Eating Out Wisely

Life can get a bit crazy with family activities and events. We work all week and then try to squeeze ever ounce of fun on our two days off. It can be a run from one activity to another kind of day.


All of these activities lead to eating on the go and eating out. Many people I know love eating out at different cafes and restaurants. They love trying out new places almost as much as they love returning to their old favorite spots. They love trying new menu items and discovering new ways to eat the foods they enjoy the most. Eating out can be both a wonderful and very tricky thing.


In America we are blessed to have restaurants dotting the streets of many streets in towns and cities of all sizes. We are rarely at a loss for places to eat out. One of the greatest things about eating out is that it saves time that many busy people do not have to waste.

After spending long hours at our workplaces, few people have the time or energy to return home and cook a gourmet meal. Eating out seems to be a great solution at the end of a long, tiring day or we have no choice when our schedules are packed with kids sports and events.


Eating out can also be great because we can try a wide variety of foods and drinks that we don't have the ability to make ourselves. No one loves eating the same basic foods over and over again, so eating out can be a good way to give our taste buds something new.


However, if we are not careful, eating out can also be dangerous for a couple of big reasons.


First, we must use caution in eating out for the sake of our health.


Most restaurants and cafes offer huge portions of items that are unhealthy to eat and drink. Eating out often means filling up on appetizers, a main course, a few high calorie beverages, and a dessert to finish off the evening. Think about how many calories you can consume during a meal like this. I am not, of course, saying that we should never enjoy eating out. I am, however, saying that we need to be careful, for our health's sake, about eating out too frequently. When we put our food preparation in the hands of others we don't always know what they are adding to our food and the quality of the food we are consuming. Fresh unprocessed choices eliminate that concern.


We must be careful to watch our choices when we are eating out.


Choose healthier items or commit to only eating half of the meal you choose. There are ways of eating out healthily, it just takes conscience effort. I always recommend planning ahead. If you know where you are going in advance you can look up the menu online and make a wise decision about what you choose to order. You are less likely to be sucked in by those fully loaded nachos if you have a plan in place.


Never be afraid to ask for alternatives or substitutions. Most restaurants and cafes have wonderful new healthier options more now than ever before. Substitute fries for a house salad or leave off sauces and heavy spices. Tell them you don't need that bread basket before your meal arrives. Also, be aware of filling up on liquid calories. They will sneak up on you and sabotage your progress faster than an ice cream sandwich. LOL! Which brings up dessert!! HMM??


I say plan that as well. I love a sweet treat but I always share a dessert and I don't have one every time I eat out. Make sure you get those nutrient dense foods in your body before you throw a huge chocolate brownie with ice cream and fudge in your belly. OY!!!


It is no secret that eating out costs more, on average, that cooking meals in your own home. It is easy to accumulate large bills, especially at nicer places. So be careful that you stick to a budget when you make plans for eating out. Also establish how often you plan to eat out each week. These are tricky waters and can lead to a slippery unhealthy slope.


Being aware of extra calories and financial costs is not obsessive. It is being empowered and educated! When you plan ahead, you plan to succeed!


Conclusion:


Beware. Eating out can be one of the greatest pleasures or one of the most dangerous things when pursuing a healthy lifestyle.


Enjoy it, but do so with caution and awareness.


Plan ahead, know what you are ordering before you get to the establishment, establish a firm budget and number of meals eaten out ahead of time, and don't get caught off guard by not knowing that you can ask for changes and alternatives substitutes that are healthier options.

Eating out can often be a necessity or a planned pleasurable treat. Let's just eat out wisely! After all, your health is worth it.


Check out this yummy and filling Lentil Soup recipe that you can prepare ahead of time to avoid last minute oh no, ....we have to eat out again situations! I hope you enjoy!


Recipe Lentil Soup

Makes 4 servings


Ingredients:


1 carrot diced, 1 tablespoon onions, chopped, 2 garlic cloves, 1 cup green beans, 3 cups cabbage, chopped ½ cup lentils, 4 tablespoons tomato paste, 4 cups vegetable broth, 1 teaspoon basil, dried, 1 teaspoon oregano dried, 4 dashes salt, 1 large zucchini, diced


Directions:

1. Heat the pot on medium-high. Add the carrots, onion and garlic and cook for about 2 minutes.


2. Add all the remaining ingredients EXCEPT the zucchini and bring to a boil.


3.Cover, reduce the heat to medium and simmer for about 15 minutes or until the beans and lentils are tender.


4. Add the zucchini and cook until tender.


As always, If you have questions or concerns or are interested in personal coaching sessions with me, please reach out and contact me via this email address or through this website. I also post daily inspiration and nutrition advice on my IG Business page. @ignitedwellnessandnutriton


Check out these additional articles for your reading and educational enjoyment!


https://www.verywellfit.com/tips-for-eating-out-low-carb-2241932


https://www.precisionnutrition.com/all-about-eating-on-the-go


https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/20-healthy-tips-for-eating-out


Disclaimer: The information provided above is for educational purposes only.  Always check with your personal health care provider for specific health advise.

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