While I love making my own food, and I think I am the baddest healthy chef on the east coast, I do think that food is social. So to bring a container of perfectly portioned veggies and protein to grandma's birthday dinner just won't work, and it shows those around you that you are prioritizing food over fellowship. You can never be 100% sure what you are putting in your body when you are eating out, but you CAN make the best of every situation. Social settings should be just that- social. Don't stress, enjoy those around you, and you don't have to blow your health goals out the window in the process! Here are some of the ways that I enjoy eating out:
I always look for salads first, this is because I like to eat a lot of food. Having a full plate of salad is very high in nutrients, very low in calories and very filling- most of the time. When you order a salad with fried chicken, dried fruits, croutons, cheese, avocado, peanuts, tortilla strips, and three deep dish pizzas on top, this is not the case.
Sometimes even the "superfood" option at restaurants can be 1200 calories, because they add every superfood every made to the bowl. If your meal or salad has 35 components to it, try and simplify.
Here are my three essentials to eating out:
As many veggies as possible (I'm afraid that you heard me say "a lot of veggies"- to be clear, I said AS MANY AS THEY WILL ALLOW)
A serving of lean protein, ideally fish or chicken. Steak is usually drowned in butter and just makes me feel so heavy. Also I always use the palm of my hand as a portion guide here- sometimes restaurants will serve 12 oz of protein instead of the 4 oz portion that is right for me. I will just cut it in half if it seems way too large, or put half on my husbands plate.
A source of fat. Usually the dressing, sauce, or marinade is oil based which gives a good amount of fat, but I still like to have some avocado, nuts, or cheese if I am feeling crazy!
Tacos: all but potato or breakfast tacos, with traditional (not gringo) style, corn tortilla.
El Jefe Ensalada with no crispy chips, citrus vinaigrette.
KYPO pick: El Jefe Ensalada with no crispy chips, citrus vinaigrette.
The Neighbors Place:
Santa Fe Chicken*
Ahi Tuna, Mahi, or Salmon*
Blackened Mahi Sandwich (1/2 bun)*Southwest Chicken Wrap*
Sesame Szechwan Salmon (ask for over veggies not rice)
Split Romesco Shrimp Sirloin (split this with someone, noone needs 12 oz of protein in one sitting!)
*Sides: Sauteed Garden Vegetables, Sauteed Mushrroms and Spinach, Asparagus, Steamed Vegetables and Broccoli, Sauteed Green Beans
KYPO pick: Mahi Mahi with sauteed garden vegetables and asparagus
or sesame szechwan salmon over extra veggies.
Isabella's Italian Trattoria
Braised Local Meatballs
Any salad with any vinaigrette dressing, add protein
Artichoke, Margherita, Siciliana, or Grilled Chicken Thin crust whole wheat/gluten free pizza with very light cheese.
*They have gluten free corn pasta or whole wheat pasta, but I still wouldn't recommend getting a whole plate of it.
Pan Seared Salmon in a marinara sauce instead of a butter sauce.
Grilled Beef Tenderloin Medallion
Sides: Garlic Rosemary Smashed Potatoes, Sauteed Squash and Zucchini, Sauteed Spinach and Green Beans, Roasted Mushrooms, Mediterranean Quinoa Salad
KYPO pick: Cod Nicoise or House Salad with Seared Salmon and tomatoes in balsamic vinaigrette.
Sesame Ahi Tuna
Santa Fe Salad (No tortilla strips)
Feta Chicken Salad
Special House Salad, add protein
Chicken Almond Salad (No tortilla)
Asian Chicken Salad (No wontons)
Blackened Ahi Tuna*
Fresh Salmon (ideally with the salsa fresca)*
Grilled Tuna Sandwich (1/2 Bun)*
Avocado Chicken Grill (no cheese 1/2 bun)*
Grilled Portabello Mushroom (1/2 bun)*
Fresh Vegetable Bake
Asian Chicken Stir Fry over vegetables
*Sides: Sauteed Green beans, Steamed Broccoli, Baked Sweet potato, Seasonal Vegetable medley
Market at Main:
Eggwhite Breakfast Burrito with
Eggwhite Downtown Omelet with turkey sausage and all vegetables.
Oatmeal with apple slices and extra berries.
Seasonal garden salad, Orchid Spinach salad add chicken, Caprese salad add chicken with apple cider vinegar or balsamic.
Homemade Vegetarian Chili
The Randy Mac Wrap
Cabell Street Chicken (1/2 bun)
Honey Salmon with grilled okra
Any salad but the Caesar.
Seared ahi tuna sandwich
Grilled chicken sandwich no cheese.
They also have AMAZING black bean burgers that are not on the menu.
**For the sandwiches get them either bunless on a salad or do ½ bun.
KYPO pick: Seared Tuna and Coconut Gremolade Salad, or Turkey burger no cheese bunless on a salad with balsamic.
Blackened Seared Ahi Tuna
Garlic Lime Jumbo Shrimp with Roma Tomatoes
8 oz filet
Berbere double breast of chicken with approved side instead of rice
Iceberg Wedge salad with herb vinaigrette
Chophouse salad (choose bacon or blue cheese)
Spinach Salad add protein
Caprese salad add protein
Blackened Grilled Salmon Fillet substitute for approved side
Personalized vegetable plate: today's fresh vegetable, asparagus, onions and mushrooms
**ask which options are gluten free!
Fresh berries with whipped cream and a coffee with a little sugar.
KYPO pick: Balckened Seared Ahi Tuna with todays fresh vegetable (makes it affordable too!)
Robyn Alexander's Bistro
Thai lettuce cups
*Tuscan griller over vegetables
Honey Spiced Salmon
*Veggie Grinder Hoagie
Blackened Mahi sandwich
Any salad but the caesar and buffalo chicken, or steak wedge. (ask for Santa Fe not in a flour tortilla shell or with tortilla strips)
**(for sandwiches do 1/2 bun with roasted potatoes& Brussel sprouts, sautéed green beans, seasonal fruit, quinoa salad, or vegetable medley)
KYPO pick: Thai lettuce cups, Santa Fe Salad with no tortilla or strips, no cheese, white balsamic dressing, or Hot Pot with extra veggies.
Miso or Onion Soup
Garden, Avocado, or Seaweed Salad
Any hibachi grill entree, ask for double veggies instead of rice
KYPO Pick: Narudo Roll with Edamame and Miso Soup
or Sashimi Sampler with Avocado Salad
My Dog Duke's Diner
The hokie (no bacon)
Eggwhite scramble with chicken sausage and fruit instead of potato hash& grits
Or a la cart:
Greek yogurt and granola with berries
steel cut oatmeal with no brown sugar, ask for extra fruit
Any of the salads are great options, add some protein to make it a filling meal.
Roasted Atlantic Salmon
Any of the salads are great options, add some protein to make it a filling meal.
House made pickled vegetables
Rosemary roasted red bliss potatoes
KYPO pick: Eggwhite scramble with oatmeal and fruit
or Roasted Atlantic Salmon with a side salad
Jimmy on the James:
Bobby wasabi tuna salad (ask for your avocado not fried) (this is an absurd request for me to have to say)
Summer salad (add chicken)
Rack of lamb
Antelope tenderloin (weirdly this is the healthiest option here)
KYPO pick: antelope tenderloin or teriyaki salmon with grilled asparagus
DESPERATE TIMES CALL FOR DESPERATE MEASURES...
Avocado Eggwhite and Spinach Sandwich
Oatmeal with almonds quinoa and honey, or granola and extra berries (no cinnamon crumble topping)
Greek yogurt with berries
KYPO pick: Avocado eggwhite and spinach sandwich with an apple.
Any of the salads but watch for unnecessary add ins! For example, you are looking to have one source of fat. Choose cheese, avocado, or nuts, try not to have ALL of them or the calories will add up fast.
Any broth bowl (higher in sodium though!)
I do not think the sandwiches are the best option, but if you want to order one, get a youpicktwo! The best options would be the turkey avocado BLT, steak and arugula, Napa Almond Chicken Salad, or Mediterranean Veggie.
For soups, try and opt for broth based, rather than cream based soups. (and don't get a bread bowl!)
KYPO pick: Spicy thai salad with chicken, no wontons, EVERYTIME!
Chick Fil A:
Egg White Grill
Greek yogurt parfait
Grilled Chicken Cool Wrap
Grilled Chicken Sandwich with approved side
Grilled Nuggets with approved side
Spicy Southwest Salad or any salad with GRILLED chicken.
Side salad, superfood side salad, fruit cup, greek yogurt parfait with granola, chicken noodle soup.
Dressings and sauces: skip the mayo based or "creamy" dressings. these are filled with soybean oil and sugar and just the ChickFilA dipping sauce will add 140 calories to your meal! Try using ketchup and mustard, honey mustard, zesty buffalo, or sriracha sauce for "better" (not perfect!) options. For salad dressings, go for light balsamic, light italian, or chili lime.
KYPO pick: Spicy Southwest Salad with no tortilla strips and chili lime dressing. Or the Grilled Chicken Cool Wrap with Chili lime dressing.
Take a load off and get whatever your heart desires! If you order something with a side of rice, maybe ask for no pita chips. Choose 1 starch.
Ask for a salad bowl with no dressing, no rice, extra lettuce.
I ask for any of the proteins, any beans, extra veggies, pico de gallo, 1/2 serving of the guac.
Have the cheese, corn, and rice in moderation if you choose to add those on!
Anything off of the power menu, take out the cream sauce (the #1 ingredient is soybean oil!!)
Grilled chicken wrap/sandwich
Power Mediterranean Chicken Salad
If you NEED to get a hamburger, get a junior hamburger and a side salad.
Any flavored coffee with almond milk add cinnamon
Any of the refreshers
Almond milk or soy milk chai tea latte
Green Tea Latte
Light Coffee/ Caramel Frappuccino
Evolution Green Juice