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Veggie Dumplings and Spinach

January 2, 2011

Eating healthy when dining out is perhaps my biggest challenge in eating victoriously. It’s so hard to know what you’re eating when you are not the one preparing the meal, therefore it is so important to know some key culprits to stay away from if you’re trying to lose weight and/or eat healthy.

When dining out and trying to eat healthy and keep my calorie count low, the first thing I do is ask to see the nutrition guide. Most  restaurants (The Cheesecake Factory, Red Lobster, PF Chang’s, Bahama Breeze, etc.) these days usually carry a nutrition guide highlighting every nutritional bit of information about an entree. They give you calorie count, information about fats, vitamins, sodium, protein, etc. Use this instead of the menu to make your dining choice. I’m always so shocked to find out how seemingly “healthy” entrees are often 1,000+ calories! That’s almost my entire daily calorie intake!

Today I had lunch at PF Chang’s Chinese Bistro and wow, pretty much nothing was less than 600 calories. Thus, I opted for the steamed veggie dumplings (six of them) and a side of garlic spinach.

My entire meal was less than 300 calories. It takes some detailed reviewing of the nutrition info, but at least now you know what you’re consuming.

If you’re eating at a mom and pop joint without such a nutrition guide, avoid obvious things like butter, heavy sauces, fried or deep-fried foods, etc. Aim for entrees with lots of veggies, whole grains, boneless/skinless meats, etc. Also, aim for meals that are steamed or grilled. If not that, aim for baked or sauteed (in olive oil vs. butter) over fried.

These are just a few tips from me to you, to help you start your dining experience in 2011 on the right foot!

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