What to eat at Chipotle

So you think you have the guidelines down, but then you go out to eat and have no idea what to order. This is one of the biggest hurdles I see clients try to overcome.  What can be simple at home, becomes overwhelming when you are out. I am your guide to help you make better decisions when you aren't able to cook (or just don't want to!). 

One of the more common restaurant options all over the good ole USA is Chipotle. I thought this is a great place to begin demystifying eating out. Chipotle has higher quality ingredients and has lots of available combinations that are #shedapproved. 

I am going to walk you through, section by section, as if we were in line together. Let's start:

1. Salad, bowl, or burrito?

  • Salad: It's just a base of lettuce. So that is a resounding "yes" there. I would skip the vinaigrette- ingredients are okay but just adds more calories (and sugar) that you do not need for the substantial amount of food you get. 
  • Bowl- always a "yes".
  • Burrito - that's a "no". The tortilla adds a significant amount of calories, and it is not an unrefined whole grain. 

2. Choose brown rice or no rice. Brown rice is digested slower in the body than white rice - keeping your blood sugar stable. It is also a whole grain where as white rice is not. A-ok if you would like to abstain from rice altogether. 

3. Beans! I will admit here, I will stand corrected to what I said in the Instagram story. I always thought that the pinto beans were refried beans- prepared in bacon fat. According to Chipotle's ingredient list they actually are vegan! So feel free to have pinto or black beans. Protein packed and so satiating, you can't go wrong. Also, in this section are the fajitas. Mo' veggies, NO problems! 

4. Ahh the animal protein/ tofu options. This part is interesting. I always go for the chicken. Why? Because it is lean, and I don't like to overdo pork products. Steak is also approved on the program, but you should be keeping your red meat consumption at 1-2x a month (better for your arteries and for the environment!). Barbacoa tends to be on the fattier side - so I would choose steak if you are opting for red meat. Lastly, what's wrong with the sofritas? Tofu is a great option if you are trying to cut back on meat consumption (me, all of the time!) but it is a processed food, so I try to not eat too much of it either. Bottom line: eat what you like, but be mindful of what you choose in the bigger scheme of what else you are eating in your life.

5. Salsas? Any and all! Enjoy! 

6. Sour cream and cheese? Although both these are technically approved in month one- I would advise against it. Month 1 treats dairy as a garnish- Chipotle employees very rarely listen when you say "just a little". I wouldn't waste your dairy intake here. 

7. Guacamole? Always a yes- get those healthy fats!! Lettuce? Obvs- get in those greens!

Lastly, eat until you are full. Listen to your body! You may need to finish the bowl, you may not. Every day and every meal is different. It is all about mindful eating and eating slow enough for your body recognize the cues from your stomach to brain! 

More thoughts on Chipotle

The best part of Chipotle? Their dedication to raising their animal products humanely and healthfully. The following are excerpts from their website. 

"We buy meat from farmers and ranchers who raise their animals without antibiotics and added hormones. If an animal falls sick, our protocols require that farmers bring them back to health in the most responsible manner possible."

"We set minimum space requirements for the animals producing the meat and dairy products that end up in our restaurants. We work with our suppliers to ensure the highest possible animal welfare standards, and are always setting the bar higher.

If, due to supply shortages, we have to serve conventionally raised meat, we clearly post signs in the affected restaurants."

I know this is still far from where we should be in terms of the treatment of livestock- but Chipotle is very advanced compared to most other fast casual restaurants. I respect the progress they have made in the industry. 

On the other side of the spectrum - I would be remiss if I didn't call attention to one of Chipotle's bigger problems.  The oils they use in almost all of their cooked foods (and even the dressing!) are problematic. They recently eliminated GMO soy oil (cheers and applause!) and replaced it with Rice Bran Oil. It is not a terrible choice, but it is an "industrialized" oil - which wasn't seen in generations past. It may also contain trace amounts of arsenic. For more information on Rice Bran Oil check this out.

At the end of the day, no food is perfect and no restaurant is perfect. You make the best decisions you can depending on what is going on in your life. Overall, Chipotle is actually a really great option if you are shedding and you are on the go!  I hope these tips help you make soulful healthy eating decisions when you aren't at home.

What do you think about Chipotle? Will you eat it while you are shedding? Leave a note in the comments below! Have a great day, babes!