We all like to take the night off from cooking once in a while, or celebrate birthdays and promotions by eating at our favorite restaurants. Sadly, the dishes that we see on the menus are often less than desirable for our health and well-being than what we would like. Enjoy eating out and keep your wellness in check by following these simple tricks!
1. Order water or unsweetened iced tea
-It’s easy to rack up sugar calories and unwanted artificial ingredients in our diets when we drink too much soda. Opt for water or tea with lemon to quench your thirst and boost antioxidants.
2. Order salad as a side
-Swapping out fatty fried sides like French fries for a salad or seasonal steamed vegetable will boost your nutrient and fiber intake to fill you up.
3. Order dressing on the side
-You can control how much dressing actually goes on that salad. Try balsamic vinaigrette or oil and vinegar as lighter dressing options.
4. Grilled not ‘Crispy’
-‘Crispy’ usually means fried. Order your fish or chicken grilled or baked to cut back on fat and extra calories. Use condiments like mustard and salsa to add more flavor.
5. Box up half
-You don’t have to finish your whole meal, as restaurant portions are often way oversized. Saving half for later lets you enjoy your meal twice!
Following these little tips will help you to delight in a meal out with friends and family without compromising your health goals. Its small steps like these that will make a huge difference in your health for years to come.
By Lauren Hoffman, Dietetic Intern, Bastyr University