I’ll Have the Salad Please

“Is it smart/healthy to order a salad for my restaurant meal?” This is a question I often get from my clients – so I thought I’d answer it here on the blog for everyone! My answer?  It depends. Don’t you hate that answer?  Me too, so I’m going to go into a lot more specifics and even share a .pdf cheat sheet for you at the end of this post. A salad can be an excellent choice for a meal.  Especially if you can do a little customization.  What do I mean by that?  If you think more veggies, more color and less fat, you are well on your way to a healthier salad. When you are ordering a salad in a restaurant, here are some things to add and avoid: Your salad base:  make sure the salad has a variety of greens – the darker green the better.  If it has spinach or kale as part of the greens, that’s a bonus.  Or try adding cabbage as a lettuce alternative – it’s fun to change it up! The colors:  the more colorful your salad is (a variety of different colored vegetables included), the healthier your salad.  Aim for at least three vegetables in different colors (ex:  carrots, cucumber and red peppers). Extras:  fruit is a great addition to your salad as are nuts & seeds (in small quantities); beans are fantastic – full of fiber and therefore filling without lots of extra calories or fats.  Go easy on the meat and olives, these items should be a garnish, not the main part of the salad. Cheese:  If you love cheese...
Yes, You CAN eat Healthy in Las Vegas

Yes, You CAN eat Healthy in Las Vegas

Following up with my eating healthy at Disney post is a second one . . . eating healthy in Las Vegas.  Health and Las Vegas seem a bit opposite, don’t they?  Well, they don’t have to be! Every year, we take an annual “grown-up” trip to Las Vegas with friends.  A week of absolutely no responsibility.  However, I’ve learned that if I want to enjoy the whole week I do have to be careful about taking care of myself – lots of walking (we averaged over 20,000 steps a day!) and eating the best that I can while still enjoying a bit of decadence. My top tips for eating healthy in Las Vegas: 1.  Start with a decent breakfast.  There are several reasons for this – first if you eat well early in the day you will set yourself up for making better choices AND it’s always an easy time to find fairly good food.  When in Las Vegas, I typically have one of two breakfasts.  The first is a simple oatmeal with fruit and coffee.  Easy, inexpensive, full of fiber and very filling.  The second would be a buffet.  (Wait a minute – I thought we were talking healthy).  Hear me out.  A breakfast buffet is a terrific way to get a lot of veggies into your diet – which can be hard to find while traveling.  I always get a veggie omelet loaded up with extra spinach and very light on the cheese.  Add a side of fruit and you are good to go! 2.  Don’t feel that you have to have a big meal 3x a...
Top five ideas for eating better at a fast food restaurant

Top five ideas for eating better at a fast food restaurant

Help!  I’m at a fast food restaurant, what do I eat??? Have you ever been in that situation?  In a fast food restaurant, hungry and have no idea how to pick something halfway healthy? I think we’ve all been there!   Instead of just giving up and ordering a meal that will make you feel sick, tired and unsatisfied, I’ve put together a few tips to help you out: Top Five Tips: Don’t order right away.  Before you place your order, take a close look at the menu.  Don’t assume that what sounds healthiest IS the healthiest item.  Check everything out – that grilled chicken might be covered with a mayo based sauce,  while a small hamburger is a lower calorie, less fat choice.  Most companies show calorie count and ingredients, so use those to help you out if available. Think outside the box.   Just because it’s dinnertime, doesn’t always mean you have to order a dinner entrée.  A great example, if I’m stuck with no other options, I’ll often order oatmeal and enjoy it with fresh fruit and honey versus a greasy sandwich and fries.  Another great out of the box example – my son has been known to order salad for breakfast since he isn’t a fan of typical breakfast sandwiches. Try something better.  Before assuming you HAVE to eat at the restaurant, look around – perhaps there is a better option nearby?  Or even a grocery store.  No reason you have to settle – run over to the grocery and pick up some pre-cut fruit, veggies and humus and then join the rest of your party...

How to find good, healthy food while traveling

I love to travel.  Tell me I get to plan a vacation, and I’m in heaven!  I love the sightseeing, the change in schedule, the chance to see new things and meet new people.  However, I’ve discovered that since we have changed our eating habits, eating while traveling can do a real number on me.  If I’m not careful I end up feeling awful and that is no way to enjoy a long anticipated trip! So, I’ve come up with a number of  solutions.  Today I thought I’d share with you some of my best.  Follow these and you’ll ensure you eat well (and stay healthy) while you travel. 1.  Plan ahead.  This is definitely the number one tip.  Before I take a trip, I spend a half hour doing a little research to find great places to eat, places to shop and even farmer’s markets to purchase fresh local produce.   Make sure you write down names, addresses and phone numbers – nothing is more frustrating than knowing you found something but not remembering where (been there, done that)  I’ll usually check the following sites: Local Harvest – great site for finding farmer’s markets, pick your own farms, restaurants, etc. Google search – simply type in the location and “healthy restaurants” and see what pops up Yelp and/or UrbanSpoon (I love the farm to table option at Urban Spoon – that’s MY kinda food!) 2.  Don’t eat every meal at a restaurant.  If you can, try to eat at least two meals a day in your condo or hotel room, or even as a picnic (by picking up some...
Tips for dealing with holiday dinners!

Tips for dealing with holiday dinners!

Last week I shared a few tips for staying healthy while enjoying all the holiday Happy Hours and cocktail parties.   Here a few more tips that should help get you through all those fun (but fattening) restaurant dinners this month! Most of the time, we eat at home – I enjoy cooking, and I know we’ll eat a healthier, tastier meal if I make it myself.  However, come the holiday season it seems like we are running around more, visiting friends and family more and those events tend to lead to more restaurant meals.  Luckily, I’ve come up with a few strategies for eating healthier even when you aren’t eating at home: 1.  Don’t let yourself get too hungry.  In other words, don’t wait until you are starving to decide to get something to eat.  You will make bad choices and you’ll eat too much.  Enough said. 2.  Appetizer or dessert.  No need to have a three course meal.  If you really want an appetizer or dessert, fine, go for it – just don’t have both.  Better yet, split one or the other with your dining partners.  The first few bites are always the best part! 3.  How about skipping the entrée?  Often, I’ll just order the appetizer or a cup of soup and skip the entrée all together.  I usually end up with plenty of food, and if not you can always order more, right? 4.  Bulk up on veggies and fruit.  I admit, this is HARD to do when dining out, but try to order extra veggies and eat less meat and bread.  Maybe add a side...

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