If one is not a regular patron of McDonald's, it can be good smug fun to check out their nutritional information. Some of the more amusing items: a large order of Chicken Breast Strips: 1270 calories; Deluxe Breakfast with Large Biscuit, 1380 calories (plus another 250 if you want a large orange juice with that); Large Vanilla "Triple Thick Shake," 1110 calories... you get the idea. "People" eat these things but probably most of you don't, or at least not regularly.
But consider a more "typical" take-out meal at the Golden Arches, say a Big Mac, medium fries, and a large (but not Super-Sized) Coke. That will run you 1230 calories--and that doesn't include dessert. And isn't there's something about the junky but compelling blend of salty, greasy, savory flavors, combined with the sense that you've already sinned, that makes dessert seem sort of hard to resist? Only problem: that "Swamp Sludge McFlurry" is another 710 calories.
At this point, Crabby will confess that this post was originally going to be about other, healthier Take-Out options--the McDonald's part was just going to be an aside. But instead, we'll save the Other Options for later. Crabby is not done talking about McDonalds yet.
Crabby and her Most Significant Other take a fair number of road trips and sometimes they find themselves at a McDonalds. Crabby actually enjoys a Big Mac and a milkshake as much as the next American, but she doesn't usually order that. She sees people all around her ordering and eating huge gluttonous feasts, and feeding them to their children as well. Crabby is horrified and jealous at the same time.
On the other hand, Crabby doesn't order a salad either. It's McDonalds! She can't make herself order a salad. Because with proper planning, trips to McDonalds can actually fit quite well into Crabby's 90/10 rule.
Here's is the trick with McDonalds--you have to Mitigate and Accessorize.
And what the hell does that mean?
By "Mitigate," Crabby means: don't order a whole big meal of all the Evil McDonald's items. If you're craving a burger, order one with a diet drink, but no fries or dessert. If you've been thinking for days about one of their air-puffed but strangely delicious hot fudge sundaes (330 calories without the peanuts) then you need to save that for a treat and have something small and healthy elsewhere for lunch.
And to "Accessorize" is simply to bring other stuff along. (They don't search you at the door). Take in an apple to replace the french-fries; a banana to slice over their pancakes, a couple of carrots to chomp on before you get to your burger. Crabby has done it numerous times and no one even looks at her funny. (And yes, if you're not coming from home you have to make two stops. But convenience stores often at least have the fruit if not the carrots).
Crabby's personal McDonald's favorites: an Egg Mcmuffin (300 calories); or the aforementioned hot fudge sundae. For a junky fast food burger, she actually prefers Burger King.
So Smart Readers, are you appalled that Crabby does this on rare occasions? (Appleton, one of our Refined Regulars, would no doubt rather be struck dead by lightning than down a Big Mac. Crabby hopes he stops by to give her hell). Or do any of the rest of you ever visit McDonald's sometimes yourself?