Sunday, November 2, 2008
Dressing on the Side: Eating Out Healthier
How many times have you been in a restaurant and the salad or main dish arrives drenched in dressing or sauce? Eating out can be a pleasure, but can also mean a whole lot of extra fat and calories.
So I would like to share with you some simple things to try when eating out. The goal is to enjoy a satisfying meal in a healthy way.
Order a healthy drink.
Many restaurants stock bottled mineral water, and that’s what I usually have. For a treat, I sometimes get orange, cranberry or pineapple juice and sometimes vegetable juice. Asian restaurants often serve tea which goes great with the cuisine.
Start with a salad.
My favorites are romaine lettuce or mixed greens. Tomatoes, cucumber, sliced onion and a pepper are crunchy and satisfying. And don’t forget to say “Dressing on the side please.” That way you can control the amount of dressing. I like a little vinaigrette or simply olive oil and vinegar. Add some grilled chicken, fish, shrimp and the salad makes a good meal. Vegetarians can add cheese, tofu or beans for protein.
Satisfy with soup.
Vegetable soup or minestrone are a nice way to get vegetables. I skip the cream based chowders or bisques, these are usually high in fat and calories.
Grill or Broil instead of frying.
Ask for your chicken or fish grilled or broiled. It’s a classic way of cooking, straightforward and simple and I am usually pretty happy with the result. Again, ask for any sauce on the side, so you can control what you are eating.
Get your vegetables.
Why not benefit from being in a restaurant by getting your vegetables? I often ask what fresh vegetables are available, and then requested the vegetables steamed. Remember to ask for any sauce on the side.
Get Baked potatoes, not fries.
I enjoy the traditional baked potato rather than fries. It goes well with chicken or fish.
Ask for fruit.
Dessert is a challenge. If you want to finish your meal with something sweet, ask for fruit.
Request Skim or lowfat milk.
For your coffee or tea, ask for skim or lowfat milk, most places are happy to serve them.