Calories Count Lunch Makes It Easy to Keep 2012 Resolutions | Business

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Calories Count Lunch Makes It Easy to Keep 2012 Resolutions

Local restaurants offer lunch items at calorie count price on Tuesday, January 3rd.

January 3rd, Spartan Grill, El Rayo, Sebago Brewing Company, and DiMillo’s On the Water in partnership with the city’s obesity prevention initiative will kick off the New Year with a Calories Count Lunch. The local restaurants will offer a variety of lunch items at the price of their calorie count,  making the easy choice, the healthy choice for their patrons, and giving a boost to diners looking to keep their health and wellness resolutions for 2012. From a falafel gyro (581 calories/$6.75, savings of $.94) to a carne asada taco (289 calories/$3.95, savings of $1.06), patrons can enjoy a satisfying, healthier meal while saving a few dollars.

“El Rayo is committed to providing flavorful and healthy options to our diners and our Calorie Count Lunch is a great way to draw attention to the fact that our diners don’t have to sacrifice taste when they give up calories,” stated Cheryl Lewis, El Rayo chef. “With most Americans eating a third of their calories out at restaurants, we at El Rayo feel it is our responsibility to procure and prepare local, sustainable food that tastes great and gives diner plenty of healthier, nutritional options.”

This winter, El Rayo and the Spartan Grill, with the support and assistance of Smart Meals for ME, printed new menus featuring nutritional information for their items. Smart Meals for Me, a city initiative that encourages restaurants to provide calorie information on their menus, supplies participating restaurants with nutritional analysis for their menus from the city’s registered dietitan. Studies have found a link between eating out and higher caloric intakes. Nine out of ten diners underestimate the calorie content of their meal by more than six hundred calories, and consuming an extra six hundred calories a week can lead to a weight gain of nine pounds a year.

“The assistance we got from the city made it easy for us to provide nutritional information to our diners,” stated Michael Roylos, owner of Spartan Grill. “People want to make informed choices about what they eat and thanks to Smart Meals for Me, they have plenty of items to choose from at the Spartan Grill.”  Research has found that Americans want nutritional information at restaurants with 84% of Americans supporting menu labeling. When provided calorie counts, diners pay attention and often change their order to a lower calorie option.

Tuesday’s lunch menu includes:

Spratan Grill, 24 Monument Square

Falafel gyro: 518 calories (normal price $6.75)

Grilled chicken Caesar gyro: 546 calories (normal price $6.95)

Beef gyro: 639 calories (normal price $6.95)

Veggies and hummus: 513 calories (normal price $6.75)

El Rayo, 101 York Street

All items on the menu with a lower calorie count will be offered, including:

Fundido: 518 calories (normal $5.95)

Chile Fritas: 307 calories (normal $5.95)

Corn poblano soup: 373 calories (normal $4.50)

Al carbon taco: 322 calories (normal $3.95)

Al pastor taco: 290 calories (normal $3.95)

El Mercado salad: 234 calories (normal $6.95)

Pollo rice and bean bowl: 556 calories (normal $7.50)

Mexico City style corn on the cob: 234 calories (normal $4.25)

Sebago Brewing Company, 211 Fore Street

White chicken chili: 155/310 calories (cup/bowl) (normal price $4.79/5.99)

Hummus and tzatziki: 673 calories (normal price $8.99)

Greek falafel salad: 637 calories (normal price $9.99)

BBQ pulled pork sandwich: 705 calories (normal price $8.99)

Baked Haddock Sandwich on Whole Wheat Bun: 532 calories (normal price $9.49)

Pesto linguini: 941 calories (normal price $11.99)

DiMillo’s On the Water, 25 Long Wharf

Crab cakes: 1073 calories (normally $12.50)

Haddock chowder, bowl: 547 calories (normally $6.75)

Lobster stew, bowl: 1028 calories (normally $13)

Clubhouse Salmon Sandwich: 802 calories (normal price $9.50)

Whole wheat pasta and meatball: 675 calories (normal price $9.00)

Obesity is one of the most pressing health problems in the US and is a leading cause of preventable death in the US. Nearly 58% of the adult population in Cumberland County is either obese or overweight, and the state pays more than $350 million a year in direct medical costs associated with obesity. The City of Portland through Healthy Portland, a local Healthy Maine Partnership and program of the City of Portland’s Health and Human Services Department, created the Smart Meals for ME program to make it easier for local restaurants to provide nutritional information to their diners.

Through Healthy Portland’s Communities Putting Prevention to Work obesity prevention grant, free assistance is available from a registered dietitian to analyze menus and create new lower calorie options, as well as assist in printing new menus with nutritional information.  The program also gives diners the opportunity to ask their favorite foodie destination to participate by leaving a Smart Meals for ME card when they pay their check. The card, available for printing through the Smart Meals for ME Facebook page, states their desire to see calorie information and asks the restaurant management to find out more.

For more information about Smart Meals for ME, email or become a follower on Facebook,








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