My eating out secret: the nutritional menu.

This entry is part 9 of 11 in the series Healthier Me 2013

I’ve been thinking about this post for several days and tossing around topics, what’s been going on with me and so forth.

Lately my goal has been to stick to my food with one or two allowed "cheats" a week. For the most part this works, but I’m still falling victim to the shiny idea of going out to eat with people, sating a food craving or settling for a quick option as opposed to healthy. It’s not the proudest thing for me to admit, but I cheated more than twice over the weekend. I cheated three times.

The difference here, I think is in food choices. Portion sizes. And looking at the nutritional menu.

I discovered that the majority of restaurants have a nutrition guide on hand, but don’t offer it to people unless you ask for it. Most standard menus will reference that this other nutrition guide exists, but you have to request it. Since my surgery in November I’ve made a habit of requesting this menu and finding options that appeal to me, but also fall under a certain set of criteria.

Maybe you need to stay under a certain number of calories, keep your sodium or fat levels down. The nutritional menu is your friend!

For me, I really needed, and still need, to watch the grams of fat in foods because of my lack of a gallbladder now. I’m doing better, but I still think that the set number I was given after surgery is a good number to stay under as a general rule for selecting foods. I mean, do I really need something with 36 grams of fat? Nope.

One of my favorite examples to use for proving why the nutritional menu is a good tool is talking about going to eat at Olive Garden. Italian food is rich, heavy on carbs and fat, but it’s so stinking good! When my friends wanted to eat there the first week after my surgery I despaired about not being able to find something I could eat. One of my go-to’s there is the chicken fet. It’s good and I always walk out with leftovers! But the fat content was too much for what I could handle at the time. I needed something a little on the healthier side.

This was when I discovered the chicken gnocchi soup. It is heaven in a bowl, gives me the taste of Italian and stays firmly within what I can eat on my diet and what works with that whole, pesky, lack of an organ thing.

That’s just one example of how I’ve used the nutritional guide, but I can talk on it at length!

Did you know your favorite restaurant might very well have a nutritional guide? Would, or do, you use them?

Sidney Sig

Series Navigation<< Smart choices.Handling food guilt. >>

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