Hello! I am sorry I haven’t been able to post for a couple weeks now. Life gets hard sometimes. Very hard. During those times I feel even more extremely blessed to have such supportive and caring people in my life. I also am thankful I have writing as a creative outlet, if you will. While this blog is not popular by any means, I do enjoy doing it and sharing information that could possibly be helpful to someone else. If you don’t have a creative outlet, you need one. It makes such a difference in coping and stress management.
We are not perfect. As a dietitian, I never expect perfection. My own diet is definitely not perfect. Without trying to sound too cheesy, it’s the journey that really counts, and that means making the best choices for your health the majority of the time and having an overall healthy attitude towards life. Things happen, and when a curveball is thrown at you, you shouldn’t be guilted into maintaining perfect perfection in every aspect of your life, including with everything you put in your mouth.
During times like these, I am definitely not in the mood to cook. So screw it, we eat out, or pick something up. Even though perfect nutrition isn’t what I want to think about at the time, I do still want something half-way decent for my family and myself. There are ways to make eating out a little better for you.
I originally made these tips for those with diabetes, but these really apply to all of us.
- Don’t be afraid to speak up and ask questions. If you are unsure how big a restaurant’s portion sizes are, or what’s in something, it is never wrong to ask.
- Look up menus in advance so you have a better idea of healthy choices you can make before you get there.
- Take advantage of restaurants that allow you to call-ahead or make reservations to avoid an unpredictable wait time. Really helpful with a toddler, or if you have diabetes.
- If making a reservation, this is a good time to ask if they can accommodate special requests.
- Try to eat the same portion of a food you would eat at home. Restaurant plates are usually always bigger. It’s OK to share the rest with someone or take it home with you.
- Ask for sauces, dressings, gravies, etc. on the side so you have control on how much you’d like to add.
- Aim for unbreaded meats. The breading in restaurants can add more carbohydrates than you may realize.
- Get creative with ordering. Maybe order a side of fruit for an appetizer or a dessert rather than the higher carb options listed. Combine soup and a salad if the dinner entrées are not in your diet plan.
- Ask about substitutions. Many places will allow a salad in place of fries, or will let you double an order of vegetables.
- If you get a baked potato, order it plain and add any butter (and maybe non-starchy vegetables from the salad bar) yourself.
- If you are going out for pizza, skip the deep dish and go for thin or reg crust loaded with vegetables, or maybe get a side salad.
- Order unsweet tea or water instead of a soda.
- If you choose to have an alcoholic drink, choose options that aren’t mixed with a high sugar mixer (margaritas, daiquiris)
- If you have a good experience at a restaurant, make sure to let them know. Restaurants are always trying to boost their business by providing what customers want.
- If you find a place that serves vegetables on their kids menu, make a point to shower praise to the waiter or manager. Most restaurants offer adults sides other than fries, and it should be the same for kids too. Hard for them to expand their palates it if they are never offered any variety.
So maybe a meal out isn’t always perfect, but there is always a little wiggle room to make it a little better.
For those of you wondering, Matthew’s 2 year old party went great! It was fun watching little tots splish-splash outside, and the rain held off perfectly until we had lunch. If you are looking for a ridiculously easy but healthy party snack idea – watermelon on a stick. It’s cold like a popsicle, easy to eat for kids and for adults who don’t want sticky hands, and its about as natural as you can get. Thanks, Pinterest!
One last thing. As some of you know already, I have a private practice, Food 4 Success, LLC where I offering nutritional counseling and education for all sorts of things. Check out www.food4success.com for more information, or to get more details on my next Carbohydrate Counting class on July 14. It is full of must-know information for those with diabetes, pre-diabetes, or wanting to learn proper carbohydrate portioning for weight loss/weight maintenance.
Until next time!