Going Bun-Less

Opting out of bread and cheese in restaurants … who am I?

Here is how I know I am changing.


Photo by Cassandra Sturos

This looks like a pile of not so great food. But what’s not photographed—what is already in my stomach— is grilled chicken, avocado and one tomato slice.

So why am I showing you my lunch? I ran out the door this morning for my workout with my water bottle and gym bag in tow, but neglected to pack any healthy fare or snacks. I had to work after my workout so having no forms of sustenance all day was a mistake.

I ruminated over what my options were for lunch acknowledging that I am most definitely on a budget. I wanted Chipotle. It seemed manageable and protein-packed, but spending nine dollars on lunch didn’t thrill me. I remembered that I had a coupon for five dollars off at a quick burger place. Though I didn’t want to be tempted by fries, pop or cheesy goodness, I felt a strong resolve after having worked out that I would pick a veggie burger. Plus, I really wanted to save five dollars.

I got to the burger joint and happily discovered that you could get grilled chicken in place of any burger patty. I got the California burger with chicken. I did get sweet potato fries, though I knew I wasn’t really fooling myself as they were deep fried and probably retained little to no nutrients after the fact.

I sat down and took a bite of the burger. It was topped with two tomato slices, some wilted lettuce, avocado, Swiss cheese and lime mayo. After one bite, massive guilt set in. This wasn’t healthy at all, except for the grilled chicken. I knew I could do better.

I have always thought that the health tip of getting rid of the buns on burgers or dogs was an absolute crock. I felt I could never do that as the bready exterior was the perfect compliment to grilled meat. Even though at home, I have long since kissed buns and breads goodbye, I find it so hard when eating out. Lately though, I have found myself missing bread less and less.

After the first bite, I took off the bottom bun and took a second bite. Still I didn’t feel it sufficed. I took both buns off, scraped away the melty cheese slathered in mayo, took away the rather sad looking lettuce and removed one tomato.

I ate what was left: grilled chicken, a few pieces of mashed avocado and one tomato slice. And, yes, a few sweet potato fries.

A pile of carbohydrates, dairy and unneeded calories remained. I couldn’t believe I did it. I pulled off not one but two buns and cheese and then threw it away after paying for it. Who am I? Clearly a changed woman that’s who.

Even though the lunch still packed some calories I could’ve avoided had I done that dreadful planning ahead thing, I am grateful that I had a lesson in making good health choices in the somewhat tumultuous waters of the restaurant world.