Eating a healthy diet doesn’t mean you have to avoid dining out. But the fat, calories, sugar and sodium can add up quickly especially if you eat out regularly. So what’s a girl to do? Well, we can still enjoy eating healthy delicious meals that taste like a cheat while eating out.
Our top dine-out favorite is Greek cuisine. Chicken Kebobs with Hummus and Quinoa Tabouleh is a yummy and very healthy choice. If you’re concerned about gluten, you definitely want to stay away from the side serving of pita (made from wheat flour) and the traditional style Tabouleh dish as it is made with bulgar wheat. Avoid the wheat belly! Ask for the Greek salad as a side instead.
Greek cuisine has a healthy glow because researchers have linked its mix of whole grains, fruits, vegetables, lean meats, and unsaturated fats to reducing risks of everything from heart disease to breast cancer. Just watch out for the Americanized restaurant versions that roll out huge portions. Navigate the menu in a healthy way by eating grilled meat or fish and plenty of vegetables. When it comes to starchy sides, many restaurants plate extra helpings of pita alongside white rice; choose just one (or ask for extra veggies instead).
Our second dine-out favorite is Mexican cuisine. Turns out we CAN lose weight and keep it off with a delicious and healthy mexican dish! The key ingredients that form the base of many Mexican meals (rice, beans and chopped tomatoes with herbs) are healthy and reasonably low in calories, it’s the other stuff that we add in (and the serving sizes of some of the food) that ends up tipping the scales in the wrong direction.
Yummy burrito bowls combine all the healthy ingredients but leave out or minimize those that add extra calories, salt and fat. Check out these healthy ingredients:
Brown rice – Brown instead of white is an excellent, low GI carb that fills up our tummies, while keeping blood sugar stable.
Beans – Beans are a great source of protein and fibre and are low in calories and fat. Tomatoes – Tomatoes are rich in antioxidants and fibre.
Avocado – Packed full of good fats, avocado gives a creamy taste and texture to these burrito bowls.
Use chicken as a chosen meat source in this recipe but you could also use beef or even tofu if you fancied something different. AND…you can order your healthy burrito bowl from any Mexican restaurant…even Chipotle!!!
Our third favorite dine-out favorite is Thai cuisine. Thai dishes can swing from very healthy to saturated-fat-filled dishes due to the coconut ingredient. We also have to watch out for dishes high in sodium like fish sauce and curry paste. Stir fried chicken and cashew nut is one of the more tasty AND healthier choices you’ll find in a Thai restaurant. It’s basically chicken, cashews, and vegetables stir fried.
There are variations on this dish, with some having a slightly sweet and sour flavor while other versions opting for a more salty taste. The chicken and cashews gives a healthy dose of protein and the cashews themselves are a great source of unsaturated fat. Keep in mind though that cashews are calorie heavy, so if you keep chowing down, the calories will add up.
Also, instead of white rice, opt for brown rice. Recent studies have shown that brown rice is a nutrition powerhouse compared to white rice. It is rich in fiber, vitamin E compounds and cholesterol lowering antioxidants. Those benefits are all contained in the brown bran. However, some may argue that white rice is an easily absorbable form of glucose that is easy to digest, therefore making it a safe starch. But….that’s another conversation.