How to Build a Healthy Meal at Qdoba.

We hit the road home to Charlotte bright and early this morning – up and out of the beach house by 9:30am!  There is nothing more depressing than packing up and cleaning a beach house, don’t you think?  As usual, the drive home felt a lot looooonger than the drive there.

I started to feel very sleepy at the wheel mid-way, so we stopped to get some caffeine at a Starbucks.  But before we ever made it to the ‘bucks, I saw the beckoning sign of my very favorite road trip eatery…

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Most people associate fast food Mexican places (Chipotle, Moe’s, Qdoba) with crazy high calories and fatty foods.  But to be honest, if you choose the right menu items, these types of places actually have really healthy and delicious options – it’s all about what you order.  Fast food Mexican is our absolute favorite thing to stop for on road trips!

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How to build a healthy meal at Qdoba: 

Step 1 – get the naked burrito bowl.  No tortilla (300 calories) and no tortilla bowl (500 calories).  Just a plain old plastic bowl.  Trust me.

Step 2 – ask them to go light on the rice.  They usually give you MORE than enough, so telling them to go light typically ends up in a normal sized portion. 

Step 3 – get your beans for protein!  I usually ask for a mix of the black and pinto depending on where I am (Chipotle’s pinto beans are not vegetarian, so I just get black there). 

Step 4 – load up on veggies.  At Qdoba, I always ask for both the fajita vegetables and the grilled vegetables.  It makes me mad that I have to pay $1 extra (since there are about 400 other “free” things that I am not getting), but I suck it up and get both anyways.  Healthy food is worth paying a little extra for.

Step 5 – bypass the high fat items.  No cheese, no sour cream.  I know, I know – but I promise when all is said and done there is plenty of delicious flavor in this bowl, and you won’t miss them.  Opt for guacamole instead – still relatively high in fat, but better for you.

Step 6 – load up on salsas – I usually get at least three.  Today I went for the corn salsa, the medium salsa, and the special mango salsa.

Step 7 – Enjoy!

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Trust me – this bowl packs a punch and is totally satisfying without all the added calories of the meat, sour cream, and cheese. 

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On our way home, we rolled into Charlotte but had to pit stops to make.  The first was at Best Buy, where Casey bought a new laptop.  I told you – we are an impulsive family!  But he wanted to be able to work more portably, so now we have 4 computers and 2 extra monitors for 2 people – slightly absurd, but we are also both computer nerds. 

Stop #2 was at the KERF house!  So sad to see it all empty and packed up.  I enjoyed many an oatmeal breakfast with Kath there, and met her for lots of early morning runs.  But she is moving to Charlottesville, and we are (hopefully!) moving to DC, so we’ll actually only be 2 hours apart in our new destinations.  I’m looking forward to a LOT of weekend visits. :)

We finally made it back to our house and unloaded.  It appeared that our trip was sponsored by the Flying Pig Marathon…

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Of all the races we’ve done, the Flying Pig has the best swag by FAR.  Every year there is a new free gift – which is always some sort of wonderful bag.  Between the two of us (having each run the marathon three times), we have 4 duffle bags and 2 computer bags.  We are a travelling advertisement!

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Our pups missed us so much!  There was a lot of snuggling and belly rubbing to make up for when we got home.  Major thanks to the wonderful Michele for watching them this weekend while we were gone. 

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Even though we were only gone a few short days, I came home to find my lettuce thriving!  I am so excited!!

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Still small, but definitely a LOT bigger than when they were planted.  Mmmmmmm I can’t wait to EAT you!

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The basil is looking large and in charge too!  Grow grow grow!

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The parsley….eeeeehh not so much.  But two out of three is not bad, right? 

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I was starving when I got home, so I tried out one of the Pure Bars I was just sent to review…

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Chocolate brownie – totally delicious.  These are organic and vegan, and have a very short ingredient list.  I was very impressed!

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Fueled by our snacks, we got to work setting up the new computer stations and rearranging our desks.  Since Casey got a new laptop, I got my old gigantic monitor back (that I have been missing so much!), so now I am a super cool double monitor user.  I am loving having all these open windows!

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Casey has two computers too, since he works from home and spends most of his day parked right here.  New technology makes me happy.  Some girls love new shoes, I love new computers.  Okay I actually love new shoes too, but you get the point. 

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Now we are changing and getting ready to head back out to Diana and Dan’s housewarming party!  I am missing the beach and Casey’s family already, but I am grateful to have gotten the opportunity to get even just a short visit. 

Happy weekend!