Thursday, March 26, 2009

Mean Cuisine, Zingers and Combos

290 Calories

36g Carbs

20g Protein

7g Fat

Are you kidding me?  For chicken with angel hair in basil cream sauce?  Load up the cart honey!  They’re ten for ten!  “Ooh you always eat so healthy,” my coworkers gush as I heat up my Lean Cuisine with a yogurt, and diet soda visible in my lunch box.  It smells so good.  What a sensible meal, they think.  They and I are horribly wrong.  The box may say 290 calories.  The yogurt, raisins, granola bar, and fruity snack bites might bring the total of my lunch closer to 700 calories.  Still a reasonable number. What my coworkers don’t see and what are not listed on the Lean Cuisine Nutrition Facts are the calories and fat content of the Zingers and Combos that I’ll no doubt eat at 2:30pm to compensate for the caloric deficit I’ll be running mid-afternoon. 

Damn I love Zingers and Combos.  I think I hooked up with Dolly Madison in a previous life.

I did some research.  I studied the Lean Cuisine box even more closely.  Guess who’s listed as the distributer of Lean Cuisine on the box?  Nestle.  Uh huh.  Now I’m not saying there is a conspiracy here, but I would hedge a bet that right next to Dolly Madison’s Zingers and M&M/Mars’ Combos in our vending machine is a product from Nestle full of chocolaty goodness.  No doubt if we ran out of Zingers and Combos, a Nestle snack would be next on my afternoon feeding frenzy radar.

This has happened to me at least 3, if not four times in the past few weeks.  I pack a lunch for work with a Lean Cuisine.  “Ooh I’m so healthy,” I think as I try to cram the box in my lunchbox along with a yogurt, soda, granola bar, a box of raisins and a tiny 80 calorie bag of Welch’s fruity bites.  It’s seemingly so much food, I can barely zip the top closed.

Then at 2:33pm when I’m biting into the icing on my third devil food Zinger, reality sets in.  That lunchbox, although stuffed so full the zipper is tearing, only contains roughly 700 calories, barely enough to keep Eva Herzigova alive.   The typical man my size needs about 2000 calories a day to function, not including the 1600+ I’ll burn on a two hour ride after work. 

I have found a man-sized lunch that doesn’t leave me wandering toward Satan’s vending machine.  It's two open face veggie burger sandwiches with cheese on a big ass bagel.  I’m not sure on the exact calories, but I’d bet that big fat everything bagel packs over 400 calories.  Combined with two slices of cheese and veggie burger patties, is more like an 800 calories.  Add the yogurt, raisins, granola bar and fruity snacks and I’m packing a 1200 calorie relatively healthy lunch. 

You know what the difference is between a 1200 calorie lunch and a 700 calorie lunch?  About three Zingers and a bag of Combos.  

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

ooh, it's m&ms for me -- i pack leftovers or a big ol' sandwich, an apple or pear, a handful of almonds, a banana, carrots & celery, and maybe a couple handfuls of pretzels. it's gone by noon-thirty, and i start chewing on my desk until i remember that my boss keeps a never-ending supply of m&ms in a bowl. bad bad bad!