The photo to the left is my extended family, enjoying dinner at a farm to table restaurant in Los Cabos, Mexico called Flora’s Field Kitchen. Yummy!
I love photography, so usually you’ll find me behind the camera (as is the case here) and not actually in the pictures. My husband Fred is top right, in the blue shirt. Nina is bottom left, blue and white dress and Nadia is making faces front right, white and orange dress.
Eating out is easy when you have a farm to table restaurant nearby, like Flora’s Field Kitchen, featuring local food harvested at their very own farm. But, what about when you live in or are traveling to an area that isn’t as health-food friendly?
Here are 7 tips to navigating a restaurant menu more healthfully:
1. Appetizers: Avoid fried and greasy foods (buffalo wings or mozzarella sticks). Instead try a vegetable appetizer or fish option.
2. Soups: Choose clear broth soups over cream-based soups. The exception to this rule is French Onion Soup, a clear broth with added bread and cheese.
3. Salad: Start your meal with a salad! You’ll eat more veggies overall and will avoid feeling ravenous by the time your entree arrives. Healthy dressing options include oil and vinegar or oil and lemon. Ask for creamy dressings on the side and use only as needed.
4. Entrees: Look for baked, boiled, broiled, grilled, sauteed and steamed foods. Avoid heavily fried foods. Ask for sauces on the side.
5. Entree Sides: Look for whole grains like brown rice, steamed or baked vegetables, baked sweet potato fries (instead of french fries).
6. Desserts: Fruit is a great option. Sorbet is better than ice cream. Hold the extra chocolate sauce, whipped cream, and other toppings.
7. Drinks: Water is best. Choose tea over coffee. Avoid sodas and drinks with added sugars like sweet shakes or daiquiris.
In addition to navigating the restaurant menu, up your restaurant health savvy by remembering to:
1. Eat more slowly. It takes about twenty minutes for your stomach to signal your brain that it is full.
2. Be mindful of portion size. You do not have to order a five course meal. Order 2-3 courses, depending on portion sizes. Or, choose 2 appetizers instead of an appetizer and a main course.
3. Order off the menu. If I don’t see anything I like, a grilled chicken and a salad is a go-to option that most restaurants are able to accommodate.