On Missy Maintains!
Here’s a transcript 🙂
My name is Sara, guest blogging for the fabulous Missy while she soaks up the sun on vacation (SO JEALOUS!). My forte, as some many remember but all will learn is eating, specifically; eating out at restaurants. I consider it a hobby, a joy and an obsession of sorts. That said, dining out can be a veritable healthy lifestyle landmine (I don’t use the word diet, in the immortal words of Weight Watchers-which I have never followed and know little to nothing about-DIETS DON’T WORK. But I digress; this is a post about the fabulous world of restaurants…)
The good news? Dining out doesn’t have to impede on a healthy lifestyle. I eat out approximately 6 times a week or more, at delicious restaurants, oftentimes without extremely healthy (albeit delicious) options. Despite my addiction to NYC cuisine, I am maintaining a 25lb weight loss since college, regularly run half marathons and attempt to maintain an all around balanced and healthy lifestyle. It is possible
Here are some of my best/most used tips when dining out in NYC ANYWHERE:
- Always look at the menu beforehand if you can. Menupages.com is a great resource in NYC and google-ing the restaurant will often lead directly to the menu. Never come to a restaurant ‘blind’. You should know the cuisine; familiarize yourself with what options are at hand. This will help you to make a healthier decision when your butt hits the chair you sit down. If you cannot look at the menu before you get there, take time with the menu. Explore the options. Don’t let anyone rush you into making a less than stellar choice!
- Always choose something light to begin with like:
- Salad w/ a light dressing or dressing on the side
- Carpaccio/raw fish dish
- Vegetable based (stay away from veggies + cheese)
- Non –cream based soup
- If you are sharing appetizers with a group and do not have much say in the ordering…MAKE YOURSELF A SMALL PLATE. Pick the items you wish to try and place them on a plate. Once your plate is made, eat slowly, finish it and BE DONE
- If you want to indulge in drinks, try to skip the bread or chips. I find sometimes eating out becomes a ‘special occasion’ way too often. Indulging in alcoholic drinks often lowers your inhibitions and you might find yourself dipping into the bread or chip basket more than you would have otherwise. Also, it is wise to pick one indulgence. Alcohol OR bread/chips. Calories add up, unfortunately.
- Choose an entrée ideally which has healthful components. For example:
- A fish with a light sauce or glaze with veggies instead of a starch. Don’t be afraid to ask for a modification with a huge smile on your face!! (More on that later….)
- A whole wheat pasta dish with vegetables and or protein with a red sauce. Cream sauce is, unfortunately, usually not a great bet
- “Share” an entrée (notice the quotations around share) with a friend, spouse or date. If you know you want to try a creamy and slightly less healthful dish that you know someone else will order, offer them a small portion of yours for a small taste of theirs. It is a fun way to try what you want while still choosing the healthy option.
- Limit yourself to small bites of dessert if it is something you “HAVE” to try. Dessert packs an incredible amount of sugar/caloric punch usually. Tiny forkfuls can sometimes quell a craving for an entire/dessert/treat after a meal.
- DO NOT BE AFRAID TO ASK FOR MODIFICATIONS. Sauce on the side, light on the sauce, veggies instead of a starch…there are so many healthy ways to SLIGHLTY modify a dish. Disclaimer: There are VERY FEW times (but it has happened to me!!) where a modification, in the chef’s eyes, will “ruin a dish”. If this is a case, try something else!
- ENJOY! Everyone knows there are times in life that warrant indulgences. Frequently meals out are attached to these times. Enjoy yourself, but attempt to operate with healthy parameters to the BEST of your ability!
Eating out is not always easy. The fact that ‘rules’ exist to help you make better choices (all of the above have been adapted in one way or another from nutrition advice I have received and read over the years) shows that very clearly. The truth is, however, the more adept you become at navigating the ‘healthier’ side of menus, the more enjoyable eating out will become for you. These suggestions are by no means saying ‘never order the mac’n’cheese’. That is unrealistic and NOT FUN! The idea here, as with any healthy lifestyle choices, is moderation.
What are YOUR tips and tricks when dining out???
Thanks for reading!