I love Mexican food. I love the flavors and the food combination's. Realizing that restaurant/fast food Mexican entree's are not always balanced with a heart-healthy mix of macronutrients, I often find myself re-creating Mexican-inspired items at home.
If we are traveling, I love a great wrap from a local Mexican restaurant. If we are traveling, I want to feel satisfied and not eat the same foods that I eat at home. So when we do eat out (typically it is only when we travel. I think we eat out locally in Jacksonville about 2-3 times per year) I am not overly concerned with fat, calories, sodium, etc. Sure, healthy options, similar to my normal cuisine, will make me feel satisfied but I do not feel guilty or calorie-obsessed when dining away from the home. To me, a few times a year of enjoying something different is more of a treat rather than a diet sabotage. I love the way I eat every day of the year so eating well most of the time gives way to eating whatever I would like the rest of the time.
For example, eating Chiptole a few times per week is not only costly but not heart-healthy nor balanced to meet my daily lifestyle and exercise needs. However, 1 time during the summer is certainly not a horrible thing. Perhaps 1 time a week on a weekly basis is not such a horrible thing either. I think it all comes down to what we do the rest of the time. Perhaps people put too much pressure on themselves to eat well 100% of the time and when dining out on occasion (which is perfectly fine) the thoughts of feeling like a failure overwhelm any thoughts of enjoying the food that you really want because you don't eat it every day of the week.
Here's the nutritional breakdown of a Chipotle Tortilla:
13 inch tortilla, Rice, Beans, veggies, cheese, lettuce and tomato salsa:
9g saturated fat
1890 mg sodium
Certainly, eating a Tortilla at Chiptole (that satisfies your daily sodium and saturated fat recommendations in one meal) most days of the week isn't recommended for a heart-healthy diet. However, feeling guilty or restricted with your current diet because high calories or fat are forbidden in your diet, you are going to find yourself overwhelmed and restricted when you do decide to enjoy something that isn't part of your typical routine...and who wants to feel overwhelmed and restricted when you are hungry and in need of a satisfying meal.
I created a wonderful Mexican salad and homemade cornbread for the next time that you are getting a Mexican craving and want a heart-healthy homemade meal.