Tag Archives: lunch choices

What is Fisherman’s Pie? Find Out When You Eat in London

I’m in London this week for work, as our regular readers know, and I’m trying a variety of dishes I’ve never seen in the States.

My first lunch Monday was in a pub, albeit a newer one that looked more tourist friendly than old-world London. While everyone else got a version of breaded fish in a bun called fish fingers, I went for the most British sounding thing on the menu, Fisherman’s Pie. Even my British hosts weren’t sure exactly what it would be, except to say it would be covered in mashed potatoes, which it was.

My fisherman's pie, with a small salad.

Beneath the potatoes, which were covered with a melted cheese of some sort, were pieces of salmon, cod and perhaps something else, all in a cream sauce. It was quite tasty although I did not eat most of the cream sauce and left about half the potatoes and cheese. Continue reading

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Filed under calories, healthy eating

Can a Big Fork Help You Eat Less? Do Hot Dogs Lead to Diabetes?

Does using a bigger fork mean you’ll eat less? Perhaps, says a recent story in the Wall Street Journal.

“Diners with small forks think they’re making little progress with each bite, so they start shoveling it in. Hunger apparently plays a role: The researchers didn’t find the same effect when they studied random college students who hadn’t planned a meal,” the Journal notes about a study that gave eaters small and large forks. If you have a Journal subscription, you can click on the link on our Food and Exercise News page and read the whole story.

We also have a link to a story that discusses the possibility that eating hot dogs regularly can lead to diabetes. And another that eating spices with your meal can contribute to heart health.

They’re all on our news page, be sure to check it regularly for the latest food and health news from around the Web.


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Filed under fast food, life challenges, portion size

4 Vacation Days = 6.2 Pounds. Worth It?

My answer to the question in the headline above is yes. I’m just back from four amazing vacation days in New York and my first weigh-in this morning since I left home last Thursday told me I’d gained 6.2 pounds.

That’s a lot, granted, it will likely take me several weeks, if not longer, to lose those pounds again. But I think it was worth it. I can’t eat like a monk all the time. Keeping breaks like this weekend to a minimum is important but having one or two times a year to enjoy eating again is important too.

The good news is there wasn’t a lot of junk food involved — until Sunday when chips, butter cookies and snack cakes were the foods of choice as we flew home. Other than that, we feasted on wonderful foods, from sushi to seafood, and didn’t go wild with buttery sauces or other empty-calorie choices.

Some lessons from this mini-getaway for when you vacation:

1. Walking alone isn’t enough to counter increased calorie intake. We walked four and more hours a day all over New York, but ate more. I got out of my usual exercise routine of at least an hour per day on an exercise bike, even though there was a workout room in my hotel. Shame on me for that. Try, try, try to maintain some regular exercise even when on vacation.

2. Use a scale. I didn’t feel heavier, especially on mornings after days when we’d done a lot of walking. But obviously I was gaining weight. Trusting how you feel doesn’t work in my experience, use a scale to keep track.

3. Plan to recover. I expected to gain weight while away and have a plan for getting back into my routine this week.

4. Don’t give up. A gain here and there isn’t the end of the world as long as you don’t give up and go back to old, bad eating habits because of it. Stay with it.

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Filed under healthy eating, life challenges, men and healthy eating

Can You Eat Healthy at McDonald’s? You Can Try

I was recently having a discussion with some vegetarian and vegan friends of my college-age daughter about whether it’s possible to order anything healthy at McDonald’s. My contention –it is but you have to analyze and perhaps deconstruct your choices.

My office has four McDonald outlets within walking distance, so it’s difficult for me to avoid them, especially when I am rushed for lunch. To try for a healthier alternative, I opt for one of McD’s salads. And then I start analyzing and taking them apart.

The easiest choice there for cutting calories and fat is to get the grilled chicken rather than the crispy (read breaded) chicken.

A Southwest salad with grilled chicken is 320 calories with 80 of those from fat, according to the McDonald’s nutritional information page. The same salad with crispy chicken is 430 calories with 180 of those from fat.

The next choice becomes trickier however, what dressing do you ask for? The Southwest dressing is 100 calories a package with 50 of those from fat. The vinaigrette, which you would think would be healthier, is only 40 calories with 25 of those from fat. But now it becomes a matter of what worries you most.

I have high blood pressure, so I have to watch my salt intake. All prepared foods have too much salt in them, it’s a constant battle. The Southwest dressing has 340 milligrams of sodium, about one-sixth of what I should have a day. The lower-calorie vinaigrette has 730 milligrams of sodium. Add that to the 960 milligrams in the salad itself (the chicken is always salted – 710 milligrams worth according to McD’s nutrition page; try asking for one without salt and let me know how that works for you) and that’s pretty much all the salt you should have in a day, yikes. So I opt for the Southwest dressing, accepting the additional 60 calories as the price of less salt.

It’s always a challenge with fast food. I’ll have one of these McD salads maybe once a week as a treat. Other days, I go to Subway where you can literally build your own salad. More on that in the next of these deconstructing posts of mine.

Next: How Healthy is Subway?

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Filed under healthy eating, men and healthy eating