Menu Hacks For Better Eating


It's a new year, and already the jokes about failing to keep resolutions past the first few days have begun. Keeping an exact resolution (e.g., "I will eat nothing but healthy food") can be too restrictive, but a more open-ended resolution (e.g., "I'll eat more healthy foods") can stick longer because of its flexibility. Food is a big focus of resolutions, so if you like to eat out at restaurants, look into making a few changes that will still let you eat foods you like while making the meals a little better for you.

Extra Vegetables

When you order dishes that come with a few vegetables—not a salad, but things like tomatoes and pickles for a burger, for example—ask about getting a few more slices of the vegetables. If a dish comes with some tomato wedges as a garnish, ask if the restaurant can throw a couple more wedges onto your plate. Many times, restaurants will do this for free if you're not asking for a lot. Or, you may have to pay, but only an extra few cents or so. A couple of extra lettuce leaves here and a couple of extra onion slices there might not seem like a lot, but they do add up.

Chocolate (or Other Flavor) Milk Instead of a Shake

Ice-cream shakes are delicious, and they're also calorie bombs. Sometimes you can get the same rich mouthfeel from something as simple as chocolate milk. If you're truly craving an actual ice-cream shake, then go with that. But if what you really want is something cold, creamy like a shake, and flavored, try low-fat or whole chocolate milk, or another flavored milk if that's on the menu. Sometimes that can hit the spot while providing less fat and fewer calories than a shake.

Remember the Dressing-Fork Tactic

This is an old tactic, but it works: Have dressing served on the side on your salad, dip your fork into the dressing, and then spear some salad ingredients. You get enough dressing to flavor the bite without drowning sections of salad (because face it, even if you try to place only a little dressing on the salad, you're going to get globs of dressing on some parts).

Split Sides

Not every restaurant does this, but some do: Ask to split sides. If a dish comes with a choice of sides, like fries, a side salad, onion rings, or steamed vegetables, for example, ask if you can get a half portion of fries and a half portion of steamed vegetables instead of one or the other, or whatever combination suits your fancy. You still get your fries or onion rings, while adding in vegetables.

You can always call the restaurant you want to go to ahead of time to see what they are willing to do or what they offer if their menu isn't online. Restaurants are aware that people want to eat a little healthier, and modifications like these are easy to make.


3 January 2017

Enjoying New Restaurants

As soon as I started traveling a lot for work, I realized that I was going to be eating out--a lot. Instead of just visiting the same old fast-food restaurants that I had grown up with, I decided that it would be great to explore exciting new restaurants. I started small, by going to little places that had earned high ratings, and then I worked my way up to some of the more fancy establishments in the area. It was really great to see what I was able to find, and I was super pleased to explore so many new kinds of foods. Check out this blog for tips on enjoying new restaurants.