Wednesday, December 30, 2009

A better plate of food

A little bit after I got home from work Erik said that he was really hungry and wanted a burger. Since it’s close, and for the sake of quickness we got Carside to go. We don’t really love Applebee’s buuuut every once in awhile it’s okay. 

I decided to take this opportunity to share some things I do to choose a healthy restaurant items.

  • I typically stick with chicken, fish, lean meats, or veggie based meals Tonight, I chose the chicken and mushroom portabella sandwich on a whole wheat bun.
  • If eating bread, choose wheat instead of white.  Most every restaurant will have a wheat or whole grain option and will be happy to switch buns.


  • In place of fries, I get veggies or fruit. With my dinner tonight I ordered steamed broccoli with no butter (remember to say no butter and save yourself a lot of calories and fat ; )


  • I watch out for sauces and dressings. This sandwich typically comes with a marinara sauce and I ate it sans marinara. There can be a lot of added fat, calories, and sodium hiddin’ in sauces and dressings.
  • Order dressings and sauces on the side. You can easily save calories and fat by simply putting on half of the dressing or sauces, rather than all of it.

Erik decided on a quesadilla burger without the Mexi-ranch sauce and with no bacon served with steamed veggies rather than fries.AAA

  • Whenever possible, I get online ahead of time to check out my options. Looking at a menu ahead of time prevents diet disasters and it helps knowing what healthy options are available.
  • I’ve learned not to be afraid to ask for what I want. Typically, restaurants are more than happy to cook your meal the way you want it; without butter, on different bread, with no sauce, etc. Just ask!
  • Drink a lot of water. Not only will the water make you feel fuller, but it will help your body burn fat faster.

While most restaurant options are very high in sodium, it’s possible to get a much healthier option at just about every restaurant and cuisine.   

What are some things you do when eating out to choose a healthier option??



  1. Great tips for eating out! That broccoli looks really good! I hate it when I forget to request veggies dry...restaurants will just DRENCH veggies in butter and oil :-(

  2. Great tips! I also avoid the fries because I really don't care for them unless they are square. Haha, so weird, but I only eat the fries that have square ends- I hate the pointy ones. BUT if they are sweet potato fries, all these rules go out the window. SP fries are waaaayyyyy too good to pass up!

    AWw, so cute that Eric even asks for veggies for the fries. I think I would pass out if my hubby ever did that! LoL Never will I see the day that he asks for broccoli instead of a spud. ;)

  3. haha my dad took me to a pub the other day, and i had a nice 5-minute convo with the waitress to figure out a way for me to get a decent meal. if you have a big smile on your face when you ask, they're more inclined to make changes for you!

  4. I ahve to say - I ahve been pleasantly surprised by the number of restaurants that are emerging with healthier food fare. Finally! I don't have to eat a plain green salad with nothing on it.. rejoice!

  5. It's great that you can sub broc for fries!! The broc looks perfectly steamed too!! Mmm Mmm.

  6. I definitely do all of the same things. And it's so helpful at places like Applebee's and Chili's. Their "healthy" sections of menus actually are pretty tasty.

    I do need to work on not being afraid to ask for what I want. I still am afraid of "sounding weird" sometimes.

  7. great tips girl!! i LOVE THE QUESIDILLA BURGER!! so sinfully good! its ESP good w. sweet tater fries!

  8. Now that I need to watch the gluten I am so much more conscious of what I order. I always research before I eat out.

  9. I like your suggestions. They are really good. I always check the menu before I eat out. I love the Quesadilla Burger. It's so yummy. No sauce for me either.

  10. AWESOME tips for dining out! I think the most important thing is to ask for what you want and not to worry about being a hassle!

  11. Great tips girl...I like to look at the menu before too!

  12. Happy new year!

    I am with you & do all of what you mentioned & sometimes I just bring my own stuff OR eat my protein first & have a fresh veggie w/o butter there. I always do the on the side with sauces/dressings too OR just no sauce!

  13. Great post, Lesley. Your tips are pretty much the same ones I give to clients and patients. :-) Happy 2010!

  14. I typically don't order red meat at restaurants (except authentic Chinese ones), either, but only because I don't really like it except for Chinese-style. :/ I do want to try a lamb/bison burger though. Burgers I can do. ;) IMO, whole grain bread is so much richer in taste than plain white! For salads that come with vinaigrettes, I typically ask for dressing on the side, because they usually overdo it to the point that I can't even tell one veggie from another. :(

    Happy New Year to you!!!

  15. Great post, Leslie! I would have to say that I follow all your guidelines when eating out. If I order salad I'm very cautious of the toppings that come on it, like crispy noodles, bacon crumbles, etc and always ask for them to be removed.


Thanks for stopping by!

nRelate - All Sections