A dinner Date With Ms. FitFood
I always joke with people that I am the cheapest date you will ever have( I don't even know if that is a good quality). When it comes to dining out, I would rather just pass. I have even been known to bring my own food with me to the restaurant. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy the social aspect of eating out, but normally I just like to sit and talk. I have a lot of reasons for why I do this
1. I am super cheap and hate spending money on food, except at the grocery store. I got this trait from my dad, I think.
2. My laundry list of food allergies makes it very hard for me to eat out and not get sick. No matter what I tell the waitress, my food almost always comes out incorrectly. I hate to complain, so it just makes it easier if I don’t order.
3. Finally, I like to eat for volume! Which means I like to eat as much as I can and use my calories wisely. I hate the thought of going out to eat and spending money on food, then going home and eating more because I’m not full.
4. Needless to say, I enjoy cooking at home, so I can monitor what is on my plate.
With all that being said, we all must go out to eat sometimes. Most people even enjoy this ritual, even though I clearly don’t understand it! I want to give you all some things to keep in mind when you go out to eat, that way you can stay on track and still be a glorious social butterfly. Side note: I do understand that once a week or so, you want to dive into a delicious and greasy cheeseburger or eat some pizza, that’s totally understandable. These tips are for those times when a treat meal is not in order, and you need to stick to your plan!
Trick #1: If a person asks what restaurant you want to go to, TELL THEM! There is no shame in my game. I always pick places that have healthy options. Don’t be afraid to tell someone you are making healthy decisions. Its like when you are in high school and are afraid to tell people you don’t drink. Be confident in the healthy person you are becoming! They will respect you for it, and maybe even jump on the health train with ya!
#2: Research the menu before you go! It is a lot less overwhelming, and you can plan ahead! Most places have their menus online, and have the allergy and nutrition information available! They are just a click away on your iPhone or Android. Take some time and research your favorite places and see what their healthy options are. You can even go as far as printing out the menus and making a binder to keep in your car. Fast food menus are also available. Keep your binder in your back seat, and you will always know what you’re working with! Easy Peasy!
#3 Split a meal! We all know that the portions at these fine establishments are double what we need, so don’t be shy about asking for another plate and splitting a meal with someone! Even order an extra side or a salad to go with your meal if you need to! You will feel full, spend less money, and you can even eat something without the guilt if you don’t stuff yourself full just because it’s in front of you. Another option is to tell them to put ½ of your meal in a to-go box before they bring it out to you.
#4 Don’t be afraid to tell the waiter/waitress that you don’t want butter or oil on your food or that you want your dressing on the side. Coming from someone who was a waitress in college, it’s not that big of a deal (and if your server makes a big deal out of it, they have bigger problems in their life). Anyway, like I said in tip #1, be proud of your efforts to be healthy! It’s awesome!
#5 Order some veggies. It’s not too hard. You can get a good amount of fiber (which makes you full), while feeding your body healthy nutrients. Win-win! You also wont be using too many calories! Also, along with this tip. Order a dang water! Don’t drink your calories, like ever! I’m not even going to explain the benefits of this one; it would take too long for this one post. Just trust me for now.
#6 Don’t assume the salad is healthy. I was out to eat with my mom at O’Charley’s one weekend, where she always orders the Cranberry Pecan Chicken Salad. Sounds healthy enough, right? Well, me being who I am, I looked up how many calories it has. I have always done this; it’s like a guessing game for me. I swear if there was a game show for being knowledgeable about nutrition labels, I would be the world champion. Anyway…that salad has over 1000 calories and is very high in fat. With candied pecans, blue cheese, breaded chicken and dried cranberries the salad is not your best choice. Knowledge is key when going to out eat, and don’t assume that just because something “seems” healthy, that it is.
Now, go educate the masses about how to go out to eat and still stay on track! To live in our society, we all have to go out to eat sometimes. Just remember that the company you keep is more important than the food on your plate. Always eat to live, not live to eat. These are words to live by. When you follow these simple tips, you wont have to regret your meal, or feel the need to go run after you leave. You will develop a healthy relationship with food, and more importantly, deeper relationships with the ones you love! Enjoy your journey!
What’s that? Wednesday
If I were the only one reading this blog, I would always pick something sweet to share with you all. Because in B’s perfect world, I would eat something chocolate for every meal and it would still have all of the nutrient value of broccoli. With that being said, I am in a constant search to make veggies taste good without putting so much on them that they aren’t even healthy anymore. This week, I found a great new product at the grocery store! It is a balsamic vinegar reduction, and it will give your veggies superhero-esque powers! It tastes wonderful (the sound effects prove it)! I put in on some green beans and asparagus, along with some shallots (small sweet version of the onion). Put the oven on Broil and cook for 10 minutes, its literally that simple. I am going to try it on my chicken tonight, and see how that goes! Don’t be afraid to dabble in the world of seasoning, herbs, and vinegars. They are great ways to add flavor to your food, without adding a lot of calories!