Eat Right Around Chicago

Light Lunch or Gut Bomb?

I live across from a Chipotle (don't we all?) and up until the other day, haven't tried it.  I typically avoid fast food restaurants or chains, but with so many patrons, so many positive stories about their food and farming practices, and so many questions about how to eat right there, I decided it was time I join the millions and eat Chipotle.  

I have many friends that worship the wrapper of the Chipotle burrito.  However, several of them say it's a weak treat they try to avoid because it is not a light, it's a gut bomb.  They load up on tacos and chips, sides of guac and repeat, leaving them feeling stuffed like a sopapilla.  But what I discovered in this archicturally pleasing diner was that it's your choice when you walk into a Chipotle - light lunch or gut bomb. 


Picture from a real farm.

Here's what I knew of Chipotle before visiting:  Chipotle is a progressive establishment that sits under the healthy halo along side the trendy appeal of Starbucks and Whole Foods.  It boasts a menu of "food with integrity".   This means that Chipotle avoids unprocessed items and offers seasonal foods, maintains sustainable and fair farming practices.  It's not your average fast food establishment and they have continued to grow through the years, both in size and in integrity. With its popularity, it makes you wonder why more companies can't or won't follow suit.   

Anyway, given that it serves food with a conscious, and still offers coupons (I had one for a free dish - not discounted - free) and reasonable prices, I needed to check it out to see if my friends were right or just over ordering. 

I probably don't need to tell any of you how it works at Chipotle, I'm probably the only one who hasn't eaten here, but just to remind you, you can pretty much build your own bowl, burrito, taco or salad at Chipotle.  Which means that you really do have a choice and Chipotle says that there are 65, 000 different combinations for you to create.  But it does mean that you can choose a light lunch or gut bomb.

So here's your choice -
Gut Bomb


Actual size.

  •  13" Tortilla
  • Black Beans
  • Carnitas
  • Tomato Salsa
  • Corn Salsa
  • Red Sauce
  • Cheese
  • Sour Cream
  • Guacamole
  • Lettuce
  • Side of Chips 
Based on the PDF of nutrition facts that Chipotle supplies and double-checked on the Chipotle Fan site (which is GREAT for nutritrient analysis by the way), here's a quick view of what you'd eat: 

1640 calories
79 grams of fat
23 grams saturated fat
3720 mg of sodium (2400 mg max is recommended - for the day!)

= Gut Bomb

Light Lunch

  • Burrito Bowl
  • Barbacoa
  • Rice
  • Black Beans
  • Fajita Vegetables
  • Tomato Salsa
  • Corn Salsa
  • Red Sauce
  • Lettuce
Instead, your sustainable lunch provides: 

585 calories
14 grams of fat
3 grams of saturated fat
2470 mg of sodium (still a bit high)

= Light(er) Lunch! 

Make the right choice at Chipotle.  It's an excellent company engaged in smart practices and if you build your bowl carefully, you can still enjoy food with integrity and eat right.  



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jdroberts said:


For another light lunch option (but still very satisfying) I always get the salad with chicken, fajitas veggies, tomato salsa and guacamole. It's yummy.

EatRightAroundChicago said:


Great choice!

Your fine salad is also a lighter lunch pick at 380 calories, 20 grams of fat, 4 grams saturated fat and 1200 mg of sodium. The guacamole does add calories and fat (about 150 calories and 14 grams of fat) but the fat in avocados is the good type (mono-and polyunsaturated). And avocados have tons of health benefits in addition to being so tasty. Check out: if you're starving for more avo facts!

Thanks for reading!!!

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