Do you know the Hungry Girl? She's Lisa Lillien and she has a great web site and daily email about nutrition and weight loss that you can subscribe to for free ("tips and tricks for hungry chicks!"). Although I've been a subscriber for years, I definitely pick and choose what I take from the Hungry Girl's emails. She gives lots of good advice about counting calories and food awareness, and she highlights new diet-friendly foods and all the time, but a lot of those foods have loads of artificial ingredients, which I try to avoid.
The fabulous Hungry Girl also often gives up the 411 on nutritional information for restaurants and "fast casual" places - she is correct that knowledge is power when it comes to taking charge of your waistline and your health. A lot of places have made this information available on-line (try Googling "Bruegger's nutrition information" or "Panera nutrition information," etc.), but many places have been loathe to disclose.
Well, because so many cities and states are requiring restaurants to post their nutritional data, more information is becoming available every day . . . including (finally) info. on Friendly's, a place that I actually eat sometimes with my daughter. There is this Honey BBQ Chicken Supermelt sandwich that I dream about, and, well, after checking the stats just now, I don't think I'll ever order it again. Even I, a dyed-in-the-wool calorie-counter and health-conscious consumer, never anticipated the disaster that is that sandwich . . . . check it all out for yourself here, (scroll down to the second reader question) and also find info. on food at the Cheesecake Factory, Olive Garden, IHOP, T.G.I. Fridays & Applebee's - places I know for sure some of you eat. 'Fess up.
Next time you're going to one of these places, take a peek at their nutrition info. before you leave, and try to choose something that'll fit into your daily budget for fat and calories. Even if you're not counting calories, etc., you can think about how you've been eating in a given week - if there's been a lot of junk or rich food and not a lot of greens and fiber, you might want to try easing up a bit at, say, Friendly's. And if you want to damn-it-all and enjoy that Supermelt, well, you know what you'll have to do to make up for it afterwards.