*A healthy lunch from West Texas RX (only $5)
We all have the best intentions of preparing healthy, wholesome home-cooked meals every evening, but sometimes life gets busy and it's just easier and more relaxing to go out to eat (or pick something up). What a treat it can be to let someone else do all the chopping, cooking and cleaning up! Unfortunately, restaurant food is typically prepared to taste really good, but not necessarily to be very good for you. We love to eat out, but we also love to be healthy, so we wanted to share some of our favorite tips for dining out guilt-free. Here's the Funspired scoop:
· Skip the Chips! and bread before your meal (unless that is your absolute favorite thing). If you want to munch on something while you wait for your food, order a healthier appetizer option as soon as you sit down OR ask for fresh veggies or salad to eat with the salsa. Another option: eat a little snack at home before you go out, so you can hold out for your meal.
· Opt for one of these Low-Calorie Salad Dressing Alternatives: Lemon or Lime Wedges, Salsa, or Vinegar. Or enjoy your favorite dressing, but just use a little bit less of it. And skip the croutons.
· Order your Sandwich Without Bread. Trust us, it will be just as good with a fork and knife, and you'll avoid those sugary, processed extra calories.
· Go cheese-less. Typical processed cheese doesn't add much flavor to your salad or sandwich. We'd be surprised if you miss it. Pizza even tastes good without cheese as long as you have lots of other yummy toppings. If you LOVE the cheese, you might just request that they go "light" on it.
· Substitute Side Dishes. Instead of the high-calorie, high-carb sides like French fries, mashed potatoes, & Mexican rice, ask for a side salad and/or veggies. If you need a starch, opt for a plain baked sweet potato.
· Ask for your meat and vegetables to be cooked Without Extra Butter and Oil.
· Get your Sauce on the Side, and you'll likely eat less of it.
· Watch your Portion Size. If portions are large, plan to eat only half of your plate. Either split the dish with a friend or pack half or your meal to go before you start eating.
· Pick Your Poison. Part of the fun of eating out is getting to indulge a little bit! Choose one food or drink that you really LOVE, and savor it.
· Fortunately, most restaurants these days are happy to accommodate special requests, so Don't Feel Bad Asking! If the bad-for-you foods never make it on your plate, you won't be tempted to eat them. Instead you'll be able to enjoy a healthy, delicious meal anywhere you go.
· Some of our Favorite Local Restaurants for healthy dining: For lunch, we love West Texas RX and Pan-handlers Cafe (salad bar). For Mexican food, Joe Taco and Taco's Garcia are both great about accommodating special requests. At Hoffbrau, we love the lean smoked sirloin and all the healthy sides (steamed spinach & broccoli and sweet potatoes). There are a handful of great sushi restaurants with healthy choices like sashimi, seaweed salad and any rolls without tempura and mayonnaise. We also love Crush with all of their great salads and willingness to please. For a smoothie on the go, stop by Jiggle Berry on Olsen (but be sure to specify no corn syrup). Or for some yummy, fresh-brewed tea, try Tea 2 Go on Western.
Your fun friends,
Susan and Farrar