Sunday, July 29, 2007

Beware Fatty Food in Healthy Clothing

My scheduled 3:40 departure from Providence to Baltimore on Friday was to arrive in plenty of time to make dinner with the family. Even the one hour delay noted when I got to the airport would have me home before seven.

When 4:40 became 5:30, which became 6:30, the family dinner would have to wait a night and I decided to get something to eat.

Just outside my gate was a Wolfgang Puck Express. The "diet friendly" choices, or so they seemed on first blush, were the Chicken Caesar Salad or the Chinois Chicken Salad. I am no fan of Caesar salads -- just don't like them, so I went with the Chinois.

I opened up the plastic box and first I spotted the small bag of Chinese noodles. Not for me. Thankfully, I could just put that little baggie aside. I opened the dressing and gave it a taste. Okay, not too bad, not too sweet. Just to be sure, I drizzled just a bit over the chicken, lettuce, cabbage and carrots. About all that I could identify.

Though the salad had a Friday's date on in, it sure tasted like it had been around for a while. It had absorbed much of the flavor of the plastic container that it was sitting in. Given my "board at any minute" time line, I munched on the small pile of chicken, about a quarter of the veggies and then gave up, knowing that eventually I'd get home for my reheated welcome home dinner.

As I tossed the bulk of the $9 salad in the trash, I noticed the Nutrition Facts on the bottom. Here are the highlights:

Serving Size: 1 salad
Calories: 890
Fat Calories: 460
Total Fat: 51g -- 78% of RDA
Saturated Fat: 8g -- 39% of RDA
Sodium: 2660g -- 111% of RDA
Carbohydrates: 63g -- 21% of RDA

Now, I realize that I probably eliminated most of these calories, fat and sodium content by eliminating the fried noodles and most of the dressing, this is a truly shameful volume of unhealthy crap that many people, no doubt, would eat thinking that they're having a healthy meal.

What is amazing is how this "salad" compares to the poster sandwich for dietetic excess -- the Big Mac. The Big Mac packs 540 calories; 29g from fat; 10g saturated and 1040g of sodium. Pretty scary. Man, I know I'd have enjoyed that Big Mac a heck of a lot more!

Oh yeah, my flight home -- my 3:40 flight left the gate at 7:15. Then, we were the third of three Southwest flights heading to Baltimore, so they had to put 10 minutes between each plane. We took off about 7:35. Since the storm was between Baltimore and Providence, they routed us along the coast, so the 50 minute flight took 90 minutes. I left my Corporate office at 12:45, arrived at home at 10:15 -- 9 1/2 hours after leaving. All in a day's work.

Tell you one thing -- that microwaved meal at 10:30 was awesome! In the end, I had it my way!


bigmike600 said...

You are a wise man for reading the info on the bottom. Just because it is a salad does not make it worth eating. It would have taken a 7 mile run to burn all those calories off. Sorry about your flight delays. That's gotta suck when you are trying to get home.

Steve said...

I found this post by googling for 'wolfgang puck airport sandwich'.

I too was at Providence and bought a turkey sandwich from that Wolfgang Puck cart. It's basically the same nutrition facts as your salad. I was AMAZED at the sodium, I think the sandwich was like 2500mg. I mean, that's like eating a salt mine. I'll stick to the Dunkin Donuts' Sausage, Egg, & cheese.