i am afraid he may never see chicken alfredo in quite the same way, ever again.


Carroll said...

Another reason I don't want to live in California. Come snow, sleet, hail or high water, I like the Northwest. Fun blog Julie!

mom said...

That calorie count is going to be everywhere. California is a little different. I heard recently that some places in California are trying to make law that McDonald's can no longer have a toy as part of the children's meal. Makes the meal too appealing to children. The government continues to try to save us from ourselves. Never mind that "Rome" in the meantime continues to burn.