Thursday, April 18, 2013

Challenging Chipotle's Nutrition Facts: A Case Study

We eat a respectable amount of Chipotle at work. When cutting carbs, the "burrito bowl" is a filling, delicious option. However, we couldn't fathom that something of that sort could actually be as few calories as is reported on Chipotle's nutritional calculator. We noted a "serving size" was mysteriously unclear on their site. Based on the website math, the bowl calculates reasonably as a competitor with Subway.

After much skepticism about the "actual" amount of calories in a Chipotle burrito bowl, my coworker mapped out a plan to learn if the nutrition facts on the Chipotle website are accurate. Below is our "article" with reported results. Feel free to repeat this test- you know, for reproducibility, purely for the joy of science, not at all as an excuse to get offsite during lunch. As you will read, we happily found the calories reported on their calculator are verifiable. So eat on, happy burrito-ers.

“Chipotle Nutritional Integrity Study.” Lunchtime E-mail Theories 18 Apr 2013.

Abstract: On 18 Apr 2013, investigators researched the nutritional content reported on Chipotle’s website versus the nutritional content in the portions actually received.
Purpose: To find out if the calories ingested matched the calories reported on the website, in order to plan for an adequate amount of treadmill mileage so calories could be offset.
Materials: Three burrito bowls, two bags of chips, a scale with the ability to reliably read to ounces (we used the USPS Mailing Scale)
Methods: Three burrito bowls and two bags of chips were obtained and weighed while full. After lunch, the bags and bowls were again weighed (empty) and compared to the original results to obtain the actual oz added to the bowl. This result was compared to the Chipotle website's ounces for a percent difference, which was applied to the calories. The results are reported in Table 1. Additionally, the Chipotle website calorie information for the rice was verified versus an alternate source and found to be accurate.
Results: Chipotle burrito bowl nutritional information is spot-on, if not less, regarding calories and oz reported on their nutrition calculator.
Conclusions: The chipotle nutrition calculator is acceptable for nutritional planning, however is short in regards to planned bang for your anticipated buck as in some circumstances the reported oz supplied was less than the actual oz received.

Sources of error: Please note the “final weight” of the bowl is based on one bowl only. A small margin of error in the other bowls is expected.

Table 1.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

sweat it don't spout it

The short story is I chose to go to Happy Hour instead of going running. That's what happened. The long story is, next week is Pittsburgh's craft beer week. A bar nearby is giving away tickets to the firkin event. They also have $3 drafts on happy hour. My sister and I went. We had a few drinks, entered the raffle. I went home. I went into my bedroom to get changed. All of my workout bras are at my parents' house in the laundry. It was the lace I had on or a strapless. I'll let the reader decide that one. I unpackaged my new iPod arm band (rest in peace, old arm band from 2007). I started to run. Fifteen minutes into it, I turned down Perrysville Avenue and saw the storm clouds to the North. I didn't hesitate. I turned back home and sprinted. I sprinted down Bronx ave, I sprinted onto Princeton, and up Carlisle. If you haven't been on Carlisle, it's roughly a brutal 22% grade. I sprinted. The rain began.  Panting, drenched, I got home. And saw my neighbor's back car windows were down. "ARE YOU KIDDING ME", I yelled. I have no idea which neighbor's car it was. The back window had the family decals on it - roughly six kids and a cat. In my head I start ticking off which houses have children. So I start knocking on doors. In the thunderstorm. Finally a woman answered a door - beer in hand - all coming full circle. "Is that your car?" "Yes." I'm pretty sure she thought I was going to say I hit it. "Your back windows are down." "Okay." No thank you offered. My mum later suggested it was probably because I looked like I was trying to participate in some awful wet t-shirt contest.  So I got in my car and went to the gym. I am sorry, Perrysville Avenue, for anyone who saw me sprinting in improper running attire. I am sorry, calves, for sprinting up that miserable, painful incline. But mostly, I am sorry, God, for not running and going to Happy Hour instead. My lesson is learned.

Now a stink bug is flying around my head. And the formatting on this post isn't working and I'm not arguing any more so it is one giant run on paragraph. For the two of you who regularly read this blog you will just have to deal. I am tired and smelly and soaked in sweat and rain.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Rule #1, Don't fall in love at Beerfest

Like Ronnie says about the Jersey Shore, just don't fall in love there. Don't. I won't talk about that topic any more but you should consider that wise advice.

As far as I can recall I've never been to Tampa, Florida. As fate would fall, I was there twice in two weeks during the spring of 2013. As luck would have it, one of those weeks was Tampa's Craft Beer Week.

It's Saturday morning of Cigar City's Hunahpu fest, the "must attend" "highlight event" of the beer week. Served there is Cigar City's limited quantity Hunahpu brew, considered by some to be the best beer made in the state of Florida. I ignored all of this by waking up and throwing on clothes for a quick jog. My companions said they're going to Ybor for shopping- did I want to go? I didn't, I said. I wanted to sit by the pool.

I came back from the jog and they were still doing their hair. Flopping on the hotel chair, I checked twitter. Untappd noted something along the lines of, "We're following Hunahpu all day! Check out the action!"

I knew Hunahpu was taking place. I sighed and stated, "Oh, this big beer thing... I'm so envious."

"Oh this big beer thing? Where is it?"

"It's a widely sought Cigar City beer and a big festival, here in Tampa actually. I knew it was happening but didn't plan for it because I didn't quite understand the magnitude of the event."

"Well how about we go?"

"How about we go?" It was 10:30. "Maybe you don't understand. People have been in line for this beer for hours. Hours."

"Is it free? Do you need tickets?"

"Yeah, it's free to get in, you just pay for what you drink..."

"So why hesitate? Let's try and if it's awful we leave."

Me, thinking. "I'm not showered." This goes down in worst excuses in my life.

"Shower, then." Thankfully they were not taking any of my crap.


I showered. We drove. We parked, easily. We got in line, easily. We got wristbands to get our very own bottles of Hunahpu, easily. I was lost in the crowd of beer aficionados from all over the country. I was happy, easily.

The t-shirts at this shindig were incredible. There were t-shirts of breweries I know and love; t-shirts of breweries I dream of visiting; t-shirts of beer I envy; and t-shirts of places I've never been to and never knew existed. On top of that, there were t-shirts with fantastic slogans on them. For an unknown reason, I was ardently keeping a log of "the good ones" on my twitter. I do need to learn that Twitter is not dear-diary.

In dog beers, I've only had one.
Beer is your friend.
Craft Beer. It's not alcoholism it's a hobby.
City that never sleeps NYC.
Global Warming
Beer & Birds
I got it in the bunghole
Keep Calm and Brew On
Beer Speaks, People Mumble
Get your hands on a blonde.
I'd tap that
Will sell wife for beer.
Sparty On.
I find your lack of beer disturbing.
It's okay pluto, I'm not a planet either.
Bier Polzei

The most commonly seen t-shirt related to a specific beer was for Pliny the Elder.

The Hunahpu festival itself was a crazy beer exchange festival that I was emotionally unprepared for. I was abruptly pulled into a conversation that forced me to declare if I were on team Lannister or not. A dude in an All-Star Beer Pong t-shirt shared with me a no-longer produced beer just because I was curious about the label. Others were offering bottles from their local region as a swap for something from another's region. I was completely unprepared for everything that was taking place.

Including the line. Oh, the line for the Hunahpu bottles. I rightfully heard one girl state, "If you require me to start this line over again I'll cut you." But each person with a wristband was guaranteed three bottles. I waited patiently, drank a spicy jalapeno beer, acquired the bottles, wrapped them securely, worried anxiously through baggage check, and rejoiced gleefully when I realized they survived the trip from Tampa to Pittsburgh. So delicious, and mostly because of the company that was able to enjoy it with me back in the snowy Keystone State.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Where the Sawgrass Meets the Sky

Did you know the title of this post is the Florida state anthem? I did not. Anyway here are a few brew pictures from the glorious trip to Pirates Spring Training last month. I needed to get this up before heading off to bourbon country on Friday - the state whose motto is, "United We Stand, Divided We Fall".

Monday, April 08, 2013

The best jog of my life

I ran ten miles, outside, up hills and down hills, in just a smidge under two hours.

Maybe I really can do this half marathon thing.