Thursday, November 14, 2013

10 Survival Tips for Eating Out

Survival Tips for Eating Out
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If you're working at changing your lifestyle habits to be healthier, you may be reluctant to go out to eat because you' might blow your new health trend. Never fear! I've got some tips that will get you through. Make your food work for you by being proactive. Restaurants should be about service and accommodating your health needs.

Here are 10 tips to help you make eating out work for your healthy lifestyle:
  1. Plan ahead. Where will you be eating? Consider what meal options are available.
  2. Go online and explore the menu to discover possible selections. Look for a section of healthier choices.
  3. Ask for smaller portions. Restaurant portions are typically too large.
  4. Split your order. Share with a friend or spouse or take half home for another meal.
  5. For a lighter meal, check out the appetizers. I find many a yummy, healthy meal in the appetizer section. Warning! That's where all the fried stuff can be, so be wise.
  6. Order toppings and dressings either on the side or have them left off.
  7. Don't be afraid to make special requests. Keep them simple, which is what you want anyway. I do it all the time. At a 5-star restaurant I asked the waiter to have the chef lightly steam whatever veggies they had in the kitchen. They brought me a huge plate of lovely, assorted veggies.
  8. Tell the waiter to nix the bread or just take one piece and have the rest removed from the table. Remember! Bread is like sugar, especially white bread, and it ends up around your middle in the long run.
  9. If you've eaten healthy for the day (sticking to plant-based, non-processed foods) then don't fret too much over your meal out. It's not the amount of calories you consume, but the KIND of calories that matter. 100 calories of sugar is not the same as 100 calories of asparagus. Please tell me you get this…
  10. Limit any alcohol to one drink. It's empty calories (to use a familiar term) and tends to increase your appetite.
I felt like the Queen on our first cruise following my new diet changes. I marked my pre-cruise preferences with special diet needs. Upon arrival to our stateroom on board, I found an invitation requesting that I introduce myself to the head waiter. Searching him out in the late afternoon, I found him prepping the dining room. He showed rapt interest as I explained what I could and could not eat. He then suggested several alternatives for my evening meal.

Princess Cruises
When I arrived at dinner, the head waiter handed me tomorrow's menu, which allowed me to order my selections for the next evening with any changes I needed. For example, they made me cream of mushroom soup without dairy—it tasted better than the dairy version according to my husband who enjoyed a taste of everything.

As you can imagine, I became quite popular at our table as others wanted to know what's for dinner tomorrow.

Since I don't do sugar, I always passed as the waiter took dessert orders around our table. On the fourth day, the waiter set before me a piece of berry pie as he said, "No dairy. No sugar." The pastry chef had created a pie just for me. He took it on as a challenge, wanting me to enjoy one of his creations while my table-mates devoured his other wonderful desserts.

As for the buffet, which I enjoyed for breakfast and lunch, I loved it! The layout of beautiful, fresh-cut veggies made my day. I piled my plate with all the veggies I wanted. Many I don't have very often, like fresh peas. Oh… and since I stay away from the bread, pastries, and other things that create the fleshy roll around the middle, plus I exercise every day at sea, gaining weight on a cruise? Not an issue.

What do you find as temptation when you go out to eat?


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