From Supersizing to Salad Bars, can you really ‘eat clean’ at McDonalds?

Google Maps. The Electric Drill. Ultrasound Scanners. McCafe. Electronic Pacemakers.

What do all of these individual gifts to humankind have in common?

No, it’s not the letter ‘E’ – although I see you out there, Scrabble-bosses.

It turns out each of these inventions is in fact a brain-child of True Blue Aussie ingenuity.

Australian Made

Yep, from land-mapping to lattes, Australians are modestly making things that change the world – whether that be the world of medicine, cartography or culinary innovation.

We may be an island nation, but we’re damn good at tapping the World’s cultural pulse – particularly in all things culinary.

For example, when coffee-connoisseuring  Melbournians complained about the dank drip-water being served at McDonalds counters, McCafe was born. Soon God’s gift to ragged road-trippers began appearing across Australia – and eventually across the globe.

 

Likewise, in 2004, when the shock revelations of dietary documentary ‘Supersize Me’ hit our shores, McDonalds were quick to minimise damage, releasing a new ‘Healthy Choices Menu’ and this statement on their website:

“You are what you eat, and you have a right to know what’s in your food.”
– McDonalds Australia

The statement was supported by an unprecedented transparency – with all nutritional info being displayed on both the website and the wrappers of their products, allowing consumers to decide what met their dietary requirements.

And the choices didn’t stop there. In 2015 McDonalds launched a Nation-Wide ‘Create Your Taste’ campaign, allowing consumers to customise their McDonalds experience down to the last slice of beetroot (another Aussie innovation).

healthy choices

It seems that Maccas has come a long way from Big Macs and Large Fries. Less Supersize and more Salad (no sides), our interest was piqued.

So we popped down the road to our local Maccas to see just how healthy a lunch we could create.

Here are our findings:

healthy choices mcdonalds

  • Lettuce Rejoice
    An instant happy surprise? There’s something other than iceberg. With a choice between a diced cos-iceberg mix or a ‘Deluxe’ mixed leaves blend, we’re feeling optimistic.

grilled chicken salad

  • Thrills ‘n’ Grills
    Another shocker? Fried/battered chicken is off the menu. The options are grilled chicken or… Grilled chicken. But at least there’s no ‘nuggets’ option.

create your taste

  • ‘Top Ten’
    With their ‘top-up’ ingredients including a spectrum from staples, like grated carrot, through to a pre-mixed (yet surprisingly sugar- and oil-free) guacamole, there are a range of flavour options available. Well… there are ten options, to be precise. Slightly less than we’re used to, but surprisingly fresh for Maccas.
  • ‘Dress it Up’
    Or, in our case, dress it down. A quick trip to the website reveals that their dressings pack between 80 – 200 calories per 40g serve. With this packing the biggest caloric punch of all the ingredients, we opt for some balsamic on the side

 

  • mcdonalds salad

VERDICT:

Contrary to its name, McDonalds ‘Create Your Taste’ range doesn’t provide customers with much room to – well – customise.

But maybe that’s a good thing. With the range of salad ingredients being both basic and in their natural state (eg. raw veggies), there’s little margin for nutritional error.

That said, when it came to dressings, we did err on the side of caution. With even the lightest option adding 80 calories – and a sugar hit – to our otherwise well-balanced, crisp and flavoursome meal.

More than anything, we’re excited by what this shift in McDonald’s dining experience means for the fast food landscape. With more people wanting to know what goes into their bodies, the fast food chains are giving them the freedom of choice to decide.

And no, we don’t want fries with that.

mcdonalds fries

jennifer lawrence
Is anyone else OVER the ‘Pre Awards Season Diet?’

“I live by a rule book of eating ‘alkaline’ – no meat, no dairy, no gluten (and) I try to stay away from sugar…” – Kate Hudson

“I don’t have a very good diet. I love beer, fries, burgers, but if I have to get in a bikini then I’ll eat carrot sticks for three days.” – Margot Robbie

“Well, I don’t eat anything and when I feel like I’m about to faint I eat a cube of cheese.”

cube cheeseAll of the above are excerpts from ‘diet divulging’ editorials with Hollywood’s most renowned Red Carpet starlets. Ok, so the last one may or may not be a quote from The Devil Wears Prada… But it doesn’t exactly stick out like a sore thumb, does it?

At the beginning of every year, Awards Season splashes across our screens – and all the objectification and adulation that come with it. From brutal ‘Who Wore it Better?’ polls, to Fashion Police prosecuting potential Award Winners based on their sartorial choices, it’s a time when the Mean Girls come out to play.

And yet, is there a more insidious game being played here?

The fact is, any sister worth her salt can sense a gossip-mongering ‘Mean Girl’ from a mile away.

golden globe

But what about the ‘Health Promoters’; the ‘Diet-Dishers’; the journalists just trying to inform you about how you TOO could be itsy-bitsy-teeny-weeny, just like your favourite fashionistas? Because that’s what #lifegoals are all about, right?

While the Golden Globes or the Oscars only last for a few hours, our headlines seem to be crammed with ‘Radical Diet Reveals’ for weeks prior to and proceeding the event.

And the fact is – we’re hungry for it. Why wouldn’t we be?

 

Well, according to dietitian Ursula Arens, there’s a hefty list of reasons for why we shouldn’t be.

“Because they are nutritionally unbalanced, crash diets can lead to long-term poor health.” She explains.

“Your body’s response to dieting in this manner is to actually reduce the speed at which it burns off calories. This means you’re actually slowing down your ability to lose weight.”

More than that, by “missing out on entire food groups, you’re prevented from getting important nutrients and vitamins that your body needs to work properly.”

So while you may look svelte, you’ll probably feel like sh*t.

 

And while the Skinny Tea guzzlers and carrot stick munchers may endure for years to come, there is an increasing number of body positive women saying no to, well, ‘saying no’.

Golden Girl (and Globe Winner) Jennifer Lawrence proudly admits to eating “like a caveman… I’m never going to starve myself for a part.”

Like we needed another reason to love J-Law.

jennifer lawrence

Equally, TV Star Taylor Schilling insists that Intuition is the New Black: “I just keep it really simple. I know what feels good to eat and what doesn’t.”

Yep, it seems that the real winners on the Red Carpet are those that subscribe to the feel-good, fun-friendly and flexible school of satiation.

 

For example, when recently asked about her ‘Pre-Golden Globes Diet Tips’, Nominee and Mother of three Kate Winslet put it plain and simple:

I want to be as healthy as I can be, and I want to have as much fun as I can have. I want to be around for my children. That’s it. Those are the priorities. I like staying fit and healthy… it’s all part of a healthy attitude to life.”

Preach, Rose! I mean, Kate. Something tells us your Heart Will Go On for  years to come.

 

titanic

So whether you’re prepping for your next party or get ‘bikini ready’ (ugh), can we all make a pact now to make our ‘figure’ fit our lifestyle, and not the other way around?

 

Cheers babes.