Tuesday, March 8 2022
In my opinion, it has never been easier to eat healthy at a restaurant! There are so many more healthy options today! I love going out to eat! Do you? These days, I am getting very little take out because I am cooking more at home. I know it looks like I go out a lot, but I really don’t. I am cooking most of my meals at home. When I do go out now, it feels like more of a treat. Also, I was pretty strict during the almost two years of Covid and didn’t eat out indoors very much at all.
So, here’s the deal with our current empty nest situation. Tom goes out to lunch every.single.workday with only a few exceptions. Every now and then his office will order food and every now and then he will come home for lunch, but it’s not that convenient to do so, so he rarely does. It used to really bother me that he ate lunch out every day – because of the expense and maybe I was a tad jealous? But, when I took the time to ask him why – finally – he said he just needs the mental break and the change of scenery from being in his office all day. That really helped me and now I just don’t think about it. He often brings leftovers home that I serve him for dinner another night! Ha! He is really good about stopping when he is full and he doesn’t like to waste food.
So, because Tom goes out to lunch every day, he is not that excited to go out to dinner – even on a Friday night. Plus, Friday nights are crazy around here at our restaurants and we are both tired and it’s just not that enjoyable. I think many restaurants are still struggling from Covid-related issues and many are short staffed. So, we go out on Saturday nights maybe two-three nights a month. I have found that a good compromise for me is that I have an almost weekly happy hour with a friend so that I feel like I got to go out. This is working for us right now in this season of life. And, when our kids come home, they want to eat home cooked food at home.
Here is my plan when I do go out to eat.
Like I mentioned, I try to only eat out on the weekends when I use up my extra WW Weeklies. I get 23 points a day and then an additional 28 to use as needed. I try to use those mostly on Saturdays. I can earn extra points for exercise, vegetables, and water, but I try not to add those on. If I do eat out on a weeknight or have a happy hour during the week, that’s ok – I just try to plan ahead with the rest of my day – or week.
-I plan ahead. If I know I am going out to dinner I try to keep my breakfast and lunch lighter and healthier.
-I always look up the menu online. This is a game changer. I try to always know what I am going to order before getting there. Pre-WW I was super indecisive when looking at menus, so this has been nice in that regard, too. I don’t overthink it anymore. You know when you arrive at a restaurant with friends and you want to visit with them right away but you also have to decide what to order? This method has helped with that.
-Breakfast or brunch can be an easy meal to eat out – eggs are always a great choice for me. I really have been enjoying the omelette with a salad on the side thing. I also love to try to re-create restaurant meals at home, so I started doing this sometimes for dinner.
My favorite farmer’s market skillet at one of my fave breakfast spots:
I do try not to “drink” too many calories so I get either a plain coffee or an Americano:
But, you know I do save some points for my cocktails! Ha! You may have peeped a mimosa or two in my photos above. I love a mimosa!
I recently met a friend for breakfast and did the bagel sandwich thing. The rest of my day was a salad and a veggie and lean protein dinner. So, I stayed within my daily range!
A Mexican omelette at a Mexican breakfast place:
I really have grown to love vegetable sushi:
I split things a lot! My friend and I split this chicken teriyaki bowl and I have since re-created it as much as I could at home!
It’s not always easy to figure out the points in restaurants, but the WW app is pretty cool and you can get pretty close.
I always get my salad dressings on the side because I cannot stand when they go crazy with dressing and I have always been that way. It ruins a salad.
And, ultimately I eat what I’m craving at a restaurant because I still want to live my life! I never want to be that overly fussy person at a restaurant either.
You can tell them not to bring bread so you aren’t tempted, but when you are with other people that would just be plain mean to do to them! I do eat bread when it’s worth it, like this bread:
I’ve had dreams about this bread… ahhhhh…I could live on bread and potatoes!
Anyway, what’s your best restaurant tip?
9 thoughts on “Restaurant Healthy Eating”
Well, I’m with you on the “don’t drink calories”! But I do love a plain latte! I almost never drink regular soda (even though Fanta exotic is a favorite…). I try to not dig into the bread basket while you wait for the food… and if it is a buffet I fill up on salad and avoid everything deep-fried… My mother taught me to remove the mushy stuff inside the bread, that’s a good way to remove some calories.
I tend to order salads or grilled chicken or salmon with veggie sides or a plain baked potato when we eat out. I only drink water so that’s easy but I do often stress over not knowing the actual points when eating out. I can think I’m eating healthy and then later find out I wasn’t at all. I’m surprised by how many points some restaurant chain sides of broccoli or a salad can be! I definitely get my dressing on the side and rarely even use 1/4 of what they give me. I don’t like much dressing on my salad at all. I try to plan ahead of time what I’m going to get and put it into my WW app first thing in the morning too so I can plan my day around it. We only eat out (or get take out) once a month on average (though it felt like we ate out a lot in Jan & Feb.!) so it’s not normally a huge deal for me.
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That’s a great idea to go ahead and pre-track! I know – I heard that the dirty secret of restaurants is the amount of butter they use. I think that eating something a bit heavier on the weekend can jump start my metabolism a bit and it also gets me ready to get back on track on Monday. I have really cut down on cheese, butter, and oil in my cooking and find I don’t miss the amount I used to use at home or in restaurants. Salads can also be very caloric! I am trying to get my protein in so I think salmon and chicken – grilled – are great choices.
All the tips you’ve mentioned are spot on! I always look up menus ahead of time, it helps so much. I have started ordering club soda and lime instead of cocktails too- it has really been so nice because I feel like I’m having a cocktail but no calories!
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Great tip on the club soda and lime! Maybe for my second “drink”!
You do such a great job eating out. I like to check the menu ahead of time too!
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Don’t give me too much credit – I don’t always make the best choices!
I will usually order a pelligrino with lime and lots of ice. I love a good glass of wine so if they dont have good wine, I do not drink. Tony and I split most meals. He is the best. I give him the biggest portion and I will add an extra salad and maybe a shrimp cocktail. I get 19 points a day and I do not add back in my exercise points or water or veggie points. I always look up the menu ahead of time. That has helped me SO MUCH! You are doing a great job navigating your new lifestyle… I am so proud and happy for you!
You have some great ideas! You are rocking it and I so appreciate your support!