Saturday, May 29, 2010

Only SO SO Healthy Alternatives

I have decided to expand my exploration of healthy options from fast food restaurants to include those that are available in the restaurant industry too. I decided to go to a quaint looking restaurant near my work in Wallingford. For all of you non-Washingtonians, it is a neighborhood in Seattle :) The Varsity Inn Restaurant had a reputation for their breakfast menu, but they have recently started serving an extended lunch and dinner menu. While there, I took a long look at the menu to see what was available. Omelets, biscuits and gravy, cheeseburgers, salads and sandwiches. Your typical restaurant menu. I noticed that they had the option to order any of sandwiches with the choice of salad, french fries, or soup which, is impressive because there in no up charge for the healthier choices of soup or salad. Unfortunately on this memorial day weekend, soup was unavailable. Apparently, it is only served during the week because no one could possibly want it on the weekend during Mother Nature's extended rain festival in Seattle, but I digress. That was disappointing because that was the main choice I was hoping for. Without my healthy soup option this only left salad. Not for me, it's way too cold.

Anyhow, as I continued my menu evaluation looking for other healthy choices, a few things stuck out. For healthy alternatives they offered a mini light menu with like 4 choices, in addition, they offered a garden burger option, soy with your cappuccino, and egg beaters...EGG BEATERS (GROSS). I decided to ask the server a simple question. "Do you serve egg white omelets?" PAUSE: "Let me ask." PAUSE: "Nope, only egg beaters [for $.50 more]." Again, I reiterate, gross! Who wants to eat powdered eggs when you can remove 99% of the cholesterol and fat from an egg just by removing the yolk! I am just saying, Mr. President of the Varsity Inn Restaurant, I would gladly pay you a whole $1.00-$1.50 more for the extra trouble of an an egg white omelet, hold the egg beaters, Thanks! At least they are making a bit of an effort, which is better than most restaurants. For me, I chose the standard cheeseburger and french fries with extra pickle and a mocha cappuccino with soy. It was all pretty good. Oh well, I guess you can't eat healthy 100% of the time. Sometimes you have to have a caloric splurge :)

Monday, May 10, 2010

Exciting Changes in Midwestern Health

I got this amazing e-mail from my aunt today. She read my blog: Thanks for the support Aunt Arlene LOVE YA:) Anyway,she has informed me that she KU, that is University of Kansas Medical Center has just started an integrated medicine program that includes acupuncture. YESSS! FINALLY! I never thought this day would come. When I left the Kansas City area 7 years ago, there was no natural medicine or alternative medicine to speak of. I know this may be a shock to all you west coasters, but the Midwest absolutely does not have medical insurance options that cover alternative medicine ***SHOCK****.

When I left in 2003, I had just met my first massage therapist who was a transport from Nebraska that had a private practice, and she was considered "different" by some even though she was a very lovely respectable woman. At this time, neither massage nor acupuncture had ever entered my radar as a career option because there was no schooling available and no demand for the field. Chiropractic care was still considered wuwu medicine and people only dabbled with it at best. Flash forward!

In the few times I have been back to visit my home states (Kansas City is in BOTH MO and KS), a couple massage schools finally popped up, and now I am hearing that a fantastic medical university has started offering alternative, integrated care. I am so thrilled. I give 2 points (no pun intended:) to the acupuncture program now available as an integrated medical choice. Way to be a Midwestern pacesetter KU! I am now very proud that I considered you as an option for college :)

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Healthy Fast Food

So as promised, I have made it to Subway to try their brand new egg white breakfast sandwhich. I am not a pork eater, so I ended trying just the egg and cheese sandwich on an english muffin and I will say it was not bad. You can add vegetable fixings to it so I had my sandwich coupled with tomatoe and onion and paired it with subway apples and yogurt for a whopping 265 calories. Yes, that's it. A well rounded, satisfying breakfast that included fruit, veges, dairy, grain, and protein for an amazingly low caloric value for under $5.00. Yes, it's true, you can get a relatively healthy meal for under $5. I was suprised. Honestly, I would prefer to make this dish at home because I prefer whole grain english muffins,which was not an available option, and the apples were prepackaged, so I did not feel they were ripe enough for my taste. That being said, it will sustain you and give you another healthy option when you are running around like a chicken with its head cut off.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

More Healthy Fast Food Alternatives

So apparently there is a fast food movement going on. FINALLY! On the same day I stopped at the Starbucks I stopped at Burger King. Hey it's a long ride from school to home and I had too much water to drink, LOL. What can a girl do? As walked in, the fragrant scent of french fries caught my stomach's attention. My stomach started growling like a lion in a cage. It dawned on me that I had been so busy with school, I had not eaten much that day other than my coffee and danish. I was famished, but I am making an effort to eat healthier and to stay away from corn fed beef--more on that later**.

Back to my BK experience. After much debate in my head, I decided to see what kind of salads BK had. While waiting to order, it came to my attention that BK corporation had put together a 650 calorie menu. That is a relatively healthy caloric intake for lunch. Granted, it is primarily fried, but it is a step in the right direction. What caught my attention next was far more astonishing. While perusing the menu, I notice the most amazing thing. BK had partnered with Morning Star Farms and was now carrying a vege burger. WOOP! Guess what I ordered, a vege burger with extra extra pickle and whopper fixings! It was delicious. No corn fed beef for me. Thank you BK for giving us health bugs something other than salad to order at a fast food restaurant for a reasonable price.

On a rather interesting note, that night when I got home, while watching my favorite show (Two and A Half Men), Subway put up an add for their brand new egg white breakfast sandwich. I will have to make time to try it just to see if it is as good as my other healthier fast food alternatives. I will keep you posted.

**[Watch the documentary "King Corn" for information. It's really good and just presents information for you to form your own opinion. It is not trying to beat you over the head or be persuasive one way or another.]