Confession time: when I have a cheat day on my diet, boy do I have a cheat day. I was recently in Pennsylvania and dined at the Cracker Barrel. Oh, what a feast. But the calories at Cracker Barrel are really something to behold…
Diet Cheat Day At Cracker Barrel Approaches 3,000 Calories…
Travel is not always about fancy restaurants or organic farm-to-table dining. Sometimes it is just about comfort food that is not widely available at home.
I live in Los Angeles and we don’t have a Cracker Barrel restaurant nearby. The closest one is in Camarillo or Rialto (although there does appear to be a “Cracker Barrel Kitchen” in Hollywood that offers takeout). For whatever reason, I love the food there and appreciate that you never walk away hungry.
My choice is always the Cracker Barrel Sampler, which comes with:
- chicken n’ dumplins (500 calories)
- meatloaf (360 calories)
- ham (540 calories)
It also includes three “country sides” from which I chose:
- green salad (170 calories due to balsamic vinaigrette)
- hashbrown casserole (190 calories)
- loaded baked sweet potato (620 calories)
Plus buttermilk biscuits (160 calories each) or corn muffins (210 calories each).
So let’s do the math, including the one muffin and one biscuit I enjoyed. That’s 2,750 calories in one-sitting and a heck of a lot of carbs. Good thing I only had water to drink!
This, folks, is why Americans are obese and why I rarely go out to dinner anymore (and when I do it, it is just for kabobs with salad).
How filling was the food? I did not eat for the next 26 hours. Even then, I wasn’t all that hungry.
Ignorance is bliss, so they say, and I joked that this was a 2,000-calorie dinner. Little did I know that it was actually a full 2,750 calories. And with that ex post facto realization, I really am not sure I am willing to order the same thing again at Cracker Barrel. True, it’s really delicious. But I will pay for it down the road…a dear friend dropped dead in front of our eyes on Sunday evening (massive heart attack). Sobering. When it is our time, it is our time, yet we would be wise to carefully guard the body we have been entrusted with.
The more I learn about the processed foods we eat, the more I tend to eat at home. When I’m traveling though, that presents a whole new challenge: a challenge I will have to take more seriously going forward.