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    Archive for the ‘Cosi’ Category

    Why Calories Must Be Posted Nationwide!

    MenuCaloriesIt is my hope that in the not-too-distant future, chain restaurants will be legally required to post calorie information about their products in all fifty states.

    Some know-it-alls like to quip, “Oh, come on, who doesn’t know a triple cheeseburger with large fries is high in calories?”

    What these geniuses fail to understand is that it is not the obvious pitfalls that are a concern.  Consider the following calorie values.  They were certainly surprising to me!

    • Au Bon Pain chocolate orange pecan scone: 580 calories
    • Au Bon Pain crumb cake: 750 calories
    • Au Bon Pain pecan roll: 810 calories
    • Cosi western omelette croissant: 713 calories
    • Cosi garden pesto omelette croissant: 740 calories
    • Cosi carrot muffin: 500 calories
    • Cosi cinnamon-apple pie: 964 calories
    • Uno Chicago Grill chicken & broccoli fettuccine: 1,300 calories
    • Uno Chicago grill individual tomato & cheese pizza: 1,740 calories
    • Uno Chicago grill individual veggie pizza: 1,950 calories

    How many were you surprised by?

    These three chains also offer items with much more reasonable caloric values.  Unfortunately, if that information continues to remain hidden from menus, consumers will continue to be in the dark.

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    Numbers Game: Answer

    Cosi patrons, take note.

    Opting to have your salad of choice dressed with the house vinaigrette tacks on 357 calories.

    This partially explains why people sometimes express confusion when, despite substituting many of their regular foods with salad, weight loss does not occur.

    It is even more difficult to gauge how many calories you get from salad dressing at salad bars, where you use enormous ladles to dress your individual concoction (one full ladle can contain up to 600 calories of some dressings!)

    If you opt to have full-fat dressings, ask for them on the side, and aim to use no more than half of the amount you are provided.

    This is not to say that fat-free dressings can be poured liberally.

    Most dressings lacking fat provide flavor by throwing in higher amounts of sugar, thereby still containing a good number of calories.

    I suggest using a small amount of full-fat dressing and mixing it with other low-calorie ingredients (think balsamic vinegar or fresh squeezed lemon juice.)

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    Numbers Game: Dress of Excess

    Cosi patrons, take note.

    Opting to have your salad of choice dressed with the house vinagreitte tacks on _______ calories.

    a) 196
    b) 238

    c) 310

    d) 357

    Leave your guess in the “comments” section and come back on Wednesday for the answer.

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    Numbers Game: Answer

    A 12-ounce Cosi blueberry promeganate smoothie contains 544 calories.

    (Note: a 12-ounce can of regular Coca Cola clocks in at 143 calories)

    It goes to show — high caloric values aren’t just found in large portions.

    (Sidenote: Get the 20-ounce “gigante”, and sip away 1,087 calories!)

    It’s crazy to think that this 12-ounce beverage packs almost twice as many calories as a large fountain beverage from McDonald’s.

    Cosi advertises it as a “blend of frozen fruit with a green tea base,” which helps to explain the astounding caloric value of this smoothie.

    Bases are often sugar-loaded flavor agents.

    They were smart in choosing a green tea one because it delivers sweet flavor while still sounding “healthy.”

    A lot of people have this concept that anything with green tea in it is automatically healthy or low-calorie. I’m afraid that ain’t so.

    Food companies know this, which is why I was not surprised to see Haagen Dazs’ new green tea ice cream flavor at the store earlier this week.

    The fact is, smoothies are not an optimal source of nutrition.

    The overwhelming majority are excessively sugared (we’re talking 6 to 8 tablespoons of sugar on average for a 12 ounce!) and don’t deliver any of the fiber present in a piece of fruit.

    Since liquid calories (particularly those from fruit smoothies, which are lacking fat, fiber, and protein) are not as effective at providing a sense of fullness, it’s very likely you will be hungry soon after finishing such a concoction.

    If they are one of your favorite beverages, feel free to have them, but keep in mind that save one or two exceptions, you are buying an overly sweetened, high-calorie treat, not liquid nutrition.

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    Numbers Game: Can of Whoop-Ass

    A 12-ounce Cosi blueberry promeganate smoothie contains _______ calories.

    (Note: a 12-ounce can of regular Coca Cola clocks in at 143 calories)

    a) 268
    b) 329

    c) 467
    d) 544

    Leave your guess in the “comments” section and come back on Thursday for the answer!

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