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Healthy Tips for Dining Out

14 January 2009 4,506 views 2 Comments

Healthy Tips for Dining Out:


So many times when we try to change a bad habit it is more difficult to succeed when it feels like we are going to miss out on something enjoyable. If you are making a conscious effort to eat healthier that doesn’t mean you can never eat at a restaurant again. Here are a few tips for dining out without the guilt:

Skip the pre-meal fillers such as Bread or Chips and Salsa.

Often times these items are served immediately when you sit down and are most hungry. This leads to grazing on countless calories before your meal even arrives. It is OK to tell the server or busboy not to leave any pre-meal treats at your table to avoid the temptation and leave room for the healthy dinner you are about to order.

What should I order?

By today’s standards, portion sizes are too large for one person to consume an entire appetizer, salad and entrée. The only exception is when you are splitting all three courses with somebody else. Another rule of thumb is to request a to-go box before you begin eating, put half of everything in the box right away, “out of sight, out of mind”; this can also make a great lunch the next day. Choose grilled and steamed items off the menu and request your items be seasoned and/or cooked with olive oil instead of butter or margarine. Most meals include a protein, vegetable and a starch; request double vegetables and half the portion of starch. The best starch to order is steamed long grain brown rice or sweet potato when available. Steer clear of fried, breaded and cheese stuffed items and look for key words such as fresh, raw, wild, steamed and baked. Always requests dressings and sauces on the side and just dip your food instead of drowning it. Avoid beverages high in sugar content or sugar substitute and choose a quality bottled or sparkling water with some fresh citrus (lemon, lime, or orange slices) for flavor.

Would you like to see the Wine List, how about the Dessert Tray?

Ohhh the dilemma…. For so many of us this is our reward after a long week. The key to a successful healthy lifestyle is MODERATION and PORTION CONTROL. This does not mean a small piece of cake every day is healthy just because it is small but it does mean it is fine to have a few bites of something decadent once in a while. Choose a dessert with more fruit then chocolate or custard, hold the whip cream and skip the “a la mode” in “apple pie a la mode”. Enormous will power is needed to have a few bites then put the fork down but once this technique is mastered you are truly on your way to embracing the power of a healthy lifestyle. Wine and mixed drinks follow the same rules, MODERATION and PORTION CONTROL. Order a glass of wine not a whole bottle. If you enjoy a mixed drink from time to time, avoid sugary mixers such as juice, cola or pre-made mixes and try soda or tonic water with a twist of lemon or a squeeze of lime.

Some Healthy and Local Restaurant Choices:

Subway Veggie Delight Sandwich:
• Order a 12” with no cheese, mayo and no ranch on multi grain bread with all the veggies you want, top with oil & vinegar or mustard. Eat half for lunch and the rest a couple of hours later. Eating small portions frequently are more keys to a Healthy lifestyle. If you don’t want to eat half later just order the 6” inch option.

Chipotle Burrito Bowl:
• Order with steamed rice, black beans, grilled peppers & onions, grilled chicken (if desired), your choice of salsa’s, lettuce and ½ the normal serving scoop of guacamole. No cheese, no sour cream and no chips. Again, eat half for lunch and the rest a couple of hours later.

Sushi: Suggested Restaurants – Piranha Killer Sushi, Sushi Axiom or Pre-Made Rolls from Central Market
• Any kind of sushi roll is a good choice if it does not come fried or have fried items in it. Avoid large amounts of shell fish, soy sauce and other savory sauces that may be served as a dip or topping. Steamed Edamame is typically available at Sushi Restaurants and is a great appetizer to order.


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