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Old 01-23-2009, 11:49 AM   #1  
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Question Mexican food

Tomorrow night I am going with a group of friends to a local Mexican restaurant and a play afterwards. I have been looking forward to this but have become worried about what to eat.

This is a local restaurant and the menu is not online. It is too far away for me to run by and pick up a menu but I want to go in with some idea of what to order. I looked at Moes Southwest Grill nutritional info to try to get some ideas.

I have planned low calorie meals for early in the day, so I will have about 800 calories to work with. A 1000 calorie meal wont hurt too bad as I am shaving 100 calories off of todays limit and can do the same on Sunday.

Option 1 - I am considering ordering a fajita, skipping the sour cream and guacamole and having them put the cheese on the side. If I just eat the meat, peppers, onion, one tortilla, and a little cheese, I thought that I could count it as 800 calories. Do you think that would be close?

Option 2 Order the chicken quesadilla that I really want but I am not sure that 1000 calories would cover it.

There may be better options but I am not that familiar with the calories in Mexican food. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!
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Old 01-23-2009, 11:53 AM   #2  
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For me, Mexican restaurant pretty much equals chicken fajitas, with maybe a little cheese, along with the rice and beans. I love enchiladas, but they're so high calorie....same with quesadillas. I've seen restaurants take a normal quesadilla and make it 1000 calories plus....
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Old 01-23-2009, 12:04 PM   #3  
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Fajita is a good idea. Whenever I get Mexican, I always order a chicken fajita burrito (chicken, onions, peppers, black beans, cheese) with no guac, sour cream or rice, and light cheese. Then as soon as it comes I slice it in half and save the other half for the next day's lunch.

Yum, I totally want Mexican now.
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Old 01-23-2009, 12:24 PM   #4  
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I order two chicken enchiladas, verdes if they have them, red sauce if not. No rice, no beans, no guac, no sour cream. That comes up to 500 calories. I do have some of the tortilla chips and salsa, and that probably fills it up to 800.

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Old 01-23-2009, 12:44 PM   #5  
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If you can possibly skip the cheese, that would help. They seem to put a lot of cheese on things. Also, you can often order pinto beans rather than refried beans, which usually have lard in them (most restaurants don't use the vegetarian refried beans). I believe corn tortillas have less calories than flour tortillas if those are offered. Not totally sure about that for restaurant tortillas, but I've compared store-bought flour to corn and corn comes out lowest in calories every time.

Concentrate on the friends and have fun!
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Old 01-23-2009, 12:53 PM   #6  
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If I'm going to a Tex mex place, I order veggie fajitas, veg beans (no cheese), no rice. It really depends on the place but a lot of places put lard in their beans and top it with cheese. So a normally healthy order of beans can reach up to 500 calories alone.

If I'm going to a non tex mex place, fajitas aren't always an option so I just try to choose the best option I can. Sometimes this may actually just mean a plain salad. Although I've ordered things such as cheeseless enchiladas, grilled veggies, etc.

I would second the choice of corn tortillas. A decent corn tortilla generally doesn't have lard in it and can be under 100 calories while a flour tortilla can reach up to 300 calories alone.

Calories can add up quickly between the lard, cheese, sour cream, guacamole.

Last edited by nelie; 01-23-2009 at 12:55 PM.
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Old 01-23-2009, 12:56 PM   #7  
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I just had Mexican on Monday and I got just a chicken quesadilla and simply enjoyed my meal. I had chips and salsa too. They were delicious. I didn't overly worry about how many points it was (I'm on WW). I think sometimes, it's good to have a meal out with friends. I don't do it every week, I only eat out about 1 or 2 times a month. I did stay on plan for my other meals though and I did work out. When I got on the scale on Tuesday, I was fully expecting a gain, but was pleasantly surprised to see I had lost .4lbs.

I think if you make healthy choices, you can enjoy your night out without worrying about the calorie content for one meal. In my opinion, you should not worry, have fun, make healthy choices, and don't feel guilty if you go over your calories for the day. You're making a lifestyle change and life includes dinner out with friends at Mexican restaurants!

Either one of your options sound great!
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Old 01-23-2009, 01:09 PM   #8  
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We go to a local mexican restaurant here and I get the sampler fajitas which is chicken, steak and shrimp but hubby eats the steak. We order it with corn tortillas, and rancho beans which are just cooked whole beans with no fat, really good. They bring the cheese, sour cream and guacamole on the side. Sometimes I'll have a tsp of guacamole, but I always have salsa. This is one of my favorite meals out.
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Old 01-23-2009, 01:20 PM   #9  
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My two favorite restaurants has rancho beans, which are seasoned black beans, no fat added.

I usually order Arroz Con Pollo or Arroz Con Vegetables. This is an assort of carrot broccoli, onion, mushrooms, with or without chicken, in a light red sauce that is thickened with corn starch usually. It is served over a bed a rice with cheese in between the rice and veggies. When I have that I dont have any tortillas or beans.

Usually they have grilled chicken breast you can have with some rancho beans and rice (my restaurants dont add any fat to their rice) Of course they always have carne asada (grilled steak) I tend not to order fajitas becasue they are sometimes greasy.

Pull a waitress aside and ask questions, dont be afraid to do so. Or if you dont want to do that in front of your friends call them ahead of time. For me, since I live in Central Washington my only obstacle is finding one that speaks enough English! They are always very willing to help out, or even accomodate a recipe

Remember you are paying for the experience, so you should get what you want
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Old 01-23-2009, 03:49 PM   #10  
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Custom ordering is a great idea.

When I go out with folks I tend do more what Emily does (try to pick something fairly healthy then just enjoy it and not worry about it).

But I could see ordering something custom like a grilled chicken breast with fajita seasoning, topped with salsa; sour cream and guac on the side and some grilled veggies. In fact that sounds pretty much like a fajita without the tortillas. If you cut the tortillas out and ask them to bring a bed of letuce on you plate instead you could make a fajita salad. You wouldn't really need dressing, just use some salsa and a little of the guac and sour cream.

I hope you enjoy it! I'm a big believer in the idea that my new way of eating is for life so I try to be pretty flexible when I go out with friends.

Another option I did recently was to eat a banana for breakfast and an apple for lunch and then use all my calories for the day to cover a big dinner. It worked great!
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Old 01-23-2009, 04:12 PM   #11  
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when I go to tex mex (a regular mexican place may not have this) I Get a plain black bean burrito, no rice, no cheese, sour cream on the side.

I am a huge fan of black beans though.
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