Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Splitting Lunch

Nathan W. Pyle has a great way of drawing his tips. Here's his book.
via New York Magazine

As many New Yorkers do, I very much enjoy getting lunch at Chipotle. Unfortunately, it is a very high-calorie meal. If I let myself have everything I want, I can easily rack up over 1,550 calories, and that is more than what I should be eating for the whole day. It is also a little expensive -- a burrito or salad is about $9.

I've tried multiple options when it comes to cutting down on both the cost and the calories, but none seemed to work for me. Planning to eat half for lunch and half for dinner always resulted in me eating the whole thing and feeling sick. Eating half and some chips for lunch was better, but the chips are so many calories that I may as well eat the whole burrito instead. Getting a burrito bowl felt like I was cheating myself out of the good stuff, and a salad bowl was worse. Adding the chips back in added 570 calories, so why bother skipping the tortilla?

After complaining to my co-worker and discovering that he felt the same way, we came up with something that works -- we split a salad bowl and a bag of chips.

For a while we thought this would never be an option because we liked different things, but when he ordered for me one day and discovered our differences were off by just a couple selections, we wondered if we could figure it out. Here's what we came up with:

My half.

- Salad bowl (Lettuce, beans, fajita vegetables, pork, mild salsa, medium salsa, and extra lettuce.)
- Bag of chips
- Corn salsa on the side
- Guacamole (always served on the side)

I like the corn salsa, he likes the guacamole. I also like brown rice, and he likes sour cream, but we compromise and skip those two additions. Since he already buys the guacamole separately, that's not an additional cost for him, and since there is no added cost for the corn salsa, Chipotle doesn't mind if we just ask for it on the side.

Now, instead of 1,550 calories, my portion is 500 calories (including the chips), and costs about $5. I get to have the chips I want so it feels like a treat, and one can see that there is still enough food for both of us. Much more manageable all around, and far less guilt-inducing.

Is there something you could share for lunch with a buddy?

1 comment:

  1. I never grew up buying lunch and it has stuck with me. I bought milk but I always made my own lunch. Once in a while I might buy lunch. As a young kid I was taught to pack my lunch because both my parents worked. I grew up with two teachers so we never ordered lunch. We made extras for the next day so we would have lunch.
    It is odd those that usually buy lunch usually do not have money to spare. Lunch is expensive and at an adult lunch time you get maybe 15 minutes and you cannot enjoy it! The buying of lunch usually says to me a working single mom or working class people. While those that are not working class go out to dinner for a date or with friends(and they do spend a great deal on stupid stuff as well). I never buy lunch unless I go out with someone. But if I was tired I'd buy dinner bc after a 10 hour day or rotating midnight shift you just want someone to do it for you! It is also more of a treat or a reward rather than just a given.


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