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Choosing then Stretching that Restaurant Meal

Choosing then Stretching that Restaurant Meal

Laurie Norris

Many of us eat out on a regular basis, at least once or twice a week. When we are eating healthy, it can often be a challenge to find a meal on the menu that won’t throw us off track. And most meals contain huge portions that can be triple normal serving sizes.

Make Good Choices

Before you go to the restaurant, look up the menu. Choosing a few healthy options beforehand can keep you from being tempted to order something that isn’t good for you. If you want pasta, request whole wheat if available, topped with marinara or an olive oil based sauce. Try to stick with lean meats and vegetables. Ask for side dishes like fries or onion rings to be replaced with a salad. And always get your salad dressing on the side so you can use the “fork dip” method – dip your fork in the dressing, then take a bite of your salad. You will use less dressing, plus you will be able to see exactly how much dressing you have eaten.

Now Stretch that Meal!

Since servings are usually so large, plan to only eat half (or less!) of your dinner. If you don’t trust yourself to do this, ask your server for a takeout box immediately and fill it with at least half your meal. Here are some suggestions on how to stretch your meal in a healthy way:

-Chop 2 cups of dark leafy greens such as spinach, arugula or kale into pasta, then add your favorite veggies like chopped tomatoes, peppers, artichokes, or zucchini.

-Slice meat and vegetables (heated or cold), then add to a salad.

-Create a stir fry using sliced meat and vegetables. Heat them in a little olive oil, and if needed add more vegetables. Serve over brown rice or quinoa. Drizzle with balsamic glaze or a little soy sauce.

Depending on how creative you get, you might be able to get two meals out of your leftovers! So don’t be afraid to go out to eat. Just be mindful of your choices and be sure to stretch that meal. It will not only save calories, it will also save you money! If you’d like more tips, we have plenty, so just give us a call and we will be happy to help!

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