How Red Robin’s Turkey Burger Made me a Health Coach

This is a guest post by Kati Kenfield, a colleague and friend of mine.  This is a great article full of humor and excellent nutrition advice:)

One clarification.  I am a big believer of eating healthy fats including clean, grassfed animal fats. For those that have not had the time to look at the science like Kati and I, understand she is referring to “bad fats” when talking about Red Robins hamburgers and turkey burgers.  The fact that they use industrial raised meat, which has a totally different nutritional profile then organic, grass-fed beef.  The fat is actually really good for you in a grass-fed burger from a healthy, happy cow living on pasture its entire life.

Okay, get your learn on with Kati!

 

I’ve always been a bit of a health nut. The crazy, greasy, cheesy, deep fried foods at restaurants honestly never really appeal to me – mostly because of the way they make me feel like I might die! When I decide to be “naughty,” it better be worth it. I always say – life is too short for crappy coffee, bad chocolate, mediocre burgers and bland cookies. If I’m going to have any of these things (plus others) it’s going to be high quality, real and delicious, and I am going to savor it!

So, one evening a few years ago, when dining out at the fine establishment called Red Robin as requested by our friends, I knew that having one of their mass produced, half plastic, processed hamburgers was definitely not worth it for me. Chain restaurants are never my 1st choice. In fact, I hate them, so as I reluctantly went along to Red Robin that evening, I knew I needed to be smart. The menu overflowed with burger choices, chicken fingers, and sugary ice-burg lettuce salads. Thus, I made the confident, sound decision to go with the healthier option of a Turkey Burger. And it was on a whole-wheat bun!?!!? YES! Success! No mediocre hamburger for me. Rather, I’ll go with the mediocre Turkey Burger – totally more worth it because turkey is better for me than beef – obvi!

turkey-300x143

Then, to make myself even more confident in my option-weighing abilities, I decided to go with a side salad instead of the fries. I’ve had Red Robin’s fries in the past and was never a huge fan. Again, if I’m going to have fries they better be damn delicious! Salad it is.

I felt good about this. No looking back, no second-guessing my order. I am a know-what-I-want, mind-body kinda’ gal. Boom! High-five me!

Well, not so boom. The only boom I experienced after eating this healthy-er option of a Turkey Burger was the boom I felt in the pit of my stomach an hour after the meal. Discouraged and curious, I went to Red Robin’s website to see if they had any of their nutrition content up online. Not only did they, but it actually is a pretty sweet system! You can manipulate each item on their menu by adding/subtracting toppings and sides to create the exact meal you want with the exact type of nutrition content you are going (or not going) for. Cool! Good for you Red Robin! I respect that. Keepin’ your consumers responsible and informed. Love it.

RedRobin3-300x159

I scrolled through the options and found my mediocre Turkey Burger. Up popped the nutrition info I was so curious about. I paused. I paused again. I read and re-read again. No. No way. I must have clicked on the wrong item. Nope… item is correct! I was dumbfounded – my innocent little turkey burger on a whole-wheat bun had 36 grams of fat!?!?! Whaaaaaat? How in the world do you cram that much fat into a turkey burger? What is really in that thing? AHHH!

I felt gross. I felt dumb. I felt tricked! I went on a rampage through the nutrition content of other items on their menu. How about their standard hamburger? Wait…for real? The hamburger on a white bun is BETTER FOR YOU than the turkey burger on a whole wheat bun!?!?! I sat back in awe. Five grams less fat and far less sodium. My frustration turned to anger as I realized what this meant not only for me, but also for consumers. What if someone was trying to lose weight and went with the more “responsible” option of a Turkey Burger at Red Robin as opposed to the hamburger that they so desired? Who wouldn’t assume that turkey is better for them than beef?!?! Turkey = lean, beef = fat! Duh! As if these individuals don’t have enough other hard choices to make during the day, how would they feel if they realized that the responsible decision they just made wasn’t so responsible after all? I. Was. Pissed. This was, and is, pure evil in my mind.

confused-baby-248x300

The next few days my mind raced as I thought about all the implications that this meant. I really have no idea what restaurants are putting in my food do I? And not like it really matters to me. I have no health issues; I’m not trying to lose weight. What about for the people whose health depends on it? My whole outlook on dining out, and food in general, changed that day. I used to LOVE to eat out! I thought it was fun, the food was delicious, and I (thought) I did a good job of eating decently healthy. Not any more. Now I found contempt instead of fun in the act of eating out, the food suddenly seemed bland and fake compared to the home-cooked meals I was starting to make more often. Over the next few years of making my own food 90% of the time, I noticed a huge change in my body and in my respect for food and its affect on my health. Never had I ever thought I could feel better than my Red Robin Turkey Burger consuming days, but I did! I had so much more energy and my body slowly shed a few pounds that I didn’t even know I could shed. Sold. I was sold. And I am more and more sold every day.

Now, when I do dine out (which is once a week on average – max!) I do my best to support local, sustainable and high quality food restaurants. Not only is the food 10x more delicious and clean (no more tummy booms!) but also I’m actually saving money this way even though the meals might be more expensive than Red Robin-esque restaurants. Quality over quantity is my mantra.

Still to this day my blood boils thinking about the trickery that is involved in the food manufacturing business. Eating food should not be a mystery to solve. Food should nourish us, give us energy and not be full of secret fat and sugar daemons. It should be real, whole and nourishing. Unfortunately, however, this is not easy to come by in our mass-manufactured, money driven food production world.

That is why I am here! I’m here to shine the light on how delicious, enlightening and fulfilling real food can be. So, go give that lonely apple sitting on your counter a hug (with your arms, or with your mouth!)… it deserves more credit than a deceiving turkey burger ever would. Its real. And I like real.

valentines-day-02-300x300

My challenge to you? If you’re going to eat out, Eat Local!

Don’t know where to start? Here’s a site that can help (and is awesome! Bookmark this shiz!)

http://www.eatwellguide.org/i.php?pd=Home

ELFlogo

P.S. I would love to meet you on Twitter: Here or Facebook: Here or Pinterest: Here … or why not all three? :)

And if you think any friends or family would find this blog interesting, please consider sharing it on Facebook or Twitter!

BIO
Kati Kenfield – Health and Nutrition Coach
Denver, CO

I received my training at Integrative Nutrition in New York City. I’ve completed the Core Curriculum for Life Coaching from the Coaches Training Institute in California. I’m an ACE Certified Personal Trainer, and I also received my bachelor’s in communication from Colorado State University.

I specialize in corporate wellness programs that result in healthier employees and lower healthcare costs. I’ve developed many customized workshops on nutrition and wellness, and I also offer individual health and nutrition coaching for men and women.

I look forward to helping you reach your health goals!

Best,
Kati Kenfield
Health and Nutrition Coach
www.timetoliveitup.com

Advertisements

Health Benefits Of Bone Broth

Bone broth!  Are you excited yet?:)

Bone broth is something you will find simmering away in most high quality restaurants.  Not only does it taste great and has many culinary uses but it is an extremely healthy addition to ones diet. You can purchase it at the store but the homemade version is much, much better with respect to the taste and nutrition profile.

Broth

What is broth?

Bone broth is full of minerals which are accessed by simmering the bones of healthy animals. Many countries around the globe still consume broth on a regular basis as they recognize it is a cheap, and more importantly a nutrient dense food. Chances are your grandma made it and if she didn’t your great-grandma definitely did.  In the generations before us people knew how to eat for optimal health and if they managed to avoid the diseases of the day  (all but eradicated now) and poor medical care they typically enjoyed vibrant health for the most part. You can make broth out of the bones of fish, poultry, lamb, beef and bison.

Why include it in your diet?

If you want to boost your immune system and improve your digestion give it a try.  Personally when I eat my homemade beef bone broth I feel a very positive, visceral reaction to it.  It’s just one of those things that makes me feel good like dark leafy greens and veggies for example.  Its high in calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus which make it great for bone and tooth health.  It is also very high in collagen as well making it excellent for joints, hair, nails and skin (which I wrote about in my blog post Nutrition For Skin Health).

According to the book Gut and Psychology Syndrome bone broth can help improve digestion, allergies, immune health, brain health and more.  Proline and glycine, two amino acids vital for strong and healthy connective tissue (joints, ligaments, around organs, etc) are found in bone broth as well. Its one of those foods that has been used for hundreds if not thousands of years for its many health benefits.

Preparing bone broth

Cooking up a batch of homemade, nutrient dense broth is easy.  Again the homemade version is much better because you know exactly what’s in it. The store-bought version can contain MSG and other additives/chemicals you’d probably be better off not consuming.  Look for high quality bones, preferably from grass-fed, pastured animals that have been raised in their natural environment. The nutrient profile is very different in these animals compared to conventionally raised stock.

Some options for finding bones:

  • Your local butcher, especially if they butcher the whole animal
  • Ask around at your local farmers market for farmers who raise grass-fed animals
  • Save the leftovers when roasting any birds
  • You can purchase online from US Wellness Meats ( they also sell pre-made high quality broth and are an excellent source for healthy eating in general)

My favorite recipe

  • 2 pounds of bones (minimum) from a health source
  • 1 onion
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 small garlic bulb
  • 2 tablespoons Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Herbs: parsley, cilantro, oregano, basil, bay leaves, cayenne pepper, sea salt and black pepper (all to taste).  I mix this up from time to time so feel free to experiment!

Place bones and veggies in a slow cooker.  Add the vinegar on top of bones and fill cooker with filtered water until all bones are just covered.  Add spices, turn on low or simmer 48 hours for beef stock (24 hours for poultry, 8 hours for fish).

When finished strain broth into storable container, you just want to eat the broth nothing else. Serve immediately and/or place in fridge to cool.  After several hours you will see a kind of hard film form on the top which I scrape off.  Any broth not eaten after seven days or so should be frozen for later.

Uses of broth

I enjoy a plain, warm cup on occasion especially when its cold out.  Typically however I use it to make homemade soups & stews.  I like to add fresh red onion, carrot, squash or sweet potato, spices etc. Others use it for things like gravies and sauces.  I’ve also read whisking an egg with a cup of broth and adding some salt tastes great. I love to pour some on top of a veggie stir fry with quinoa and grass-fed beef or liver.  Tasty people, just tasty!

During flu and cold season broth can be very helpful as it goes down easy no matter how your feeling but especially when sick.  It’s very soothing and easy to digest and may very well shorten the duration of illness.

Ready to try some broth? Do you already make it? Please share your suggestions and any questions, I would love to hear from you!

Bart Thurman

Break-Free, Own Your Health