One of the toughest things about learning to eat well is finding something to eat when you don’t have the time or energy to put together a good meal. One way to prepare for this is to make meals you can freeze or put in the refrigerator for a few days that can be ready in a moment’s notice. My wife and I do this on the weekends so that we can have some snacks or easy lunch/dinner during the week after a particularly rough day.
However, there are times when even that just doesn’t sound good and we want to go somewhere and have someone hand us some food we can eat. So, what can we do? We don’t want to sabotage our progress or risk falling off the wagon. Well, we’ve found that a lot of eating establishments have alternatives, although many places think that low calorie is good for you. You have to be vigilant or be very specific when ordering. Here are some examples of what Sherry and I do:
- Greek food. We love to go to our local Greek restaurant. We order gyros with no pita and with grilled onions and tzaziki. We also have the Caesar salad with no croutons.
- El Pollo Loco’s double-chicken salad. We have them remove the corn and the chips, and I have them remove the cojita cheese from mine (for no other reason than I just don’t like it). Along with the low-cal cilantro dressing, it’s a good, healthy lunch.
- Red Robin’s hamburgers can be had with a lettuce wrap instead of bread. They also serve all-you-want broccoli that is actually quite well prepared. We’ve eaten there more than a few times and it’s actually quite delicious.
- At our local Mexican restaurant, we tell the waiter to leave the chips, tortillas, beans, and rice in the kitchen when we order. Sherry and I love the chipotle steak that has some sort of white cheese on top with a chipotle sauce. Along with some grilled onions, it’s a great dinner.
- Chik-fil-a has grilled chicken that tastes great.
- KFC has grilled chicken. Just ask them to make some.
There will be times when you can’t specify anything special or can’t order “off the menu.” If that’s the case, order something that you know you can disassemble at the table, or just don’t eat the sides if they are bad for you. This takes a lot more discipline once it’s on your plate sitting in front of you, but nobody is forcing you to put the food in your mouth.
Do you have any success stories when it comes to eating healthy at restaurants or healthy fast food?