The First Lady Visits “The Onion Garden” in Fort Worth

Michelle Obama Visits Olive Garden

First of all, I have to note that she didn’t actually visit “The Onion Garden” in Fort Worth, as there’s no such restaurant. I would know, I grew up in Fort Worth!

She actually came to The Olive Garden (it’s a play on a joke from an episode of “Will and Grace”) on Heritage Trace in North Fort Worth. It’s not too far from one of my favourite chain casual dining places, Cheddar’s (great value). Based on the reaction from my friends on Facebook (that’s how I found out), a lot of people were wondering why she would go to an Olive Garden, of all places.

Actually, I wonder that as well. We have tonnes of Tex-Mex restaurants and burger joints, why not there?

I believe that it had something to do with the organisation that she’s spearheaded…the Let’s Move initiative, which celebrated its second anniversary recently. She sat down with a number of parents that made the commitment to lead healthier lives…hopefully that translates into their children picking up good eating habits, as well as staying active.

I’m not surprised that Mrs. Obama came to the Metroplex…after all, Fort Worth has consistently ranked in the Top 10 for “Fattest Cities in America”. It’s not a prestigious honour, mind you…especially for those that try in earnest to live a healthy lifestyle, and strive to reach and maintain their fitness goals, it can be downright embarrassing. It’s easy to see why they rank so high…did you know that (per square mile) Downtown Fort Worth has more restaurants than New York City? There are (by my count) nine steakhouses in or around the downtown area, as well as the aforementioned Tex-Mex restaurants.

And as the common saying goes, “everything’s bigger in Texas”! That mentality translates into Texas-sized portions of food, that can only be outdone by all-you-can-eat buffets. Or, if you’re feeling especially hungry/have a deathwish, you can visit Texas de Brazil…an all you can eat steakhouse! It’s quite insane, and a place that I’ve vowed to never step foot in…although I’ve been told by several people that it is quite delicious. Oh well, I’ll have to take their word for it.

Back to The Olive Garden…they’ve announced that they’re switching over to a healthier menu, with (hopefully) healthier options to choose from. Now, I know that most people don’t equate healthy and Italian together, but I look to those that actually originate from Italy as proof that it’s not about the food itself necessarily, but the portion size…we eat way more than we should. But, isn’t that always the case?

If you’re planning on going there anytime soon, there are some actual somewhat healthy choices on the menu now, like:
Appetizer:

Olive Garden Breadsticks

Breadstick with garlic-butter spread

(I know, I’m as surprised as you are!)

Calories: 150

Total Fat (grams): 2

Carbohydrates (grams): 28
Protein (grams): 6

 

Soup:

Olive Garden Minestrone Soup

Minestrone

Calories: 100

Total Fat (grams): 1

Carbohydrates (grams): 18
Protein (grams): 4

 

Salad:

Olive Garden Garden Fresh Salad

Garden Fresh Salad (without the dressing)

Calories: 130

Total Fat (grams): 4

Carbohydrates (grams): 19
Protein (grams): 4

(Oddly enough, the other salads are high in fat…go figure)

 

Entrees:

O.G. 074

Linguine alla Marinara

Calories: 430

Total Fat (grams): 6

Carbohydrates (grams): 76 (don’t freak out, you can split this entree in half)
Protein (grams): 18

 

Olive Garden Venetian Apricot Chicken

Venetian Apricot Chicken

Calories: 400

Total Fat (grams): 7

Carbohydrates (grams): 34
Protein (grams): 51

Dessert:

Get real!
In any event, I hope that the First Lady is successful in whipping one of the Fattest Cities in America into shape, but she’s got a long road ahead of her…not to mention a heavy load to carry.
Pun intended.

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