Thursday, May 5, 2011

Ay-ay-ay-ay! What to eat at a Mexican restaraunt

Happy Cinco de Mayo! Holidays are so fun, right? I hope you are going to hit a piniata or eat a healthy whole wheat tortilla to celebrate! If this is how celebrating is done my tortilla eating would deem it Cinco de Mayo every day.
(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!


Generation X (Slomohusky) said...

fun pix! you just ruined my holiday eating plans with all the dishes you told me to avoid. thanks?! :) happy day!

Tina @GottaRunNow said...

I order a flour tortilla to eat with my salsa, but I love flour tortillas so that's an easy sub for me. Good tip about the corn tortillas - thx!

ashley & sundance said...

I kinda like blonde Megan... :) but you are fo' sho' a hottie as a brunette.

Love the tips ... chips and salsa are my weakness. Have you been to joe bandidos in Springville?! So so so good. We should have a date there. Like now. Right now. :)

Cara @ EAT. PRAY. RUN. said...

Happy Cinco De Mayo!!! I will be heading to the gym them making my taco salad perhaps? Gosh i'm getting old ;)

Lindsay and James Cotter said...

ahh you are blonde! I like you brunnette, like me now! hehe.

Blackbeans and avocado are my go to mexican fix! YEA!

Holley @ Lunges and Lashes said...

i am starving!!! thanks for pushing me over the edge. i am now heading into the kitchen. mexican food ALWAYS sounds good.

you as a blond is so fun! i hardly recognize you either!

Vanessa @ Gourmet Runner said...

Great advice! I love Mexican food but if I'm trying to be healthy it's usually just easier to make it at home.
I definitely prefer you as a brunette!!

marathonmaiden said...

i rarely eat mexican so i don't ever really think about lightening it up. i do go for corn tortillas though. i'm typing this from a restaurant and waiting for my big bowl of salsa and nachos and chips. hahah! definitely on your no list hahahah!!!!!!

Julia said...

so glad you posted a blonde pic so that I could "believe" that you were blonde :)

oh man. I had to skim some of these things because my eating habits were not healthified today...but maybe I just needed a break? but next time I have mexican i NEED to refer back! haha :)

Tonight's plans are just to relax at home with the pup and then sleep in tomorrow :) hope you are doing amazingly!

Rachelle Wardle said...

OMG I may never eat refried beans ever again. Lard? Like seriously! Wow you may have scarred me for life.

Great tips. I hate them all but they are right. :)

Cannot believe your hair is naturally blonde, even with the picture I am still in disbelief. Have a great Friday girl!

Monica said...

There is a new mexican restaurant in Orem called Milagros. They offer grilled vegetables as one of their side dishes. They have carrots, peppers, onions, asparagus, etc. and are amazing.

Loretta Nurse said...

My husband and I enjoy many traditional Mexican dishes, and decided to visit Una Mas Mexican Grill in Fremont, CA. Their popular Foghead Burrito is simply delectable and the Margarita Salad is fresh. I urge you to find out more about them at

Loretta Nurse said...

My husband and I enjoy many traditional Mexican dishes, and decided to visit Una Mas Mexican Grill in Fremont, CA. Their popular Foghead Burrito is simply delectable and the Margarita Salad is fresh. I urge you to find out more about them at

Loretta Nurse said...

My kids and I decided to try Una Mas Mexican Grill in San Jose. They have the best tacos we have ever tasted and the service was excellent. I definitely recommend you check them out at

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