Lo-Cal Kitchen Makes Calorie Consciousness Cool

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The Cheatza, a pizza that substitutes a traditional wheat dough crust with ground chicken. (Photos courtesy of Lo-Cal Kitchen)

March is National Nutrition Month and after the havoc that the holiday season can wreak on your diet, there’s no better time in the year to get your body back on track than early spring. One of the best places to treat your body right is at Lo-Cal Kitchen in Greenvale.

Owner Jeffrey Feinstein says that he wants to change the way we interact with our health by helping his customers pay more attention to what they put in their bodies, through a philosophy called “calorie consciousness.”

What do you mean by calorie consciousness? How do you find it helps your customers make the best decisions and stay on track?

To us, calorie consciousness is both about the number of calories as well as the quality of calories. The “calorie” and the focus on it as a means of maintaining a healthy weight has been demonized of late, but we feel it’s important to have an awareness of how many calories things contain. It’s been my experience that people grossly underestimate calorie counts. The number of calories alone is not sufficient, however, as people can eat less calories and still not be healthy. That’s where the quality of the calorie comes into play. We utilize low calorie cooking techniques, using lean meats, lots of vegetables and whole grains, together with a focus on reduction of added sugars and refined carbohydrates to achieve our “calorie conscious” food. In doing so we make it easy for our customers to choose healthy meals that suit their tastes.

The Fiery Pickle, which is a ground turkey burger topped with mozzarella cheese, pickled onions and a chipotle mayo.

What do you think are the biggest barriers to eating well?

Taste, lack of results and availability. I think when people think healthy food they think bland and tasteless. It doesn’t have to be that way. Depending on your current diet, you might have to make some minimal sacrifices, but we’ve created a menu that makes them very easy to swallow.

There is so much information out there on what to eat or not eat and so many different fad diets it’s hard to count them all. People tend to grab onto an idea they read about and run with it. Often it doesn’t work for them, or it works for a time and then they find themselves back where they started or worse. There are no magic pills to achieve lasting results; you need to decide that you are going to make a life long change to eat better.
It’s difficult to find quality healthy food that tastes good. People are often faced with a plethora of less healthy choices or unhealthy foods masquerading as healthy foods—being prepared for these situations and having the knowledge of what the better choices are can greatly help in this area.

How do you try to make healthy eating easier?

We’ve taken all the thought out of it—not knowing what the healthiest choices on a menu are can make it difficult to make a good choice. At Lo-Cal Kitchen, there are no bad choices.

What’s the one dish you recommend people try at Lo-Cal Kitchen?

We do so many great dishes, but I think some of our most creative dishes are the ones I like to highlight. They would include the Cheatza. It’s like a pizza, but we use ground chicken as the crust instead of a wheat dough. We also do some great burgers, which are cooked to order and feature 90 percent lean ground beef, 90 percent lean ground bison and 99 percent lean ground turkey. One of the favorites is the Fiery Pickle, which is a ground turkey burger topped with mozzarella cheese, pickled onions and light chipotle mayo.

For more on Lo-Cal Kitchen and to check out the menu, visit www.lo-calkitchen.com.

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