Eating healthy doesn’t have to make you a prisoner of your own kitchen! Just use these tips to keep you on track, and enjoy your dining experience. Remember to be mindful when choosing your meal, and keep these flavors and suggestions in mind:
- Most menus are available online. When possible, review the menu before you go. This can help ease anxiety and uncertainties about food choices.
- Don’t be scared to ask questions about ingredients or food preparation methods. Most restaurants will be more than happy to address your concerns, and some will even allow you to customize dishes beyond what the menu offers.
- Take it to go! Many restaurants serve super-sized portions. Ask for a to-go box and bring some home. You can sometimes get a whole second meal out of one entree! Smaller portions of left-overs can be used to mix into home prepared meals, like stir-frys.
Mediterranean cuisine offers many healthy and tasty options! Kabobs and protein platters with rice and grilled veggies are great options. Hummus and olives are great enhancements. Ask for extra olive oil on the side to drizzle on top of whatever you choose!
Thai food is known for an abundance of warming spices, and many hearty vegetable choices! Experiment with the various (and nutritious!) curry flavors to see which one you like best. You can usually choose your vegetables or protein source.
Chicken satay is another great option that is often on the appetizer menu, but you can surely order it as your entree. Add a side of brown rice and veggies for a hearty and healthy meal!
Skip the usual burrito or enchilada and instead opt for the fajitas. This will allow you to limit filling up on tortillas and instead focus on the protein and veggies of your choice. Add avocado/guacamole and salsa for extra flavor and nourishment!
Japanese fare allows for a wide variety of healthy options. Sushi is generally a guilt-free option so long as you stay away from the deep fried and tempura options. Hibachi is a delicious favorite that can be easily customized, also. Swap the fried rice for steamed rice.
Many italian restaurants offer a soup and salad option, with hearty bean or vegetable soup options such as pasta fagioli or minestrone. Steamed mussels, grilled chicken and fish options are often available and favorable to the typical fried preparations. We also know how enjoyable a good pasta dish can be, so here might be a good place to ask for the to-go box from the start. You can box a portion of your meal when it arrives to keep yourself from over-indulging. Opt for primavera (vegetable) or red sauces over the creamy alfredo choices.
Burgers or sandwich options can be enjoyed without the bun. Avoid the french fries and instead choose a grilled fish or poultry dish with a side salad, baked potato or sweet potato! Ask for condiments like butter and mayo on the side so you can control the amount (and take some to go with your leftovers!)