When we all begin a healthier journey we tend to get anxiety when it comes to enjoying a nice meal in a restaurant. Don’t be afraid of the menu at your favorite restaurant and what some words and descriptions might mean. Below are some ways to be menu savvy.
Some rules to live by:
- Be picky: whether you think it or not most restaurants are more than willing to make any adjustments you need to order to keep you on track. Some examples of this would be to make fried chicken grilled, sauces on the side, cooking your meats or veggies plain, or taking out a side item and replacing it with a vegetable.
- Ask Questions: Sometimes everything may not be listed on the menu. An example of this may be more side item options. It may say that tater tots or chips are the only sides but dont be afraid to ask if there are better options. Ask how they may have cooked the food including ingredients that are being used. Usually if something is made in house it may cut down on some of the extra things we dont need that usually come in bottled marinades or dressings.
- Understand your menu terms: sometimes this can be pretty confusing and cause you not to order it or order something that may be worse for you than you expect. Below there is a list of common menu terms:
- Au gratin, scalloped, buttered, creamed, and stuffed can all indicate food is prepared in cream or butter. This could lead to added calories and unhealthy sources of fat.
- Steamed, roasted, broiled, grilled, and poached all are cooked with dry heat and typically are lower in fat. These are all great menu items to choose.
- Au jus, pickled, smoked, cured can all imply higher sodium content in your menu items. Although pickled items are great for your gut!
- For more terms to learn check out my other post on food preparation terms: http://kskwikkleankitchen.com/food-preparation-terms/
- Drink your water: Drink water before the meal and during. Sometimes our body is dehydrated and can be seen as hunger. Keeping your body hydrated can help with a variety of things especially keeping your body running in its most optimal state.
- Look at the menu ahead of time: Plan where you are headed ahead of time and take a look at their menu online before you go to see what your options are. If you know what they offer ahead of time you will be more likely to pick healthier choices and can already decide what kind of alterations you need to make to your choice.
Don’t let starting a healthy journey ruin a fun dinner date or get together with friends to catch up. Use the rules above and I assure you you can stay on the right track!