Healthy Chain Reaction: Applebee’s Under 550 Calories Menu + Giveaway

Applebees

Back when I was in grade school, Applebee's was one of THE places to be on a weekend evening. Whether I was with my family or having a dinner-and-a-movie night out with friends, a basket of chicken strips and fries was a given when we finally scored a table. My tastes have changed in the past 15 years and it has been more than a year or two since I'd eaten at Applebee's (I guess I'm not doing a very good job of following their motto: ...continue reading

Healthy Chain Reaction: Cracker Barrel’s Grilled Chicken Tenderloin Dinner

What do you think of when I say “interstate food”? I’ve been taking plenty of road trips lately, and around my neck of the woods, the options tend to look like this: McDonald’s > Burger King > Arby’s > McDonald’s > Subway > A&W > Wendy’s > McDonald’s. That’s why I generally try to pack a couple healthy snacks to tide me over until I reach my final destination ...continue reading

Healthy Chain Reaction: Bruegger’s Skinny Bagel Sandwich

There was a time in my life (junior high) when I would not even think twice about grabbing a Cinnamon Crunch bagel for breakfast. The doughy, sweet bagel topped with a crispy streusel? Mmm…but too bad it also came along with a major sugar crash a couple hours later. I mean, 31 grams of sugar? That’s more than two full tablespoons! While half of a Cinnamon Crunch could still be a fine splurge snack or dessert, it probably ...continue reading

Meet Me In St. Louis

This weekend, I popped down to St. Louis to pay my sister Sarah a long overdue visit. I’ll let the pictures do most of the talking about the sights, tastes and memories from the trip, but first, here are a few tips about fun places to go/see while in town: To eat/drink… Green Bean:  Order off the menu or create your own salad filled with local ingredients. Royale: Sit inside or outside and enjoy seasonal food and a wide ...continue reading

Healthy Chain Reaction: Panera Bread’s Strawberry Poppyseed & Chicken Salad

All of the colors! My Mom and I were shopping the day of my sister’s wedding and needed to grab a quick lunch in the mall food court. Since both of us prefer more nutritious eats, we skipped the greasy Chinese and fried fast food joints and placed our orders at one of my favorites, Panera Bread, instead. The cafe scored bonus points for allowing us to escape the food court for a comfy booth in a less hectic atmosphere! Having heard ...continue reading

Healthy Chain Reaction: Ruby Tuesday’s Spaghetti Squash Marinara

For some time, it seemed like restaurants were trying to one-up each other to create the least nutritious dish available. (Remember this and this?) Thankfully that trend seems to have cooled off, as chains like The Cheesecake Factory, IHOP and Olive Garden now not only offer nutritional information for their menu items, but also have a section dedicated to lighter options. While hitting up local joints is always fun, I do occasionally ...continue reading