10 Oct The Dish On Dining Out
It’s October, which means that many of us find ourselves in the thick of back-to-school season with growing family commitments and the quickly approaching holiday time. With such busy schedules, it’s likely that there are times during the week when we find ourselves looking for shortcuts in our meal planning! The challenge we often run into with increased busyness is finding healthy shortcuts to take if we’re purchasing pre-made foods or eating out. Here are a few guidelines to help you:
- Be prepared: pre-purchase healthy snacks to carry along with you so that you’re not caught in the sticky situation of being so hungry you grab whatever first comes along. A few easy travel companions include: almond butter packets, roasted garbanzo beans, trail mix, packets of organic oatmeal that you can just add hot water to, hummus and crackers, popcorn, whole food bar and a refillable water bottle. You can also chop fresh fruits and veggies to add to a cooler of hummus and other snacks.
- Don’t forget to pack bowls, plates, napkins and necessary utensils so you’re able to eat all the good stuff you’ve packed!
- Use an app to find a restaurant of your liking; I prefer “Yelp”. You can search by location, restaurant name, or type of cuisine. Each restaurant is rated and tagged per price point so you’re able to make the best choice for you, your health needs and your budget.
- Avoid fast food dining if possible. Spend the extra 30 minutes it’ll take you to stop and get a meal to go from a restaurant that serves healthier fare or plan to sit and enjoy the meal together as a part of your family time.
- If indeed you must stop at a fast food restaurant because it’s all that is available, then make wise choices. Select fresh ingredients when possible, opting for salads, soups, or a baked potato. Instead of fried foods, select a grilled option. If you’ve packed a cooler ahead of time you can always pair up your grilled chicken sandwich with the veggies and hummus you brought from home.
- Remember that you are your own advocate; a menu at any restaurant is to be used as a guide but is not set in stone. If you see salmon on the menu from one meal, and asparagus included in a different meal, ask the server to have the chef pair the two up for you along with a side salad for your lunch. You can create anything you’d like as long as they have the ingredients available; while there may be an extra charge to do so, it’s worth it in the long run. This rule applies whether you’re pulling into Subway because it’s the only place available for miles, or the finest restaurant you’ve ever visited.