Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Eating out doesn't have to be difficult.

I get asked all the time, “Sandra, what is your most favorite meal?” My answer… all the time is… “Any meal I didn’t have to personally cook or clean up after, is my favorite meal.”

I love going out to dinner… at least I used to. My tune changed after attending my Food Handler’s Class, but that’s an entirely different story. From time to time, everyone ends up eating at a restaurant… fast food or otherwise.

I want to tell you here and now, you can make good choices at restaurants, if you want to. If you are of the mind that says ”Since I’m here, I’ll indulge now, and start back up on track tomorrow.” I’m here to say… “Why go off track, why can’t you enjoy a good meal out AND stay on plan?”

Here are some guidelines.

1.Instead of a potato (mashed, fried, baked or otherwise) ask the server to sub an extra helping of veggies, sans butter.

2.Having a salad? No problem. Ask to have the bacon, cheese and croutons removed and ask for more cukes, carrots and tomatoes instead.

3.Want soup? Stay away from cream based soups, and opt for the vegetable broth based soups or chicken noodle

4.Choose fish entree’s without batter, and stay away from anything with the words “Fried”, “Battered”, “Coated”, “Breaded” or”Smothered”.

5.Get your dressing on the side, and dip your fork into it, then into the lettuce.

6.Don’t be afraid to ask how a dish is prepared.

7.Tip well, always, but tip more when making substitutions and the server really comes through for you.

8.Drink water or iced tea with your meal, and drink an entire glass before the meal gets to the table.

9.When your meal arrives, immediately as the server to give you a “to go” container and put some into it before you start eating…(if the place has huge portions)

10.Don’t eat the bread… munch on some veggies instead, or better yet, have a piece of fruit or two before leaving the house, so you aren’t famished.

I went out to Chili’s today with my midde son. I had already eaten my protein for the day, three hours prior, so I opted for a “cobb” style salad, and asked for the bacon and bleu cheese to be taken off, with the dressing on the side. She was happy to oblige, I ate well, and enjoyed my sons company for an hour. These days, eating out isn’t about the food… its about the company I’m keeping… and it has made the entire experience so much more enjoyable!

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