Miss A Columnist

Laura Heathcott is a twenty something marketing professional currently living and writing in Austin, Texas. She has called Barcelona, Los Angeles, and Paris home over the past 5 years, and considers herself a Texan by birth and "citizen of the world" by choice. Laura loves to hop around the city seeking out the crème de la crème of all things Austin. On any given weekend you can find her sprawled out at Townlake with a good book, skimming the racks at her favorite vintage stores, or simply enjoying great food and conversation at one of Austin's many delicious hot spots. Follow Laura's adventures for an informative and always entertaining journey through the city!

Five Lunches Under Five Hundred Calories In Austin

It’s that time of year again- new year, new you…right? If you are anything like me, you have made several declarations to the universe regarding your 2012; my guess is that at least one of those is some sort of vow to get in the best shape of your life. Lucky for Austinites, we live in a city that truly facilitates this behavior. In fact, I feel a little guilty each time I drive by Town Lake and watch the dedicated runners gracefully shedding the pounds off of their Saturday afternoons.

In the spirit of the new year, I have decided to embark on a quest to take the power back over my diet. Most of my calorie-dense meals usually occur between the hours of 12 p.m. and 2 p.m., Monday through Friday- a time most commonly referred to as the lunch-break. In an effort to put a stop to this vicious bad food cycle, I made a goal: find fast and affordable meals under 500 calories and for less than $10.

Here’s what I found:
Monday
My Fit Foods
Menu Item: Lean Lemon Turkey (medium)
Calorie count: 350
Feedback: This includes a spicy ground turkey with asparagus stems over a bed of white rice. When you squeeze the lemon wedge over the dish it enhances the spicy nodes in the ground turkey and it is a seriously satisfying lunch item.

WHERE:
My Fit Foods
3201 Bee Caves Road Suite 105
Austin, TX 78746
Ph. 512-329-0003

Tuesday
Mel’s Meals
Menu Item: Eggplant Parmesan (lean)
Calorie count: 350
Feedback: Pasta, breaded egg plant, pesto, and parmesan cheese for 350 calories? YES. The best part about this dish is the fact that you feel like you’re being bad.

WHERE:
Mel’s Meals
706 N Lamar Blvd
Austin, TX 78703

Photo Credit: Snap Kitchen

Wednesday
Snap Kitchen
Menu Item: Chicken Thai Green Curry (medium)
Calorie count: 400
Feedback: The chickpeas and chicken give this dish a lot of substance and the sweet potatoes kick the carb cravings to the curb. As for the green curry sauce, I’d enjoy that on just about anything.

WHERE:
Snap Kitchen
4616 Triangle Ave.
Austin, TX 78751
Ph. 512-459-9000

Photo Credit: PRlog.com

Thursday
Whole Foods
Menu Item: Brown Rice Salmon Avocado Roll 
Calorie count: 394
Feedback: I love sushi but I often find myself wanting to eat five rolls in one sitting. Whole Foods has great, fresh sushi and their salmon melts in your mouth. With about 100 calories to spare, you can tack on a banana for desert and will feel pleasantly full.

Friday
Noodles and Company
Menu Item: Caesar Salad and a Parmesan-Crusted Chicken Breast
Calorie count: 400 (click here for a calorie breakdown of their entire menu)
Feedback: This is great for an on-the-go meal when you aren’t sure exactly what you want (but you know you need it quickly). Start with a protein and build your dish from there- the freedom of choice is an exciting thing.

WHERE:
Noodles and Company
2402 Guadalupe Street
Austin, TX 78705
Ph. 512-499-0016

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