Rita Catolino's Guide To Eating Out At Restaurants
This guest blog comes from 6 Pack Fitness Elite Team member Rita Catolino, as she talks about how she eats healthy while out on the road and is forced to eat at restaurants. Take her tips into consideration when ordering your next meal.
Cooking your own food is always the best option, due to the control you have over quality of meats, vegetables, seasonings as well as avoiding butters, sodium, sauces, preservatives, ETC. That doesn't mean that eating out is a no-no. I enjoy eating out once a week, as it is a break from cooking and I like the social aspect. If you are on a work trip or are forced to eat out as part of travel for an extended period of time, then there are a few things to keep in mind.
1 serving of fruit- Apples, berries, bananas are easily available at breakfast buffets, Starbucks or local markets. If you will not be working out here, then you can omit the fruit and replace with a fat like almonds, almond butter, avocado or 1 egg yolk.
For your proteins, try ordering hard boiled eggs (eat 3-4 of the egg whites and throw out the yolks), Greek Yogurt or bring your own protein powder and mix with water. Teas and black coffee are also good options for drinks.
Skip the soup and sandwich special. Salads are easy at lunch - Ask for dressing on side (I ask for balsamic only) and skip the nuts, cheese and dried fruit. Ask for extra vegetables and usually the protein portion (egg, shrimp, salmon or steak) needs to be doubled to keep you from feeling hungry and meet your protein requirements.
Other lunch options are low sodium homemade soups with no cream or flours for thickening, sashimi, grilled Korean bbq, fresh spring rolls, stir frys, seafood, fish, ETC.
A serving of protein fresh fish, tenderloin steak, chicken, mussels and other seafoods should be your first go to, then be sure to include a steamed, grilled or sautÃ©ed vegetable and side salad. For a fat, this could be a sprinkle of feta on the salad, olives or olive oil or some avocado for example.
Types of Restaurants
Italian: Steak, fish or protein choice. Octopus, carpaccio, seafood salad, grilled vegetables, salad.
Asian: Seaweed salad, fresh spring rolls, sashimi, Korean BBQ, bbq or skewered meats, brown rice rolls, cucumber rolls, salmon, eel etc (watch out for high sodium sauces).
Steak House: Cuts like flank, tenderloin. Chicken, salmon. Side of sweet potato if available- salad, asparagus.
American Diner: Stir frys, salad, protein, grilled vegetables, sweet potato fries (half serving on workout days).
Fine Dining: This is where you will find great protein options that may be harder to find such as venison, bison, rabbit, lamb â€“ They are all good options. Try and change up your choice. Scallops, lobster and shrimp are all lean protein- ask with no butter.
Tips and Tricks
I usually tell the waiter I have allergies that avoids the uncomfortable feeling when ordering). I usually say, â€œProtein" with no sauce, no rice, no potato, extra veggie, no butter. On salads, hold the cheese, balsamic on side. If there is some fruit in the salad- some pear or apple, I will eat it, also a few nuts (if not candied are fine as well).
I ask the waiter to take the bread basket away before I sit down (no temptation) and order a tea while waiting for dinner (fills you up to avoid temptation) and espresso is dessert of choice.
If you only eat out once in a blue moon, then enjoy your food, and don't over think it!