Thursday, March 19, 2009

Chipotle for Supper!

Tonight Allan and I are attending the AIGA Design Show Opening Reception at the Weisman Art  Museum at the University of Minnesota campus. Allan is up for a couple awards and it is always a fun event. The reception starts at 6 PM and I am picking Allan up from work on my way there. At the reception, they serve appetizers, and usually we would have these for supper. However, today I do not want to waste my cheat meal on some crappy little appetizers. Instead I would like to have a glass of dry red wine while we look at art! 

So, yesterday's dilemma was trying to find a place that we could get a quick clean meal prior to the event. I spent some time scouring local "fast food" restaurant menus and unfortunately, places that I thought had clean items (Panera) actually did not!

For some reason, I thought that Panera's movement to not include trans fats in their products meant that they were nixing most artificial fillers, also. It looks like they had me fooled! Looking at the nutritional information and ingredients of some of my favorite items amazed me! HFCS and crazy bad for you preservatives (i.e. sodium benzoate) in almost everything. It seems that the only clean choice would be the Vegetarian Black Bean soup. But who can live on Black Bean soup alone?

I then quickly moved on to Chipotle's website and was pleasantly surprised. I have seen Chipotle's "natural" marketing campaigns for some time now, but I always thought that because they are owned by McDonald's the food would be bad for you. However, after doing a little more research, I found that Chipotle is no longer owned by McDonald's and has not been since October 2006 - which is making the rest of my research make SO MUCH MORE SENSE!!!

Chipotle is on a mission to deliver natural ingredients to customers. Which is really cool. On their website they state that they do not use any artificial ingredients, ever. They are even honest about how they can legally say that their tortillas are "trans fat free" even though they contain traces of trans fat. It's refreshing that they are honest - they could "lie" about it, but they choose not to. Also, Chipotle has undertaken a huge effort to have "naturally raised" meats served at all stores. You can look at this map to see which meats are naturally raised in your state. Chipotle defines Naturally Raised  as the following:
  • Never be given antibiotics/hormones
  • Have more room to move about or are open pastured
  • Be vegetarian fed, never given animal by-products
Also, Chipotle is making strides to purchase all organic beans. Right now, 30% of their beans are organic, but they would like to be at 100%. In addition, Chipotle's cheese and sour cream is free of the growth hormone r-BGH.

Overall, I applaud their efforts! If you would like to check out the nutritional data of your favorite Chipotle burrito click here.

Here are my eats for the day:

M1 - 1/2 c egg whites, 1 chicken sausage, 1 slice cin-raisin ezekiel bread with 1 tsp apple butter (just apples, spices and apple juice)
M2 - 1/2 vita-mix smoothie: 1 c nf plain yogurt, 1 frozen wheat grass shot, spinach, strawberry/mango, 1 very small orange (seriously, it was the size of a lime!), flax, wheat germ, bee pollen, vanilla extract
M3 - 1/2 vita-mix smoothie from M2, 1 wheat grass shot, leftover quinoa broccoli frittata
M4 - 1/2 ww pita, turkey breast (roasted REAL turkey breast from whole foods), spinach
M5 - Chipotle burrito bowl: steak or chicken (haven't decided yet), black beans, no rice, fajita veggies, tomato salsa, green salsa, lettuce
M6 - 1 glass dry red wine

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