Sauce on the side. Steamed. No cheese. Add extra avocado. Ok, true confessions: I am a professional custom order-er at restaurants. And that's ok! If you want my hacks on how to eat healthy anywhere you first HAVE to be comfortable to ask for food the way you really want it to be prepared. The rest is easy peasy lemon squeezy.
Order Healthy From Any Restaurant
Skip it or Pick it
· Fried, battered, buttery, creamy, crispy, cheesy, thick, breaded, smothered or glazed
· Broiled, steamed, blackened, baked, roasted, light, fresh, grilled, sautéed, seared, poached
Mexican Restaurants. Avoid the complimentary chips & salsa or ask to dip your salsa or guac in fresh cut carrots they may have for gluten-sensitive customers. It’s very common! Mexican can be salt show loaded with a lot of dairy and oil. Opt for vegetarian beans, small side of rice on top of big bowl of roasted vegetables and salad. Use the guac as your salad dressing and salsa as well. No queso, cheese, or sour cream needed!
Asian restaurants: Ask for brown rice, steamed vegetables, hold the extra sauces, and use low sodium soy sauce sparingly. Another good option is brown rice vegetable sushi.
Chinese/Japanese or Thai: Always ask for STEAMED veggies with the sauce on the side. You can always add protein (brown rice or rice noodles if you prefer) light light sauce. If you are into a salad or soup make sure you ask for the ginger dressing on the side since it is very high in calories as well as sugar. Also, I would prefer if you ask them if they can make you a veggie plate if there isn’t a “buddha’s feast” available
Italian: Go for whole grain pasta, tomato sauce (with no cheese added), and ask them to throw in as many grilled/steamed vegetables as they can find! If you can get shrimp, chicken or eggplant without the cheese and also for no added oil or salt. Italian restaurants tend to have great chopped salads or soups so you can always eat light that way as well.
Steak House/American: Believe it or not, you can get a great meal at a steak house. Shrimp, Potatoes, sweet potatoes, and lots of steamed vegetables are options you can almost always find. You can also ask for a huge salad! Ask your waiter for a salad with every fresh vegetable they have on hand (and even fruit), with a side of balsamic vinegar (or sneak in your own plant-strong dressing).
Breakfast spots: Ask for oatmeal made with non-dairy milk or water, fruit, and some nuts. You can also ask if they have whole grain bread, a little nut butter, and fruit.
Coffee shops: If you are having a snack, go for something like oatmeal. You can also get a little dried fruit and nuts at many places. I’m a frequent flyer for the Starbuck’s oatmeal in almost all airports.
Gas stations: If you are on the road, you can find fruit at most convenience stores, and sometimes whole grain pretzels or unsalted nuts as well.
Grocery stores: Don’t forget local grocery stores! You can get items hummus, whole grain crackers or bread, cut up and washed vegetables/fruit, cans of low sodium beans (just be sure to pick up a cheap can-opener). You can even buy potatoes and frozen vegetables to microwave later in our hotel room. Or, you can make a great trail mix with whole grain cereal, raisins, and a few nuts. Many grocery stores also have salad bars where you can make a great plant-strong meal.