Dining out can be a great opportunity to linger over a meal with good company, new foods, and the pleasure of a meal that you did not have to plan or prepare. Begin with the end in mind… create a dining experience that will leave you feeling the way you want to when you leave the restaurant or party.
Make your meals out healthy and fun by utilizing the following tips…
- Enjoy one glass of wine or a light beer.
- Ask for the breadbasket and starch portion of the meal to not be brought to the table. Ask for more vegetables instead of the potato.
- Choose a main dish that is not starch-based. Avoid pancakes or waffles, sandwiches or subs, pizza, potatoes, and pasta dishes.
- Build your meal around the lean protein that you will order. Enjoy the opportunity to order a new type of meat. Try an exotic game animal, fish, crab, lobster, strip steak, pork tenderloin, or any grilled lean meat.
- Make sure you get at least two servings of vegetables, preferably raw, steamed or grilled. Start the meal with a nice salad. Ask for oil and vinegar if they don’t have a vinaigrette dressing choice.
- Share a dessert. If you can’t, once you have eaten your three polite bites, pour salt and pepper all over the rest.
- No cream or cheese sauces! Also, beware of any sauces that may be loaded with sugar – BBQ, honey, house dressings, etc.
- For breakfast, order your eggs poached or hard-boiled to avoid the killer fats they use to scramble or fry eggs in a restaurant. Skip the potato home fries and the toast or just eat ½ – 1 slice of wheat toast. Get a side of fresh fruit such as melon or orange wedges.
- For lunch, have a wrap, broth-based soup, or large salad loaded with veggies, meat, and a vinaigrette dressing.
- For dinner out, stay away from the buffets!!! There is too much temptation and it is impossible to not overeat. Choose the ethnic restaurants, bistros, specialty cafes, and upscale American restaurants that will have enticing entrees and healthy options.
- Avoid sneaky restaurant tricks by asking for a dry bun and by telling the cook you have a dairy allergy and to therefore only use olive oil on vegetables (and no butter on the steak!).