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It’s day #4 (and #5) of the 10-day Healthier Wife Challenge and Mama is feeling good (you’ll find days 1-3 listed at the end of this if you missed them). Here’s today’s reality for me ….. How in the world am I going to eat healthy at a restaurant with girlfriends tonight while on this challenge? We can’t stop living and sharing fun times with our people, so let’s talk about how to enjoy ourselves when we eat out, shall we?!
Eat Healthy When Eating Out
We can eat healthy at restaurants when we simply remember … basics first. Here’s what I mean: for dinner, whether at a restaurant or not, I should eat protein and vegetables first, followed by a small portion of complex carbs. After all of that, dessert won’t be as tempting. Right? Right?!
Choose your meat wisely
Depending on which restaurant we end up at tonight, I will probably choose grilled steak if it’s an option. My philosophy is that a good steak doesn’t need steak sauce, so that won’t be a temptation. I’ll eat it as it comes and it enjoy the flavors that it has.
If it’s a Mexican joint, choosing a grilled meat is easy. If a nice restaurant, there are many grilled meat options. If it’s a home-style restaurant, make sure there aren’t any gravies or sauces covering up the meat.
Choose your vegetables wisely
If there is a steamed veggie option or a salad bar, I’ll choose that. Steamed vegetables are awesome for cleansing the body and giving you the most nutrition.
Salad is always a good start – just watch the toppings
You know this – salad is so good for you. But we can pretty much ruin in and jack up the unnecessary calories with our toppings like fattening dressings, cheeses, croutons, etc. Don’t stress, though. Simply choose the lightest dressing option you have available and get it to the side. If you are dipping each bite, you’ll probably get less than if you slather it on your entire plate.
Skip the bread!
I know, I know. Pouty faces. Can I be honest, though? If we are eating a restaurant-sized meat, vegetables/salad, AND a complex carb like a potato or rice, we’ll be too stuffed for bread anywayz! That’s why we’ve been miserable in the past after eating out. We eat and eat and eat until we’re stuffed because it’s available. Not only do we add unneeded calories, we feel horrible.
Not forever-just for now. If you are trying to go through any type of challenge or cleanse like this one, “just a bite or two” is just as damaging right now as eating the whole thing. If we can go ten days without sugar and unhealthy carbs, our body decides internally that it doesn’t have to rely on it anymore and your cravings will lessen – especially if you are filling it with superior nutrition!
Drink that water or unsweetened beverages
If you pace yourself and drink water throughout your whole meal, not only is it great for you (and cheap!), it will help you to fill up faster and you won’t be as tempted with bread and dessert.
These days, restaurants have really stepped it up and have started giving healthier options. It’s no longer a “weird” thing to want a lighter meal – it’s mainstream now. Woot! Just look for them and you’ll find lighter, smaller, and healthier options to eat healthy almost everywhere.
For example, at Chick-fil-A you can choose a grilled chicken sandwich on a whole wheat bun with lettuce. It’s delicious. At Mexican restaurants like Moe’s you have the option of healthier tortillas and fresh fillings. Nicer places offer small versions of normal entrees. Easy Peasy!
I’m headed out the door to eat with friends. I’ll be back soon to recap below yesterday’s food choices and today’s (including how I do with my plan to eat healthy while out with friends. We’ll see …..
Eat Healthy Choices
Here’s a breakdown of my eating and supplement choices.
Both days, I took my probiotics and drank my Spark Vitamin B drink like normal.
Like the other days, I had a fiber drink and yummy protein shake.
Both days I ate unsalted cashews (yum!) and grapes.
Taco Soup leftovers!
Had a couple of teaspoons of sunflower butter. Don’t turn your nose up to the sound of that til you try. My friend that was visiting did just that but then she tasted it. She liked it, she liked it!
I had leftovers for one night but here’s what I was able to eat healthy while out with four girlfriends: We ended up at a Mom and Pop steakhouse with a full salad bar. I got a healthy salad and a couple pieces of fruit. I ordered a steak and baked
We ended up at a Mom and Pop steakhouse with a full salad bar. I got a healthy salad and a couple pieces of fruit. I ordered a steak and a baked sweet potato. It was all incredibly good. The steak was tender and flavored well and the sweet potato was so perfect that I didn’t even need any butter or seasonings. After drinking my water and eating salad, steak, and potato, I was stuffed. There was a homemade loaf of bread on the table the whole time and everyone else went for dessert. I was truly so stuffed with my own food that I wasn’t tempted by either.
I never mentioned that I was eating healthy or made a big deal to call attention to myself that I wasn’t eating dessert. I don’t think they even noticed because I was enjoying the food I did have so much and we were all too busy talking and laughing to stress about what to eat or not to eat. It was awesome.
See, it is possible to eat healthy even while out with friends! I hope this helps you to realize that good choices can be made while out to eat so that you can focus on having fun with your people.
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These are so helpful and practical tips. Sometimes you read posts where the tips are so unrealistic, so I really appreciate this post! You should offer this as a free download to your email list…its just that beneficial and helpful!
Wow, Maria. Thanks so much. I just may do that download idea. I’ve actually been trying to brainstorm a printable that would be helpful when grocery shopping and eating out. You’ve got my wheels spinning even more!
I have the hardest time with this. I go in with a plan and then everything just looks so delicious. I at least divide in half and have half boxed up before it comes to the table. That way I at least know I have split the meal.
That’s a GREAT tip, Julie that I didn’t even mention. Dividing your food is awesome. Way to go!
Great tips! This has always been something I’ve struggled with. And it’s so hard to say no to the bread!!
I find myself always sacrificing my healthy choices when out with friends. This is a great post and tips!
I always try my best to eat healthy at restaurants. Sometimes i just can’t avoid the bread!
I always try to eat healthy at restaurants. Sometimes I just can’t avoid the bread!
Great tips! It’s always tricky when you want to eat healthy and yet go out with friends every once in a while. But it is still possible. Water water water. Drink the whole glass as you are looking over your menu it will curve your diet.
Yes! Skipping dessert and drinking water works great for me!
I’ve always struggled with what to get at a restaurant when I’m trying to eat healthy. I love that you broke this down. Definitely go with water/ unsweetened drinks and getting salad dressing on the side!
Great work and great tips! I find eating healthy SO difficult when I go out.
What great tips! I’m always drinking water, and going out is no exception!
When in doubt I stick to the two P’s-protein and produce. Some great tips!
Good tips! Eating out and still making healthier choices is possible.
These are great tips — I especially love the salad one! Not all salads are healthy!
Great tips here! Sunbutter is actually very tasty, too. I used to use it to make my son’s homemade uncrustables
Skipping the bread is the hardest part for me! I literally have to ask for them not to bring bread in order for me not to eat it haha
I have a major bread and dessert problem! I just can’t stop! My mom says I am addicted. Yikes!
Love the tips! Skipping bread and dessert are big ones for me when eating out. Hope you had fun with your friends!
Great tips! Thanks for sharing!
All of these tips are so helpful, I just wish I had the will power to follow through. I can never resist the bread even though I know I have to. I love how you really explained what to look out for and why. How can you stay so strong?
Oh wow Shan, I had to laugh when I saw, “Choose your vegetables wisely.” That’s setting a pretty high bar considering most of us feel like ANY vegetables IS super healthy :).
These are very practical and easy to implement. I always skip the bread and sugary drinks at restaurants when I’m trying to stay healthy.
xoxo, erin | sandsunandmessybuns.com
It’s always hardest for me to eat healthy when I’m eating out. I try to intentionally pick restaurants that I know I love healthier options if I’m able to. Cutting out the extra carbs and cheeses is the challenge for me, but thinking through meat selection is a great place to start!
Great tips. I find a cup of hot herb tea is satisfying if others are having dessert and I don’t want to.
I don’t eat out very often so I’ll have to remember this tips, Shan. Thanks for sharing with Thankful Thursdays.