Cafe Rio, Chipotle, Qdoba, Costa Vida, they are all the same idea: assembly line Mexican food. When the new Cafe Rio opened near my house I couldn't wait to eat there! Then I remembered that their meals average 1000 calories. I decided to look up their website just in case. http://www.caferio.com/nutritional-new As I suspected, a salad with all the fixings is 1200 calories! Years ago, trying to be more healthy, I would always ask for a wheat tortilla instead of white. Guess what?! A wheat tortilla has less fiber than white! That is 1 gram compared to 2 grams, and it has 4 grams of sugar compared to 1 gram of sugar in a white tortilla. Crazy right?
Well, I figured out how to order a great salad without going over my usual lunch "calorie budget". I know it's hard to say no to the yummy tortilla, but when you realize it's like eating 4 slices of white bread (420 calories), it gets easier. Next you ask for half portions of the rice and beans, or just pick one if you don't really like the other. For meat I picked the Fire Grilled Chicken because it has twice as much protein as the shredded chicken that I used to always get. I still get the guacamole because healthy fat is an important part of my lunch. I ask for extra pico de gallo and use that as the dressing. I say no to the cheese, but it only adds 30 calories if you really like it. Yes to the calorie free lime and cilantro! Lastly I say NO to tortilla strips which would add 150 calories.
Sometimes I feel crazy for paying full price for half of the food. But then I remind myself of the healthy yummy lunch that I can get when I didn't have time to run home and make it.