Tips to Eating Healthy While Eating Out

Eating out. These words are sometimes terrifying when you are trying lose weight or just trying to eat healthy. Going out to dinner is usually a pain point and causes a lot of unneeded stress, so how do we combat that?

My first tip of advice is to re-frame your brain; think about the experience, the fun, the good food, the feelings and emotion you will have that night! Going out to eat is a great way to socialize with friends, spend alone time with your significant other or just have a fun night out! Since you shouldn’t have to avoid restaurants just because you want to eat clean, we’ve come up with five easy tips for eating healthy when you’re eating out:

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Research the Menu

Before you venture out to a restaurant, take a few minutes to look up the menu online. That way you’ll have time to think about what healthier options you’ll be able to eat and you won’t feel rushed or stressed out to make a quick decision when you get there.

Ask for Alternate Menus/Cooking Methods

If you’ve checked out the menu and don’t see many healthy options, try to find an alternate menu like one that’s gluten-free or vegan. (You may have to wait till you get to the restaurant to do this since not all menus are available online.) Not every item on a specialty menu may be super clean, but they’ll most likely have options that will better fit your dietary restrictions. If an alternative menu is not available, don’t be afraid to modify your order from what’s on the menu. Most restaurants are pretty accommodating and can switch up just about anything to ‘clean’ up the item. You can easily ask for things to be cooked with certain types of oil instead of butter, you can change the way your protein is cooked (ie, roasted, fried, grilled, etc.)

Double up on Veggies

Instead of ordering fries or a caesar salad loaded with dressing, try getting two sides of veggies instead. Baked sweet potatoes, steamed broccoli and grilled or sauteed veggies are all good options. Besides being healthier, these sides will leave more room for you to enjoy your main dish.

Eat Slow

Since many restaurants give you huge portion sizes (think lunch for the next day as well). It’s a good idea to eat slowly so you know when you’re getting full. Chatting with your company is a great way to slow down your meal. After all, you’re paying good money to eat at a restaurant, you should enjoy your food and the company you’re with and not rush to finish eating.

Skip Dessert or SHARE one

As wonderful and delicious as dessert is, it’s not going to help you stay on a clean eating path. Desserts at restaurants are often loaded with sugar, butter and other ingredients you may be trying to avoid so it’s best to skip it. If your group is ordering dessert and you don’t want to be the only one not having any, share a dessert with someone – you will satisfy your sweet tooth and cut your sugar intake in half!

Drink Tips

Wine or Beer (Splurge on the 12 dollar glass of wine and avoid a headache)
Skip the juice and try a seltzer (if necessary add a splash of fresh squeezed juice)
Limit to 2 drinks and sip slow 🙂

Homemade Sugar Free Granola

Granola is always coined as a “health food,” and it certainly can be, but most of the time it is LOADED with added sugars and artificial flavorings. My homemade recipe is sugar free and still delicious – use it as a topping on yogurt, chia pudding, smoothie bowls or just eat it as a snack 🙂

Homemade Sugar-Free Granola Recipe

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INGREDIENTS:
• 1 cup raw unsalted almonds
• 1 cup raw unsalted cashews
• 1 cup raw unsalted walnuts
• 1 cup raw unsalted pumpkin seeds
• 1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
• 3 cups regular gluten free rolled oats
• 1 Tbsp ground cinnamon
• 1/2 tsp ground dried ginger
• 1 cup unsweetened applesauce
• 1/4 cup melted coconut oil

INSTRUCTIONS:
1. Preheat the oven to 350F.
2. Place the almonds, cashews, walnuts, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, coconut and oats into a large baking dish. Add the cinnamon and ground ginger and mix to combine.
3. In a small bowl, combine the olive oil with applesauce and pour the mixture over the nuts. Mix well to coat.
4. Place the baking dish into a preheated oven and bake for 25-30 minutes or until the liquid is evaporated and the nuts and oats are golden. Make sure to stir the granola every 10 minutes to ensure that it cooks evenly. Also, keep in mind that if you reduce the amount of ingredients, the granola will bake faster.
5. Take the baking dish out of the oven and let the granola cool completely.
6. Store in a glass container with a tight lid in a cool dark place.

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Mashed SWEET Potatoes

Sweet Potatoes; I know I don’t need to tell you guys again that these are one of my favorite foods not only because they are delicious but also because they are nutrient packed!

Here is a relatively quick, easy and HEALTHY version of mashed potatoes that is great to make in big batches and use leftovers for lunches (especially on these cold winter days).

Mashed Sweet Potatoes

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Ingredients:

  • 1 lb sweet potatoes
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 1 tbsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp cinnamon

Directions:

Cut the sweet potatoes into small cube sized pieces

Bring a large pot of water to a boil and place all the sweet potato cubes into the water – cook for about 25 minutes or until the potatoes are tender.

Drain the water out of the pot and mash together the cubes using a masher or large utensil.

Lastly, add the milk, cinnamon and ginger and mix well.

To learn more about sweet potatoes and try another great recipe click here:
Spotlight on Sweet Potatoes

Perfectly Cooked Salmon

Salmon is one of my favorite types of seafood and is actually very easy to make! Salmon, when wild, is filled with lots of important nutrients and healthy fats. It is an amazing source of protein and pairs well with so many different flavorings, which allows you to switch it up all the time. Below is an easy recipe for the perfect piece of broiled salmon, oh an it only takes 15 minutes!

Perfectly Cooked Salmon

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Ingredients:

  1. Wild Salmon (about 1-1.2 lbs to feed two – adjust to who you are serving)
  2. Coconut/Olive Oil
  3. Garlic Powder
  4. Nutz Over Fish Seasoning (or another spice of choice)
  5. Sea Salt

Directions:

  1. Head to your local grocery store and pick a nice ½ to 1 inch thick (1 lb – 2 ppl) piece of wild salmon (enough to feed how many people you are planning to feed).
  2. Line a baking sheet with tin foil and spray with coconut oil
  3. Place the salmon skin down onto the tinfoil and drizzle the top of the fish with a tiny bit of olive oil
  4. Sprinkle with garlic powder, Nutz over Fish seasoning(about 1 tbsp) and a tiny bit of sea salt
  5. Broil in the oven for 15 to 17 minutes and take out immediately
  6. Cut and Serve with your favorite green vegetable, 1/2 avocado, and some quinoa or sweet potato for a complete healthy meal!

check out my favorite sweet potato recipe: Cubed Roasted Sweet Potatoes

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