(This is blonde me on the beach in Mexico a few years ago...I don't recognize myself!)
We all know that Mexican food can be SCARY when it comes to calories and fat. Lots of cheese, sour cream, and deep friendness going on. For those of you who are going out to eat tonight at your favorite Mexican Restaurant, here are some tips to health-ify your Mexi meal choices that may help you out.
- Dodge the chips and salsa. I know. Everyone hates hearing this. BUT...for most people those bottomless bowls of chips and salsa are caloric disasters. It's near impossible to stop once you start, and it's really hard to determine how much you've actually eaten because they aren't very filling. Instead of diving right in to the bowl of chips ask to order your meals straightaway and bypass the bowl completely. If you MUST have some ask for a soft tortilla instead of the chips to dip into your salsa. It will fill your salsa craving with a LOT less calories. Once your tortilla is gone, move on. Portion control.
- Go soft not hard. If you are choosing a meal with a tortilla go for a soft shell not a hard one. Hard means deep fried, which means lots of extra fat and calories.
- Pick black beans over refried. Most refried beans at Mexican restaurants are made with lard. Straight up fat. Straight up gross. Sometimes they are prepped with cheese mixed into them and you don't even know it. Again...lots of hidden calories. Black beans are a better choice. They are low in fat, high in protein, and high in fiber.
- Watch your sides. Smother everything in salsa. It's a low calorie option that has SO much flavor. Sour cream, guacamole, ranch, queso, and other dips can get real scary real fast.
- Choose corn or wheat tortillas over flour if possible. Corn tortillas are surprisingly the lowest in calories of all of the tortilla options.
Some dishes to avoid...Nachos, chimichangas, chalupas, taquitos, chile relleno, (all of which are deep-fried) and "double decker" burritos.
Better choices would be...Chicken fajitas, bean burritos, a grilled chicken or fish dish with peppers and onions (hold the cheese!), or a soft taco. Cheese can get scary with Mexican food REAL fast. Salads can be a good option if you know how to order. Don't just assume that because it's a salad it's healthy. Get your dressing on the side, and ask for low fat dressing options if they are available. Get your salad sans cheese and tortilla strips. Those are just added calories you can do without! Instead of your usual side of rice and beans ask for a side of veggies.
Some Mexican eateries may offer a lighter fare menu. Don't be afraid to ask!
What are your favorite ways to lighten up your mexican dishes? It is possible. Despite all the cheese! Do you have any fun Cinco de Mayo plans?? I will be training this evening, but I will be sure to sing Ricky Martin songs to all of my clients.
If you haven't entered my May Moving Music Mix Giveaway be sure to do it right now!! You have until Sunday May 8th at midnight!