Saturday, September 22, 2012

Salad Fail - Applebees, I'm Talking To You

We all know that chain restaurant food is hardly the most nutritious option around, but while some offerings looking healthy, they are deceptively full of calories and fat. 

Now I will be the first to admit that I should have asked for dressing on the side - but I've had this salad in the past, and it's not like it's slathered in ranch or other creamy/fatty dressing, so I didn't really think about it. I ordered Applebee's Grilled Oriental Chicken Salad in a half portion. Since it has almonds and a few other things in it, I figured I was in for about 400 calories, but no. I came home and looked up the nutritional information and was rather startled - the half portion as served came to a whopping 690 calories with 41g of fat. Holy Hannah. If I'd ordered with dressing on the side, the salad alone would have been a more reasonable 340 calories with 10g of fat. More than half the calories in that dish were from dressing. Ugh.

Looking at the rest of the nutritional information for Applebee's menu is positively shameful. The regular portion of the crispy Oriental chicken salad? 1390 calories. Even if you were eating a "standard" 2000 calorie a day mean plan, that's over 2/3 of your daily calories, on a fucking salad.

Don't even get me started on their pasta dishes, where all but two are well over 1000 calories each. The rest of the menu is just as bad. Portion size, of course, is one of the issues - but most people don't bat an eyelash at ordering just about anything on the menu - and as a result, consume in one meal the better part of the standard caloric intake for an entire day.

Now Applebee's certainly isn't the only one offending in this manner, various articles have been published about the worst offenders in national chain restaurant meals, but this seriously makes me rethink my ability to order something and have even a part of it fit in with my eating plan.

Someone at the company is mindful of their social media presence, as I got a response in short order to my tweet venting at my lunch salad taking up 4/5ths of my daily calories, and that I should have ordered dressing on the side. It wasn't a satisfying response (and I'm trying to shake off a feeling of condescension) but I suppose at least they're listening.

Blergh. I'm not going to go without dinner, even though I've met my calorie intake goal for the day, but this just leaves me so disappointed. I'll definitely think long and hard about all that comes in a dish next time.

My Meals

  •  1/2 cup Kashi Go Lean! cereal
  • 1/4 cup whole milk
  • Dannon Light & Fit raspberry yogurt
  • Half portion Applebee's Grilled Oriental Chicken Salad
Dinner (planned)
  • 3 oz beef tenderloin
  • 1/2 cup steamed vegetables
Water - 60 oz

Exercise - 38 minutes bicycling, 6.25 miles, 316 calories burned

Daily Totals: - 1083 calories, 53.4g fat, 93.1g carbohydrates, 17.6g sugars, 67g protein

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