Daily Archives: May 5, 2011

Mexicana Mama

Happy Cinco de Mayo!!  I must admit — I love – no- ADORE Mexican food.  And while there’s always a place in my heart for gooey, cheesy, bean enchiladas and chips and guac, those are more “special occasion splurges” than regular incidences.  So to celebrate Cinco de Mayo, I’m going to “Gotham skinnycize” a typical New York City Mexican restaurant menu, and makes the best pick for you (and your bum!).


  • Order a light beer such as corona light with lime, wine, or a margarita on the rocks without sweet and sour mix (instead add lime) and only a dash of triple sec.  Avoid any and all mixed drinks like the plague.  They add up to 500 calories before you’ve actually eaten anything.  And always remember to drink plenty of water and try not to go to crazy with the alcohol.  The more you DRINK, the less you THINK.  And that means that those 3 chips you ate can quickly become 20 and half a bowl of guac.


What to eat:

  • Salsa: This condiment often comes with chips.  Salsa is virtually calorie-free, tastes spicy and delish and goes on everything!  Try to limit yourself to only a few chips, and ask if they can give you veggies to dip rather than chips!
  • Guacamole:  Avocados are great for your skin and provide essential Omega-3 fatty acids.  But BEWARE, the calories add up fast here, so try to only take a big spoonful.
  • “Market-style” corn on the cob:  Grilled corn is super healthy and delish!  Just ask them to leave the cheese / butter off and enjoy it straight up!
  • Ceviche: Basically marinated fish, super healthy and fresh.
  • Tortilla soup:  Like a Mexican version of chicken soup, filling and light.

What to avoid:

  • Queso Fundido: Basically just cheese fondue.  I can feel my arteries clogging already.
  • Nachos:  Cheese, beens, meat, guac and sour cream all loaded onto fried chips.  Need I say more?
  • Salads: Most salads at Mexican restaurants are salads in name only.  Add fried tortilla strips, cheese, beans and creamy dressing and you’ve got yourself a pretty unhealthy starter.
  • Anything that says battered, fried, or cheesy!


  • Tacos with grilled fish, grilled chicken, lean beef (try to get corn tortillas instead of plain flour tortillas) – make sure that they don’t have a lot of condiments such as sour cream, cheese, etc or ask for them on the side.
  • Fajitas: Because you can pretty much build your own meal here, fajitas can be a great option.  Take your protein of choice – just makes sure ask for them to go light on the oil – and load it up with sauteed veggies, salsa, and a sprinkle (and I mean a sprinkle!) of cheese.  Opt for a green salad or extra veggies instead of the beans and rice that usually come on the side and are often prepared with gobs of oil.
  • Chicken enchiladas: Believe it or not, chicken enchiladas can actually be a decent choice!  Just ask to skip the cheese and rice, and opt for black beans instead of refried and you’ve got yourself a great deal (about 300 calories per enchilada).  Split it with a friend and order some veggies on the side and you’re golden!

What to AVOID:

  • Quesadillas: Cheese, cheese and more cheese.  And then fried.  With a sprinkle of chicken or veggies.  Not so good.
  • Burritos: A big flour tortilla that is usually stuffed with rice, refried beans, ground beef, sour cream and cheese.  Also not a great choice.
  • Chimichanga: Yes, the name may be exciting, but it’s not doing anything thrilling for your beach bod.  It is a deep-fried burrito.  So take everything I said above and then fry it.  Oy.

Have a great night and do it up!  Olé!!!