Sticking to a New Year's resolution diet can get pretty tricky when it comes to dining out. Sure, you can meal prep your heart out at home, but not all restaurants are equipped to cater to every palate.
Starting Wednesday, Chipotle is making it a little bit easier to enjoy some affordable, fast-casual fare while still adhering to that "2019 will be healthier" goal with its new line of Lifestyle Bowls.
Each Lifestyle Bowl is crafted with ingredients the burrito chain already has in its arsenal, they've just been customized to adhere to various trendy diets. To create the recipe for each, Chipotle recruited the expert advice of Melissa Hatwig Urban, who is a co-founder of the Whole30 diet. In all, there are four new bowls, from a higher-fat, ketogenic diet-friendly bowl to a paleo-friendly bowl with lots of fresh veggies.
To adhere to Whole30 diet guidelines, which advises the removal of processed foods and added sugars, Chipotle's Whole30 Salad Bowl includes romaine lettuce, carnitas pork, fajita veggies like peppers and onions, tomato salsa and guacamole. Since no legumes are allowed on this diet, there are no beans and no grains.
The paleo diet is all about eating only the foods that our primal ancestors supposedly ate before modern farming technology took over and relies heavily on grass-fed meats, wild-caught fish and lots of veggies. According to nutritionist Kerri Glassman, RD, advocates of this diet believe that it helps minimize one's risk of chronic disease (based on the premise that cavemen didn't suffer from ailments like chronic heart disease and diabetes). Chipotle's Paleo Salad Bowl has romaine lettuce, barbacoa (beef that's slow cooked in seasonings and shredded), fajita veggies, green salsa and guacamole. Notably, there's no dairy in this bowl.
The ketogenic diet is like a more extreme version of the once trendy, no-carb, high-fat Atkins diet that tends to promote rapid weight loss as the body enters a state of ketosis. In addition, a few studies have shown that this diet can help lower blood sugar and increase insulin sensitivity in diabetics. The Chipotle Keto Salad Bowl follows the diet's requirements with a hearty portion of carnitas pork, red salsa, cheese and guacamole.
The last grab-and-go meal Chipotle created for its Lifestyle collection is its Double Protein Bowl. This meal wasn't created for a particular diet (perhaps if someone is looking to bulk up a bit?) but it serves up a hefty portion of, you guessed it, protein. It includes white rice, black beans, red salsa, romaine lettuce, sour cream and two full portions of both chicken and steak.
A Chipotle spokesperson told TODAY Food that the bowls are now available indefinitely and nationwide, though there is a catch. To enjoy a Lifestyle Bowl, it's easiest for customers to order one through the chain's mobile app or online at order.chipotle.com. Once ordered, the diet-friendly meal can be picked up at your nearest Chipotle or delivered. However, since Chipotle orders are customizable and all of the ingredients are already in stores, customers are able to order these bowls in any store location by selecting the individual ingredients — just don't expect to see any signage advertising them.