Who doesn’t love a nice meal out every now and then?! A night off of cooking, meal prep and the best part — no clean up!! We all do. But what happens when that now and again becomes the norm? Even if it is for just a small stretch of time, eating out can catch up with you. Given that my weekly schedule looks like an organized train wreck more often than not, as much as I plan with snacks ahead and prep in a kitchen while I have more than two pans to work with (hey living on the road means one must improvise on a daily basis!) I thought I would share some of my tips for eating out, when you have to versus choose to! 😉
If you feel like a burger
- Ditch the bun and ask for a lettuce wrap. Most restaurants will accommodate, especially in a gluten & wheat free world. Plus, you can really taste the awesomeness of that burger & fresh ingredients. Skip the cheese & add avocado for a healthy, fulfilling good for you fat! Replace fries, chips or slaw with steamed veggies. May be a small up charge, but it is worth it.
- Steer away from the bread box, sugary cereal dispensers, strange meat in a pan & oil options, the fun hotcake machine (I know, I ruin all the eating fun, but you will thank me in that swimsuit later ;-)) with chocolate morsels & “fruit” juice machine. Truuuust me on this one. While all of those items are appealing to the eye, they will give you an instant sugar spike, followed by a crash and leave you hungry soon after. Instead, look for hard boiled eggs, fresh fruit, oatmeal (my fave!) — just not the flavored kind in a packet. Many hotels actually have a large container of plain oatmeal that you can flavor to your choice. Cinnamon, almond slices, fresh fruit, a little bit of honey are all good choices. Yogurt can be a great addition, plain and then have fun dressing it up! Enjoy milk, a cup of tea or even coffee and snag an apple for your bag on the way out the door!!
Fast Food Made Right
- Nope, not every fast food chain is made the same way. When having to choose where to eat when fast food is your ONLY option, here’s a few easy picks that won’t wreck havoc on your body…
– Chipotle: Burrito Bowl for the win. No rice, double black beans, add your meat, corn,
salsa, lettuce & guac. Say no thank you to cheese & sour cream. Healthy, protein
filled and full of flavor. A no regret choice right there!
– Panera Bread – Pick two. Salad (dressing always comes on the side here) + veggie soup
(love the black bean soup) + an apple for your side. Ready to conquer the afternoon
after this winning combo. The afternoon siesta can wait for another day!
– Wendy’s – Side salad or Mediterranean Salad with a cup of chili. (NO cheese, sour cream,
or crackers) Those items are just fillers and there is plenty of flavor in the chili!
– Chick-fil-A – Excellent grilled chicken salad (I truly do enjoy mine with no dressing! Call
me crazy, but I love the taste of the ingredients on their own, not covered up) but
they do have lower calorie options. Creamy dressings are not your friend. The grilled
nuggets are awesome. Grilled chicken sandwich, yes, please! No bun, of course or just eat
half the bun with the lettuce as your lid.
Eggs aren’t just for breakfast anymore…
If you happen to be at restaurant for lunch or dinner that serves breakfast all day, think outside of the box. Have a made to order omelet with spinach, mushrooms, tomato & avocado! Fruit or steamed veggies on the side and wallah , breakfast is served! Lean, mean, energy machine!
The Grocery Store!!!
Is a great stop to pick up a few items to make a meal out of. Grocery stores have gotten really good at providing fast grab & go items. You can often find a variety of salads, soups, kale & protein salads in the deli and much more depending on the grocery store. I love to pick up a bag of carrots & hummus as a quick snack. Most hotels have a mini refrigerator and you can always ask for one if your room does not come with one to store any leftovers for the next day. Don’t have a cooler? Simply ask for two laundry bags. Fill one with ice from the ice machine & the other with your food items, combine & put in back of car until you get home!
There ya have it, some easy tips to incorporate into your travel schedule. Whether it is for work or play, there IS a way!