First of all, I must clarify that I am not at all a calorie counter. I actually abhor counting calories (a reason I love the 6WBMO), because it feels so much like dieting. Also, if you look only at calories and not at nutrition, you could essentially exist on few calories, while those calories are coming from junk food.
With that being said, I do understand the meaning of calories 😉 , and when I learn that a certain meal contains an exorbitant amount of calories, it does get my attention. Especially when we’re talking about a restaurant that I used to love love love!
I was reading a post by Beth on her blog Finding My Voice in which she outlined a few of the Chili’s Restaurant menu items. Now, this is a place that I haven’t eaten at for years, but, as noted, I used to love it.
Beth tallied up a meal consisting of half an Awesome Blossom® with Seasoned Sauce, Buffalo Chicken Fajitas skillet (nothing extra), and a Chocolate Chip Paradise Pie® with Vanilla Ice Cream for dessert. The meal includes only water to drink, and totals a whopping 4,042 calories. See why this information caught my eye?
My favorite item was their chicken quesadilla appetizer. I looked up the nutritional info for it, and found that one serving contains 1830 calories. Even worse, it contains a ridiculous amount of sodium – 5300 mg!
This is astounding to me, and that’s not including my drink (I would have had cola) or sour cream. Then I would have gone for the Chocolate Chip Paradise Pie® w/ Vanilla Ice Cream (1600 calories, 950 mg sodium), or the Cheesecake (720 calories, 470 mg sodium) for dessert, giving me a preliminary total of 3430 calories – preliminary because my drink(s) and sour cream aren’t included. In fact, I remember those quesadillas coming with black beans and rice, which would raise the count even higher.
I actually think that I didn’t want to be conscious of the nutritional content of Chili’s food when I ate there. I was operating under the guise of “ignorance is bliss”; all I cared about was the taste!
Besides reading Beth’s article, you can also check out the nutrition information for Chili’s full menu online: click here, enter your zip code, and click on “Find Locations”. On the next page, go to the bottom and click on the middle (red) bar that reads “Nutrition Information”. This will open a separate PDF file in which you will find not only calorie information for every item on the menu, but also sodium content (wait ’til you see that!), fats, carbs, protein, and fiber content.