Strategies for Dining Out
The truth is, it’s easier to make all of your own food when it comes to trying to make healthy lifestyle changes. That way, you can control everything that goes in to making your food, and using the healthiest choices and selections to prepare your food. One thing that was mind blowing when writing this, is when I went to each restaurants’ web site, the seasoning ingredients almost always contained some sort of sugar, molasses, and lots of extra chemicals. But, busy lives call, and we are on the go! Also, I feel like we would rarely leave the house if we didn’t dine out some during the week, and especially our weekend. It’s as much a part of our lifestyle as anything else.
Food is Fuel, not a Reward
It feels like our culture is centered around food! Face it, have you attended any meetings, family get togethers, and special event celebrations where one of the highlights of that event wasn’t food? It’s not usually good food choices either! Cue the donuts, sugar laced juice or punch, pastries, cakes, pies, and everything else that’s not on our radar or known as the best choices we could make. We have also conditioned ourselves to believe that food equals a reward. Food is fuel. I’m not telling you that you shouldn’t ever have a treat again; I’m just saying pay mindful attention to the choices that are offered in each of these settings, then take a look around and see how many body types that are there that you aspire to be? No harshness or judgement intended, but this is the American way it seems.
LIFO (Last in, first out)
So how do we survive? We make the best choice we can in every given situation, and of course, a treat here and there is not going to destroy us completely, but we have to make better choices consistently or we won’t achieve the results that we seek. One thing I’m trying to focus on this month is how many good choices can I make to try to get my body in that fat burning state as much as possible. When I cheat, it derails that process, and my body has to go burn off that sugar first, then only if that sugar was burnt off, will by body go tap into my fat storage again. It’s kind of like the accounting principle, LIFO, last in, first out. If sugar was the last in, my body is going to burn it first.
Healthy Choices Dining Out
McDonald’s – Egg plate, Chicken Bacon Ranch Salad (I try to pick off cheese and croutons, and ask for the lite Italian dressing since their salads are pre-made typically), Grilled chicken sandwich (no bun), side salad.
Wendy’s – Power Mediterranean Salad – the pesto, northern beans, feta cheese, white beans, garbanzo beans, and after reading the seasoning on the chicken makes me cringe…but there is much else on Wendy’s menu in my opinion. Same as above with McDonald’s, they have a grilled chicken sandwich and pair with a side salad.
Subway – chopped salad – the nice part is you can pick your ingredients
Arby’s – Roast Chopped Farmhouse Salad
Taco Bell – Cantina Power Bowl – I usually get chicken, and have them sub lettuce for the rice and beans, and no sour cream or cheese.
KFC – our local KFC doesn’t offer grilled chicken anymore, so if that’s what my family is eating, I pick off the skin as much as possible, and green beans is the side of choice.
Panera Bread – This is a secret menu item, and you need to order from the inside kiosk when you first walk in the door so you can custom make it is my preference – Power Mediterranean Chicken Salad – This is probably my favorite salad I can get anywhere.
Mamma Rosa’s – Cauliflower crust pizza, salad bar, and their homestyle buffet usually includes some sort of meat choices, and vegetable options.
El Camino’s Mexican Restaurant – Grilled shrimp, with sides of mixed vegetables and a side salad. It comes on one plate there. I probably don’t want to know what’s in the seasoning, and it seems to be floating in butter or something, but I guess it’s better than the burrito I’d like to have or the salad topped with the white queso sauce and in the fried tortilla bowl that I adore.
Most other sit down restaurants offer meat and vegetables; so that’s why I try to stick with and try to look away from the bread or chips on the table. Sigh…..
Dining out is NOT easy. But, one good decision at a time, and it can become easier and easier to survive in our fast food society.
Comment below any suggestions you have for Dining Out, I would love to have more strategies when we go out!